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Old 10-01-2002, 08:41 AM   #75
David77
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Potsie Quits School & Extras:
The main idea of Potsie having to think up a song in his head to remember his anatomy was my idea. Being a musician most of the TV shows that I wrote have a music theme. Like Blossom "Guns in school" episode "38 special" which I wrote and I got a part in too (I'm in the band scene playing guitar) Sometimes one person has an idea and it is given to another person. Like the Christmas show where they all bring a tree in to the Cunnigham's? . That was my idea although Beverly Bloomberg got credit. Most of the writers were under contract for 3 scripts a year plus a weekly salary (and to get a parking space on the lot was a whole other big deal where your agent has to actually negotiate it.) I had to park outside the lot across the street and pay. (But that is another story.) Show Biz. "The slimey underbelly of the show business world" Anyway, people crank out story ideas and they are all delegated to different writers. The networks want certain story lines, the producers want different story lines, etc etc. So when it says "written by" or "story by" or "teleplay by" it really doesn't mean squat. They have to assign storys. It is a team effort.
Sometimes a writer will pitch an idea based on a theme or direction the producers want to go and it connects and he or she gets to write it. Other times a writer will pitch and idea and they like it and give it to another writer on the staff who is due under contract to get a script that season. Maybe the other writer already did his three scripts. So that being clear, I had already sold the Fonzie Jacket "Story by" that never got filmed. So in the total picture I did get a story and a teleplay.
There were other people that were Production Assistants like Jim Dunne who got "Story By" on Potsie Quits School. Jim Dunne was an all around guy on the Happy Days Crew. Originally I heard he was Gary Marshall's tennis pro. Gary liked him. So He worked with the actors, he wrote music, he came to writing meetings once in a while. He was just an all around guy. Gary Marshall wanted him to write and his first writing assignment was "Story by". It got him in the union.
He was close with the actors. I didn't have the chance to get
too involved like that on the stage. I was hired stictly to be an apprentice writer. In fact I didn't even have my own typewriter. I had to share one with Allen Goldstien. My agent didn't negotiate a typewriter. Now a days you have to have an agent to get an agent. So that is how it works. I liked the idea of being an extra but it never happened. I didn't push for it. I was a musician. I brought my guitar in and Brian and Fred would hear me play and bring me up to Bob Brunner's office. Bob would say, "I don't know what to do with that, go talk to Anson". It just didn't connect for me at that time. I later worked on other shows but it took years and years. That is just the way it went down. That girl drummer was a steady extra. I don't remember her name but when they say her name on the show, that is her real name. Sometimes Richie will say her name. She was cute, yeah. I talked more with Heather. (The girl with the wig). She would come to the booth and hang out on Friday nights. The other girl was kind of shy.

Last edited by David77; 10-01-2002 at 08:45 AM.
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