Archive for the ‘WTD’ Category

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I’m not changing a word of this

September 24, 2013

shakey

(This was originally posted on my Posterous blog. Re-upping it for @gerstaunton  and anyone else who might be interested.)

People often ask me for for writing advice and I usually respond by pointing them to my DVD commentary for IT Crowd Season 4, which is a complete guide to writing a sitcom from concept to screen. Everything I knew about sitcom writing to that point in time is on that DVD, so when people ask me for advice, that’s literally the most helpful thing I can do for them. The fact that it also gives me an excuse to plug the DVD is completely beside the point, of course.

But there is one piece of advice on which I may not have placed enough emphasis, because it is almost impossible to place enough emphasis on it, and it is as follows: when someone reads your script and gives you notes, be grateful, and act on those notes.
Act on them, apply them. You are not a genius. You are just a schmuck. You need help, your script needs help. That opening you think is so hilarious? It’s not. It’s confusing. It doesn’t work. Stop pretending it’s the Odessa Steps. It’s a fucking mess.
And you know what, the scene that follows it? The one that really IS great? The one that everyone loves? That’s going to have to go too. Do you know why? Because as soon as you changed the scene-that’s-not-the-Odessa-Steps, it made that other scene not work either.
Writing is rewriting.
Rewriting is not polishing.
Rewriting is heavy lifting.
Now, there is a flipside to this rule. Unless you are lucky enough to have a real-life, honest-to-goodness, says-it-on-his-business-card script editor who has been paid to give you a full set of notes, you may well run into people who have lots of opinions on what is wrong with your script, and not one of them makes a bit of sense; notes that might as well say “This script would be great, if everyone in it was taller.”
What you do when you hear this kind of note is very simple. You nod, you say “That’s interesting”, you go home and you try to work out what the real problem is. Even the dumbest person in the room can help your script, because if that person felt the need to open his big dumb mouth, it’s because your script didn’t hold his attention enough to keep him quiet.
By now, you’re probably wondering why I’ve adopted such an aggressive tone for this piece. It’s because I’m sick of hearing from very clever friends of mine–script editors and producers who DO give great notes–that the writer they’re currently working with refuses to change anything, or sulks and whines or worse yet, explains that “No, no, you see…HE’S saying it to HER. That’s why it’s FUNNY!” (If you have to explain ANYTHING, you’ve ALREADY LOST).
I heard of a writing partnership who handed in a first draft and said “We’re not changing a word of that.” If I had been in that room, and had been in a position to do so, I would have said “OK, you’re fired” and then laughed like Doctor Doom for a week. You might as well say “We do not know how to write, and we refuse to learn.”
So repeat after me, you fuckwits who refused to implement that very simple fix that your EXPERIENCED and CLEVER producer suggested:
He is not the problem.
I am the problem.
My script is the problem.
Writing is rewriting.
Writing is rewriting.
Writing is rewriting.

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That Boris Johnson Interview…

March 25, 2013

Did you see it? Yeesh. But worry not…

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Wild Ride

August 16, 2012

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A compilation for you!

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It’s Not The End of The World

October 14, 2011

I call this picture ‘James Delingpole pops out for a snack’, even though I’m fairly sure that’s not James Delingpole.

The sun’s always shining when it’s GLINNER’S MIXTAPE TIME!

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Not very chill for a Zen dude

September 6, 2011

I enjoyed Deepak Chopra’s response to a critic on Twitter today, sandwiched between some New Age higher-consciousness shite for maximum ironic laffosity.

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Get a load of this ridiculous thing I found the fuck out last night

July 27, 2011

Seriously. Get a load of this.

Received the following tweet from Chris Spyrou, who I know from Twitter as being even more obsessed by the hacking scandal than I am.

@Glinner Any ideas what this means re: Daily Show Global Edition? Possible Murdoch stuff? http://bit.ly/nuG6FZ
chrisspyrou
July 26, 2011

No need to click the link, it leads to the following exchange.

Where is the Daily Show Global Edition? Didn’t record on More 4, and it’s advertised, but not on More 4 +1. @C4Insider
chrisspyrou
July 25, 2011
@chrisspyrou Sorry compliance probs so we couldn”t show
C4Insider
July 26, 2011

I was curious as to why an episode of The Daily Show that would have been of particular interest to the UK public–covering, as it did, the News of The World scandal–would not be shown in this country. I tweeted @C4insider.

@C4Insider what were the compliance problems for Daily Show? Out of curiosity.
Glinner
July 26, 2011
@glinner Will do some investigating and get back to you.
C4Insider
July 26, 2011

Well. You’ll never guess.

Asked Channel 4 why the latest Daily Show isn’t being shown on 4+1 (HT: @chrisspyrou) and got the following reply…
Glinner
July 26, 2011
@Glinner We are prevented by parliamentary rules from broadcasting parliamentary proceedings in a comedic or satrical context.
C4Insider
July 26, 2011

Oh, OK. 

Wait, what?

@Glinner C4′s restriction led by this guidance (FOIA response), specifically section 4: http://bit.ly/n48eaa
fiatpanda
July 26, 2011
@Glinner Aimed at "preserving the dignity of the House", I think.
fiatpanda
July 26, 2011

Holy shit! So politicians in the UK…

@Glinner Same in Ireland. Smallprint under “Rules of Coverage”: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/
thebeernut
July 26, 2011

….so politicians in the UK and Ireland are protected from satirical TV programs by the law? But only if they’re for national consumption? REALLY? 

This means that the The Daily Show writers can make fun of the UK using Parliamentary footage, but satirists in the UK can’t. This means that Have I got News for You can use the following clip…

…but IRISH SATIRISTS CAN’T!

Doesn’t anyone else find this situation insane?
@C4Insider @Glinner OK well those rules need changing. Doesn’t sound right that America can take the piss out of us but we can’t
tomhare
July 26, 2011

Well, QUITE.

Here’s one bit that would have been in the Global Edition.

Daily Show: Accountability in the U.K.- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-july-20-2011/accountability-in-the-u-k-?xrs=share_twitter – Not shown in the UK @Glinner
chrisspyrou
July 26, 2011

It’s region-locked, but there are several ways to see it. I use Overplay VPN but there are many free alternatives (the vast majority of which I find impossibly fiddly…and I was never a big Torrenter). 

The only free service that ever worked for me was using Firefox with the Modify Headers extension, so give that a go before doing anything else.

Here’s how it works…

Anyway. I digress. Around the same time that all this was happening, I discovered that Ai Weiwei is on Google+. His ‘about’ page reads “Suspected of being involved in: distributing pornography, tax evasion, inciting subversion, shortchanging someone in a transaction on the black market, keeping a mistress, plagiarism, and reselling cultural artifacts for profit (seven deadly sins).”

Poor guy. They’ll probably take him in again for that. Can you imagine living in a country whose rulers were so scared of satire that they…
Never mind.

2 clips from @TheDailyShow (19/20 July) not shown in the UK – http://mediaite.com/a/mlyrv + http://mediaite.com/a/jdbgf
chrisspyrou
July 27, 2011
Thanks to everyone who sent this link, which has just now started working for me.

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Get with the program, dude

May 27, 2011

I post a lot of links on Twitter and I realised they were just disappearing into the ether. I decided to trap them on Delicious, Diigo and Pinboard.

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One reason to march on the 26th

March 9, 2011

Tried to share this on Twitter a few times and managed to break their website. It’s a short but VERY revealing video about the motives of some of the people behind Andrew Lansley’s NHS ‘reforms’.  It’s also one of the things that convinced me to join in on the 26th.

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One of the people behind the trampoline

January 7, 2011

No fooling!

Thanks to @Jackthorne for this

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Don’t bogart that shit, dude!

February 12, 2010

I’m writing, which means mixtapes!

As ever, thanks to all on Twitter and Blip.fm for pointing these delights out to me. The chances of my running across a track from the New Moon soundtrack on my own were very, very low.

(pic via National Geographic & Boing Boing)

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