Pilot Season: ATLANTA

Donald Glover’s Atlanta is unique in many ways: it plays with style, tone, and ancient mythology while still staying mostly grounded in reality; it evokes a hyper-specific place* but with characters you could imagine living in most US cities; it hits a dark notes most US half-hours won’t come near; it clearly utilises Glover’s experience … Continue reading

Inside the Fast Turnarounds and Wild Stories of Live-Shoot K-Dramas

The more k-dramas I watch, the more impressive it is to know how the sausage is made. Part of the fun in movies and TV is studying how they write and shoot; in the case of k-dramas, some are fully pre-produced, but the ones which aren’t are usually still shooting the middle episodes when the … Continue reading

GLOW’s pilot mechanics

I’m writing STAY AT HOME HITMAN, a sometimes-raunchy half-hour comedy-drama involving suburban politics and scholastic espionage, mental health and struggles of new parenthood, relationships and drugs of all sorts, with a smattering of class struggles, internalised and external homophobia, infertility, familial expectations, meddling lollipop ladies, and body disposal. I revisited GLOW because despite its much … Continue reading

Character Development in The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian

I recently guested on Draft Zero to talk about about how the writing of The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian use fanservice differently in shaping story. You should listen to that, and all the great work Stu and Chas do. This post about fanservice in character development notes a few of those key things, … Continue reading

The Dude With A Thousand Faces: A Screenplay Template

I recently broke down the Stumptown pilot to examine hyperfunctional formulaic writing. Yes, times have changed and templates can be outdated, but I argue a formula isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s how you execute – story, characters, themes, acting, direction, dialogue, every fleshy detail – which matters. So when some mates released this short, … Continue reading