Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pilot Read 2012 Disclaimer


I only review drama scripts. I'm a drama writer and so, when there are already 1000 things I'm behind on reading/writing/doing, I don't have the time to read comedy scripts. Sorry.

All pilot script reviews will, when available, give the draft date of the script. I can't recall a single instance of a final shooting script for pilots being circulated in the industry over the last few years since I've been doing script reviews. Often, scripts are way too long and need significant cuts to get down to a target run time. Plus... studios and networks give notes. So, it's important to keep in mind that THINGS CAN CHANGE, and often do (but not too often for the better).

And things can often turn out much better on screen after casting (I try to read/review without casting in mind and ideally before casting is done) and filming and editing happen that I am simply too shortsighted and ill-visioned to see or appreciate at the script stage.

It's also very important to keep in mind that these are my opinions. I have a... particular taste in what I watch and enjoy. It may not be yours. In fact, it probably isn't. You may disagree with me (whether you've read the script or not). That's okay.

I don't like writing reviews of bad material. I wish every script could be the best script I've ever read, and that's the attitude I try and go into every script with. I want to be wowed, either by concept or character or even a line or a moment that just lands and hits me hard. I want to be jealous that someone else wrote this, and I didn't. There are plenty of reasons I may dislike a script, and they'll probably be enumerated in individual reviews.

If you disagree with me and you haven't actually read the script, let's just accept that it's a waste of mutual time for you to lambaste my opinion.

If you have read the script and disagree, I'm game for a discussion. Especially when I dislike something, I'm always more than happy to be proven wrong by the finished product or by someone else's point of view.

There are spoilers inherent in writing reviews. After all, how can I give an opinion if I can't talk about what I'm opining? When I feel something is a GIANT TWIST however, I will do my best to not spoil it, especially twists that come towards the end of a script.

Finally, if you are the writer of a project that I have, let's say, ripped to shreds, I hope you don't take it as a personal attack (and I'll do my best to not make any personal attacks like "sometimes you have to wonder how X got an agent," etc). Hey, you're the one who got a pilot picked up to be produced by a broadcast network, right?


James said...

HSounds good to me. Will your reviews be limited to network scripts or will it include those in development for cable as well?

Travis Yanan said...


I'm going to get through all of the network dramas, for sure... since cable is on a totally different timetable/development cycle, I'll look for those after I'm done slogging through the network scripts.

DuMont said...

It's so good to see your commentaries online again, Travis Yanan. From the sounds of it, your pilot script didn't get a pick-up, but you must not lose confidence. Sometimes good ideas need to percolate and take their time to find a buyer(see 'Cult') above. Others are simply too ahead of their time, or spot-on creatively but off brand for a particular network.

I know you have a good show or two in you based on your past tv tastes both here and over at Mr. Marc Berman's boards. I just know I'll recognize your show when it finally makes the air.

Until then, why not try to do the Mr. David Kelley thing and get another spec script or two in the hopper?