Best way to present season outline with multiple Protags?



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  • Best way to present season outline with multiple Protags?

    Hey guys,

    here in Germany we are constantly running into the same problem working on shows - maybe you have a fix for us.

    The Mission:

    In the development and financing stage, along with an extensive treatment or Script for 101 we usually have to hand in the overview for the whole season. Usually 1 page per episode. So 7 more pages if you are doing an 8-episode season.

    Now, with single protag stories, that's not a problem. But with 3 protags who are in different parallel locations things always get messy.

    If we choose the approach to move from one protag and back, due to the limited amount of space, it becomes really hard to follow. The feedback one gets is that it feels muddled, and it's hard to keep up with the motivations. Even if you do things like constantly reminding who is who and why she is there, the note remains. So we are getting told to tell the protags one by one.

    If we choose the approach to tell the protags one by one, the motivations become clearer but it gets hard for the producers to imagine how this will feel in the finished product. So we get the note to inter-weave everybody more.

    This is the third time this happened and I simply don't know how to avoid it.

    It does not have to do with the writing or choice of words. We can write big words or small words. With fairy dust hanging in the air or full-Hemingway. The notes remain.

    There must be a systemic thing that is not right. Because no producer I ever worked for was able to show me a working season outline for any show whatsoever. They always come back with season 2 outlines that don't have to carry as much weight as a season 1 outline.

    Are you using another way in the U.S.? You must be. I hope.


  • #2
    Re: Best way to present season outline with multiple Protags?

    Maybe you could create a hybrid of what they did with Stranger Things?

    Do a page per episode, but also include a page for each character's development over the first season?
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso