On my way to writing good scripts, I wrote many terrible ones. In my long quest to improve, I found myself at UCLA. There, I spent two quarters with Professor Neil Landau at UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. Not everyone is lucky enough to live within commuting distance of UCLA, but fortunately Neil has written some terrific books. His Screenwriting Roadmap is one of the only books on screenwriting I regularly recommend to writers of all levels.
Neil’s latest book, TV Outside the Box: Trailblazing in the Digital Television Revolution, is focused on TV’s new golden age of on-demand viewing and digital networks. Neil has a knack for distilling information down to very practical, usable points. The book is stuffed full with interviews from actual, current executives and creators. I can’t imagine a more thorough or richer treatment of this subject.
Happily, my interview with Neil is included in this book. It’s from a conversation I had as a guest in his UCLA screenwriting class. It covers my experience bringing Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street to fruition in greater detail than I’ve gone into anywhere before. Even if you have absolutely no interest in me, you should pick up this book — it’s timely, and has a high useful-information-to-page-count ratio.