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Monday, October 04, 2004

Declaration of Principles

In "Citizen Kane," a young Charles Foster Kane composes a "Declaration of Principles" to publish in his newspaper. Since I make it a personal policy to clip as much as I can from the Orson Welles canon, I've decided to do the same thing for my radio show. Of course, Kane loses his way as the movie goes on, but all I have to say is this: "Don't worry, Jedediah. These will be kept."


1. I will never write characters who are six and yet talk like jaded 40-year-old comedy writers.

2. Ditto with old ladies.

3. If I'm ever tempted to compile a "clip show," I'll just shut the whole thing down since I will then be officially out of ideas.

4. I will never do commercials for Hawaii or Disney resorts or cruises or similar vacation-related venues camouflaged as an episode of my show.

5. I will never write a piece of dialogue such as, "Gee Dad, I'm really happy you decided to take the three of us to the Freak Festival even though Mom disapproves." Decent exposition is my guarantee.

6. I will never do a parody of "A Christmas Carol," even though I've had a corker of an idea for years that is more of a sequel than a direct parody.

7. I will never use the plotline about the unconventional cop teamed with a by-the-book cop.

8. I will never use any plotline that involves two people having to work or live together who start out hating each other, but develop grudging respect and then love.

9. I will never introduce some object or person who, although never referred to previously by anyone, turns out to be the favorite person or thing in the world to one of the major characters.

10. Once such a character or object is introduced, they will not then disappear like a Chilean dissident.

This is a start. I'll happily take nominations for more principles to be observed.

Len Foster Kane


Len said...

13. In a realistic script, I will keep the events plausible.

14. In an outlandish script, I will keep events plausible within the logic of the piece itself.

15. I will never do a story about a team of genial misfits (playing, say, crab soccer or donkey basketball) who come together to defeat the evil team.

Len said...

17. I will learn how to count and to pay attention to where I left off.