Part 2 is up! Yay YouTube! Yay Comedy!

12 01 2009

Part 2 is up. Here it is. Please check it out and the other videos. Comment. All that fun stuff.

I really like this one. It’s paced well and is a good follow up. The thing I like the best, however, is that it played better than it did in my head. The delivery was better, but the adlibbing was great. The actor who voiced Le Shoc, Charles Hubbell, improved on it.

This is exactly how things should go when dealing with actors. When I was learning screenwriting and directing a lot of people, including myself, wanted to tell the actors how lines should be read. “Don’t say it like that, say it like this.” The pull to do that is so strong because you wrote it (or you’re directing it), and it’s your baby and you know how it’s supposed to go. But you can’t. You have to stop yourself. It’s not your job; it’s theirs.

The actor’s job is to give you what you want, but also to give the character life, and that means letting him/her do their job. If they don’t deliver the line right, then tell them. You want it more sarcastic. More dire. More passion. Dryer. Whatever. Tell them, but don’t do it for them.

One, it’s rude.

Two, it bites you in the ass. Sure, they’ll deliver the line the way you want it, but they’ll be stiffled from offering new takes that could benefit the characters in ways you’d love but have never dreamed of. You turn them into acting zombies, and that’s not cool.

Let them do their job. You concentrate on doing yours. Write well.


LeShoc Goes Online pt 1 goes online!

2 01 2009

Yay! Part one is here, just in time to ring in the new year.

I liked it!

It’s always weird, of course, when you see something you wrote acted out. It never quite sounds the way it does in your head. Sometimes actors change emphasis or pacing, and it’s grating. Other times they bring such plesant surprises. Either way, it’s a bit of an adventure, and serves to remind us all that no matter what, we’re only part of the creative process, and really, it’s for the best.

Good entertainment is best when it’s a team effort, and nearly everything is.

TVTV Update

24 12 2008

Another quick update on my work on Transylvania Television.

I’m working on two things, and I might even have time to do it now that my job description has changed to the point where I might get some writing time in (assuming I use it to write. I need to investigate ways to crack my own whip).

One is commercial work. A local company who has been good to us in the past wants to include us in their new advertising contract. The guys have made me their go-to guy for commercials…probably having to do with the fact that when TVTV asked, I was the only one who wrote up any commercial pitches. So that’s good, because that could actually mean money into the show.

The second is I’m rewriting the pilot episode. I was actually told not to do this (in the sense of “lets not concentrate on that right now”), but I think I’ll have the time, and I really thing I can give them a script that’s not only more dynamic, punchy, and funny, and not only a better launchpad to a show, but one that can use maybe half or more of the existing footage, which should make it really easy to shoot.

Keep them coming back. Every week. Every day.

21 12 2008

TvTv news.

Here’s the blurb for posterity:


12/13/08: Thanks to the sheer industriousness of the writing staff, we have a new multi-part web episode debuting Jan 1. Matthew Gallagher has translated years of screwing around on the internet and produced a five parter called “LeShoc Goes Online.” The first episode airs January 1st, and we will be releasing a new one every week or so throughout the year starting with Matt’s series. The upshot of all this web production is that a DVD with all the TVTV episodes will be made available mid year that can be purchased via the website or at one of our many convention appearances throughout the year, including Orlando Florida’s own MEGACON!

For just about the past six months I’ve been pushing the guys at TVTV to do these 5-part online episodes. The responses have ranged from “Great, that’s something we’ll toss on the pile when we get rolling” to “Whatever, just write what you guys want.” And yet, I pushed on.

TVTV has great potential, but it’s not getting a lot of attention for television at the moment, so they have dragged themselves, kicking and screaming, to the internet. Initially they wanted to throw everything up against the refridgerator and see what stuck. The point was to get examples up to show people what they could do. I’ve been pushing for a much more focused product.

If you’re going to write for the internet, you have to write for the internet. It’s wholey different from television. The pacing is different. The expectations are different. The possibilities are different. So embrace that. In that vein, I’ve been writing 5-part episodes. Each part is only one or two minutes long. They’re not cliffhangers or anything; just five connected episodes. I wrote them so they could be shot with whatever was on hand, same location, wham bam we’re done. The reason being that we have so little time (and no money) to make product for the show, that we have to maximize our output.

Still, for various reasons, the reception has been cool…until they shot one.

A couple weeks ago they shot my first 5-part series, LeShoc Goes Online. They got everything done in less than seven hours. This week, during our meeting, we all had explicit instructions to keep doing them.

Score one for Team Awesome.

I’m not going to say I know much about internet marketing. In fact, I’m desperately researching on how to get YouTube hits (without being tacky). But what I do know is common sense, and for something as fast-paced as internet TV, you need to have product. It’s more important to have something crazyapeshit  funny, but in lieu of that, you need something that’s at least consistantly funny, and consistant, period.

I really think TVTV has a unique potential on the internet. It can’t be the sitcom we envision for television, but you can actually showcase the TV station aspect. You don’t have to write 22-minute episodes about how people are struggling to put on good programming. You can just slap up the good programming. The YouTube site can BE the television station. So now it’s a fight for branding.

Yay for branding!

The most important thing a writer can do is write an amazing post title

8 09 2008

I’ve finally started a writing blog. To all my fans out there, and they are legion, there will be much rejoicing. Please do subscribe.

Check out the Videos section for a new TVTV sketch I wrote. My name’s in the credits and everything. I’m very proud.

In fact, here it is.

Transylvania TV is a great group of guys, and the show really deserves some play.

Writing sketches, or anything that gets shot for the screen, is an interesting experience in “low man on the totem pole” existance. When you write an article, it gets edited, but no one really changes it. That’s not kosher. When you write a book, your editor rips it apart and tells you to change a bunch of stuff. But in the end it’s you who has the final say. They can’t make changes for you. It’s not kosher.

But when you write for TV or movies, you don’t have anywhere near the last say. It goes through a hundred changes. And even on a little internet clip like this, it goes through changes. For instance, my version had “butt rape” but that was replaced with “ass rape” which is certainly less funny. But I stand by it as a funny sketch. You should always stand by your work. That’s tip #1.

Why am I writing scripts about butt rape? Well, I guess you have to know TVTV, but long story short, it came out of a writers meeting. One of the writers, who’s very good, submitted a script with a surprising amount of rape in it, and although the script was funny, the discussion was even better. It had to become a sketch.