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    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Believe me, I have no patience with...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/13/1991 12:51:00 PM  

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Believe me, I have no patience with or interest in focus groups or
research or anything of that nature. My feeling is quite simple: in the early
stages of a project, you should be willing to at least *listen* to anyone.
Because sometimes good ideas come from the damndest places. But you can't
WRITE that way. You take all the input, but finally you as the writer have to
sit down and use what makes SENSE in the story. The day I abdicte that
responsibility is the day I get out of the business.
I've never seen a project that was Made by research or studio suits. If it
works, it's because the project stems from one clear vision, and one clear

Just as one example...while I didn't agree with many reactions of the
"civilians" -- especially since they were working off a summary, not the
complete script -- the one point that *did* strike home was that it takes a
while to get going. We set up suspense, and a lot of time introducing the
characters. But a nice little hook at the beginning, I realized, just a
little fillip, would be a good idea to goose things a bit. Now, I may change
my mind when I get behind the keyboard to revise the script over the Christmas
break (mainly for myself, and my own desire to strengthen the script, which
has been around, after all, for quite some time, and I've learned a lot since
that initial draft), I may decide to jettison that notion, I don't know. But
it's worth considering at the very least.

Fundamentally, if you're going to create a series, write and produce it,
you've got to follow your instincts. Besides, the whole POINT of the exercise
is so that you won't have anyone making decisions for you anymore, you do
what YOU want to do with it, and let the chips fall as they may. To do
otherwise, given the angst involved in getting a series this far, is dirt-
stone-stick stupid.


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