Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's all about story...



So here is an interesting tid bit that was brought to my attention today. In feature films, actors and directors are in charge. Rightly so. However in television, writers are kings and queens. Directors come in for a few weeks at a time, film an episode and are gone. Actors and their characters could come and go also. But writers are the constant. They are the backbone of the series. Not exactly safe, but somewhat secure in their occupation.

I started out with the intention of writing for feature films, but television is getting more and more appealing all the time. I am scheduled to write a television spec. script later in the year. I have narrowed it down to Two and a Half Men, Grey's Anatomy or Chuck. I am leaning more toward Chuck. Hopefully it does not get cancelled.

I also have the option of writing my own pilot in September. I have a few ideas. One being Millwrights: a mocumentary about a group of eccentric and comical mill workers who have to put their difference aside and band together in order to keep a small North Idaho sawmill from foreclosing. It's the Office meets MASH, woodsman style.

I had a chance to chat with Michael Baser, head of the writing department this afternoon. He wrote for sitcoms such as Three's Company, 9 to 5, the Jefferson's, Full House etc... He is an amazing talent, who has spent more than 30 successful years in television. His advice: Solid story. Know the characters and structure, but have a solid story. For television it is all about story. Most of the characters in TV are catalyst characters, they may not change a whole lot from episode to episode (however they may bring about change in others) so focus on the story line and write it so it reveals a little more about the characters.

So spread the word. It's all about story. Well, I am logging out to finish my adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon. Take care,


P.S. Spec script is short for speculation script. It is a script written on the speculation that is will be sold. In other words it better be epic.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to watch Millwrights! Also - I really like reading about the elements and construction of a script - it's very interesting. Thanks Kyle!