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Week 34

February 7, 2012
tags:

Hello.

READING

I just sat down and finished ELEPHANT BUCKS, a Guide to Sitcom writing. I liked the book. The systemic approach and style all put me in the right mindset and the energy always amused me. Sheldon Bull writes with an energetic YOU CAN DO IT voice that sounds like an war-time infomercial or propaganda how to video, which is a voice that I’ve always found liked. It reminds me of that Simpsons instructional video soundtrack (also used for the Land of Chocolate).

It’s a weird sub-genre. Positive Propaganda Stock.

I also organized my reading for the month, which I do when I realize there’s a bookmark in ten titles or things begin stacking too high on the bedside table, with overspill on the wardrobe, spilling again into the bookshelf.

WATCHING

I re-watched all of COMMUNITY. All of it. In four days. Which might have been slow, I’m not sure. All I know is that I have done it and I want more.

I’ve also been watching ADVENTURE TIME to help me think short. I have a few cartoons that I want to script and spec, so the line of thought has been quite useful. It’s a bad lesson in content, but a good one in format. There’s episodes where the storyline fits into classic comedy and then peaks at cannibalism or points where there is reward, no lessons learned, and then the premise abandoned within the last seconds of the episode. And the original pilot featured a visit by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln on Mars.

I also watched RAISING ARIZONA, THE JERK and CORIOLANUS.

CORIOLANUS disappeared from theaters within the week. If there is some confusion – it was well acted, well directed and well shot. It’s a modernized version of the Shakespeare play, but opting to keep all the original language and keeping the script as close to the play as possible. While the story is modernized, the script isn’t and the two just never meet up.

There are scenes in Coriolanus where there are two assholes whose job is it to make Coriolanus not get his job. So they follow him around and shout at strangers that Coriolanus is an asshole after he leaves the room. The strangers believe every word because it is being shouted at them in a British accent with Shakespearean style. The asshole then follow him to a talk show, which has NO HOST (Shakespeare didn’t have talk shows, so neither must this movie) and all they do, is shout at the audience (who went there to see… what? an elegant press conference) that Coriolanus should be banished. This is a step down from their hopes of shouting at people that he should be killed. And then, because the room full of forty people starts shouting it, Coriolanus is banished.

As an audience, we don’t need a lot in terms of context, but we know when something doesn’t make sense in the setting you’ve given it to us. Also, democracy and law in ITALY? Stop making shit up.

WORK

I think I might’ve been able to put all the words I wrote last week on my arm in pen. This week will be better.

I need a new show name for a cartoon. I need characters. I need to think up how to run a podcast long distance. I need to throw a monkey into as many scenarios as possible and e-mail them away. I need to break the back of a pilot and just fucking decide on what show to spec.

And tomorrow, so much more.

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