About The Author
After years of struggling as a writer in Hollywood, the Author finally has something to say about the creative process: "It's tougher than Himalayan yak jerky in January. But, as any creative person will tell you, there are days when there's absolutely nothing sweeter than creating something from nothing."
Richard Krzemien is a member of the Writers Guild of America, west (WGA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the author of the award-winning comic art book, The Writer at Work. His internationally syndicated comic The Writer at Work, which debuted in 2001, has been featured in publications such as The Writer and Canadian Screenwriter. Some of Richard's noted TV writing credits include: War of the Worlds, The New Twilight Zone and creator of the first story that introduced the infamous Ferengi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
A few of Richard's recent background acting TV credits include roles in Monk, Entourage, and Medium, as well as movie appearances in Burn After Reading (FBI), Changeling (Photographer) and Star Trek: 2009 (Federation Officer).
(That's actually all you need to know about the Author. If you're still curious and want more backgroundriddled, of course, with tales of triumph and woeread on.)
Richard Krzemien graduated from Southern Illinois University with a BA in Cinema & Photography. He later moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he learned his craft by working like a canine as an intern writer/producer for the University of Wisconsin.
Thinking Madison would be his first and last stop (because it's so darn beautiful), he started a film company. But the siren call of Hollywood droned even louder than the mosquitoes of Wisconsin. So he packed his bug spray and headed west to Los Angeles.
Over time, he worked in various areas of filmmaking, got married, had a kid, acquired a Portuguese Water Dog, and above all, hungered to share-in some small way-his insights into the creative experience. It was in this fertile urban caldron called L.A., where one battles the self, the world, and the telemarketers, that The Writer at Work was born.
Because The Writer at Work takes a humorous look at the daily fears, hopes, dreams, and disappointments the writer (or any creative person) faces, the Author has a couple of short, personal television writing anecdotes he'd like to share.
"Early in my L.A. writing career, I sold a story to Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled "The Last Outpost."
Gene Roddenbery (creator of Star Trek) asked me if I would include in my story his idea for a race of greedy, self-serving creatures. At first I thought he was referring to studio executives. But I quickly realized he meant "real" aliens. So I came up with some physical attributes and a story for the creatures to inhabit. The aliens were called Ferengi, and my story became the first to introduce them to the world. I'm proud to say I helped create an alien race which may go down in history as being the least trustworthy roommates in the universe."
"My writing partner and longtime friend Chip Duncanwho has since become a well-respected documentary filmmakerand I were waiting in The New Twilight Zone lobby on the MTM lot for our second pitch meeting with the show's producers. Being new to "the biz," we were still very nervous.
Suddenly, an infamous member of the Twilight Zone writing staffwhom we had never metswaggered in and spotted us fidgeting on the sofa. This man was a prolific fiction writer in his own right. Simply being in the same room with him was, for us, a great honor. For a few minutes he paced back and forth without saying a word. Finally he stopped, coldly peered at us and asked who we were. Thrilled by his attention, we eagerly told him our names.
For a moment he looked perplexed as his mind scanned some inner database. Then recalling an earlier TZ episode we had written which had just finished shooting, he looked down the bridge of his nose at us and said in a blunt, piercing voice, "I hate your work."
That morning our plan was to pitch a comic Twilight Zone story idea. Just as the meeting began, in he walked. Though we kept smiling, we were devastated. Nevertheless, we pushed on and pitched the idea. Soon we had the producers smiling and, to our great relief, sold the story.
It took about a decade for me to get over that writer's comment. But the experience taught me a valuable lesson: Always blame any script problems on your partner when he's out of the room. Just kidding. The lesson is, don't take anything anyone says about your work too seriously.
All of this is simply meant to encourage you to reach for something higher. Then, when it all goes to hell and you find yourself in the depths of despair, find some way to laugh. Because humor is what keeps us sane."
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©2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Richard Krzemien, The Writer at Work