And that's a good thing. Because Wit's End is the name of a TV pilot (about a group of struggling comedians who inherit a comedy club) that I co-wrote with Sandra Longo and Mitchell Olson. We're meeting tonight in NYC for a table read with our cast (all talented comedians waiting to be discovered). And we're quickly gearing up for a March shoot.
Did I mention that I'll be directing the pilot, too? As you can imagine, I've been busy, too busy to blog, it seems. But it's all good.
I began thinking about writing a sitcom after attending Ken Levine's Sitcom Room seminar last July. But the idea really stuck in my head (i.e. I became obsessed with the idea) after covering the New York TV Festival for TV Squad. It was there that I realized that I should be attending the festival as a participant, not as part of the media or an observer.
There was all this talk about the "sitcom being dead." But I began to think that a sitcom about "comedians" would work because 1) lots of comedians star in sitcoms but the lives of comedians haven't really been delved into (Seinfeld wasn't really about the Comedy Club circuit) and 2) my film partner, Sandy, had made a documentary about a comedian who loses drastic weight and I thought that story could be the basis for a sitcom and 3) it would be natural for comedians to tell jokes in a sitcom format (where it might not seem natural for a doctor or lawyer to be a gifted comedian).
Once I had the idea (early September), things started happening fairly quickly. Sandy liked the idea and was immediately "in." Sandy contacted Mitchell, whom she knew from her doc, and he was "in." Mitchell knew lots of comedians and he rounded up the ones he thought would be committed to the project. We began visiting comedy clubs and interviewing comedians so we could develop characters loosely based on them and their stand-up acts. In early January, Mitchell, Sandy and I locked ourselves in her basement for two days and hammered out the first draft of the script.
The project has developed so smoothy and with so little hitches that it almost has a life of its own. We think we should be able to get it completely edited in time to make the 2008 New York Television Festival. And of course, we intend to WIN the festival. I don't say this to sound cocky. I say this because we believe you have to put your intentions out there if you want them to be achieved.
Besides, we wouldn't be investing all of our time, energy, and money into something we didn't believe in. And we believe in each other and ourselves. And we're not the type of people who wait around for others to give us a chance. We make our own chances. We take our own risks. We hope that comes through in the final product. We hope somebody out there might think "Hey, these people get things done (and on a shoestring budget). These are the type of people we want to hire."
And I believe that the real payoff is in the journey. And I am having a heck of a journey. Whether we win or lose or snag some kind of development deal (which truly would be awesome)-- we're already ahead of the game because we're doing something we enjoy immensely. As I said, it's all good.