It’s that time of year when networks are ordering pilots. This means tv writers are sitting around anxiously waiting to find out which scripts they’ll be viciously hate-reading.
I was driving home from a features meeting yesterday listening to Scriptnotes, a podcast by Craig Mazin and John August. If you are an aspiring screenwriter and you haven’t found Scriptnotes yet, I highly encourage it. Craig plays the cranky rich guy who grumbles when a screenwriter finds this job hard while John soothes with his kind voice and gentle encouragement. I think it’s the kind of balance you need inside your brain if screenwriting is the kind of thing you want to do to your life. (“Oh, just shut up and write, you whiny baby! …and good luck, you can do it!”)
Lately Craig and John have been taking a few minutes out of their podcast to ponder why there are so few women in this industry. As a woman who had just taken two general meetings that day in features, slammed in the middle a week of no less than five TV sitcom pitches, I wanted to shout back, “I’M TRYING, GUYS.” Craig and John gave some stats based off their own recent inquiry for submissions — only 12% of the writers who sent them pages were female — and with less than a third of Nicholl submissions coming from women and only around a quarter of working screenwriters with the Guild being female, they eventually somewhat concluded: “I guess they just aren’t as interested.” And then I got really bummed out.
Aspiring television writers! Curious-about-writers people! Those of you sitting there thinking, “Uh, I know pamie doesn’t have a pilot, she’s not staffed, her latest book is turned in… so what the eff is she doing not updating pamie.com?”
Today’s Weekly Procrastination is for you.
More importantly: I want to know if it’s “Writers Room” or “Writer’s Room” or “Writers’ Room.” I work in these things and I’m not sure if I’m spelling it correctly. I think people write it “Writers Room” but that looks all kinds of wrong to me.
What I write following this email probably isn’t the answer she’s looking for, but…
In less than a month I’ll be at the Austin Film Festival, where I will once again attempt to balance seeing friends and schmoozing, which will result in some terrible hits to my liver.
(I broke the train into two parts. The first part of the train (part six of the story) is here.)
We take the long walk toward dinner. Now we’re a little less sure on our feet. Mom’s getting tired, and I’m a little tired, and it’s darker. We make it to the bar car, which we have to go through to get to our dinner car.
We open the door. It’s different in the dark, more mysterious, more like a lounge, like you’d imagine. The piano abruptly stops and — “Sentimental Journey” begins playing. And Mom’s crying again, but this time she can’t sit because we’re on our way to dinner, so she kind of sits at this stool near the head of the piano, perched like she’s about to launch into song. But she’s crying and smiling and nodding, and I’m rubbing her back and it really must have looked like she was here on a Make A Wish.
This story is old enough now that I feel like I can talk about it without incriminating anyone involved, other than me, which is fine, because I’m the only one in this story who comes out looking like an asshole.
We go way back to 1999 for this one, back before there were blogs, before there was Television Without Pity, when there were just online journals and the invention of Mighty Big TV. I was lucky enough and honored to be one of the initial writers for MBTV–>TWOP, and due to network scheduling, my recap ended up being the very first one posted on the brand new, shiny site. It was for a little show called “Get Real.” You probably don’t remember it because you were watching this other little show that premiered in that same time slot: The West Wing. Consequently, I’ve never seen an episode of TWW, although I did get to visit the set one day and Martin Sheen told me I had a “black soul,” adding: “In the good way.” But that’s another story for another day.
In case you were coming here looking for a collection of my Valentines Day Poems: The best place to go is here.
As you read this, Glark is hard at work, tirelessly attempting to wrangle the beast that is pamie.com into something that can reload with dignity. After looking through thirteen years of file dumping, he has declared me the Hoarder of the Internet. He has a small point. Anyway, I’m very excited about unleashing a pretty, sparkly version of this site in the near future.
I’m not so sure your ads for Reaper are such a good idea. Driving down Barham the other day, I saw this billboard and thought a show I used to work on might be releasing a new box set.
Well, to be honest, my first thought was, “Is Dane Cook doing some kind of joke on Mencia to promote his new tour? WHY?”