Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Monroe Doctrine

We followed up our pitch meeting with FX with a brief summary of the series.  I'm sure I still have it a box somewhere.

It consisted of a few drawings and a simple recap of the basic premise of the series.

They then contracted us to develop a "bible" and a pilot storyboard.

In retrospect, the bible may have been too well developed.  We just had so many ideas for the universe of the show.  It was a world Sam Henderson had been exploring for maybe a decade. Most of the characters and storylines were good, but to someone who hasn't been with the core group for a while the side characters might take on too much weight.

It would be like creating a pitch for "The Simpsons" with a bunch of stories about Apu.

Our pitch bible -"The Monroe Doctrine" - had five chapters.

1) Series Overview

2) Our Hero (such as he is)

3) Main Characters and Locations (Home.  Office.)

4) Supporting Characters

5) Categories of Stories and Episode Premises

The book was also filled with art.

And sample dialog.

There was some concern that Sam didn't have enough "writing experience" so we brought in a writer for him to work with.  In typical Ink Tank fashion, that writer had no more professional experience than Sam. 

John Freeman Gill did a great job in helping flesh out the characters and writing the bible and pursuant script.

Overall, I think the bible was too deep.  There are funny characters and distinct world, but the voice of the main character (and thus the audience's connection to the world) gets lost.

Even so, I still think it's a strong idea for a television series.


Sam Henderson said...

I think the "jocks vs. nerds" analogy is pretty apt. Though people have told me the bible is too detailed as if the show'd been on for ten years, I think the main reason it was turned down was F/X's current position as the 'guy' network and they couldn't have a show where the main character was the victim.

roconnor said...

I agree that it's way too detailed.

As much as anything it was network politics that killed the project. The guys that bought it were replaced and the new guy pretty much cleared the whole development table.