The EVERWOOD and 13 REASONS WHY pilots show how to make hurtful choices empathetic
by The Bitter Script Reader
The three best ways to learn more about writing for TV are to read more professional TV scripts, watch more successful TV show episodes, and last but definitely not least, write your own episodes. Here, via one of the most underappreciated writing blogs on the interwebs is an example of how this works:
I’ve been preparing to address the notes on my teen drama pilot and it brought to mind two pilots that were touchstones for me as I wrote: Everwood and 13 Reasons Why. And I hadn’t noticed before they not only share similar scenes, but they’re KEY similar scenes.
13 Reasons Why’s pilot has two moments that I think are essential to getting the audience invested in the story. The first is an interaction between Hannah and Clay at the basketball game. There’s a little bit of banter exchanged that halts when Clay realizes she’s there to check out one of the players. “Don’t be jealous, Clay” she teases. It’s clear on the page he’s pining for her, but the way the scene is played is essential. Hit just the wrong note, and her teasing seems mean-spirited. Instead, it’s a cute moment.
The second moment is when she seeks refuge with him at lunch when rumors spread lies about her being promiscuous. Instead of being supportive, he’s cold and hits her with a jealous barb about how “maybe it’s better to wait.” Clay looks like a dick there, but THAT was the moment that made me lean forward and say, “Go on…”
You get a lot of notes in a pilot warning how you need to keep your characters “likable” but having someone be clearly wrong for human reasons is often more effective. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s having a teenage boy reaction. he was rejected, he’s hurt, he’s jealous, and in a moment he instantly regrets (also an important component), he does what a lot of boys would do in the same situation: act like an immature dick….
What can we say other than, “Hey! We were blocked and we tried what this writer is talking about. And it fucking worked!”?
Hoping it’ll work for you as well:
How to Break Through a Creative Block
by Patrick Allan
Whether you like to draw, paint, write, choreograph, or play music, you’re probably familiar with the creative block, where you just can’t seem to do anything despite your motivation. To escape that rut, try doing what you do best, only terribly.
Everyone on the panel had something interesting to say, but Walden immediately jumped in with a useful tip that really stuck with me. She said that when she felt stuck, she would intentionally try to draw something as poorly as she could (she mentioned drawing Bart Simpson with her non-dominant hand, among other examples)….
After finding out about Megan Amram’s new new web series (just scroll on down or CLICK HERE and you’ll see what we’re talking about), we just had, had, had to see it.
And so, of course, do you. So here’s Episode 1:
Pretty fucking funny, yeah?
And check out these credits:
Created / Written / Directed By: Megan Amram
Executive Produced By: Megan Amram, Dave Kneebone, Janel Kranking
Producer: Joseph Carnegie
Starring: Megan Amram
Guest Starring: Brian Polk, Alison Rich, Shannon Woodward
Director of Photography: Barry Elmore
Editor: Drew Kordik
Sound Mixer: John Maynard
Camera Operator: Billy Coleman
Graphic Artist: Tak Boroyan
Production Assistants: Andrea Arrellaga, David Carliner
For more episodes of An Emmy For Megan visit anemmyformegan.com
FTR: LB loved this. Thought it was funny as hell. So what if it’s one more slot created for newbies being snatched away by a seasoned pro. Right? Right?
I have finished and emailed all of “Larry Brody’s Personal Feedback” to all PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 entrants!
The Feedback aspect of the PEOPLE’S PILOT is, I believe, one of its most important benefits. Where else are y’all going to see the accumulated reactions of Industry pros to your work before you join the ranks of said pros?
So if you haven’t received yours, check all the usual places (like your spam file or other email folders where your filters automatically send things without needing your click of approval), and if you still can’t find it, give me a holler HERE and I’ll, you know, see what I did wrong and do my best to set it right.