Friday, October 5, 2012

Interview with TV writer Liz Tigelaar, creator of "Life Unexpected" - Part 11: LUX lives on

Part 1 - Breaking in as an assistant
Part 2 - First Staff Writer Job on "American Dreams"
Part 3 - How Do I Get an Agent?
Part 4 - Selling a Pilot
Part 5 - Personal Themes in Writing
Part 6 - Genesis of "Life Unexpected"
Part 7 - First-Time Showrunner
Part 8 - Developing the second year of LUX
Part 9 - Dealing with network notes
Part 10 - Controversial LUX storylines

This was one segment of my Liz Tigelaar interview that very nearly didn't make the final cut, but the more I thought about it, the more I realize it speaks to one element that every writer should strive to bring to their work: passion.

I've followed Liz on Twitter for a while, and one thing I noticed is that in the year that followed LUX's cancellation, Liz and the cast tweeted each other frequently, often referencing the fun they had on the show, or lamenting that they weren't still working together every day.  It was a little like seeing an incredibly close-knit group of high school or college friends dealing with the fact that they all had to go off and live their own lives now.

My own observation is that that sadness underscores the really deep connection that all involved had with the material and with each other.  I don't get the sense that this was "just a job" for any of them.  Sometimes writers and actors tire of their material and when the end comes, they're ready to move on.  Or there may be writers who can churn out episode after episode with the same characters, but are dispassionate about the show.  Maybe they're good at figuring out what sells, or what people are willing to watch and they

But the best writers give all their heart to the material, whether it's a series, a feature film, or even a short film.  When you talk to Liz Tigelaar about Life Unexpected, there's no doubt that she loved that show.  In fact, as I say to her at the start of this clip, I wouldn't be surprised if the show still lives on in her head, with seasons full of untold stories about those characters.

I hope that every one of you gets the joy from your writing that Liz clearly did from hers.  And if you don't, ask yourself why.  If you can't connect to your own work that deeply, how is anyone else going to be able to?

Part 12 - Network overall deal, working on Once Upon a Time and Revenge
Part 13 - The Bitter Questions

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