Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 11-20

February 8th, 2013 by

Jeff Lieber is a screenwriter and TV writer. His movie credits include Tuck Everlasting and he is currently an executive producer of the USA Network series “Necessary Roughness.” On Twitter (@JeffLieber), he has run a series of tweets called Showrunner Rules. For background on Jeff and this Twitter series, go here.

Today: Numbers 11-20.

Showrunner Rule #11: Magnetized dry-erase strips that can be moved anywhere on “the board” were, for me, a discovery equal to Higgs Boson.

Showrunner Rule #12 (failed this): When asking an actor to remove his sunglasses, be ready to block him in the event he tries to choke you.

Showrunner Rule #13 Any quarter-wit can dream up a porcupine vs octopus knife fight, but a line producer has to figure out how to shoot it.

Showrunner Rule #14: Long scripts aren’t an issue. It’s SCENES (“strips”) that kill production. Scenes mean lighting & lighting costs time.

Showrunner Rule #15: The fridge w/ chocolate, soda & endless salty snacks is 2 writers what piped-in-oxygen is 2 Vegas. “Why not stay late!”

Showrunner Rule #16: Film scripts – Christian, rising from turnaround for 2nd life. Pilot scripts – Jewish, once dead they tend 2 stay dead.

Showrunner Rule #17: The “room” should never turn into a EST meeting. Once you’re on hour seven, accept the story is headed for the shitter.

Showrunner Rule #18: 3AM PST is the time your phone will BUZZ when, on set, at 6AM EST Monday, your lead won’t get out of his/her trailer.

Showrunner Rule #19: All act outs are improved w/ a BOOM. Char A slaps Char B, reveals he’s a sea monster. Eh. Same act out w/ BOOM… Emmy!

Showrunner Rule #20: When angry… never answer an email… or return a call… or go into an actor’s trailer. When angry… do nothing.

For Showrunner Rules: Numbers 1-10, go here.

Next: Showrunner Rules: Numbers 21-30.

I asked Jeff for a bio. Here it is:

One day in 1986, after blowing up a glass beaker in a lab in high school, Jeffrey Lieber’s science teacher, Dr. Nagoi, turned to him and said, “Jeffrey… you be an actor… you be a writer… maybe have a family… but please, dear God, don’t be a chemist.” And it was those words that launched a journey that has ended up with Mr. Lieber becoming a screenwriter, showrunner, blogger, father and husband (Credits? Go here). Every day, while pursuing his passions, Mr. Lieber takes a moment to stop and thank Dr. Nagoi for his sage advice.

Thanks, Jeff. Best of luck on the front lines of running a TV series and all your creative endeavors!

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