This piece about writing for the Academy Awards show comes from Ken Levine’s enormously funny blog about writing and Hollywood (and often the two together).
And copywriters think we have it hard because our client passes our copy around the office:
Let’s say you’re writing a bit for two presenters. You have to have the material approved by the producers, the Academy, probably the network, the actors, their manager, agent, and in all likelihood – their hair stylist. And if it’s for two actors, one might like it and the other doesn’t. You change it to suit the one and now the other doesn’t like it. Then they both decide they want to change it. And their hairstylists get into it. Before you know it, what is left is a horrible, grotesque, painfully unfunny bit and you’re still considered the writer. Actors also sometimes bring on their own writers to “work” with you. And by writers, that could mean their Pilate teacher or life coach. You have three Emmys and now you need your material approved by a Yoga instructor.
Ouch. I once literally sat in a campaign presentation meeting — which included a lot of ad concepts and a sample video — and received feedback (they call ‘em “notes” in Hollywood) from the accounting intern. At least I haven’t won any Emmys.
Keep writing (regardless), Tom Chandler.