Thursday, April 21, 2005

[How to: TV] The 4 Essentials in action

I had a long lunch and interesting conversation with David Brechin-Smith (Insiders Guide to Happiness) yesterday.

We were discussing an idea for a TV show and I asked him about the four things I need to understand in order to 'get' a show. Those are: Situation, Main Character, Main Relationship and Emotion. The checklist focused me on the conversation and helped me figure out what I was still drawing a blank on.

Additionally, I've found better ways of phrasing these things.

Situation = "What do the characters do every week?" It's not about who the characters are or how they know each other; that's the Set-up.

Emotion = "How do you want to the audience to come away from an episode feeling?" Related to this are issues of genre and themes. The Emotion is what I reckon you should produce once an act.

Main Character = "Is there a central character? Someone whose issues reflect the themes of the show?"

The Main Character and Main Relationship are who you would expect to see often in an episode.

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