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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Table Read

"Paint the wall red and I'll see if I like it..." 
So starts the long journey of getting the Media Guy Struggles green lit as a pilot or even a bona fide television show.


Okay, so where am I?

The table reading is kind of like painting the wall red and seeing if the powers to be like it. The actors and actresses have to put on a fabulous show for my would-be Japanese producers. The producers were so enthusiastic about the prospects of a Media Guy Struggles television show that they financed a day-long event with out-of-work actors looking for pocket change and a shot to add a pilot to their IMDB profiles.

So what's the Media Guy Struggles about, you ask? What was the tasty pitch that whetted the appetite of Far East producersenough to put together a full cast to hear a table read?


(Hmmmmmm...I hesitate to put this online for anyone to take as muse, but since it's registered with the Writer's Guild of America (WGA Registration Number: 1489628), I feel safe that there is a measure of recourse to force intellectual thieves to put me on a show as an Executive Producer at the very least.)


Well...
The Media Guy Struggles can best be described as Mad Men meets The Office with a touch of Ballers mixed in. Being the Media Guy isn’t easy for (loosely) fictional Alex Logan, aged 42, Vice President of Media (aka The Media Guy) at the (loosely) fictional Larger Than Life advertising agency. As the Media Guy struggles to balance office politics and the new conflicts of social media vs. traditional media, he’s haunted that after 25 years of traveling the globe as a premium ad man, the landscape is changing. 
With a skeptical eye and a 10,000-foot perspective on the world, Logan believes he has all of the answers for all things media and advertising related—and he usually does with the help of his faithful associates and his best friend. With the respect of the office and their off-beat client base, what could possibly go sideways for the Media Guy? Things get nervous, and hilarious, when hits the road in this unfiltered, self-analyzing look at advertising along with the media and the madcap workforce that drives it. 
With three degrees, 20 years on the job and witty personality, the Media Guy has life at the agency wired. That is until life’s minutiae gets in the way. Things like Arrogant Bob from accounting’s per diem denial, the dreaded networking event, running into old crushes, contemplating new secret identities, channeling Jane Goodall's Tanzanian monkeys, the battle to compartmentalize life’s segments, the socialistic traumas of the group brainstorming session…and above all his search for great stories to tell.
The scene than got the biggest boost went something like this:

INT. LARGER THAN LIFE – RECEPTION
The curvaceous MORGAN sachets down the hallway, leading clients to their respective account executives. Along the way, MIYA can be seen wiggling into a designer dress flaunting her obvious assets in the wardrobe room and the MEDIA GUY is polishing a flamethrower in his adjacent office.

MEDIA GUY
With Peter’s retirement looming, we have to get
him something special. Something that a VP ready
to ascend to his well-deserved throne would give
the outgoing monarch.

ALLISON
You want me to think of something snappy to 
put on his card?

MEDIA GUY
No. I want to get him the one thing he doesn’t
have. I saw his eyes light up during Band of
Brothers, whenever the flamethrower made it’s
appearance. The gift will send him on his way in
the proverbial “Blaze of Glory”.

ALLISON
You’re nuts. Why a flamethrower? Who’d invent such
a thing?

MEDIA GUY
C’mon, Peter has all the latest gadgets. Can’t you
see him playing dress up in leisure years?

MIYA
(interrupting)
You know, flame throwing devices date back to the
Byzantine era. The modern version came from
Germany. It’s translated from the German word
Flammenwerfer and was invented by Richard Fiedler
at the turn of the 20th century. It projected a
jet of fire and enormous clouds of smoke twenty
yards long, the way Peter does when he’s upset.

MEDIA GUY
Miya, you may want to lay off the Wiki. You’re
starting to scare me. Your boyfriend must long to
say, “less Wiki, more licky.”


There were tears, laughter, and heated moments emitting from the words on my pilot script. At the conclusion of the table read there was a energetic applause from the seated cast. The applause seemed to come not from a place of "Yeah!" but "Wow, this Media Guy stuff might actually have some legs."

Now the hard part: the waiting game.

Here's to hoping for that green light, whether it be tomorrow, next week, or next year.

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Want to see what a table read is like? Watch the Family Guy table read from the "Jedi" episode: