Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Screenwriting blog

Been meaning to post this for a long while.

Ken Levine writes a really sharp, funny blog about writing for television - both the projects and personalities, the odd and serendipitous life of a television writer. He's been at it a good long while and has developed some seriously good shows. He's also a baseball announcer.

Anyway, he recently took up a discussion about why actors can be so difficult, so demanding. His theory is that Hollywood is such a Darwinian environment that being a jerk is a viable self-defense mechanism. True dat. But he went to name one exception who proves the rule - and that was Ojai's former and maybe future resident Ted Danson.

David and I have always contended all sitcom leads should be required to attend the “Ted Danson school of how to conduct yourself as a TV star”. There is a certain responsibility that goes along with being the star. He sets the tone for the whole stage. Ted is forever gracious, professional, on time, supportive, unselfish, makes everyone from guest stars to visitors feel completely welcome. His work ethic is impeccable. And as a result everyone else takes their cue from him.

What this creates is a happy set and that’s an intangible that always makes it to the screen – an infectious quality, an energy that gives the show just that extra little sparkle. And in today’s marketplace that spark, that twinkle could be the difference.

Steven Bochco once said, “the first year the actors work for you, the second year you work together, and the third you work for them.”

Interesting because Danson's show Becker, about a self-serving jerk, was played so well by someone who was anything but. Huge Cheers fan, have only caught a couple of episodes of Becker, have heard it's really good and now that it's in syndication, hopefully it will find the audience it deserves. And of course, who doesn't love Danson's frequent cameos on Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Here's the link to Levine's post:

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Blogger Rob Clement said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Danson about a month ago during a photo shoot. I must agree, his candor was professional and friendly, non-combatitive, and contemplative; simply a cool guy. Right on for real people! What a world if more of our role models were just groovy people, rather then the salacious mess that generally oozes from excess money.

12/21/2006 9:44 AM  

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