If RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Got a Round of TV Network Notes

Jeez Jon strikes again, and you know we’re helpless to resist!


by Jeez Jon

NOTE: The following contains spoilers for one of the most beloved action films of all time.  If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop now. If reading network notes make you jittery, please have a martini.


INDIANA JONES 101 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” FC1 NETWORK NOTES

Hello, team!  Great job turning our notes around so quickly.  While we are definitely making progress, the ship hasn’t been completely righted just yet.  We really need to bear down and focus on our strengths.  Right now, Dr. Jones is not as compelling as he should be. He has a history with Marion, but it isn’t fully explained. If we cannot be explicit about their relationship, how can our audience fall in love with them and tweet about them incessantly? Remember, if we tell the audience everything, they’ll be on our side! A bite pass is absolutely necessary. Also, the audience needs more take-away information from all of these places Indiana is visiting.  Right now, all we know of Nepal is one dive bar that gets destroyed; is there anything else to his mountainous country that our unsophisticated demographic could easily digest?  (In Episode 102, we at least learn that some people in India eat monkey brains.)  Let’s wring out as much drama and information for our audience to enjoy.  Once this happens, then we can give time-coded notes.


While the location looks beautiful, we have a long section where we don’t even see Indiana Jones’ face, much less hear from him at all.  When the flunky tries to shoot Dr. Jones and gets unarmed by Indy’s whip, this is a great opportunity for a great big intro package.  Let’s kick it off with a bite like “Hi, I’m Dr. Indiana Jones. You can call me Indy.  I’m a college professor and a lover of antiquities.  I’m currently in South America looking for my next big discovery.”  Let’s cover this with home movies, photos of him as a child, etc.  If we don’t completely spell out who are main character is in the first 30 seconds of air, the audience will feel confused and worried.  That could lead them to change the channel and that is NOT what we want!

Why does Indy fill a bag with sand?  He doesn’t explain this; add a bite please.

Wow, so many booby traps in this tomb! I feel like I’m watching Wipe Out (but better)! Why are there so many booby traps here? This would be a great opportunity for a lower third infographic about how many ancient tribes loved trying to kill people who tried to steal their treasure.  We need to inform the audience without overwhelming them with information.  We can’t get too brainy; that’s what PBS is for!

Oh, THAT’S why he filled up the bag with sand. I completely forgot! Let’s add a flashback of Indy filling up the bag. Constantly reminding the audience what is happening is what we do best as storytellers!

Who’s Belloq? Why is he stealing the idol from Indy?  Again, we need another intro bite about him. If this is our big villain, let’s set up with with a big bite so the audience knows who to hate.  Even though it’s extremely obvious that Belloq is not a good person, we can’t assume that the audience will pick this up.  Add a bite and it will help immensely.


Please make sure that the girl who wrote “LOVE YOU” on her eyelids has signed a release….

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