Monday, January 14, 2013

On Writing with Amy Sherman-Palladino...

"I've never written to act breaks. It's just not my style. It's not my thing because I want the story to, sort of, unfold the way I hear it [in] the 20 voices in my head," acclaimed series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino said during her ABC Family TCA session last week.

"I do my thing; I know what I am; but television has changed, and I think that storytelling on television has changed...You know, Gilmore Girls was three acts and a teaser. [Bunheads is] six acts and a teaser. So the actual structure of television has changed, and when you change the structure of something, if you write to an act break, then every act break has got to have some sort of big 'dun, dun, dun'...
"I think that it's a combination of the structure of TV has changed, and there is just more plot now pushed into shows. If you look at, like, the pilot of Roseanne-- which you walk into any development room at the beginning of comedy season, and they all go, 'Oh, we want Roseanne and Cheers'-- okay, but Roseanne, the pilot was about nothing. If you really just break it down, you know that someone cut a finger, and there was a thing, and they had a fight. But it was a story, and it was family, and it was character, and it was home, and it was love, and it was hanging out with these people for half an hour. And that was my first job was Roseanne. I got trained there. So, you know, it got pounded into the head, you know, 'Make the small big. Make the big small.' So that is the way we structure our shows. 

"I've always believed that you burn through all of your plot points in one episode, how do you get five years out of a show? You know, longevity is important for somebody with, you know, my Neiman's bills. It's important that this continues for a while. I burn it off in six episodes, you know, I'm with Macaroni Grill with her (points to Sutton Foster), and I can't sing. So I'm literally just bringing garlic bread. That's my feel to it if I don't stretch this shit out a little bit!"

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