Choosing Protags

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Choosing Protags

    Hi!

    I'm getting hired to write a TV show (drama) based at an existing production plant. It has a lot of divisions, from manual workers through execs to the management board. Now it's time to select my protagonists and I'm contemplating which road to take. One main protag at one division, to show the full spectrum of the production? One protag per "working class" so a manual worker, a receptionist, an assistant, an exec? Just one protag guiding us through the entire story?

    It's a bit head over heels for me, because usually I start from a character and a story, not location/workplace. Do you have any strategies at choosing your protags?

  • #2
    Re: Choosing Protags

    Originally posted by goldmund View Post
    It's a bit head over heels for me, because usually I start from a character and a story, not location/workplace. Do you have any strategies at choosing your protags?
    What is the show really about?

    Which characters help you illustrate that?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Choosing Protags

      What about someone who's about to start work at the plant? That way we can access the "world" through that character.

      It could be a college grad starting his first job. Or a high paid exec who was laid off and had to take a factory gig to support his family. The possibilities are endless, just make sure we find the protagonist interesting.
      .
      sigpic
      NOTES / COVERAGE
      10,000+ Screenplays
      DD Thread Facebook
      [email protected]

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Choosing Protags

        Thank you Ronaldinho & Evil, valuable advice.

        I was actually thinking of a newly hired protag who would guide us through the world, but then I thought: aren't we and TV shows past that point where you begin by explaining the world? Maybe it's more challenging to be thrown in medias res, where the viewers have to get the understanding of the world on their own, from the scraps&pieces they observe.

        Maybe I was wrong trying to think about characters first. I start getting a lot of ideas about possible events and stories that could happen at such a plant and maybe I'll just extrapolate the protags from those ideas. I'm a noob at this. We're pitching in December, wish me luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Choosing Protags

          Originally posted by goldmund View Post
          Thank you Ronaldinho & Evil, valuable advice.

          I was actually thinking of a newly hired protag who would guide us through the world, but then I thought: aren't we and TV shows past that point where you begin by explaining the world? Maybe it's more challenging to be thrown in medias res, where the viewers have to get the understanding of the world on their own, from the scraps&pieces they observe.
          The first episode of Madam Secretary (Tea Leoni's new show) had something like this. She was on her horse farm and they come and ask her to take the job. The other secretary was killed.

          She's thrown in, doesn't really know what's going on and has to make decisions as she's learning -- as the plot is already moving by the time she gets there the next day. The viewer is picking up all the cues as she is on her first day. The co-worker that already hates her before giving her a chance, the one that's supportive...

          You might want to look at the first two episodes of that show to see how they handled it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Choosing Protags

            The character who changes the most. Or the character who influences the most change.
            "I am the story itself; its source, its voice, its music."
            - Clive Barker, Galilee

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Choosing Protags

              Never seen it, but isn't there a reality show called "Undercover Boss?" How about a new CEO decides to check out every level of the plant as a "new-hire?" That could be the thread that ties things together. It's a gimmick, but I don't think it's copyrighted. Heh.

              And you could have the titular "new CEO" be the REAL CEO's secretary, through who he's secretly running the company by proxy while he spends his time out in the plant.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Choosing Protags

                Thanks, guys!

                I've found something similar -- Hotel Babylon, a BBC show about the inner dark workings of a five-star London hotel. The protags are those who interact with the guests (which are the variaton of the "monster of the week" device). They protags are not very good, though, they lack motivation for their (otherwise amusing) wickedness.

                The character who changes the most. Or the character who influences the most change.
                I liked it a lot, but then I thought, well, the networks are looking for maaany seasons. You can't change a character too much, let alone "the most". Dr House can't change.

                Comment

                Working...
                X