On Friday, I had a meeting. I’ve been having them lately. They feel good. It means people are liking my work. Which is always a great compliment. These meetings have been with executives, in preparation for the development cycle. At least, I suspect. In essence, I think these meetings have been about seeing whether or not I am a human being with a sense of humor and that I can wear pants. In other words: is this somebody they can work with?
Yes. I think that’s true.
The most recent meeting we talked more specifically about the brand of the channel and what it is they like. And one thing they DO like are Cop shows, Lawyer shows, and Doctor shows. And there’s a good reason why they like those shows…well, almost EVERY network likes those shows. One word: stories. CopLawyerDoctor shows have LOTS of story possibilities. Each week a case comes in and in 42 minutes, it gets solved. There’s probably an ongoing story, but, that case, it gets solved, kicks the main characters down the road a little bit more.
Stories, and the number of them, are important. Networks want the show to last a long time. Especially if they are the one making it. More profit. CopLawyerDoctor shows naturally generate a lot of possible stories.
That’s how we left the meeting: we like CopLawyerDoctor shows, if you think of any….
Which means, come back and pitch.
Well. That’s EXCITING. So, I immediately started thinking of CopLawyerDoctor shows. A Cop who wants to fight crime, but, he has a heart condition. A Doctor who cures his patients with medicine from the FUTURE. Then, I chatted with someone.
They cautioned me. They suggested a very simple thing: what do YOU want to write about? What is on your mind?
Ah. Crap. That’s a good point. What IS on my mind? … … I’m not sure. I am not sure what is on my mind. Probably not a CopLawyerDoctor show. Probably something a little more thematic. Something… more… emotional.
That’s not to say CopLawyerDoctor shows can’t be emotional or thematic… but the CopLawyerDoctor genre is the clothes, not the heart of any given show. What makes a great CopLawyerDoctor show isn’t that they ARE CopLawyerDoctor shows, but that they speak to something else. They talk about something more than just the case. The characters are more than their jobs.
What I need to do isn’t come up with the CopLawyerDoctor show they WANT, but, I need to write something THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THEY WANTED. Be it a CopLawyerDoctor show or a SuperHeroZombieMagic show, what I write needs to be so great they can’t help but want it. And that can only come if I write what I truly believe in. Something that ONLY I could write.
Yeah, no pressure.
Now, I gotta go figure out what that is… Time to go stare into a mirror.