You're still glowing, you're still crowing, you're still going strong

Some TV conventions are OK by me. Like, if a person doesn't say "Bye" when they hang up the phone. Or if Jack Bauer doesn't go to the bathroom for a full 24 hours. I mean, we don't really want to see that anyway, do we? Actually, I don't watch 24, so he might be in and out of the bog six times an episode for all I know. But I doubt it.

Anyway, I'm here to talk about a convention that is, in my humble opinion, completely unacceptable.

It just kills me when, say, a couple of characters go into a restaurant and sit down for lunch. A few minutes later, after they have their big emotional moment or whatever, or find out that juicy piece of info that's going to propel the story forward, they get up and leave. But wait! They didn't have lunch. They didn't even order water or anything. Arggh.

I watched High School Musical the other night and those kids have the shortest home room period ever. Seriously. It's in and out in under 30 seconds. That could just be how their East High principal likes it, I guess. But probably not. Oh and sex scenes are the worst. Great Sex in 12 Seconds. That could be a best seller if it wasn't so impossible. Unless it's a guy losing his virginity, 12-second sex is not going to happen. Especially when the woman has a huge satisfied look on her face, like "Man. That was the best 12 seconds I ever spent with a guy. Really." Dudes, either she's faking or there's some seriously sloppy writing going on!

Please, for my sanity, don't do it. Don't shortchange your scenes. Don't cheat your timelines. You're better than that. Seriously.

This is so so basic, why does it end up on TV so dang often? I hope it's usually a directorial decision, made in the heat of the shoot, to add action to a scene or whatever. Writers, make sure your script includes its own activity, so some actors or directors or that ilk don't have to think up their own lame-ass ideas while 50 crew members stand around getting paid overtime.

Aside from watching lots of HBO shows on DVD, I've been working on my pilot. I have an outline done and it's going out to my brand new writers' group for critiquing tomorrow. It's a weird feeling knowing that people who actually know what they're talking about will be looking at my writing. Kinda scary, kinda cool.

Things That Are Clogging My Arteries
At Christmas-time the list is endless. Mostly lots of eggnog and chips and raspberry chocolate rum cake from my neighbor, Trader Joe's Vegan chocolate chip cookies... and I'd be drinking Ghirardelli's Hot Chocolate non-stop if I could find somewhere to buy it. I swear they used to have it at Von's, but not anymore. Number one on my artery clogging list is Hello Dollies. It's pretty much the only thing my Mom ever bakes on a regular basis (once at year at Christmas). And now it's the only thing I bake, too.


Elver said...

It's part of the convention of not showing things that are not important.

Do you really want to see people eating lunch for 15 minutes after they've already gotten the important piece of info?

Or do you really want to see lovers grinding away for half an hour? Well. I guess some people do. But that's called porn.

Jane said...

No, but that's my point. Cut into the sex scene when it's nearing its climax if that's the important part. Don't show them taking off their clothes, going to the bedroom etc. And if you have a lunch scene, choose whether you want to show them sitting down at the table or leaving the restaurant. Just don't do both in a two-minute scene!

countessian said...

I actually don't say bye before hanging up the phone anymore, usually. I don't know how that happened.