I'll Clean This One Up So I Can Tell It...

Once upon a time I worked for a producer[1] who was doing a show about a teenage boy who could turn into a car and then the car would turn into a parking lot.[2] We had a staff writer meeting where we were all handed show bibles & told to come up with story ideas.  I went back to my office, flipped through the print out, then returned to the producer.

"Okay, I'll work up some story ideas if you can explain a few things to me:

"If he turns into a car and they remove his tires, when he turns back into a boy will he be missing his hands and feet?

"If he turns into a car and they remove his engine, when he turns back into a boy will he be missing his heart?

"If he turns into a car and they put a suitcase in his trunk, when he turns back into a boy will it -- "

"I'm putting you on another show," the producer said.

So I never wrote for that show, though other staff writers did.  Apparently it took a special mindset to write scripts for it.

Once I went over to the storyboard artists' lair to have lunch with the magnificently maniacal John Dorman, head of the department.

When I arrived in their building[3], I found John & the other storyboard artists sitting at their desks, glaring at one another with seething rage.

I thot:  Uh-oh, I've stepped into the middle of some big tiff they're having.

For nearly a minute nobody said anything, nobody acknowledged me, nobody so much as twitched a finger tip.

Then John said:  "Gosh darn [redacted writer]!" and the other artists began thumping their desks and howling, "Gosh darn him!  Gosh darn him!" [4]

Seems [redacted writer] had written a script where --

  1. the boy goes to a swimming pool
  2. turns into a car
  3. climbs the ladder to the high dive (!)
  4. does a swan dive (!!)
  5. splashes into the pool
  6. then swims (!!!) over to his friends
  7. who are in a rowboat (!!!!)
  8. and climbs in with them (!!!!!)

All as a car.

This is what put John & his lads in such a blue funk.

It's easy to write stuff like that...

...but try drawing it.

Boys & girls, keep this lesson at heart whenever you write something that is going to be filmed or drawn.



[1]  Hi, Joe!

[2]  This was 50% of a good idea.  If it had been a robot that turned into a car and/or vice-versa, he would have beaten Transformers to the air by a year or so.

[3]  Appropriately, Cheech & Chong's old office, but once John's crew took it over better known as [D]astard Central.

[4]  Oy, and have I ever cleaned this one up...

The Greatest Cover Ever Printed. Period. End. Of. Dis. Cussion.

"Any Love Is Good Love, So I Took What I Could Get..."