Roger Wolfson on how Streaming will change writing in the coming years - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Roger Wolfson on how Streaming will change writing in the coming years

When people ask me – “hey, Roger Wolfson, you’ve sold multiple shows to multiple networks – from Broadcast to Cable to Streamers – can you predict how things might change next?”  I typically say I’m too busy writing to answer that question.

But it’s a question I spend every day thinking about, as to my peers – and most of us actually know the answer.  We wouldn’t be professional writers if we didn’t.  Our job is to predict the future of this industry and structure our offerings to get ahead of the curve.

We all know that what is good about the current wave of streaming will get even better.  And what is bad about it, will get even worse.

THE GOOD

The good is that there is an explosion of new voices new concept new ideas and new storytelling devices. We are in a creative revolution where TV writing is discovering itself and becoming as artistically innovative as any of us could’ve imagined. There is a greater diversity of storyteller than ever before. There’s a greater range of storytelling This will continue to expand as more streamers roll out and all of them produce more material for their ever hungry audiences than ever before.

THE BAD

The bad is that one would think that this would give the opportunity for more unknown writers to get their shot. One would think that this would help spread success around to a larger percentage of the writing community.  One would think that more writers would get a shot at seeing their visions realized.

However, none of that has materialized to the fullest extent yet, and it is unlikely to materialize fully in the future either. What is happening is that successful writers are getting even more money and the opportunity to produce more and more shows under one banner. It used to be that a very successful writer could have one, maybe two shows on the air at the same time. Now, that same writer can be in charge of five shows, maybe more.

So that means the rich get richer.  The successful get more successful.  And breaking in is not much easier.

Studio executives are businesspeople like any other, and they tend to put their money on reliable and dependable sources.  Few people fully appreciate what it takes to be a show runner.  (A showrunner is the head writer for TV show).  TV is writers medium, and the head writer is the boss. The job of a showrunner is not to manage 300 to 500 people at once as they craft, design, implement, shoot, and edit hours of television.  But the most important part of the job of a showrunner is to deliver shootable scripts on time – which is a monumental task on its own —let alone when you are managing 300-500 people at once as they craft, design, implement, shoot and edit hours of TV.

So finding good, dependable, showrunners is always a challenging task.

Becoming one is even harder.  You have to master many skills.  You have to master many challenges.  And you have to master yourself.  You can’t possibly be the best leader until you’ve become your best person.  Yes, you can luck out.  But you can’t do your best if you aren’t at your best.

And after all that work – work on writing, work on self – to see the golden era of TV blossoming before you – and still see barriers to entry, despite this being such a fertile land of plenty – well, that’s hard.

But it does force us to be more creative.  To be more personal.  To be more adventurous.

So, ultimately – streaming will make things both better and worse for writers.

But it should make things better for audiences, no matter what.


About the author

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the founder of ESBO ltd a brand mentioning company. He is also passionate about meditation and healthy living. You can find articles on such topics at his spiritual blog Dzhingarov.com. Contact the author.
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