Just Say No


A short post on the value of a short word: no.

I believe more than ever that the difference between good creative work and bad is how often someone said no during the creative process. This happens too rarely for most TV shows. The pressure of getting the next script done and off to production discourages anyone slowing the machinery down with a lot of high-minded standards.

And yet good ideas deserve good execution. Someone should be saying: “No, that idea isn’t good enough.” “No, that piece of dialogue is on-the-nose.” “No, that’s first-thought material.” “No, I saw that same gag last week on an old Star Trek episode.”

It’s difficult to be a “Dr. No,” but without one, you wind up with a lot of tedious, forgettable junk.

About Deke

Writer and filmmaker Dale Kutzera is a recipient of the Carl Sautter Screenwriting Award, the Environmental Media Award, and participated in the Warner Brother Writers Workshop. His credits include the TV shows “Strange Frequency” and “Without a Trace” and the independent film “Military Intelligence And You!” He is the author of five novels and the popular “Plot Machine” story-structure guides. He writes about writing and filmmaking at www.DaleKutzera.com.

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