I was at a seminar last night. Matt Nix from Burn Notice, David Schulner from Kings, and Peter Tolan from Rescue Me. It was an event sponsored by 826LA, a non profit dedicated to helping school children with writing.
This was a seminar about TV writing and it was for writers. And it was great. It was great to here really talented guys talk about the business and craft of writing for TV. One thing really stuck with me… (Ok, lots of things did. But, I’m gonna talk about one of them.)
Matt Nix (and if you haven’t watched Burn Notice, you should) was asked what does he look for when he’s hiring writers. He said: Patriots. A brief pause, and he went onto explain, a patriot for him was someone who is there for the show. During work, they talk about the show, during lunch, they talk about the show, during drinks, they talk about the show. Eat, breathe, sleep the show.
And then there are mercenaries.
They are the people who are there to just do a job, like any other. They think about work during working hours. And that was it.
He wanted the patriots. Why? Because they were bringing passion and loyalty to the show. I’m really only beginning to really understand how hard this business is, and it’s passion that will when out. It’s willing to be the last one at the computer, it’s willing to stay up bashing out ideas, that’s who you want on your team. Someone who is going to bleed with you. And that’s who YOU have to be. Willing to bleed for the show.
Let’s hope it’s a show worth bleeding about.