An engaging and helpful how-to for hopeful TV writers or anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of this ephemeral art.

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INSIDE THE ROOM

WRITING TELEVISION WITH THE PROS AT UCLA EXTENSION WRITERS' PROGRAM

A practical guide to how TV is made, from bright idea to syndication.

A raft of instructors from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program (including director Venis) and a pool of professional TV writers whose credits include such series as Mad MenFrasier and The Simpsons guide aspiring TV writers through the process of joining the ranks of small-screen scribes, from drafting a first script to thriving in a writers’ room to pitching an original series. The advice is clear and specific. The contributors break down precisely how scripts are developed and shaped, explicating the culture and protocols of the TV writing community and providing a detailed account of exactly how words on a page become sexy doctors and squabbling families on the tube. There is no small amount of repetition from chapter to chapter, as the various professionals employ a similarly encouraging and humorous tone as they point out the many pitfalls and frustrations (and occasional triumphs) of the business, and much of the terminology and pointers remain constant whether one is writing a spec script for a half-hour comedy or pitching an original idea for an hourlong dramatic pilot. Savvy readers may note a conspicuous absence of real-world perspective regarding the neophyte’s chances of “making it,” which is not surprising considering the book’s origins at a writers’ program, and the ambitious auteur may despair at the insistence on formulaic approaches, but Venis corrals an accessible and useful guide for anyone with the dream and the drive who needs to know, practically, what to do.

An engaging and helpful how-to for hopeful TV writers or anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of this ephemeral art.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-592-40811-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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