So I applied for this.
It’s a writing fellowship program in television from ABC. Like all things requiring application, I had to punch out a few essays about me, and what I’m like, and why I’d like to write for TV, and what I bring to writing TV that’s special that no one else can.
I also had to crank out a script – an episode of a TV show that was in production in 2009. It’s an exercise in proving you can operate as a writer on a TV show, matching tone and characters in a world of someone else’s devising. The end result was quite an interesting exercise.
Of course, I knew something about what writing for TV is like, which is why I want to do it. But this is the first time anything I’ve written hasn’t been strictly original, outside of some Final Fantasy VII fan fiction I wrote when I was 12. It’s probably still out there in Internetland someplace.
Anyway, having been kind of out of TV for a few months because of my cross-country moving excursion, I went with “The Office,” seeing as I know it more or less like I invented it.
To make sure I went full nerd, I made the episode about “Battlestar Galactica” in some way as well.
“The Enemy of My Enemy,” my first-ever TV spec, can be read here. If you’re so inclined, feel free to leave comments. Don’t steal it, though – I already I have proof that I’m the author of it. Also, that’s not very nice.
Writing it was definitely an interesting experience. Working with a lot of confines makes things easier in a lot of ways: you don’t have to invent the characters, you just have to try to work with them; you already know what the structure has to be like; and so on. But it can be tough to find your own voice while speaking with someone else’s.
Using “Galactica” was the first idea I had for this script, and it was what allowed me to go off in the direction I did. It also was the first and best way to write “The Office” like me – nerd it up. Even more than usual.
After that, it became easy. Characters start plotting against one another; alliances form; craziness ensues. A lot of that craziness is bubbling viscously under the surface of “The Office” at any given time, which certainly is nice. At the same time, I think I tapped the reservoir pretty effectively.
Overall, I’m very happy with the whole thing. I put together a pretty strong application, I thought, and the script’s not bad, if the author’s opinion counts for anything.
Anyway, it made my girlfriend laugh. That’s always a win.