The Writer and The Director

I was thinking earlier on the differences in notoriety between writers and directors. Films are all about the director - as demonstrated by Dale Launer's comments (boosted by Scott at GITS). However, TV shows are a lot more about writers. Obviously, the bigger names are the showrunners - Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, JJ Abrams etc. etc. However, I also recognise most of the regular Doctor Who episode writers - for example, Euros Lyn and Moffat, when his episodes were the terrifying highlight of a season. Maybe it's because I know TV better, but it genuinely feels that writers get more credit in TV. Then again, movie writers get far bigger paydays. So, is it worth it? Do we want fame or money? Or...do we make the conversion? Aaron Sorkin is a renowned TV writer. Admittedly, he wrote films first, but TV is what he's famous for. 'The Social Network', however, is Aaron Sorkin's movie more than it is David Fincher's. There's...
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Dialogue is drama?

I've previously waxed lyrical about Aaron Sorkin's dialogue and why I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Scott of 'Go Into The Story' quoted Mr Sorkin earlier: “I’m really weak when it comes to plot," he says bluntly—a startling self-assessment from the creator of three television series. “With nothing to stop me, I’ll write pages and pages of snappy dialogue that don’t add up to anything. So I need big things to help my characters—a really strong intention and a really strong obstacle. Once I have those, I feel I can write.” Oops? I do love a good bit of dialogue. The overwhelming criticism on the early drafts of Steampunk Assassins was 'omgwtfbbq, why so much talking?!'. And that is my weakness - probably in part due to my love of the work of the aforementioned Aaron. My director told me to cut out every second line of dialogue. And, amazingly, I found myself plucking out reams of pointless conversation, ditching conversations...
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This is your dialogue on drugs

I'm spending my holiday time wisely by watching hours of television. Seeing as I'm writing a television pilot (draft three, with the editor), this seems like a smart move. Having marathoned the lamentable Space Precinct 2040, I jumped forward in time and across the Pond to the laudable Sports Night. I am a big fan of The West Wing. I had a blip where Rob Lowe quit and Channel 4 insisted on moving the timeslot around like a yo-yo, but last year, I watched all seven seasons in four months. It was brilliant. But it did suffer a dent when Aaron Sorkin was fired. Sports Night is a proving ground for The West Wing. Big speechifying, The Walk and Talk, the adorable and nerdy Josh Malina - and a showcase of guest stars who seem pretty familiar. Also, some plots and scenes crop up: big poker night, the dad with the 27 (or was it 28...?) year affair, the insane love of trivia....
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