Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kick in My Creative Nads

The Good News: Disney wants me to call and pitch my best ideas for a tv series. I've been working on a new idea called "GRANDPA KADABRA'S MAGIC SHOPPE."

The Bad News: They've already told me that my "WILL WOLF" and "THE HMS ALBATROSS" series are good, but not what they are looking for.

The Worse News: It appears that Disney Channel already has a magical-grandpa-apprenticeship story called "American Dragon; Jake Long," which, from the little I've seen, has eerie, heart-breaking similarities to my show.

I'm telling you, this stuff can't be good for me. I went from a nervous high upon hearing the news about Disney's interest, to a dizzying, depressed low upon my late night discovery of American Dragon. I'm running out of ideas!

Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!


Tracy Lightfoot said...

Well, it's like you were talking about in reference to the TED video the other day ... Ain't much new you can think up. Shelve those three and get that little genius brain of yours cranking on some new ideas!

SuiginChou said...

"Why do we communicate?" Sometimes people talk just to hear themselves talk, but most of the time we talk because we want to communicate some sort of message. The message is key. Without a message, there is no point in opening one's mouth -- so blabbermouths are often told!

So before you can ask yourself what sort of story you want to invent, you have to ask yourself, "What is my message? What is the message I hope to send?"

I think if you can find that message, the story will fall into place neatly around it. Because you will invent characters, setting, and plot events as necessary to facilitate the maximum delivery of this message.

Sorry if you already have the message, but it almost sounds like you're trying out completely different concepts with each rejection letter rather than just trying new shoes to fit onto the same foot. I'm suggesting to you, find a foot that you know is good and run with it. If people don't like the foot, then that's a problem that can't be solved. Nor ought you to try to. If people don't like the shoe on the foot, then that's work around-able.

Anyone reading your weblog knows you have many adult-themed messages you wish to send. Messages on religion, on sexuality, on evolution, on education. I guess I would have to question to what extent you want to share these passions of yours with children, or to what extent you have a message suitable for children. Perhaps this is one reason you're struggling -- maybe you shouldn't be so focused on writing children's fiction if that's not where your heart is right now at this stage of your life? I don't know. I'm not you. Only you can answer this.

When I think of children's literature or cinema and I think "messages," some truly great kids' films stand out. In fact, I'd say there are two kinds of kids' films -- (1) the movies that change your brain and how you view the world, and (2) pure sensational fluff that is as forgettable as it is enjoyable. Movies for me that fit into category #1 would include The Land Before Time, The NeverEnding Story, and Beauty and the Beast. Movies for me that fit into Category #2 would include things like TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze. Do you know what the first thing is that really jumps out at me as different between these two categories? It's the message. Category #1 is all about a message (or set of messages) being delivered to children -- like The Land Before Time's messages of "United we stand, divided we fall" or "Little people can accomplish great things" or "Hope is a life-changing force," etc. You could probably spend 30 minutes looking for the various messages TMNT 2 contains, but we both know it's not really trying to send kids a message ... or even send humans of any age a message ... all it's trying to do is cheaply entertain with karate fights and punny one-liners.

Daniel said...

Well I haven't heard of the show you refer to, so I can't speak to any supposed similarities. Not sure if this is much consolation, but it seems like TV isn't exactly out for unique ideas. Based on reality shows, "Americanized" British shows, and every generic sit-com out there today, I think the television medium is perfectly happy recycling the same old shit. By the way, does this make you a scab against the writer's strike? I understand you gotta work so I don't mean the question as a slight, just general inquiry. How're networks able to solicite writers while all this is going on?

Mike said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. That Darn Tumor is Disney material!