Writing

Le Guin’s Old Home to Become Writer Residency

Ursula K. Le Guin, who died in 2018, once described imagination as the “single most useful tool mankind possesses. It beats the opposable thumb. I can imagine living without my thumbs, but not without my imagination.“ It therefore feels right that her in Portland, Oregon is set to become a home for future writers, working to unleash their imagination and engage with the community in the best way. This plan was evidently set in motion…

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Producing Writing

The 11 Laws of Showrunning by Javier Grillo-Marxuach

One of the nice outputs of reading Maureen Ryan’s Burn it Down, that I referenced last week, was to learn about Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s guide “Eleven Laws of Showrunning.” (PDF link) This guide was mentioned in the context of needing good management. So many showrunners are writers who have created the ideas of the show and are expert at both writing and solving writing problems, but they so often have zero managerial experience. Not only that,…

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Acting Producing Writing

Have We Tried Burning it All Down?

While I was covering the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes last year, an obvious question for a follow-up was what the future of Hollywood would be. While there’s certainly been a lot of pieces since the end of the strikes, one of the conversations I found that touched on this was with Adam Conover on his Factually podcast. It’s from August of last year, arguably during the height of the strikes. I actually linked to it…

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Producing Various and Sundry Writing

Star Trek’s Mission Log: 58 Years & Counting

The beginning of the end of Star Trek: Discovery‘s five-year mission streams this Thursday, April 4th. Originally, this fifth season of Discovery was apparently not intended to be the final one, which has caused all kinds of rampant speculation online. However, Trek overall, is not only not going anywhere, the powers that be want to maintain what isn’t just a franchise, but a veritable Intellectual Property (IP) empire. In a longform cover story for Variety,…

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Producing Various and Sundry Writing

Alternate Hollywoods

I’ve had the chance to catch up on a lot of Scriptnotes episodes over the past few weeks, which is always a good thing. Scriptnotes is a weekly podcast hosted by screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin which has been going on for over a decade and continues to have things about and interesting to screenwriters. As I’ve been meaning to do some posts about the future of Hollywood following last year’s strikes and the…

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Producing Various and Sundry Writing

Mickey Mouse & the Public Domain: A Deeper Dive

I’ve already done a couple public domain posts this year, notably the one for Public Domain Day and one on Monday about how people are, predictably, already having fun with the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse which entered the public domain in the U.S. on January 1st. But if you just want to get deeper into the legal philosophy behind public domain and also how that particularly involves Mickey Mouse, I have a couple…

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Producing Various and Sundry Writing

Well, That Didn’t Take Long: Steamboat Willie Edition

I didn’t post this last week, but I actually saw some news even as I was posting about Public Domain Day last Monday: people aren’t wasting any time, Disney’s legendary legal ferocity be damned. One Steamboat Willie-themed Kickstarter launched on January 1st, there are memes aplenty (see image above), and –of course– there’s a horror movie. There’s plenty more in the works, as Sian Cain details for The Guardian (which also touches on the horror…

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Producing Various and Sundry Writing

Public Domain Day, 2024

Last year I mentioned making a Public Domain Day post a tradition and so: Happy New Year to All! Plus, welcome to the public domain for so many goodies. For a great overview of said goodies on offer, check out this article from Aaron Moss over at Copyright Lately. Moss is an intellectual property attorney and is quite ready to delve deep into all things copyright. I appreciate that he goes beyond the much-covered fact…

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Acting Various and Sundry Writing

Visions of a Post-Strike Hollywood

So, the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, approved a tentative agreement with AMPTP on November 8th, but the agreement has yet to be ratified by the membership and there appear to be a lot of questions about how AI is being dealt with (actors’ concerns being similar yet different in some important regards than writers). So I’ll plan to write something post-ratification (and yes, the presumption is that the agreement will be ratified). But the ratification vote…

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Acting Producing Writing

Watch this (Streaming) Space!

Like many, many other people, I had hoped that the end to the WGA strike would lead to a quick negotiation with SAG-AFTRA in its wake. Unfortunately, the AMPTP has evidently walked away from the negotiating table because learning nothing is… a power move? I’m not sure. Anyway, I am already speculating on what the future will bring, because even though we’ve heard a lot about how streaming isn’t the most lucrative business model ever…

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