Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box

I work in television as an editor, and I've done my fair share of writing, some even professionally (there's a rumor that my first feature will start airing on Superchannel this Sunday, Sept 4th!).  But lately I've been watching A LOT of television.  First, it's shorter and easier to fit in at night.  Second, there is some absolutely phenomenal storytelling going on in television right now, and in Canada, it's your best bet at making money as a writer in the entertainment industry - which I'm slowly attempting to do.  I picked this book up years ago and have leafed through it, but I decided to give it a big read.  It's a shame that it's five years old now as television has changed a lot since then - more venues for shows are creeping up with web series, etc... although what's nice about Alex Epstein is that he's got a fantastic blog (which you can get to be looking at my "blogs I follow" section to the left of this) that covers a lot of the on-going thing - it kind of acts in lieu of a revision to this (and it's free to boot!).
It's very tempting to write out a bunch of the lessons and ideas that Epstein teaches in this book, however I really really want you to buy your own copy.  If you want to write television I can't think of a better book for someone starting out - or simply as a refresher to any veterans.  Hell, if I was a showrunner I'd probably buy a copy for each of my staff.  It's that good.  Makes me want to reread his Crafty Screenwriting.
So this is short, but sweet, but I recommend it as highly as I possibly can.  Hopefully one day I'll get to know Mr. Epstein as a colleague - stranger things have happened.
Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box 

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