Sunday, April 17, 2005

[How to: TV] Phase 1

The overall goal of Phase 1 is to develop a series idea a production company will buy. The first step to that goal is to come up with an idea that gets other people really interested.

1. Find a premise.
At a minimum, you should have a solid idea about the Emotion of the show, who is the Main Character, what is the Main relationship and the show's Situation. The Situation should have a lot of material you can explore and it should hook peoples’ interest, make them want to see it.

2. Choose your 1st audience.
People whose input you want in fleshing out the idea.

3. Introduce the idea to the 1st audience.
Describe the Emotion, Main Character, Main relationship and Situation.

There are a few things you want out of this. I'll just write them down in no particular order now, and try to unbundle them later ...

  • Present any story ideas you might have.
  • Generate ideas.
  • Ask the 1st audience if they would watch this show.
  • Determine who is really enthused about working on the idea.
I imagine the trick is not to overload people with too much info. So you've got to strike a balance between the details you've come up with and keeping it open to change and contribution.

How do you present an idea of tone while opening it up to debate and development?
How do you decide which ideas stay and go?
How do you expand your vision for the show?

4. What's next?
Your goal from here is probably to build a Creation team. The people who'll work on developing the series from a concept into something saleable.

The Big question for next time: How much work do you need to do before trying to sell the idea?
At what point is it pitchable or sellable? Typically, don’t you want Bible / Script / Outlines for rest of episodes?

Maybe we should see what would happen if you just go with a 1 pager. And submit it to production companies to get an expression of interest. This work is going to be done – anyway – it’s just a matter of ‘at what stage?’

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