Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Keep it Real"

Bill Bryan is a film and television writer who admits to having "stolen vast sums from all of the major media companies: Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Disney, Sony, and Fox." He has written and produced many series, including the long-running comedies Night Court and Coach.

His new book is Keep It Real,
to which he applied the "page 69 test" and reported the following:
I wouldn’t call page 69 of Keep It Real representative of the whole book – it’s not funny or active enough for that – but it is part of a key turning point, and it offers some insight into how I constructed the story. I knew I wanted to write a first-person comic mystery, with a down-on-his-luck journalist as the narrator. I found the plot by making a Nixon-style Enemies List – a catalog of all the things I hate about modern life. It got pretty long pretty fast, so I gave greater priority to those that seemed most ripe for ridicule. Reality TV and gangsta rap thus emerged as top contenders, and I thought about how I could bring them together, and shove ‘em down the throat of a guy who can’t stand either one. About ten minutes later, I had the essentials of Keep It Real: Ted Collins, the disgraced reporter, is forced to take a job as a reality TV producer. By chance, he witnesses a badass rapper beating and threatening his girlfriend, a smoking hot model. When she goes missing, Ted gets an idea for how he can use Reality to go after rap.

The transition is tricky and a bit complicated, and that’s why it wasn’t as fun or fast to write page 69 as most of the other ones in the book. But it was worth the effort, because mashing two scourges of contemporary culture together generated a lot of laughs – for me and I hope for you too.

Page 69 also happens to be where I go out of my way to piss off the three of the most powerful people in the entertainment business:

The unofficial bios of some of the biggest names around – David Geffen, Brian Grazer, and Steven Spielberg – feature stories of shameless fraud and impersonation used to advance their early careers.

So this whole book-writing thing better work out for me. Know what I mean?
Visit Bill Bryan's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue