"How it is, Nowadays": A Pilot Teleplay
My life as a writer has changed over the years. I studied screenwriting in college, which had been my predominate writing medium; the bulk of my writing for almost 20 years has been that of screenplays. That was way back in the 90s during the “spec script” rush. I had a lot of work read, but nothing produced— not because people didn’t like my work. I always hear good things about my writing, but was always told the same thing: “This is great…but I just don’t know how to sell this.”
Later, I started writing a blog, which I wrote for about 3-4 years. It was a decent outlet, but it didn’t really go anywhere, mostly because I was just doing it for myself and my friends. I later gathered the “best of” those blog entries and compiled them into my first-ever indie publication:
So now I find myself going back into the archives of stories and I’m self-publishing them as novels. My first two novels are part of a story that I conceived in high school and started writing as a screenplay WAY BACK in my college days. In fact, the next book I will release is the novelization of a screenplay I wrote back in the 90s called “shifters,” a story that people liked but…they said at the time that it read too much like a comic book(!).
I’ve been digging through my backlist, so to speak, and I’ve found a few things that I had forgotten about, other things I packed away not really thinking that I would have much use for them. In this post, I am presenting one of the those items. This is something that I wrote four years ago. I worked for a broadcast production company called “Here TV,” one of the only TV networks that produced content specifically for the LGBTQ community. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to get the job, being that I am a straight male, but I did, and it was a great experience.
While I was there, they had asked us to come up with ideas for new shows; they were in desperate need of new content, and wanted us to start pitching new ideas. This seemed like an interesting thing to try out, particularly because I had never written for television before— like novel-writing, I never thought in a million years I would ever write for television, broadcast or streaming.
I had an idea for a high school dramedy that would follow a group of friends from sophmore year through to senior year in the first 3 seasons, then would skip ahead 20 years for the 4th season, after a tragic even occurs in their senior year. I named the series after a textbook I used in elementary school; a title that has stayed with me for YEARS: “How It Is, Nowadays”
Being a John Hughes fan, and someone that could at one point recite EVERY LINE from The Breakfast Club by heart, I had always wanted to something about high school. I wrote this teleplay in less than a month, submitted it to Here TV. They LOVED it— they loved the characters, thought it could be inexpensive to shoot, and it spoke to a new generation about real issues. How cool was that! Unfortunately, within a couple of months later, was they closed down the in-house production department, due to mounting legal and financial issues.
That was a bummer! But when Amazon Studios decided to open up their search for new content, I thought THIS could be a place to produce this series! So I submitted it…
….and it was rejected. Oh well…
So now, after sitting around on a hard drive for the last four years, I figured that it was finally time to air it out and share it with you good people!
Here it is, available as a downloadable PDF, or in the slideshow below, please enjoy my first unproduced television pilot: “How it is, Nowadays”