I got an interesting text message from a friend last night. This person, who has spent the last six months pitching a television show all over town just found out about a similar show which has just been picked up (to much media fare). “Are they similar?” she asked, referring to the pilot script she sent me a few weeks prior. And honestly well… yeah. They are similar. Eerily goddamn similar. Not just similar in story, but very similar in tone. I could see how this would be problematic… or devastating… or both.
If anybody knew how to address this it would be Scott over at Go Into The Story. And sure enough, he has. So I submitted to her a link to Is it possible to spontaneously die of despair? This is probably one of my favorite posts Scott has done – it speaks to that universal feeling of being robbed by the universe. I think he does a good job of defusing that feeling. If anybody missed this one back in July, check it out.
I once wrote a pilot for a cartoon entitled “Young George” for an animator friend of mine (never got made). The premise involved George W. Bush as a child growing up in Texas. Each episode would revolve around him and his imaginary friend Vlad the Impaler who would goad him into mischievous adventures ala Dennis The Menace, the result of which would be him suffering brain damage and learning the wrong lesson… flash-forwarded to the present where he would reflect on these lessons before making some awful decision. Years later Comedy Central premiered “Li’l Bush” and it tanked. The lesson I learned was simple. Somebody might have the same idea as you, but it’ll probably tank or never get made so dammit anyway.