Film Courage: From your Park On The Lot website you have a post which you wrote in 2015 ‘6 Things Your TV Spec Script Needs to Stand Out.’ And we’d love to hear about this.
Carole Kirschner: Do I remember all of the 6 things? I do not, it was a year ago. But I can give you some generals.
Film Courage: Okay – Your spec script has to be profoundly memorable, what I like to calling ‘blazing hot.’ Good is not good enough.
Carole Kirschner: So it has to be incredibly memorable. You have to choose a concept that is something people will be talking about the next day. It also has to be really, really, really, REALLY good!
I just finished reading 50 spec scripts for my CBS program. Just good isn’t good enough. There were plenty that were good. But it has to be blazing hot. It has to be exceptional and one of the things that makes it exceptional is a concept where you’re taking a risk. You’re just taking a risk of going outside a typical kind of show, a typical kind of television series and you’re really trying to go deeper, deeper on the concept level, deeper with your characters.
I just read a script last night that didn’t make it into the next round. It was well-written but it was a procedural that was just so typical procedural with a well-written but typical protagonist and it was a different sort of environment, different workplace than we normally see and it was fine but it didn’t…it wasn’t exceptional. It didn’t get you excited when you read it.
Film Courage: What is typical? That’s fascinating to me. What about it wasn’t Walter White [Breaking Bad]?
Carole Kirschner: Okay, what wasn’t Walter White? The character wasn’t that interesting. It was a female, it was a young woman who was going against what her family wanted, to do this thing in a man’s world. We’ve only seen that…a hundred thousand times.
And she had something that she was passionate about, but it didn’t reveal enough about her, it wasn’t a character. You know, Walter White had layers and layers and layers. This character had a lid.
Film Courage: Number 2 – Make sure the show you’ve selected to spec on is going to be on the air for a few years.
Carole Kirschner: Yes.
Film Courage: You don’t want it to be (Watch the video on Youtube here).
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