Editing Exercise - Complications Ensue
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Here's a fun and instructive exercise in editing:

Get your hand on the FRINGE pilot script, and cut it down to 55 pages.

For bonus points, get your hands on the FRINGE pilot itself, load it into Final Cut, and trim that baby down to a TV hour.

I bet you get a perfectly good episode out of it. I bet it's better than what aired.

If you want to do this project but set on "Easy," do it with the MIAMI VICE pilot. Cut that down to a TV hour. Should be a piece of cake; TV took its time in those days.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Peter has thoughtfully located the FRINGE pilot script. Thank you, Peter!

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3 Comments:

The Fringe pilot script can be found here:

http://tvwriting.googlepages.com/

By Blogger Peter, at 1:15 PM  

Agreed. I was astounded at how much fat the Fringe pilot had in it.

Here's an example:
1. Torv asks to get the old man out of the asylum. She is told he can only be released by his son.
2. Torv tracks down the son in Iraq and asks him to get his father out. He refuses but she threatens that she knows what's in his FBI file. He relents.
3. Torv shows up at the asylum, she's told she can only get in if she's a family member. She produces his son. They are let in.
4. Torv meets the old man there. He says he'll only leave if he can see his son.
5. Torv asks the son if he'll meet his old man. The son refuses. She threatens him again with his FBI file. He relents.
6. They talk to the old man together. The old man says they need to take him out so he can help them. Torv says that the the son can do that. The son waffles, then agrees.

How many repeated beats did you count in that one sequence? The son refuses, then relents three times!

(What if the son had agreed to sign the old man out, but refused to talk to him until near the end of the episode, when he realizes that the old man a boost to solve the mystery. This would have been much stronger, emotionally. As it was, the son had nothing to do for the second half of the pilot. Also, the son would have seemed hurt, instead of just petulant. )

By Blogger Betsy, at 11:11 PM  

TV is a medium in which you can't afford to look back. Fringe doesn't feel any newer than Alias, which means it is a step backwards. I could not help expecting JJ to do something which surpassed the quality of Lost. Does this mean it was Damon Lindelof who gave Lost its edge?

By Blogger gezgin, at 11:28 AM  

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