Monday, December 9, 2019

"The Luckiest Man In The World"

I was reminded of something, reading a book. 

I guess reading’s not so bad. 

I am rarely reminded of anything, watching TV.  Except,

“You could be reading a book.”

A murder mystery by Anthony Horowitz was recommended to me.  Anthony Horowitz created, among other British TV mysteries, Foyle’s War, which had been one of our favorites, so I thought I would give it a try. 

(Blogger’s Tip:  Stick with Donna Leon)

The “conceit” of The Word is Murder is that screenwriter Anthony Horowitz is co-opted to write a book concerning a (fabricated) “real-life murder.”  Which he proceeds to do.  (Following a murder investigation, and writing a book.)

Comparing the “real life” crime scene with “one I had myself manufactured” got him to thinking on page 46,

“Being the writer on a set is a strange experience.  It’s hard to describe the sense of excitement, walking into something that owes its existence entirely to what happened inside my head.”                          
Which then got me to thinking,

“Well said.”

As I can tell you, dear readers, I have had that experience, and it’s true.

Best of the West.

The first TV show I had ever created. 

I remember the moment.

I head down to the set for a runthrough, walk onto the soundstage,

And there it is.

The saloon.  The General Store.  The sod cabin. 

Somebody else built them. 

But first, I had created them in my head.

I imagined the completion of Disneyland, feeling, in my small way, like Walt.

I’d wander from place to place, thinking, “This is me.  This is me.  This is me.” 

Then I heard someone, reading my mind. 

It was my boss Ed. (“Allow me the affection”) Weinberger, who said very loudly of me,

“There goes the luckiest man in the world.”

Then went on to explain why.

“He got to make exactly the show he wanted to make.”

He was right.  (And, it appeared, envious.)

Seven years into my career, an ABC executive who’d invited my to breakfast asked me, “What show do you most passionately like to create?” I immediately blurted, “A comedy western.”

And there it was. 

A breakfast blurt, come magically to life.

Ed. Weinberger had enormous success in television.  But he made shows that seemed likely to sell.

While I made my dream.

“The luckiest man in the world”?

I don’t know about that.

But when I walked through that set,

I felt like it.

No comments: