When the script or concept for a TV show has made its way through a gauntlet of producers and other suit-clad stiffs, the final test before its inception as a new series is what we call the pilot episode. The pilot is essentially a chance for the writers to prove their show will translate well from script to screen. The success or failure of the script, whether a series finds its wings and ends up becoming a classic or never sees the light of day, is entirely dependent upon this demo. The trouble is, selling an idea for a series in which viewers will be emotionally invested (I miss you, Scrubs) is made endlessly more difficult by the fact that the pilot must come first. When our first exposure to a potentially excellent story is the forced exposition and character introduction found in a pilot, it’s no wonder so many pilots fail, gone the way of the over-awkward first date.
With this analogy firmly in mind, I’m here to make a few resolutions on behalf of Tangents.
- We will never be that awkward first date. We skip straight to the second date.
- Forced jokes are out; if you can’t stay engaged without cheap thrills every few lines, we don’t want you here.
- Voice-overs are cliché on television, but we love them, and will over-voice whenever marginally appropriate.
- Most importantly – we resolve to stray as far from the script as possible.
‘Uncharted’ always sounds like such a grand idea. If you present the creation of a blog (or pilot episode) as a choice – Would you like to write something standard, or shatter literary conventions with your creativity and panache? – most people will tend towards the second. After all, everyone wants an adventure. Straying from the script, however, is its own beast. The only way a scriptwriter could continue to push an innovative script with such a low chance of success (and a high chance of blows to the ego) is to genuinely believe in the excellence or importance of his/her words. Maybe that’s the key to doing something different – you have to care more about what you’re doing than you fear the consequences of failure. Or maybe that’s way too melodramatic for writing a blog post.
5. We will never take ourselves too seriously…except when we do.
I hope you enjoy seeing where this goes, because I can’t wait.