Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Was on 'Hold'

So it looks like I had put myself on "hold" at the print agency and forgot about it. I recently emailed them about an address change and they asked if they could start sending me out again. DOH! Alright, I can be a bit of a goober about such things.

Lately, I've been trying to figure out how I can better utilize my writing background (i.e., make more money off my skills without burning myself out).

I realize that I enjoy certain kinds of writing, such as this occasional blog where I write about things that either piss me off or give me joy. I also like writing things that give me a little ego boost every time I see them in print, such as visiting a video store and pointing out which synopses I wrote. Sure, I don't earn a penny more for writing the video copy, no matter how many videos they sell, but if it gives me warm fuzzies, I'm all for it.

Anyway, I realize there may be a market for my synopsis-writing skills. And since it's a relatively simple process –– read some critiques, view the video (optional, actually), and get an idea of the plot –– I can pretty much determine a set price for it, including rewrites.

I'll give you two examples of my synopsis writing, with one that did very well and one that wasn't so successful. Conan O'Brien's 10th Anniversary Special was one that I did while at Lions Gate Entertainment, and I know they sold the heck out of that one. To the best of my knowledge, they still use my synopsis on the back of reissued DVDs. But one that they rewrote right away was the Best of Triumph, the Cigar-Smoking Dog.

Truthfully, these two videos were written at a loss, since I spent way too much time researching (watching some 8 hours of raw video) and then wracking my brain for something creative, brief, and "marketing" to write.

But then there was Ginger Snaps 5 and, without even watching the video, I managed to write something that would make any fan of the genre want to pick it up at the video store and take it home.

And that's the whole point. Writing video synopses is all about getting you to spend money on it at the video store. It's not about accuracy, or being a devoted fan and appealing to a very specific audience. It's getting Mr. or Ms. Jo Schmo to rent it or buy it.

There's this humor website I've been trying to maintain called ai-ya.com, and while it's a great outlet for those creative spurts, there's just too much responsibility to maintain it. Plus, the "well" tends to dry up every now and then. I can't tell you how many times I've started writing something, only to give up halfway through the piece. Truthfully, the last time I wrote something on it was about 6 months ago!

Anyway, if anyone thinks they have some comedy-writing skills, you're more than welcome to contribute. Check it out and you'll see what sort of humor we strive for.

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