It's for you.

Published: 4 years ago

#TheGreyBox — Week One

It has been a week since #TheGreyBox was launched and we’ve already been having great discussions with great people all around.

It was a bit tough the first couple of days after the opening as people kept joining for a span of a few seconds and then quit. Fortunately though, people quickly understood that a chatroom doesn’t work like a virtual game and they started hanging around (i.e. idling) a bit more.

In just seven days, we’ve already had an impressive total of over sixty actual chatters engaging in conversations!
The best surprise however was the diversity of the people that have been joining en masse.
Any of our visitors will tell you about the wide variety of guests we’ve been having, including repped writers and writer’s assistant–and they were all graciously answering questions.
Plus, all television genres have been represented, from the obvious like comedy and drama, to even animation.
Interestingly, some of the best discussions and advice given on #TheGreyBox did not happen when a gazillion people where hovering around, rather at random, impromptu moments.

The lesson to be learned here is that great advice is always around the corner on #TheGreyBox.
And this is just another reason to hang out more on the chan!
I’ve already talked numerous times about the benefits of staying in the chatroom, not the least of which is, just as I said, being present when something epic is going on.

It is a pain to keep a browser tab open 24/7, especially with virtually no notifications of incoming messages.
If you’ve already checked out the chan and like it, I therefore encourage you to get an IRC client.

What is an IRC client?
Think of it like a dedicated software for IRC and its chatrooms.
TweetDeck for instance is a Twitter client. GTalk is also a client, but for Google Talk.
The same way you can check Twitter on their website or use GTalk via GMail, you can use a webchat for IRC (probably what you’re using right now).
Although it is easy and simple to use a webchat when you are at work or away, it is always nice to come back home to a personal client customized to your needs.

Why you should use an IRC client:
1) Connectivity
You won’t need to keep a browser tab open to reach the chan. Your IRC client will be able to be minimized, run in the background or even comfortably rest in your taskbar. No need to keep going back and forth between websites or reconnecting every time you want to join.
2) Awareness
Even if your client is running in the background, you will be instantly notified when someone logs in and/or when a discussion is happening. Never will you miss another conversation about television writing.
3) Logging
Remember that great advice Amy gave you about your spec last week? Neither do I.
Now you don’t have to worry about relying on your fragile memory with the introduction of logging. As the name implies, your client will log every conversation going on in the chatroom inside a simple text file (with as much information as you want it to contain). That way, you will easily be able to read back Friday’s discussion about fellowships without missing a beat.
And if you’re busy/away but your client is running in the background, you will actually be able to log discussions you were not able to attend.

I wrote a simple, straightforward guide (with pictures!) to help you install and configure your client as you wish. You can check it out over here.

Obviously, if you don’t want to deal with all the technical hassles (though they’re worth it), you can always join the chan the old fashioned way, by going to http://www.thegreybox.net.

And since Monday morning is “Comic-Con ticket sale” day, we’ll be hosting an e-party on the chan starting at 5:30AM PST/8:30AM EST!

We’ll see you on #TheGreyBox.

Published: 4 years ago

#TheGreyBox is here

#TheGreyBox, the only chatroom dedicated to television writers and spec writing, is finally open!

How to access it?
The webchat version is available to all through the following site:
http://www.thegreybox.net
All you have to do from there is input your name, click ‘Connect’ and wait a couple of seconds.
Welcome to #TheGreyBox!

You can also familiarize yourself with IRC and dedicated clients with this simple guide we wrote.

Alternatively, if you have an IRC client of your own, here are the infos you need:
Server: irc.thegreybox.net
Port: 6667
Channel: #TheGreyBox

If you’ve been brought here without any idea as to what I’m referring to, you can check out this presentation post.
#TheGreyBox is an actual, old-school chatroom dedicated to TV writers, aspiring and pros alike.
Regardless of where you are, it is difficult for anyone to meet new people, let alone ones dedicated to the same craft, and have honest conversations with them. I hope an open, free and accessible place like a dedicated chat can become a neutral space that sparks intense discussions and exchanges between writers and the like.

Now that #TheGreyBox has been launched, it is up to you to make it a lively place where people can meet, exchange ideas/questions, and discuss television/spec writing.
Once again, this post can only take us so far, so please spread the word as best you can with a tweet, blog post, Reddit submission, Tumblr update, Facebook status or carrier pigeon.
Hopefully you are as excited as I am about this opportunity to meet other writers, and join an amazing community.

I’ll see you on #TheGreyBox.

Published: 4 years ago

A TV Writing Chatroom: #TheGreyBox

Blogs and other Twitter accounts about writing obviously exist, but I have yet to encounter a place where television writers are able to discuss and interact, let alone “in real time.” A Starbucks is fine if you’re living in the same block as one, and a small writer’s group is great if, well, you’re a member.
Besides your run-of-the-mill message board though, there doesn’t seem to be a place where a community of TV writers, aspiring and pros alike, can get together and talk. Incidentally, the best way to recreate that experience online, and without the barrier of geography, is an old-school chatroom.

Ladies and gents, I present to you #TheGreyBox.

Why?
I was looking for a space dedicated to television writers and spec writing where people could interact. Besides niche blogs and sometimes Twitter, there’s pretty much no place like that.
Through this chatroom, I’m hoping at least to be able to bring people with similar passions and goals together.
Even if you’re in LA, it is difficult for anyone to meet new people, let alone people dedicated to the same craft, and have honest conversations. Hopefully, an open, free and accessible place like a dedicated chat can help a little.

Where?
If you seem surprised that the name of the channel is a hashtag, don’t be (because it’s not).
The chat/channel will be on IRC (Internet Relay Chat), where all ‘chans’ are actually prefaced by the hash symbol.
For those not in the know about IRC, Wikipedia describes it as a “a form of real-time Internet text messaging (chat) or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message.“
It predates Facebook, Skype, BitTorrent, Kazaa, and even AOL Messenger, yet is still extremely active, simple to use, and just great. Twitter’s whole existence is pretty much based on IRC. The @ in front of people’s names? Those are OPs in the IRC world.

Not that I’m complaining about this walk down technolane but we have more pressing matters at hand.

How to access it?
The webchat version is available to all through the following site:
http://www.thegreybox.net
All you have to do from there is input your name, click ‘Connect’ and wait a couple of seconds.
Welcome to #TheGreyBox!

What now?
This post can only get us so far so if you can, please spread the word.
Of course if you don’t care about TV writing you can just hang back and watch the Titanic sink.
I’m hopeful however that you’re as excited as I am about this opportunity to meet fellow writers and (re)create an amazing community.
If you have ideas or thoughts about the chat, feel free to drop a comment below.

Write on!

Published: 4 years ago

Born to Run (Emmys 2010)

Already another award show?
It’s as if time isn’t standing still anymore.
Unlike when you’re stuck watching an award show. Badum-ching.

For once, the opening Emmy number was good (surprisingly). It was also a nice big ad for FOX’s Glee…on NBC.
I do have one major caveat though: Jimmy Fallon, please stop singing.
I mean it.
We could all tell you had a hard time catching your breath and you were pretty much completely off-cue during the live part of the song.
I do wonder why they didn’t use Auto-Tune like Simon Cowell.

The best moments of the night didn’t come from Fallon (as expected, like the Conan jokes), but from Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Gervais, and even a clip featuring the Modern Family cast discussing ‘options’ with a fake suit.

The running-gag of Twitter jokes was as bad as that time we had reality presenters as actual hosts of the Emmys. Remember?
You shouldn’t be scarce on jokes when you’re hosting an award ceremony, that is all.

There were several awkward moments during the night, especially with some presenters. The first one coming to mind is the Matthew Perry/Lauren Graham duo that epicly bombed.
That was soon followed by John Krasinski forgetting his lines–even though the teleprompter was right in front of him.
Awkward.

This year was also the year of popular vote it seems, with lots of newcomers and fan faves winning. Jane Lynch, Jim Parsons, Eric Stonestreet, Aaron Paul, you name it.
And, yes, Bryan Cranston did deserve to win again!
I’m however sorry to point out that Eddie Falco was not the best choice as Lead Actress in a Comedy. She even admitted it herself.


Still nothing new under the sun regarding the Best Drama-type categories, which brings me to this now-popular joke: Will Erin Levy get fired for winning an Emmy? *rimshot*

Lost didn’t win anything.
I find it sad that Darlton actually used as their Emmy joke a true anecdote showing how poorly planned their mythology was. Though that’s old news by now surely.

It’s funny that the Emmy peeps recycled last year’s bottom-screen announcement, such as ‘George Clooney in 17 minutes’ or ‘True Blood cast in 21 minutes.‘
I mean really?
Is that what people watched the show for, or is NBC that desperate to get eyeballs?
Funny to think that the cast of True Blood is also seemingly as popular as Clooney.
At least this year they didn’t pull out the ‘In Memoriam in 30 seconds’ card.

Oh well.
At least a deserving series won for Best Comedy.

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