THE TELEVISION WRITER by Erik Barnouw

THE TELEVISION WRITER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Barnouw has organized his primer into two all-too-distinct sections: ""The World of the Television Writer"" and ""Techniques and Practices"". The former is a facts-of-life treatise on network control, syndication, packaging outfits, and the vicious tyranny of the medium by Madison Avenue's cooky-mix representatives. The author's solution to the dubious art-for-sales-sake syndrome is not a new one but a sterling proposal nonetheless. He suggests government intervention in such a way that the initiative is forced upon the stations to accept advertising instead of sponsorship, that they emulate the British policy- ""You pays your money and you gets your spot"". After a good statement of possible reform, Mr. Barnouw proceeds to ""Techniques and Practices"". Here he tells the aspirant how he should head up a page, what it is that ""limbo"" means, when he should use camera direction and to what extent, and how he should go about marketing his play. The organization of The Television Writer is justified by the contention that new writers should know something about the medium and adopt some kind of personal and professional policy to try to change it. It is, to say the least, somewhat strange. A How-to Bowling book analogously would begin with a treatise of the alleys and proceed to a description of the five step approach. The new writer will want to know not what BRD&O can do to him, but rather what he can .

Publisher: Hill & Wang