TIM MINEAR is a
professional television writer/producer. Everything he’s ever
done has been cancelled. Often quickly. His credits include writing
staff positions on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of
Superman and The X-Files, and
executive producer/showrunner on Angel, Firefly,
Wonderfalls, and The
Breaking the Story
“Tim Minear is smart. Learn from him and be
—Joss Whedon (Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, Firefly)
Story is an exercise in breaking a single episode of a one-hour drama,
with active audience participation. Armed with a white board and
marker, Tim Minear guides the class through teaser and act breaks of an
episode of the long-running WB hit television show, Angel.
ideas toward the podium, and the best are rewarded with a place of
honor on the whiteboard, where the episode takes shape over the next
two hours. Minear listens carefully to every pitch, explaining why some
ideas work, and why some will never make it to the board. He steers the
group through a process that many professional writers find difficult:
creating a story from scratch that services the characters, stays true
to a theme, and how to survive getting an idea shot down in a room full
of your peers with your ego in tact.
the audience laughing with war stories from his own experiences in
writers’ rooms, and follows the exercise with a Q&A
session in which he explains how he wrote the spec that landed him a
job on The X-Files along with his suggestions for
writing a very dark I Love Lucy spec.
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