“Piranhaconda” and the Death of a Writing Career

by Anne G


It’s always good to be able to laugh at yourself and I’m pretty sure the writers behind the SyFy original movie, “Piranhaconda” know this.

How else could you explain that giant, badly represented CGI creature and the plot that, to say the least, left something other than blood, guns, and a snake/piranha hybrid devouring a helicopter (although let’s face it, that last scene was pretty cool) to be desired?

One thing is a certainty: a mere ten minutes into “Piranhaconda,” you can’t wait to turn off the television and get back to work. Unless, of course, you’re a connoisseur of “great” films.

What Were the Writers Thinking?

If you’ve ever sat through any of the various SyFy original feature movies –“Robocroc,” “Arachnoquake” or maybe “Sharkopus Vs. Pteracuda” — you’ve asked yourself this question. Toss a little questionable acting into the fray and you’ll have stand-up material for days.

Jimmy Fallon, are you watching?

What’s difficult to comprehend is that writers–real writers–wrote scripts this bad.

Or did they?

Working With What You Have

In an interview for LA Screenwriter, writer Rick Suvalle of “Roadkill” likened writing for the SyFy network to playing Russian roulette with “four bullets in the cylinder.” In the interview, he also hits upon the hazards of non-existent budgets and questionable special effects. But he does it with a sense of humor and that makes all the difference.

Apparently SyFy writers know going in that they have limitations, but they’re willing to give it a try anyway. Yay for writers everywhere. They’re nothing if not a tenacious bunch.

And what they produce could become the next “Lake Placid.” It is roulette, after all.

Keeping Your Sense of Humor

Freelance content writers experience their own demons in the form of limitations: itty bitty word counts on riveting topics, keywords that don’t quite make sense, etc etc. Granted, ours don’t have the ability to be quite as publicly defaming, but still, we totally get where the SyFy writers are coming from. It’s all about playing the hand fate deals you and living to tell the tale.

The bottom line is this: Writers tend to be at the mercy of extenuating circumstances more times than they’re not.

Yet you never see this reflected in the credits.

I’d like to propose a new disclaimer for all SyFy original movies. Something along the lines of, “While no robocrocs or sharktopi were harmed in the making of this movie, one normally talented screenwriter failed to survive. Our condolences to the family.”

Anne G is an avid Internet stalker of fine writings and interesting people. She enjoys big words, grand ideas and lots of punctuation.

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