Friday, May 27, 2016

Steal This Plot

First of all, one of you asked where he can find a screenplay or shooting script for Leave Her To Heaven with the fabulous Gene Tierney. I'm sure you looked around, but the only place I
would think you could find the script is at the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills.

It's part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science complex. But having said that, and if they do have a script, you can read it but not take it out. If there is a script anywhere, that would be the place. 

Another way is to find someone who worked on the movie, an actor, a grip, whomever. Look at the credits on IMDB, someone might be alive. There has to be a script on that movie somewhere.

Back to 20 writers on a show.

Is it necessary? No. Imagine being in a small room fighting for your ideas with 19 other people. It's sort of like being in high school, or any school, in that there's always the shy ones, then the middle ones and then the hot ones, who always have an idea and are ready to trash anyone else.

Lost is a great example. I read that piece (It's on the left side under "Stuff)". I watched the
entire series last spring while I was writing my pilot script, S.O.B. When I reached the 2nd season, it already had some ideas tossed away, like the white polar bear. Bad idea, huh?

And yes, I could tell that they were swimming after the first season, hoping somehow that the story made sense. Personally I think it was the actors who kept it going and as much as you might not like, it became a soap opera with the exception of being outside.

There were a lot more of these pieces that you never saw again. Even with however many writers Lost had. 

There's only so many ideas in reality. Here's a list.

Love and Hate
The Chase
Grief and Loss
Discovery (Quest)

 There you go. Any story ever made was one of those. Actually sometimes mixed with another one. How about ambition and rivalry? Survival and Betrayal. Your head should be working already.

So how do I know?

Some years ago I found a book called Steal This Plot - A Writer's Guide To Story Structure and Plagiarism.

Which one of those is your great idea? 

And remember, those plots are ideas for a story, character is something else. And you sure can see it in Lost. Do you really need ten to fifteen writers to discover that? And do you need to change those ten to fifteen writers for the next season. 

Remember I Love Lucy. Two writers. 10 seasons at 39 episodes each season. More work than Lost. Lost had 25 episodes

And of course, Gunsmoke with 21 seasons and 39 episodes a year. And come to think of it, Gunsmoke was identical to Lost, it had a small community and there were outsiders that came there to cause harm. Only it lasted 21 years. Twice Lost. And Gunsmoke didn't need 10 or more writers on staff. They had one or two story editors and most of the writers were freelance.

You should watch an episode, great drama and used up all the of course lots of shooting and more than once as well as using all those plots above, and sometimes dark and brutal then light comedy. ME-TV plays it in L.A.

And who can forget The Fugitive, which was on the road for most of it's , when it ended the 

final episode had 72% of that last night. You'll never see that rating again.

They had outside writers for the most part, because rather than have them on salary, they just hired freelancers individually. They still got good scripts but didn't have to pay tons of money to a room full of writers and Thai food with no gluten.

But that was then.

Oh... when I meant The Fugitive, I meant the "old one" with David Janssen rather than Harrison Ford's version, which was a movie and a good one. 

Have a good holiday week-end.

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