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Joseph Scarbrough launched what he called "The Scarblog" as a way of cataloging his work over the years, as well as going into greater detail of things on his mind (known as "Unfinished Thoughts").

Friday, February 25, 2011

Joseph Scarbrough Enterprises?

Okay, no need to worry, there is no "Joseph Scarbrough Enterprises" (although, it does have a bit of a certain ring to it, doesn't it? Okay, I kid...), but in a sense, I have been doing a little bit of enterprising lately.

Basically, I've decided to actually work twice as hard as I have been before... which, for the past few months or so, was... hardly any work at all... considering little personal mini crisises kept coming up one right after another... if it wasn't one thing, it was ten, and I've got to tell you, it certainly dealt a blow to my ambition and motivation. But, all that has been put to past, and I'm really working on getting things done again, and that does include Steve D'Monster & Friends... but, something interesting has come up that I never really thought would happen to me very much... rewrites.



Those of you who know me well, and have actually been following my escapades for a long time now, know that "in the vault", I have three (that's right, the count is up to three now) developments for puppet sitcoms that I would so love to get onto primetime network television in the years to come (although it may forever be a pipe dream at best, I don't know); even though nothing has become of these concepts and developments yet, the first of the three actually has about half a season's worth of scripts that have already been written by myself... however, I've actually found myself completely rewriting the pilot script for it.

I remember reading writer/producer Larry Gelbart saying that for years after he left M*A*S*H, and even years after the show went off the air, he STILL rewrote various episodes that he had written for the years he was with the show... I think in a sense, that's what's becoming of me right now, because the particular scripts have been typed up, saved, printed, bound, etc for a few years now, but I suddenly felt compelled to completely rewrite the pilot script.

It's not entirely a big deal, considering that I write most of my shows anyway, but why have I suddenly decided that I need to rewrite the opening show for one of my series that hasn't even been bought or put into production yet? Was I not satisfied with how the original script played out? Maybe, after all, I've found that when it comes to my own work, I can be notoriously hard to please myself (biggest example so far, the redesigns for The Squirrely Squirrels, obviously). But, it's more than that really... anyone who makes television shows will tell you that the first episode is always the hardest to do, because it's the one that opens up the whole premise, introduces you to all the characters, gives you insight into their lives and what it is that makes them tick. That's not surprisingly true, and another thing that I find to be the hardest when it comes to writing a script is that because of today's broadcast commercial, it is a great big challenge to cram as much content as you can into 18-21 minute's worth of show, have it all flow smoothly, and have it all make sense (I've been in a case where I've had to omit entire scenes, and cut huge chunks of dialogue because I was running well over 21 minutes). So, maybe I think that perhaps my first all-puppet sitcom deserves a better opening episode than what's already written... not necessarily the jokes, or gags, or whatnot, but how exactly the show's premise is introduced... and I guess by the show not being in production, now is a good time as ever to rewrite.

But don't worry folks, this doesn't mean that Steve D'Monster & Friends is being shoved off to the side, it just means that I can multitask, baby! Though, I really do have to admit something: SD'M&F is really not something I WANT to do: that's not to say that I don't want Steve, Bethany, The Squirrely Squirrels, etc to be on TV, because I really do, it's just that this is more-or-less a project I'm "forcing" myself to do... I guess I'm a little stubborn, but I like learning on the job, but that's not a good thing when trying to attempt to make a very elaborate show with elaborate sets, complicated puppets, extensive special effects, etc... SD'M&F is essentially a much simpler show to start out with... plus, in a way, it'll give me something to fall back on when I'm pitching shows to networks, and showing them, "This is an example of my work, would you be willing to show something like this if it was bigger and better?" Because, let's face it... today's television has LONG gone to pot... it needs to be rescued... and who better to do that, than lovable, fleece-covered funnies?

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