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A friend in the business : honest advice for anyone trying to break into television writing

Author: Robert Masello
Publisher: New York : Berkley Pub. Group, 2000.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Tips based on the experiences of the author, an ETHS graduate of 1970.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Robert Masello
ISBN: 0399526021 9780399526022
OCLC Number: 42863199
Notes: "A Perigee book."
Description: xii, 257 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: Reading Advisory --
Part I. Slouching Toward Hollywood --
Our Hero Arrives: In Los Angeles, only a chump writes books --
Hubris: If you think TV looks easy, look again --
Storming the Barricades: The TV fortress may be strong, but it's not impregnable --
A Friend in the Business: Why won't anybody extend a helping hand? --
So, What Does It Take to Be a TV Writer?: There must be some reason they make so much money --
"And Then What Happens?": Without a story to tell, you don't have a script --
Decisions, Decisions: You can laugh, or you can cry, but you can't do both --
Part II. Spec Fever --
On Spec: A spec script is like the army --
it's not just a job, it's an adventure --
Meet the Candidates: Only certain shows are spec-worthy --
how do you pick 'em? --
Great Ex-Spec-Tations: Hope is the thing your friends are out to kill --
Papering the Town: Trust everyone. trust no one --
Part III. Agents of Influence --
Secret Agent Man: Getting an agent shouldn't be this hard --
"You Think Your Agent Is Bad?": Big agencies, smaller boutiques --
lousy service is available anywhere you go --
Booster Shots: If your agent isn't your cheerleader, who will be? --
The Dotted Line: Once you sign with an agency, how long will it be before you get your soul back? --
Troubled Times: When Mr. Trouble comes around, let your agent answer the door --
Part IV. Pitching to Win --
Perfect Pitch: Never take the mound until you've warmed up --
Inside Information: What do you know that they don't? --
The Windup: You're only as funny as your sweatshirt --
The Pitch: Remember, this is one pitch you want them to connect with --
The Uncertainty Principle: Assume victory until otherwise informed --
Call-Backs: Nimble fingers are needed to tie up those loose ends --
Part V. Script for Success --
A Simple Plan: Writing without an outline is like trekking without a compass --
Go to Script!: The starting pistol has fired --
now run! --
Taking Notes: If your skin isn't thick, wear corduroy --
Part VI. Career Moves --
Laws, Sausages, and Scripts: The manufacturing process isn't always fun to watch --
United We Stand: When the Writers Guild invites you in, it's an offer you can't refuse --
The Great Divide: Staff writers in this camp, freelancers in that --
Stalwarts and Pilots: How do you pick a winner and get on board? --
The Back Door: Sometimes the indirect route works best --
Part VII. Making Hay --
Catching A Break: It's all in what you do with it --
Opportunity in Chaos: Disorganization can be a writer's best friend --
Glory Days: A weekly salary is not such a bad thing, after all --
Part VIII. Staff Life --
An Office of One's Own: Make yourself at home, for a while --
Playing Well with Others: Staff meetings can be a bonding exercise, or an exercise in bondage --
We Meet Again: Or, what cooperation can accomplish --
O Canada!: Why you should keep your passport handy --
The Beginning of Wisdom: How many colors can a script come in? --
Earning Your Keep: In TV, you don't write --
you rewrite --
An Inside Job: Sure, writers may not be welcome on set, but they're seldom shot --
Casting A Wide Net: Wait till you see who the casting director brings in --
Hard Lesson #1: Shut Up: You go along to get along --
Hard Lesson #2: Speak Up: The meek may inherit the earth, but they'll never make a living in TV --
Taking Credit: In an arbitration, there's more than you know at stake --
Part IX. Endgames --
Bad Signs: How to tell when the end is near --
Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: In a development deal, you can languish in limbo, or win the lottery --
Two for the Load: Collaborating as a cure for loneliness --
Hired Guns: What your agent doesn't do for you, a manager might --
Between Jobs: Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.
Responsibility: Robert Masello.

Abstract:

Tips based on the experiences of the author, an ETHS graduate of 1970.

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