So this week I'm trying to put the focus on some of the more humble beginnings of many people in the industry. Like I said yesterday, often a writer will be so focused on doing something monumental with their work that they bite off more than they can chew. A lot of writers, directors and actors cut their teeth on less groundbreaking work before delivering something with more substantial impact.
Of course, this means that sometimes if you run across some of these people "on the way up," it's always distracting when they later become acclaimed. For instance, before she was one of the major female box-office draws in the late 90s, Ashley Judd had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation as an engineering ensign. Even when her career was hot and she was "movie star Ashley Judd," I couldn't keep from thinking "Hey! It's Ensign Lefler!"
So for today's Talkback I was trying to come up with some writer-related examples of the same - an instance where I judged a writer on their early work and was pleasantly surprised by a later creation. The problem is that I'm coming up rather short. It's the advantage writers have of being mostly invisible. When you notice them, it's usually because they're doing something really good (unless you're Akiva Goldsman) and THAT becomes your impression of them - even if you later find inferior works.
But maybe some of you guys are more plugged in than I am. Has there ever been a time that a movie or TV show so blew you away that you were shocked to learn the writer behind it? And please share which early work of theirs set the bar so low.