Stephen J. Cannell: How to hit a Deadline with Style

I just finished a document in time for a meeting tomorrow, and there's something rather satisfying (and rare) about getting it actually done on time - especially after four years of university trained me into a hardened expert in the art of the essay crisis. But how do you celebrate hitting a deadline? You take a leaf out of Stephen J. Cannell's book, that's how.

"Who he?" He was a prolific American screenwriter and producer responsible for shows including The Quest, Riptide, Renegade and, by far the most successful, The A-Team. That's right, Stephen is the bloke you used to see at the end of each episode's credit sequence, finishing a draft on his typewriter and triumphantly tossing the finished script out of the machine. These days, with the march of the computer taking us inexorably towards a Terminator-style dystopian hellscape of drone warfare and the MailOnline, we lack that satisfying physical yank of the paper which a legion of older writers used to enjoy. Thank goodness for Stephen then, who immortalised the action for us, again and again. And again. Youtube being what it is, somebody has brilliantly taken the trouble to compile all the iterations of Stephen's signature typewriter yank, and to celebrate him and me hitting my own deadline, here they are (complete with his copious awards on the wall). For me, the music in version 2 is nothing short of definitive (extended prelude at 0:52? Don't overthink it!), but clothes-wise it's got to be the snazzy black and white number at 01:15, as seen below in the freeze-frame. That's just me, though. Which is your favourite?

Jon HarveyComment