43 Protecting Your Story from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

43 Protecting Your Story from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.


As I’m thinking about this idea, I didn’t pitch it for a while because I knew the answer would be to marry them and I didn’t want to do that and then one day Mrs. Doubtfire was on TV and I was watching. It reminded me of the article and I thought “Oh I will immediately pitch the story where the wife is already remarried” because the answer from angels can’t be get a second divorce in order to go right. So that was my reasoning around why they didn’t get back together and when I pitched it, it worked because I got the story I wanted and not the story that would have been molded from somebody else’s opinion. It’s hard when you’re in a writer’s room and you’re not the head of it because you are doing their show. It’s what they want done right but you have to keep some of yourself inside there too because that’s the theme. That’s the attitude. That’s the voice that you’re bringing to the story. So I couldn’t pitch it until I knew that I could protect the full story the way I wanted it to come out.

Watch this entire presentation

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