Dan Harmon's Advice to Writers

yeah my advice to young writers is always like it whether there a lot of people ask me like how do you pitch something and I find that which is a really good question because that's that's the nature of the beast like how do you and a lot of people get it wrong and I actually feel like it's good advice that I have unlike the other stuff the when you when you're pitching a show and I think this extends to when you're then executing a show this is how you do a good pitch remember when you were at that party and you asked someone if they had seen Game of Thrones and because it's your favorite show and they said no I've never seen Game of Thrones and you proceeded to tell them why they should watch it that's a good pitch that's you pitching a show that you selling the show you're so enthusiastic about it you know exactly how long to talk about exactly the right elements of the show when you're sitting on a couch and there's some you know one of these weird monsters that bicep shows a sitting across from you just forget that they exist because they don't have to and God told me that they actually they're made of kale animated kale they don't they're golems they don't have they have they have there's jars of organs in an underground thing in Malibu that that there was used to animate so that those that's human tissue but but this is all like seaweed and kale spray-painted orange with a tie on it or maybe all Jews and a head of it and a smear Michael Dean said when you're when you're pitching and I know this extend when you're writing when you were trying to come up with an idea for your show picture your self sitting in front of a television start with this start with this image start with the image of your face going holy oh my god this is the most amazing show I've ever seen I'm going to watch every episode of this I love this show now flip the camera and reveal what's on the TV what would make you do that the it might be it's a lot like x-files but they they go through a portal and there's a there's a musical guest I'd like like it could be derivative you can start with your favorite show like that TV is by nature delightfully derivative like like we exchange like these myths about these modern Ulysses and they live in them but I'm talking about you look so Jackie Loman yeah so so that's that that is my advice that when you're right so you always just please yourself don't listen to anybody that ever tells you anything like will this jokes kind of a head-scratcher that's a three percent let's make that a ten percenter to tank a piece of broken glass and slit that person's throat and then and then and then yeah and then now there can mean but when you agree like I feel like the one thing that I've finally learned like way late was that you don't have to like take every note because they don't even know what they don't even remember the notes that they've given you they just want to give you notes so if you don't take any what are they going to do fire you they will have to rehire you later you don't have to take any notes call their bluff if we all do it they can't do anything they can't arrest you for not listening to an idiot if none of us took any notes ever then they wouldn't be able to replace us with anybody we could just make television we would be a union a class of creatives we used to rule when we were cavemen the storytellers ruled the tribe the dump people went on risked their lives we stayed home and wrote stories about it and got laid we were the kings we were the Chaney's we were behind the curtain we had all the power and look what we've become they've got us jammed into windowless rooms with as Henry Ford rewrite each other and he's a break a pool cue and half throw in the middle of the room and as it like the Joker recruiting people like we don't have to turn on each other we don't have to rewrite our you wake up in the morning and say I refuse to be a hack and see what happens whether you get done we're questioning [Applause]

31 thoughts on “Dan Harmon's Advice to Writers

  1. soon as anyone goes racial, the room explodes. im so sick of America..
    love the freedom of capitalism/independence
    hate the freedom of racial/political divisiveness.

  2. oh the poor oppressed writers, listen to them cheer and yearn for freedom

  3. -You should watch Game Of Thrones, it's really good. I'm not gonna say anymore becuse i don't wanna spoil it for you.

    Sounds like a terrible pitch for a show.

  4. How much do you know about the Gear Wars? Oh boy, I envy you.

  5. Shit. I've never sold anyone on a show. I just say "watch it."

  6. Incredibly annoying how the interviewer crams herself in at the height of his epic speech.

  7. It's January 21 and this the most inspiring thing I've heard this year.

  8. To anyone who thinks that what Harmon's saying is that you shouldn't have to take criticism – that's not what he's saying; he's expressing the fact that he's stated over and over again in the past that the second you change your writing to meet someone else's standards and stop enjoying it, it's not your writing anymore. You shouldn't have to conform to any boundaries, as long as you enjoy what you create.

  9. I'm not even going to Try to adapt to society. Because the moment I begin trying it is all faked anyway and it would feel like I am betraying myself. So I only write and talk like myself and leave it at being unpopular. So what? Stay true to yourselves against the mainstream of society believe me it feels better and more free.

  10. "what are they gonna do? fire you and rehire you later?" i laughed my ass off

  11. Brilliant now I understand why Joel McHale defended him on Community.  His speech at the end was inspiring it's what writing should be and how writers need to support each other.

  12. The rant at the end is really annoying. That's not advise, that's him thinking he's better than the people he works for. Bleh.

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