Children of Tendu (general)
Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Jose Molina are television writer/producers with over forty years of combined experience on shows including "Lost," "Firefly," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Helix"... and they are giving away all their knowledge for free! Find us on Twitter @childrenoftendu!

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Syndication

Ask any writer what they hate most and you will very soon arrive at the answer "notes." As the Children of Tendu podcast races to the scintillating climax of its inaugural season, Jose and Javi take on the creative and business relationship between writers and their studios and networks, debunking the notion that this is by nature an adversarial process between creativity and commerce, and discussing how and why notes are not only unavoidable but also a crucial and useful part of creating television. Also, what are "scroutlines," "scriptments" and "sproses"? Why Javi can't remember "timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly" when he's on the spot? And why "taking a time out" is not just for toddlers anymore.

Direct download: 11._Theres_a_lot_of_good_stuff_here..._but_we_do_have_some_notes..m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Part 1 of a special Nerdist Writers Panel/Children of Tendu event!

If you listen to Children of Tendu, you have heard the names "Rene Echevarria" and "Naren Shankar." Both are fantastic writers, both are veterans of the Star Trek: The Next Generation writers room, and both are important mentor figures to Jose and Javi.

In this first part of our interview with our mentors, we are aided by the indomitable Ben Blacker as Rene and Naren discuss the early days of their own career with a special focus on their relationship with Star Trek, it's showrunner Michael Piller, and how that series's culture helped them become both successful writers as well as successful mentors to otger writers.

And if you like part one, part two - featuring tons of useful advice from Rene, Naren, Jose and Javi on process and creativity - goes live Tuesday, may 6th, 2014 on the Nerdist industries website, under the aegis of the Nerdist Writers Panel - http://www.nerdist.com/podcast/nerdist-writers-panel/

Direct download: 10._Meet_our_mentors_-_part_one.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Showrunners. Some are great. Some are lousy. Some are geniuses. Some are legends in their own mind. What do showrunners actually do? What is their day like? How do you relate with someone who has the weight of the world - and a myriad of strange managerial, creative, and executive problems - on his or her shoulders, and who - most importantly - is responsible for every facet of your existence while you work on a show? Bluntly: the showrunner is the alpha and the omega, and you serve at their pleasure, so how do you go along, get along, and avoid making the rookie mistakes made by Javi and Jose as they made their way through the trenches of television?

Direct download: 9._Your_showrunner_and_you.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm PDT

Picking up from last week's topic - "What Do All Those Producer Credits Mean" Jose and Javi move from defining the role of the writer/producer on TV to giving practical examples of the work of the upper level producer with a focus on post-production. From dealing with actor notes, to editing, sound, giving and receiving notes - and carrying "Ned Stark's sigil" - Jose and Javi only leave a few facets of the work of the writer producer unexplored. Also, they tell poop jokes, discuss "spotting" and sing the song from "Pinky and the Brain."

Direct download: 8._Mo_Producers_Mo_Problems.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm PDT

The career path for a television writer is a long and winding road that leads to a producer credit - but what does it mean to be a writer who becomes a producer? Do writers who rise to producers still write? What do all the different producer credits mean? What are the responsibilities of writers when they become producers? In this scintillating episode, Jose (of Firefly and Castle) and Javi (Lost, The Middleman) talk about what it means to rise up the food chain as a television writer, how writers become managers of a TV show's crew... and what is it that all of your collaborators on and off the set actually do - and why knowng is crucial!

Direct download: 7._What_Do_All_Those_Producer_Credits_Mean.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this very special episode of the Children of Tendu podcast, Jose and Javi welcome Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters: creators and shorunners of the beloved "Reaper," showrunners of "Resurrection" and executive producers of Marvel's forthcoming "Agent Carter" to answer some questions about the life and creative process of a writing team, the specific challenges faced by women writer/producers in the entertainment industry, how to run and staff a successful show, the role of mentorship in their careers, how to get yourself staffed... all that, and to learn the meaning of the the mysterious filmmaking trick known only as "the cowboy handoff."

Direct download: 6._Special_Guest_Stars_Fazekas_and_Butters.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

What is it like to face the dread of the empty page... when you are doing it for pay and as part of the writing staff of a television series for the first time? In this thrill-packed episode, Jose and javi share the stories of their first episodic assignments on staff (on Dark Angel and seaQuest, respectively), and give you a blow-by-blow of the process so that you do NOT make the same mistakes they did!

Direct download: 5._Your_First_Script_On_Staff_-_Surrender_Your_Ego.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The great unspoken truth of television writing is that - by and large - writers spend most of their time not at the keyboard, but in a conference room collaborating on stories with other writers. In this super-sized episode, Jose and Javi use case studies from their work on "Lost" and "The Vampire Diaries" to discuss how the writers room works, how stories are created in most television shows, but also the procedures and etiquette of this most misunderstood part of the TV writing process.

Direct download: 4._The_Writers_Room-_How_Do_I_Work_This.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Episode 3 - Staffing Season

Once a year, every writer - and aspiring writer - in television takes part in what amounts to nothing less than a (metaphorical) all-city job fair... the period after the networks have picked up their new pilots, renewed their returning shows, and every one in town with a spec and a dream tries to get a job on a writing staff... but what really is staffing season? How do you get in it? How do you survive it?n In this episode, Jose (Firefly, Sleepy Hollow) Molina and Javier (Lost, The Middleman) Grillo-Marxuach break down this mystifying Hollywood ritual, and share their successes and failures in the hopes that you will not make the mistakes they made!

Direct download: 3._Staffing_season_-_am_I_doing_it_right.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Episode 2 - Agents - Who? Why? And How?

Javi and Jose demistify one of the most misunderstood components of the entertainment business: agents. what they do and why they are crucial for a successful career in television is a little undertstood face of our work as television writer/producer... not anymore!

Direct download: 2._Agents_-_who_why_and_how.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT