Here's an interesting exercise... Aury Wallington, a pro writer (Sex & the City
, etc.), suggests watching half an episode and then writing the second half.
Seems like a lot of work to actually write it out. But the idea of watching half an episode and then pitching yourself possible endings might get you thinking clearly about the arcs of the stories ... and how to achieve both surprise and inevitabity.
I found this on the Pilot Project
website, which seems to be for a competition on TV to pick a great TV show concept. Seems like an interesting idea -- or it would be if there weren't already dozens and dozens of network executives constantly searching for a great TV concept. [UPDATE: I hear from a source once close to Pilot Project that it is "a total scam."]
Anyway, it's not the great concept that sells -- it's a great writer pitching a great concept.
Labels: spec pilots
Interesting idea and territory already mined by Project Greenlight...
In their series proposal for Pilot Project they say the following:
More bazaar pitching and the drama unfolds as the public begins to vote on their favorite ideas. The top 5 are announced."
I would be more impressed by a production company if they used the proper terminology ("bizarre pitching" instead of "bazaar"), unless of course they are pitching tents and setting up booths.
No, no, I think they propose to pay in dinars ... more, of course, if you are a "special friend of Rick."
The concern of a show like this isn't to find top talent, but to generate several hours of programming from the purported search for it... which means lots of laughing at the Ugly Ducklings and giving the delusional losers plenty of rope with which to hang themselves.
You get the feeling that those who rise to the top in these 'reality' competitions are of only passing interest to the process... they're there to give the show its story, its 'spine'. Certainly in the UK they're mostly forgotten in a couple of weeks, and those who aren't stay in the D-list.
"round up the usual suspects"
The "write the other half" trick is how Woody Allen famously (well, famously if you're a stand-up) learned to write jokes.
He started in his teens, taking one-liners, keeping the setup and then changing the punch. Then, he changed the set-up. QED new joke.
Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.