Why We Write

Last year we linked to George Orwell's classic essay Why I Write, in which Orwell explains his motivations (including massive ego) for writing. Today let's look at Why We Write, a series of essays by TV and film writers in the wake of the WGA strike. In the essays, we see an interesting mix of writers -- including those for game shows, TV, movies, blogs, and even producers. In all cases they tell personal stories, revealing some part of the path they've taken to get to being professional writers today. Below, I've picked out a few examples.

From the essay by Mark Gaberman, a writer on "Jeopardy":

There are 61 blue boxes available to play in one game of "Jeopardy!". We make 230 shows a year—that's 14,030 boxes that 8 of my friends and I have to fill. I have learned things about Queen Victoria that I never really wanted to know. Some information about car repair that I have since forgotten. Morgan Freeman has spoken words in celebrity clues that I wrote for him.

He was God, you know. At least twice.

I love to fill in those blue boxes.

From the essay by Danny Rubin, writer of "Groundhog Day":

My experience after Groundhog Day was that everybody kept hiring me to write another Groundhog Day. That's what they asked for. And somehow these movies never materialized: the ship wasn't getting to port. I seemed to be getting something wrong. Clearly nobody was asking me to write another trapped-in-time in Pennsylvania story, so what they were asking for, I assumed, was another innovative humanistic comedy with a surprising and unconventional structure. Bad guess. They in fact really did want another trapped-in-time comedy, or something similar. It didn't have to be in Pennsylvania, of course. We could set this one in, say, Ohio. Think outside the box, they told me.

Read the whole series for lots of insight into the writers currently on strike in Hollywood.

Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air

Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.


As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]


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