Saturday, 30 January 2016

'Very Strange Things' - Moving into a New Year plus pilot feedback (31/1/2016)

So then, this update is perhaps a tad later than it ought to have been, at least half of it anyway: 2016 has just begun and already it's been something of a whirlwind for me in terms of my personal life and affairs. Of course, it also presents fresh opportunities to keep on pushing V.S.T and get it seen out there. I am committed 220% to this whole enterprise, and what steps forward were taken last year I intend to improve upon and when I finally have my foot in the door, wrench it open.

Indeed, within just the past two weeks, I've been getting quite a fair number of responses from various production I've contacted: most amount to the expected 'thanks but not now' or 'we're too busy' bits which is completely understandable, though thankfully, I've gotten a rather bountiful trove from one Birmingham based house (who did I won't give away because confidentiality), but wrote this after having evaluated V.S.T's pilot and series bible. I feel it important to put up not just for archival purposes but also to show others working on their own series' where I hit and where I missed:

Dear Abel

Thanks for sending in your series bible for ‘Very Strange Things’ and thank you also for being patient in waiting for a response.

In short I liked the relationship between Dan, Risa and Heidi and thought the premise was full of adventure and appeal for a young audience. 

I have to be honest before I go any further and say that I think the format and scope of the production is a little beyond what we can comfortably accommodate here at Second Home.

That said, I’d like to impart some thoughts on the bible.

The sample script was pacy and had lots to pull you in and keep reading. The scope of seasons 1-3 sees some dramatic character change and conflict developing. when you mentioned about your sketches at the beginning, I was hoping to see some visual accompaniment to the proposal. I’d also consider changing the name. Given the epic scope and drama, ‘Very Strange Things’ seems a bit too weak a title to stamp this with. I’d suggest ‘Section 29 or something which includes ‘Bureau’ in the title. The one USP I think it has going for it is all the historical reference. 
If you look at something like ‘Go Jetters’ (pre-school I know) there’s an obvious geography lesson being told under the guise of disco lights and colourful antics! I think there’s something similar here in terms of dealing with historical events. It’s also not enough to say that this is an ‘adventure series for all ages’. If you want broadcasters to take you seriously then know your audience, be bold and name an age bracket. If a show then spills across age boundaries once on air, then so much the better. It also didn’t become clear to me initially about the obvious time-travelling aspect to this until I started reading the episode synopses. Mention this in your introduction as a selling point, rather than ‘who combat all sorts of bizarre villains and phenomena.

If you’re able to work up some visual designs/concepts to accompany this then great. Even in a rough form, they can be passed to a more experience concept artist for more detailed rendering.

I hope that proves constructive. And generally I liked it a lot. Keep going, you’ve got something in there.

Kind regards etc. etc.

That's probably the most thorough critique of my work I've received in.... oooh, a fair while. Naturally, I intend to mediate and see how I can work in this person's suggestion and keep on refining my material. Except the time travel bit. Don't know where that came from...

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