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Posts tagged as “Chat”


Let’s begin today with some awesome news:
My LEGACY script got the runner-up spot in this year’s JHRTS Pilot Script Competition (Drama Category)!

Celebrate good times, come on!

Incidentally, this seems like a great time to talk about how awesome JHRTS is.
No, this is completely unrelated to my pilot script placing.

In case you’re unaware, JHRTS stands for the Junior Hollywood Radio & TV Society. It is the (shocker!) junior branch of famed HRTS (a networking forum for top executives).

I have previously mentioned the importance of “industry” groups, specifically in my TV writer roadmap.
JHRTS is, simply put, a large (assistant-level) industry group that holds regular networking events, charity drives and topical panels. You can get a glimpse at some past events in their archives.

A recent example of an awesome JHRTS panel I attended is “Crafting a Career in Writing for Television“. As the name may or may not state outright, the topic of conversation was about having a career as a TV writer. The panelists were Community‘s Dan Harmon, Empire‘s Wendy Calhoun, Black-ish‘s Kenya Barris, The Comedians‘ Dan Grego & Doug Mand, and Silicon Valley‘s Amy Aniobi.
The best part about these panels is that the moderators usually have some prior relationship with the panelists, meaning that they get right down to the nitty-gritty. In this case, moderator Marcus Wiley honed down on legitimate TV writing career questions, as opposed to usual “TV writing 101” topics such as, say, the difference between a “spec script” and a “spec pilot”.

I joined JHRTS nearly five years ago, almost in time for their 2010 holiday party.
In November 2010, then-assistant Sam Miller made me a sweet deal on #TheGreyBox for me to join JHRTS, even if I wasn’t going to be able to attend the holiday party:

Sam: but i’ll make you a deal – if you buy a ticket + membership, i’ll treat you to a two hour open bar of your own some time after your birthday

Five years later, he still owes me those drinks! (Yes, Sam, I’ve kept all the IRC logs.)

But let’s get back on track.

The reason why I’m bringing up JHRTS is simple: when it comes to television networking, JHRTS is pretty much the go-to place outside of your usual spots (i.e. work and play).
Thanks to their events, I’ve met a lot of great people I wouldn’t otherwise have known; one of whom being CAA’s Matt Thilenius, who also name-dropped JHRTS in his interview.

I’m a big believer in the idea of “putting yourself out there”. In this industry, and this town, you have to be a part of the conversation.
That doesn’t mean constantly waving your scripts around, but it does involve human-to-human interaction.

This applies to you too. (Who? Me?)
Most writers have some form of social anxiety. (Why else would we retread behind pen and keyboard?) We rarely mingle outside our kin.
Putting yourself out there is hard, especially with people who, you feel, may not understand what you’re going through. The thing is, agents, managers and executives are people too.

“Networking” is a dirty word to a lot of folks. They go in expecting either the need to find someone to help them, or the need to sell themselves.
Instead, you should go in with the need to meet cool new people. Whatever happens after that is, well, whatever happens. Kind of like dating.
That’s also why “context” is key. Having a forum, a place where you can meet like-minded individuals who are also here (hopefully) to meet cool new people (you).

Enter: JHRTS. It’s a bunch of cool new people waiting to be met. Also, panels.

Finally, and since I rarely do it, I’m going to take this opportunity to pimp myself out (L’Oréal Paris told me I’m worth it).

Dear agents, managers and executives reading this post: definitely contact me to read my audience-backed industry-loved award-winning(ish) TV pilot LEGACY.
It has a proven track record of people saying it’s not the worst thing they’ve ever read. Plus, it even got second place in this year’s JHRTS Pilot Script Competition.
Contacting me is just a click away. Act now and you’ll get a free bag of Jelly Belly beans.
It’s an offer you can’t afford to refuse!

Another Year

Today marks the third anniversary of this very website. Hard to believe it’s already been another year!
In 2010, we saw a huge design update. Although no such major shift happened in the past twelve months, I myself have gone through a big geographical change: a one-way trip all the way to H-Wood.

As expected, a lot has happened since my move (most notably getting a car, an apartment, a bed and a couch).
I won’t bore you with my personal details (that’s what Twitter is for after all), but I will mention that I have recently met some amazing and talented people from a couple other blogs and the LA TV Writers Group.

In November, #TheGreyBox was born.
It was somewhat of a success at first, but then went into a form of hiatus this past Spring.
Now is as good time as any to announce that I may resurrect this TV writing chatroom from its ashes this Summer. Well, depending on the interest.
It’s up to you to tell me if you’d welcome once more this place to discuss and exchange tips/ideas/stories/anecdotes in real-time with other aspiring writers and the like (plus no 140-character limit). Tweet, “like”, share, comment about this, and perhaps enough momentum will be created so #TheGreyBox can live once more!

And as for this very blog, in Square One I discussed how I would refocus it around television, writing, and specs. Hopefully, I held that promise through the multitude of articles that have been posted here, whether the annual spec list or more recently the big six television writing fellowships (a post which will undoubtedly be updated come August, when FOX announces its new format). I myself got to write these past few months primarily a Walking Dead spec for the fellowships (I guess that partially explains the scarcity of posts).

Like last year, I will do my best to continue this commitment and upward trend in informative writing-related content.
In the coming weeks, there is probably going to be as well some Comic-Con talk. This will be my first time over there and there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a great place.

It is now time for me to raise a glass to you, dear reader and fellow writer.
I hope you also enjoyed this past year, or at the very least felt it was fruitful.
Here’s to another one. Once more, with feelings.

Write on!

#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.