Sunday, February 7, 2010

Idea Garage Sale: I Dream of TV

Inspiration strikes in my dreams again. Get this: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation) is an uptight vampire who was alive not too long before. He has a teen-age son (not cast) and has just married free spirit Lauren Graham (Lorelei Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls). The kid isn't into any of it, but his dad's dead during the day so he and the new wife are stuck dealing with the daylight world; then when he wakes up, the vampire has to deal with whatever they've been doing during the day. This is a dramedy, with plenty of fast-talking from Graham, teen-age rebellion from the son, and deadpan coping from Stewart. Last night their vacation home was nearly attacked by a mob, which later delivered a giant floral arrangement by way of apology, and Lauren committed Stewart to doing things he would be more comfortable not doing for some community organization's (a church? Not sure) annual carnival.

Admit it, you've seen worse concepts succeed on TV.

It's true of any kind of writing that the people who don't do it have no idea how tough it is to go from concept to finished product; but I think screenwriting is the absolute hardest, both for the screenwriters to do, and for the outsiders to comprehend. So much in series television depends on getting the right actors and the right scripts to make appealing characters that people want to sit with week after week; and that can't be done in high concept. So many individuals and corporations are involved in every aspect of the process, and so little about it is within the writer's control - I couldn't do it. No way, no how. And not just because you almost have to live in LA to get started.

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