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Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

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Home » Archives » February 2008 » Work!
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02/14/2008: Work!

Guess where I've been these last two days? Obviously, I, and all my co-workers, have been back at work in the Battlestar Galactica writers' room. Fun! It's all rush-rush-rush as we hurry to catch back up with our own brains.

The first thing we did was indulge in a film festival. We watched all the episodes that have been filmed so far. Not only did this remind us of the events of the season so far, but it immersed us in the world of the show: the rhythms of the story-telling and the texture of the scenes. I also found that, especially with the added time, I was better able to judge what worked and what didn't work in the episodes I wrote. I learn something about the show every day, and I only regret that we'll be finished with the run of the show before I achieve the level of competence I really want to have.

When you're writing a spec script for an already-existing show, you should immerse yourself in it as much as possible -- both reading and watching produced episodes. And if your spec pilot is similar in tone to an existing show, I would recommend doing the same thing with your doppelgangshow. We watched seven episodes in a row the other day, and when you watch something with focused attention for that long, it's like being exposed to an intensive language course or to chocolate -- you're going to take it in.

Lunch: veggie sandwich from the commissary. No cheese, extra avocado.


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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February 2008

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