Stephen J Cannell Quotes

stephen j cannell quotes



So many people get involved with carrying grudges and having these moral battles with people, where they cast themselves as the righteous and the other guy is the dirtbag. They waste tons of energy on it, create all kinds of darkness around themselves and the other person. It gets you nothing.


I finally get to the place where the book has matured in my mind and I can hardly wait to start writing it. Then I just sit down and I start. I hit the go button. I have an outline, which is 70 pages, but I don't look at it. I never have to look at it.


I never waited for my Irish Cream coffee to be the right temperature, with a storm happening outside and my fireplace crackling... I wrote every day, at home, in the office, whether I felt like it or not. I just did it.


Once you put something like 'The A-Team' on the map, it does become part of the DNA of television. People grab little pieces of it. I certainly grabbed little pieces of other people's shows when I was creating my shows.


Everyone starts out desperately trying to make a hit, but some people are just more mistake-prone than others. I happened to be fairly mistake-prone. Of the 40 shows I made, I'd say ten were hits, which is a pretty good average.


Having a support system is huge for writers. My parents were always encouraging and told me they were behind me, whether or not I made it in the business. My wife was always there for my successes and failures.


I believe in three-act structure. When I say that to novel people, or people in the world of books, they go, 'Well, that's a film thing.' However, even a good joke has three acts.


The first act is the easiest to plot. The second act is always the hardest to plot. Generally a good, you know, sometimes the third act can be difficult because you can get into a rut in the third act - everybody runs to their Corvette, has a chase, and you catch the bad guy.


I believed in the concept of over-performing. I believe anyone can achieve their goals in life if they over-perform, and that means you have to work ten times harder than anybody you see.


I formed my own studio, carried my own deficits, owned one-hundred percent of my negatives, and made a lot of mistakes, but we ended up being the third largest TV studio in Hollywood.


I'm a very conservative businessman. I don't work on credit. My father was the guy who taught me how to think straight, not to delude myself and think I was larger than I was.


I'm generally a very happy guy because I'm doing what I want. I'm willing to tell you that there are people who are much better than I am in writing. I don't have to be the fastest gun in the West.




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