Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Plane Jane

Just back from a quick trip to Vancouver. One row in front of me on the plane sat a braying drunk girl and her slightly less drunk guy best friend? Boyfriend? Booty call buddy?

Unclear, because she made much about getting married to someone else in March, and yet all but had her hands down 17B's pants one and and a half screwdrivers into the flight. The other half ended up spilled on the floor in a fit of honking and snorting that I think was laughter.

Both came on board plowed and the subsequent vodka didn't help matters any. I can tell the guy was less lit than she was because he kept shushing her as she cursed a loud and voluble blue streak. Kids were just three seats away.

If it was Mardi Gras and there were beads to be had, girlfriend's tank top would've been up around her Tweetybird neck tattoo. Just that classy.

But I didn't mind the shenanigans, because I had John August and Jordan Mechner's nifty pilot OPS, in all its permutations, to read.

If you haven't read them, John's files are a goldmine, showing not just what another beat sheet format looks like, but also outlines, and how a script can evolve through development hell-- erm, process.

The episodes are all good, of course, but I prefer the Iraq story. Just seems tighter, more suspenseful, with higher stakes that impact more on the human level.

One minor quibble from the peanut gallery was that I wanted the refrigerator unit breaking to come out of character or situation, and not be arbitrary. Maybe Vanowen was rushing away from the checkpoint, annoyed at McGinty's fine, hit a bump, and it cracked. Or the truck was something McGinty procured, and to save money he ended up with a lemon.

If the generosity of sharing these materials wasn't enough, John also wrote up the illuminating tale of the life and (living?) death of the show.

A pity it stalled out -- would've been a surefire TiVo Season Pass.


John August said...

Glad you liked the pilot(s). In terms of the truck breaking down because of a character action, we considered something along those lines, but it felt like too much of a stretch. Part of the rules of the world is that shit will always go wrong, and you can't anticipate what it will be.

Kira said...

Fair enough. If bumper stickers have taught us anything, it's that shit happens.

Thanks again for posting the materials!