WHY YOU <B>MUST</B> HAVE SPECS - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

 

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A friend of mine asked me whether I'd consider a writer for a show who didn't have spec scripts.

Not really. Not if I can possibly avoid it.

If you don't have a couple of good specs, it suggests one of two things:

a. You are way too busy to write spec scripts. You've been writing features and tv nonstop for years. Okay, fine, show me some stuff from the shows you've been writing. Or...

b. It takes you too damn long to write an episode of a show. In which case it will probably take you too damn long to write an episode of my show, too.

If you don't have a spec, and only have original work, then all I can find out is that you can write original work. But being able to come up with good characters and a consistent world, while wonderful in its own right, doesn't tell me that you can write my characters and my world. Do you have an ear for reproducing the voices of a character? Do you have a sense for the template of a show, the tone, the what the show does and doesn't do? You might have started off your original script in one direction and wound up with it going in an entirely different direction. That's just dandy, unless you're writing a show that already exists, in which case your inability to hit the mark you're aiming at could be fatal.

Also, if you don't have a current spec, I have no way of knowing how long it took you to write your original work. Whereas if you send me a Malcolm in the Middle spec -- well, who's still speccing MITM? And if you send me an O.C. spec with Alex and Lindsay in it, I know you've written the script this year. So it can't have taken you that long to write it, 'cause it hasn't been that long.

If you want to get hired to write TV, ya gotta have those specs.

1 Comments:

Thanks for posting this; I'd wondered why they expect specs of current shows, since the specs aren't going to get produced, why writers are advised against writing specs for shows that have ended or that have been running a long time. It makes sense that the reader wants evidence that the spec was written recently.

I'm not currently planning to pursue TV writing, yet I can see why beginning writers have lots of resistantce to specs. It's difficult to write a script knowing that (a) you have to make it professional quality and (b) it will absolutely never be produced. I can absolutely see why specs are necessary... but I can't imagine it being fun to write them.

Rationally, I know that a spec screenplay is probably the same way. I know that one of the better possible results of writing my screenplay would be to get an agent who likes it, who finds me other work, and maybe even finds an option deal for my screenplay, while it never gets filmed. Still, to find the motivation to get to the end of it, I had to have faith in the possibility that the story I want to tell will reach thousands of screens. I wouldn't have that possibility with a spec TV script, and that would make it tougher.

By Anonymous 'drew, at 5:46 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.