Saturday, January 04, 2014

Twenty Year Old Animation Script

... finally sees the light of day.

Judd Apatow: After the first season of The Simpsons, I sat down and tried to write a spec episode of The Simpsons to use as a sample to get work. ... I always wished that they would make my Simpsons episode so last year I was doing an interview with Elvis Mitchell and the subject of my Simpsons spec came up and I told the audience the story I had written, and Al Jean read about it and he called me and he said they’d like to do it. ...

The writers of The Simpsons are rewriting it and trying to bring it up to the standards of the show. [Laughs] I wrote it in what I thought was the style of The Simpsons after only six episodes had aired. I received an email from Al Jean where he detailed the changes they would make to it but they were so hilarious and brilliant, it kind of blew my mind. They are so funny and strong over there. We never should take The Simpsons for granted. It really sets the bar for everybody. ...

Seldom do twenty-year-old spec scripts get picked up and produced for wide public consumption. But seldom are spec scripts written by people who later become power-house movie makers, and Apatow is certainly that.

But I guess it gives hope to writers who are still struggling to break into the Big Time. Keep those old scripts in a water-tight trunk ... or tucked away on a digital cloud. Someday, when your creative ship comes in, you can dust off some of that early, brilliant work and cash in.

If Apatow can do it twenty-two years later ... if Mark Twain can do it with new volumes of autobiography a century after he's dead, there's hope for the rest of us.


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