Complications Ensue: The Crafty Game, TV and Screenwriting Blog
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Screenwriting, TV and Game Writing Blog


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Friday, December 13, 2013

I've been writing a lot of emails lately. I spend a lot of extra time on my emails -- I rewrite them a few times so I'm sure they communicate what they're supposed to, and hopefully so I persuade people without pissing them off.

My take on arguing by email is that it's just as convincing to say "I feel" or "It seems to me" or "My take on this is" as it is to say "it is this way"; however, "I feel" takes the sting out of my statement. Hey, that's how I feel. You may feel differently. That's beautiful, man.

Also, I ask a lot of questions. "Are you really sure this is how we should approach this?" is the polite cousin of "We shouldn't do this." But "We shouldn't do this" provokes an immediate resentment on the part of someone who disagrees; while "are you sure?" solicits his or her opinion, which is always flattering, and frames it in a way that he or she really has to look at his or her own thinking: am I sure? Am I really sure?

Asking gets the reader on your side; stating invites pushback.

Even when I'm talking about facts, I'll tend to say, "As far as I can tell," or "if I understand this correctly" rather than just writing "It's 98."

In a world where people break up by text, I get a lot of half-baked emails, mostly from younger folk. The writers don't put themselves in my shoes. Sometimes they piss me off without meaning to.

Take the extra minute to revise your emails. Then wait a half hour, and then revise again. Never send an email after 6 pm if you can send it in the morning; you may be able to trim a lot of anger and confusion in the morning.

Ask rather than stating. Make clear you know it's your opinion.

Often the most convincing way to present your argument is by avoiding making it an argument.


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Neil Gaiman:  “You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working ... because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you."

Or tweetable:  "Pleasant. On time. Talented. Success requires two out of three."

And then there's the Iron Triangle of Project Management:   "Fast - Cheap - Good. Pick Two." 

Words of wisdom.


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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Diane Wild's TV, Eh? blog has gone down for the count. Too bad. It was a great resource for those who cared about Canadian TV. If only some Canadian networks had, y'know, clicked on that "Donate" link.

But one gets the strong impression that Canadian networks regard commissioning Canadian content as a tiresome chore; and government seems to be listening. The CRTC came around to Montreal for a "flash conference," where the question was raised, "Hey, Devil's advocate, but if we can't regulate Netflix, how is it fair to regulate the networks?"

Which the small band of creatives at the session suspected might imply, "We are testing the waters for deregulating the networks, but we want to make you feel as if we're listening to you."

To which some stalwart creatives said, "But you ought to regulate streaming video." And, "If we don't regulate the networks, there will be no Canadian programs at all." And, "If the Canadian networks don't make any Canadian content, why exactly should we protect them from competition from the American networks?"

Lisa said, "One day you're going to wake up and they're making Anne of Green Gables set in Connecticut. By then it will be too late."

The rest of the crowd at the hearing was Concordia students. Their overall reaction was, "What's TV, grandpa?"


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Friday, December 06, 2013

New York Film Academy has an interesting infographic that shows jjjjust how few women there are in film. And yet, half the audience is women.

Plus ça change...


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