Way back in the dark depths of 2006, when I was a fresh-faced fella with a dream in his heart and a burgeoning media career, I got the chance to write for The Chaser’s War On Everything. I submitted a lot of stunt ideas and scripts from my kitchen table, but only one made it to air. (To be fair, a lot of them were impractical.)
I would feel a lot better about claiming credit for “JB Hi-Fi Name & Shame” if I had actually had to do the hard part – the stunt itself – but since they gave me a Contributing Writer credit, I’ll swallow my humility and take it.
This wasn’t my only contribution to The Chaser’s televisual oeuvre – you can also see me manning phones in the background of 2004′s The Chaser Decides! OK fine, it isn’t really that exciting.
It would be nice if we both pretended I didn’t just spend ages screencapping this from my DVD copy.
[Title shamelessly lifted from Ernest Cline's excellent novel]
Here’s a partial list of things I wrote for ABC2′s Good Game. They’re all for the “Backwards Compatible” segment, which takes a look back across the history of a given topic in videogames. On each page is a link to the video of the segment, so you can see how the final product looked. Exciting!
Heroines: The first thing I did for Good Game, written in my bedroom on a laptop with many tabs opened to many different pages. When I saw the finished product on television, I nodded coolly at the screen, satisfied with their interpretation. And didn’t remotely squeal like a schoolgirl.
Boss Battles: This one came from me being in the actual office, once again playing the cool guy who high-fives everyone as he goes past and not gurgling with quiet happiness about being paid to write about videogames for actual television. A fun fact about this one was that I spent ages playing Mortal Kombat with an eye to capturing footage of me beating Shang Tsung. After innumerable deaths at the hands of Goro…I rewrote the script to reflect his badassery, which made it a lot better!
The Most Tasty Games: There’s an anecdote from the set of the Ocean’s 11 remake – Rusty eats in every scene because Brad Pitt was starving at the time he and director Steven Soderbergh were trying to come up with a visual hook for his character. Similarly, this subject matter sprouted from an ill-advised decision to skip breakfast that day.
As you can see, there is nothing I like better than telling people what to do, especially when I have no actual wisdom to pass on.
How To Write A Sitcom Pilot: What better way to make use of the lessons learned in Tim Ferguson’s excellent comedy writing course? Other than actually writing a sitcom pilot, of course.
How To Talk About Asylum Seekers: The references are a bit dated now, but still a good reason to make use of a Split Enz album cover.
How To Host A Dinner Party (illustrated by Anton Emdin): If you find some of the jokes crude, consider the target audience. If you find some of them hilarious, consider yourself the target audience.
How To Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Like A Real Man: The other option is to do what I did – ignore them for years, act like a giant baby when you have to go to the dentist, then throw a massive pity party for yourself in the aftermath.
How To Survive A Work Party (illustrated by Anton Emdin): A vital guide for anyone with an interest in flouting as many company policies as possible in the space of one evening.
How To Be Redundant: Finally, something I actually have experience with!