On the heels of saying most execs we deal with are bright, funny, and a pleasure to work with… that’s not always the case. Here’s one of those cases…
We were writing our first episode of a detective series. We turned the script in to the network executive for his notes. The first note was in scene one, act one.
“The hero doesn’t know what’s going on,” the executive said.
“That’s right,” I replied. “Because it’s a mystery.”
“You can’t do that,” the executive said. “The hero should be ahead of the story.”
“Ahead of the story?” I asked. “What does that mean?”
“The hero should know,” the executive said.
“Know what?” I replied.
“Everything,” The executive said.
“But he just arrived at the scene,” I said. “He’s taking his first look at the body… and you want him to already know everything?”
“Is he a hero or a complete moron?” The executive asked. “Nobody wants to watch a show about a guy who’s lost, confused, and stupid.”
“It’s a mystery and he’s a detective,” I said. “He’s going to show us how smart he is by solving the crime.”
“If he was smart,” the executive said, “he wouldn’t have to solve it. He’d already know.”
“So what’s the mystery?” I asked.
“There isn’t one,” the executive said.
“So what’s our show about if there’s no mystery to solve?”
“You tell me,” the executive said. “You’re the writer.”
1 thought on “Getting Ahead”
hysterical stuff. to funny to be fiction. i’m still laughing.
i worked in the computer industry for 25 years and you find the same class of person there also.
do they all go to the same school? or is it just the same lecture series: moron 101