The Augmentation of TV & Film Writing

Optimus Prime
The modern definition of “television” is constantly in a state of flux, growing, expanding and experimenting with new services and formats.

Many proclaim it to be the Golden Age, and the episode count of an average season seems to be decreasing.

New methods for viewing continue to surface, with over-the-top (OTT) challenging older models.

This R&D state of TV is now spilling into the writers’ room.

In a January interview with TVLine, showrunner Michele Fazekas, of “Marvel’s Agent Carter” on ABC, discussed how binge-watching affected production.

“One of the things I believe came from ABC was they didn’t want an episodic show, they didn’t want it to be Gadget of the Week or Bad Guy of the Week, which is such a nice change from five years ago. I think that because of the influence of cable and DVR and binge-watching, they’re not afraid of continuing storylines,” she said.

Beau Willimon, writer for Netflix’s “House of Cards,” had related thoughts on this approach for Variety.

“No one would ask the author of a novel, ‘Do you write it thinking that someone is going to read it in one sitting, or a chapter here, a chapter there?’ I think it’s analogous to what’s happening in TV.”

And the well-known metholodgy for TV writing is also affecting cinema.

Last week, Deadline revealed that a crew of 11 scribes, led by Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman, have been assembled to generate ideas as a collaborative team for future “Transformers” film efforts.

“There is such reciprocity between TV and movies now, that we’re borrowing this from TV,” Goldsman said. “I got a taste of this from JJ Abrams when I came in to write an episode of Fringe, and then Jeff Pinkner let me hang around for four years like the drunk uncle. The whole process of the story room was really delightful, and we are seeing it more in movies as this moves toward serialized storytelling … We’re trying to beg, borrow and steal from the best of them, and gathered a group of folks interested in developing and broadening this franchise.”

Considering that critics (57%, 19%, 35%, 18%) and audiences (86%, 58%, 56%, 52%) alike have given the “Transformers” movies reviews that follow a downward trend, according to aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, perhaps this unusual screenplay shakeup could prove to be beneficial.

In this era of perpetual trial and error, there seems to be no wrong way to create entertainment for the masses.

Author: Brian Cameron


Post a Comment