The Benefit Of Including A Showrunner's Bible To Your TV Pilot

in freewrite •  9 months ago

So, you've got one iteration of your pilot completed and it's in the process of making the rounds to find the right producer. Do you wait until you get asked: 'Where do you see the series going? What sort of topics would you be exploring?' the next time you are in front of studio executives?

Jacob Krueger talks about the concept of a TV series bible in two of the episodes of 'Write Your Screenplay' (You can find it here and here). 

Spoiler Warning: If you are looking forward to see Season 1 of 'Better Call Saul', this might be the best time for you to walk away and hit play. :)

Though  I share more of Vince Gilligan's perspective that it would be unhealthy to a series as a whole, if you keep characters and their arcs boxed-in to certain things. I could see a couple of benefits when adding touch-points and questions to find the best version of each episode:

#1 - Instances that differentiate a character - Either from their past or from where you're thinking the character would be at the end of the series (or season!). Peter Gould mentions that the difference between Jimmy and Saul is that Jimmy has that he would stick out his neck for someone else. For Jimmy it happened during 'Mijo' (Season 1 Episode 2) when he had a chance to walk away from Tuco and Nacho, but then chose to risk it all to save the skater twins.

#2 - Identifying the characters intertwined with your protagonist - When I watched Michael Tucker's essay about 'Hidden Figures' I was reminded how deeply intertwined Chuck, Kim and Mike's fates are to Jimmy's. 

#3 - A place to compile your 'what ifs' - Though you might want to keep this section to yourself (and not your financiers) as a showrunner...I believe that ideas are elusive (though they do come easily at times) and whenever you need them....they are likely nowhere to be found. Interesting or even wacky ideas can live in that hidden section that you (and your fellow producers and writers) can refer to. 

Can't help write the whole season in your head and a bible would be the perfect place to park those ideas? Or did you end up spinning that into a new pilot?  I look forward to reading your views as a reply below or as a link to your post (whether or not it is on Steemit)!  If your not yet on Steemit, you can send me a tweet too! If you are the type that doesn't like letting the public see what's in your mind, you can send me a note here

For upvoting, I had heard from Steve Clark, that it is better to upvote posts that are less than 7 days old. So if you would like to be sure I get rewarded, head here   to see newer posts. Because you still can upvote anytime ---- of  course  you can upvote this post even if it is more than 7 days old! :D 


After reading this post (specifically item one), I've decided to include links for verification so [any of the witnesses]( can check that I am me! :)

#1 - Here's a tweet linking to one of my Steemit posts

#2 - Here's a page on my site with a Tweet from my handle embeded

#3 - Here's my Thrive Feed (that links to my site, which links to my Twitter feed...which links to my Steemit feed...)

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As for my other written pieces (outside of Steemit), click here for my posts on Thrive and Buzzfeed

 Search Terms: Teleplay / Acting / Storytelling

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