Sometimes this happens.
I have an idea I want to write, triggered by an inspiring insight as to precisely how to talk about it. I start writing, and it goes in an entirely different direction. I look at the finished product, and my inspiring insight is nowhere to be found.
Because that insight meant something to me – it sparked my original enthusiasm for the idea – I am understandably taken aback, looking at a post whose generating impulse is noticeably absent without leave.
This egregious omission causes me some concern. How did this happen? Is there something going haywire with my thinking apparatus? Is everything okay up there?
Since I’m currently studying Descartes’ Meditations at UCLA, I am also compelled to consider whether my cognitive processes are in the hands of some malevolent “evil demon.” Descartes considers this a legitimate possibility. Who am I to argue? I was inspired to write one thing, and then turned out something completely different.
Consider this “The ‘Annual Inefficiency’ – ‘Take Two’”, the impetus behind “The ‘Annual Inefficiency’ – ‘Take One’”, which, since I never thought there would be a “The ‘Annual Inefficiency – ‘Take Two’” was simply entitled, “The ‘Annual Inefficiency.’” (An unworthy homage to my favorite “Friends” joke – “Let’s go out for Chinese food. Or as they call it in China, food.”)
“The ‘Annual Efficiency’”, posted on April 21st, spoke rather energetically on the subject of network interference during Pilot Season. Summary? I didn’t care for it. I argued for allowing experienced professionals to do their jobs, a position which is controversial only in the context of writing for television. And movies, but I never did movies, so that’s for somebody else’s blog.
The rebuttal argument from television executives – or more likely their P.R. departments, since the executives themselves are too busy for rebuttal arguments – might go something like this:
“Nobody respects writers more than the television executive community. But what are they saying? We should put up the money, and then leave the process entirely in their hands?”
What’s fun about a bad rebuttal argument is that it frames their opponent’s position in such an extreme manner as to make it appear ridiculous. “What are they saying? We should simply walk out of Iraq tomorrow?” “What are they saying? We should allow the American banking system to collapse?” Remember Chicken Man? It’s like this style of arguing. “It’s everywhere! It’s everywhere!”
In the matter of the pilot development process, nobody’s clamoring for “all or nothing.” Simply a reality check. Possibly like this one:
A writer pitches a series idea to the network. The network listens to the pitch.
Network Control Point Number One:
They buy the series pitch.
The pitch having been bought, the writer writes the pilot script. The network reads the pilot script.
Network Control Point Number Two:
They “Green Light” the pilot script.
Having received the “Green Light”, the writer produces the pilot. The network screens the completed episode.
Network Control Point Number Three:
They put the show on their schedule.
Supplemental Network Control Points:
During every stage of the development process, the network probes the writer’s intentions, commenting as to whether, in their opinion, the writer has delivered on those intentions, and if the network doesn’t believe they have, encouraging the writer to realize those intentions more completely.
Pretty radical, huh?
Everyone doing what they’re trained to do, the writer, trying their best to realize their vision; the network deciding whether the finished product meets its strategic objectives?
In theory, this is how the procedure is supposed to work. In practice, however, the experience is excruciatingly different. Why? Because the networks are not satisfied with what, objectively, appear to be a rather formidable series of control points. Instead, forgive me if I momentarily slip into dialect,
They wants it all.