photo courtesy www.mokisfanfictionblog.com
...and for fuck sake, STOP IT WITH THE FLASHBACKS ALREADY!
(10 minutes earlier)
Dear Television Writers,
I know that as a television writer you must be under immense pressure to try and appease network execs driven by advertising dollars while struggling to maintain the last vestiges of your artistic integrity.
It must be tough.
After all, you've got centuries of writers who've created enduring narratives behind you. I mean, shit, how the hell are you supposed to compete with Greek Mythology, The Bible, and Shakespeare by packaging a message into a 22 minute sitcom or 42 minute procedural?
I don't envy you. I can't say I couldn't do better because I've never tried, but I don't really want to either. It must hard to devote weeks to a script only to have ripped apart by a show creator, director, and pre-pubescent cast member who changes your painstakingly-crafted dialogue because they can't say "verisimilitude" without spitting on the rest of the cast.
I understand that in the over-reaching story arcs of many of the series you work on, there are only a limited amount of plot devices you can explore without becoming hackneyed and derivative. I also understand that the magic of editing allows you to play with timelines like so many styrofoam peanuts that accompanied the oversized box that my one DVD order from a popular online retailer was packed in.
I will even cop to understanding that by starting your action drama with a big car chase and explosion will retain viewers in the first two minutes. I further "get" the financial constraints on most producers as they try to milk every last dollar for stunts, sets and pyro. It really only makes sense that if you're going to write a big action scene that requires a large budget chunk, you might as well get the most out of your money.
So hey! Why not use it twice?
Because it's tired, stale, and a cop out for weak writers.
Take back control of the narrative. If your dialogue cannot sustain interest for the two minute teaser before the opening titles, quit now and forever hold your piece of remaining dignity in the world of indie film and a flailing grasp at Sundance.
Be bold, be creative, be daring and for fuck sake, STOP IT WITH THE FLASHBACKS ALREADY!
A before B, except after Z... really?