Win This Car!
on Aug 24, 2017
I've worked with inprovisation a lot. And I find that it's best used when the characters and story are clear and the improvisation is used to create more naturalistic dialogue and find new discoveries on top of a solid story bedrock. My one improvised 101 pilot is On The Rocks. And while the actors made up all the words out their mouth, Ariel and I would be able to act out any scene before we shot it so they knew the thrust of the scene and their goals, etc vs throwing them into something and asking them to be funny. If you're going for something Cassavetesy or Christopher Guesty, that kind of thing requires prep work on your part and even some rehearsals with the actors if you got the time.
Aug 24, 2017 at 10:14pm
Alex, Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback on my entry. It's true that I'm a bit disappointed this month, as I really thought I had a contender here.
I think where my pilot diverges from Suicide Planner is that mine was entirely improvised (which isn't nessicarily a boon to it, and I'm *guessing* that Suicide Planner was scripted.). I wanted to give my actors a LOT of freedom to steer the action to their liking and I only stepped in to give large guidance on plot points (when folks were eliminated, really). My Ref was supposed to act as sort of the 'anchor' straight man to let the absurd characters play against.
Perhaps improvising turned out to be the biggest weakness of the thing and I should have had a heavier hand on the points of view. Or maybe I just got caught up in all the fun camera angles and craziness that I missed that nobody in the cast expressed much interest in "Winning this car"..
Anyways. Thank you again very much for giving me your 5 minutes and feedback. I love what you're doing with Nick Burton and I can't wait to see where you take that series.
Aug 24, 2017 at 9:06pm
This was definitely one of the better pilots submitted, in that it was clearly a screenable show.
However, none of the jokes hit with the panel. I think the same exact show with laughs would've been a no brainer to screen. Tone is really hard to define, let alone critique, but I'll do my best. Your pilot walks a strange line where I'm unsure of what's even supposed to be funny. It's not really satirizing anything nor does it have any grounded characters (and grounded doesn't necessarily mean not big) that can anchor us. Like for example the slut character-- it's not really making fun of her and it's not really making fun of people that call women sluts and there's no part of her that feels like a real person and, even if she was supposed to be a one sided caricature, doesn't get any real punchlines (I think her biggest joke is that she played with barbies as a kid?).
Take something like Suicide Planner episode one. It's similar to your pilot in that it's a reality show parody. Suicide Planner took the genre of spoiled people event planning and just made the event suicide. It's simple and clear and has an easy entry point for the audience. But most importantly, all the characters are grounded. Even the bigger characters like the flamboyant guy feel like real people because it feels like people on that type of reality show. And they all CARE about the suicide going well. It doesn't seem like anyone in your show even cares about winning the car, they more care about doing jokey jokes for no reason. Theres an episode of Smart Guy with the same premise as your show and I think the reason that episode works (if I remember from watching it over a decade ago) is that the characters are actually trying to win the car and even have an arc and some growth inside the car.
Anyway, appreciate you submitting regularly. Keep at it! Look forward to watching your new show next month if I'm still on the panel.
Aug 24, 2017 at 7:53pm
Rejected again! Drats!
Please kind sir or madam, watch this video and provide me with your valuable feedback. Your thoughts today make a better channel101 tomorrow
Aug 24, 2017 at 2:23pm
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