Montreal Nights

Journal Entry. Montreal
Tuesday, May 13th. 1980

For a national radio show with millions of listeners Morningside don’t get no respect. At least not from CBC Montreal.

We’re working out of the CBC building but have been put about as far away from the newsroom as you can get. Three of us (MFD, Rob Prouse et moi) have been given a small island of desks on the floor where all the managers work.

Guess they want to keep an eye on us.

The vote is a week away and we have two shows to fill. That’s SIX hours of national radio on a story which will determine the future of the country and these assholes won’t even put us on the same FLOOR as the local news guys ?

We're going live as much as possible which is really the only thing we can do. We don’t have the time or the resources to do anything fancy. I’m booking panels and one-on-ones with politicians and journalists. Paul Piche IS coming in to do both an interview and a live performance. Yea !

Thank God for Hubie Gendron he’s our lifeline to both the plant AND the broader community. He's going to help me hire some freelancers to get “tape-from-the-streets” the night of the vote.

Harron and GMD come into town next weekend. We'll have a one day mini rehearsal on Monday...then it's coast to coast LIVE on a wing, a prayer, and the tax payer's dime.

Montreal is a truly amazing place right now. I was walking back to my hotel last night (Chateau Versaille) and came across a huge bonfire in a park. Hundreds of people wearing tee shirts saying either “Oui” or “Non” but everyone was dancing together as they snaked around the fire like warriors. Very cool. Must have been good dope.


Journal Entry. Winnipeg
Sunday, November 11th. 2007

Still trying to think my way through the eternal conundrum that is “development”. I REFUSE to believe that its either favouritism or luck.

I actually solved my Rubik’s cube when I was a kid, you know.

Despite having watched hundreds of my sweet little ideas being clubbed like Labrador seals I still believe there HAS to be a logic in the way you get from here to there.

Here – being that gut feeling which comes in a moment of inspiration. There - being the Camelot of ‘funded development’.

This is what I'm thinking tonight -:

As pitchers we throw too many knuckleballs and not enough fast balls. In fact, many of us don't have our heads in the game at all.

The private sector nets are so lean that the commissioners are basically overwhelmed and under-staffed. Many proposals get the quick once over then out comes the killing stick.

And the CBC? I think Churchill had it about right -: “a riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma.”

The respected and much lamented Michael Burns once told me he had about 200 proposals to work his way through. He also pointed out – with genuine frustration - that although many were complete non-starters others were from litiginous producers who carried grudges.

This forced him to do the only thing he could -- set them ALL aside until he had time to respond properly.

So, over a couple of bottles of wine at Cape Dip we came up with the following...



- Find an Exec Producer. -- You have no experience
- Unfocused idea. -- Badly written pitch.
- Not for this network. -- Stupid idea.
- Unsure about the team. -- Dump your friends.
- Problems with the financing. -- You’re broke.
- Need a name host. -- Boring idea.
- CTF envelope spent. -- You’re too slow.
- Maybe next season. -- Network being sold.
- need a co–producer. -- Likes the idea. Hates you.
- need a bigger budget. -- Only CGI will save it.

Next time I’m going to post some images from pitches which HAVE worked.

Although I seem to have forgotten the trick of solving my Rubik’s Cube

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