- As you know, we’re in yet another golden age. I guess we could probably describe it as a third golden age, because there was the initial one in the ’50s, and then in the ’70s and ’80s, cable transformed everything. And then, there were suddenly a thousand different platforms, and that has given rise to an immense number of shows at any given moment. It has also given rise to web series, to the short form, which we hadn’t seen before. And that opens up a vista for writers, of a kind that no other form of writing does at this point, partly because the appetite is amazingly large for all these companies.
- A series is really about a world, it’s about a habitat. It isn’t really about a product or an outcome. It’s about a world in which characters wrestle with these moral quandaries.
- There’s kind of a different DNA to every show.
- The fascinating DNA of a pilot for me is that, because it’s all about characters in the world, you want to be able to touch as quickly as possible on that dynamic between the holdfast and the nascent ego in the principal characters of the show.
- You need to be able to make that world as vivid as you can, and to show what’s uniquely interesting about the moral arena that results from that show, and who the people are that are trying to negotiate that moral labyrinth within the show.
- It's critical to always be thinking at the beginning of any story, “What’s broken in the character? Why now, why are we starting now, and what’s broken within them?” Because it’s that fissure that runs through the character that is the chasm between their best self and their changing self, their steady self, and their changing self.
- Every single character has a different relationship to their shadows.
- You want to establish pretty clearly in the pilot, who are the people out there in this world that are always going to mess with the protagonist. Who are they and why? Get a glimpse of why they are the antagonist.
- How does the Engine fold out of that first portrait of the protagonist? As Aristotle and so many have said, plot comes out of character. The world we are creating is going to be manifested by these characters.
- This isn’t a course about how to write a TV Bible. It’s really a course about how you prepare yourself imaginatively to create a world and populate it, to create a television habitat and populate it, and to understand that the relationship between those two things determines what the Engine will be, determines its potential longevity.
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