Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Realizations: The Brother (and Sister) Hood of Writers.

Sometimes, in a flash, you just realize something. This is one of those times.While continuing to devour the amazing television series known as LOST, I have now completed the Second Season DVD collection. (I have begun watching LOST exclusively on DVD, and am enjoying it immensely. (Find out how HERE!) I’ve decided to avoid inadvertent spoilers by skipping the Audio Commentary tracks until the season set is complete – and then going back to replay them after absorbing the season as a whole.

My failure to do this earlier resulted in the commentators spoiling a MAJOR turning point for the characters of Michael, Ana-Lucia, and Libby that occurs later in the season. As (LOST creator) J.J. Abrams is my witness, that will NEVER happen again! So, there…

In the midst of the commentary track for the episode “The Whole Truth”, with the episode’s writers Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim – as well as the talented actors who play the Korean couple Sun and Jin – it struck me just how much of a “brotherhood” (…or how much of a like mind) we writers can be.

And, yes, with my continued script writing for Gemstone Disney comic books, I’ve offered myself (and accepted) membership that that particular fraternity… even if I’m the only one to recognize it.

The moment of realization of this like-mindedness among writers came for me when Ms. Sarnoff quoted a line that she wrote for the episode that was CUT.

As the character of Ana-Lucia woke up from sleeping on the ground (on a search mission to find a hot air balloon and a gravesite – to verify the claims of a suspicious stranger. If you don’t already know, don’t ask… it’s complicated!), and Sayid is watching her, she was supposed to have said:

What? Am I drooling?”
I thought this was a great line, and am sorry it was cut. But, beyond that, I realized that writers tend to remember Things-They-Wrote-That-Were-Cut-For-Various-Reasons.

There are probably too many instances to mention, but if you ever hear similar DVD commentary tracks for episodes of THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY – or even the DC Comics Animated Series produced by Warner Bros. – that feature episode WRITERS, they are always recalling, and sharing with the audience, bits of theirs that were cut or modified from their original proposed or submitted form!

And, guess what? I tend to do that too!

In any discussion you will ever have with me on the UNCLE SCROOGE stories I’ve written American English scripts for, such as “Uncle Scrooge Meets the Synthezoid from the Deepest Void” (US # 370) and “The Hard-Shelled Sage of Duckburg” (US # 375), I will invariably mention my bits that got CUT or ALTERED… because, for some reason, they continue to stick with me long after publication.

And, if I may use the entirety of DVD audio commentary tracks that feature writers as evidence, television scriptwriters do the very same thing, long after airing.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy that sort of thing. It gives me further insight into the practice of creating TV series that I have an avid interest in… and it gives me deeper insight into the writer’s craft and the challenges of the process that they (…and I) routinely face.

So, watch some DVD material with the Audio Commentaries “ON”, and learn more about the LOST, SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY, BATMAN, or JUSTICE LEAGUEthat never was”.

And, when Gemstone begins offering Optional Audio Commentaries for their comic books, I’ll be there to tell you a few of mine!
…It’s apparently what we of the Brother-and-Sisterhood-of-Writers do!


Travis said...

You know what? I would love to run a Gemstone/Disney podcast. =)

But only if we can convince Gerstein to provide some sort of really, really arcane trivia on each story in the latest issues. Y'know, because that'll be hard for him to do. ;)

ramapith said...

It'll be harder for me to find the TIME, smart aleck!
As Tom Stathes commented recently, our art forms can be immensely enjoyable, but they can't substitute for every other part of a well-realized life.

Like breathing. (Well, I actually think that wasn't what he meant...)

Joe Torcivia said...

You guys have time to BREATHE?

Travis said...


In that case... Joe and I will just have to begin recording all of our phone conversations with you. You're sure to give us some useful tidbits sooner or later! =)

Joe Torcivia said...

Travis wrote:

“Joe and I will just have to begin recording all of our phone conversations with you.”

Well, as things go today, there are probably plenty of those recordings out there… somewhere! So, I'd say we’re in luck! :-)

Smiley! Notice the smiley!

Travis said...

You weren't the only one thinking it. ;)