Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - TSCC - Write the future - Whiteboard (w/subtitles)


Uploaded by MKA667 on 02.07.2012

Transcript:
What were my goals for the story arcs of season two?
Part of it was finishing out a lot of the ideas we had from season one.
We didn't really anticipate ending the season with that episode last year.
So when we came back, um, we were sort of put through a drill by the network.
They wanted to know what we had in mind for season two.
MIDDLETON: In season two, we really wanted to expand the scope of the show.
When we say "expand the scope"...
...that means being on location a lot more.
Some of the things that I was interested in at the end of season one...
...we've been exploring a lot in season two.
Specifically, what's the residue from Cameron's damage to her chip?
How has that affected her ability to do her job?
How has that affected her relationship with John?
- Are you busy? - No.
So we kind of came in to this room for a few weeks...
...and, um, started talking about, you know, where we had left off...
...and where we might wanna go.
And everything kind of focused on the John Connor character.
And we decided that this should be the year of his emancipation from his mother.
Now is not the time for this.
Now is not the time?
Well, when is the time?
It was really about the family dynamic.
And trying to see whether or not I could pull the family apart...
...and put them back together again.
You're pissed off because I found someone I like spending time with...
...and it's not you.
FRIEDMAN: Everyone already knows she's building Skynet.
Everyone already knows the Turk is Skynet.
So we're all waiting for it to wake up and be evil.
MIDDLETON: The writers' room is a very, you know...
...almost sacred place on our show.
And it is where, you know, outside of Josh's head...
...where, you know, every creative idea is vetted.
FRIEDMAN: it's challenging, and this is the first show that I've ever run...
...so I took a lot of my cues from John...
...actually, who's been doing this for many years.
But at the same time, it was creatively--
I mean, I was sort of-- As George Bush said, I was the decider.
It's about what do we wanna do with the Ellison character.
Where do we wanna take that character...
...and how do we wanna use that character...
...to reveal the place where we wanna get...
...like, at the end of this season, right? WRITER: Right.
But we still--
She still sort of means testing him, but where we are in 11...
...which is that he has to go through the Savannah hoop...
...in order to get to the end of 11.
Which is sort of a false beat...
...because he's done so many other things that would sort of justify his involvement.
Specifically, bringing the body.
You want there to be a good, healthy debate about things.
And you wanna hear every good idea.
You don't want anybody, you know, from a co-EP to a staff writer--
You don't want anybody to feel like they can't express a great idea. They're writers.
They're all very good writers, that's why we hired them.
So they're all eminently qualified to have a great idea.
And I think-- So you wanna foster that.
You don't want anyone to feel hesitant, like you're gonna shut them down...
...or make fun of them, or, you know, just not hear them.
At least, my read of it is that Cameron is on the road to some sort of--
To becoming more than what she was.
I don't think that means the data, she's going to become human...
...it means that she's, you know, growing beyond her original programming...
...in an interesting way.
FRIEDMAN: If her overall programming...
...includes trying to become as human-like as possible...
...in order to have John love her...
...then anything that she could do to practice or investigate humanity...
...and becoming more human--
WRITER: More human-like. - Or more human-like...
...is within that prime directive.
So I think that trying to just, you know, have good chemistry in the room...
...and, uh, some continuity with your staff over time...
...is probably the best way to get the best ideas.
And then I just have to be smart enough to either--
To see a good idea, you know, or get out of the way.
ENBOM: Ellison's job is to, like-- This happened--
CHAIDEZ: The process of Sarah Connor is extremely collaborative.
We break stories, um, collectively as a team...
...and then each writer takes one episode and writes it from start to finish.
It's very organic because sometimes you go in there having no idea...
...until somebody throws something out that everybody jumps on.
Sometimes people come in with an individual episode idea...
...or just, like, a thread of a story line, and we build on it.
And it's just very, very collaborative.
[IMITATING ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER] Listen, I have a big problem.
It's gonna sound very strange, but I've been transformed into an eel.
[LAUGHING ]
I'm in the office of Catherine Weaver.
You gotta help me, because I'm the only eel in the office.
WIRTH: Eight heads are better than one.
So everybody contributes to the story...
...we break it down in detail, and we write it up on the board.
I mean, even, you know, like, act one, number one...
...exterior, Connor house, day.
And then we have a little block of prose that we write up there...
...and that usually contains what is the action of the scene...
...who's in the scene...
...what are the characters' attitudes in the scene...
...and how does it get us to the next scene.
You know, some sense of what happens next.
Josh loves the notion of driving a story forward...
...by asking yourself the question, "What happens next?"
And then what happens? And then what happens?
Where are we going now?
We're not going anywhere.
I'm going somewhere.
And I'm gonna go alone.
- You shouldn't be alone. - Yes, I should.
FRIEDMAN: Once we have a broad idea...
...we just start trying to come up with story beats.
And we all sit around and throw out story ideas:
What if this--? What if this happened?
And we make lists and we fill up boards and draw diagrams and get in arguments.
GRAPHIA: Just show that. - It just seems like--
it seems like we're, you know, we're wagging our dog...
...to try to, you know, get rid of this character, Sherman.
And we should be thinking about how it advances our story with the Turk.
I mean, because The Turk is gonna stay around, so--
STENTZ: Well, that's what I thought. The trick is--
But I think if we're centering it on, hey, let's just kill Sherman...
...because, oh, shit, he's really inconvenient in terms of following him--
WRITER: The essence of the pitch is--
I mean, philosophically, I'm not against killing off Sherman at some point.
I just think, like, episode 11 is--
I think episode 11 is too early to do it.
I think it overloads the episode.
And I think it's way too early to put blood on the Turk's hands...
- ...even accidentally. - Yeah.
- At this point, I think it's just wrong. FRIEDMAN: What if Weaver did it?
CHAIDEZ: What if Shirley did it? THÉ: Yeah.
Uh... Well, could be. But my question is, why?
STENTZ: Oftentimes, conflict equals drama.
And, uh, we have our share of that...
...although we try and-- We do our best to keep it respectful.
And if we're on the attack, we are going after each other's ideas...
...and not after each other as people. GRAPHIA: Right.
It's relatively egalitarian, like everybody has a say.
And that all starts with Josh.
Josh is very interested in his characters...
...and what they're gonna do, and making them very, very unique.
WIRTH: So once we have the story...
...we talk about it kind of in general terms for a couple of days.
And usually the writer will go to one of the white boards...
...and write down anything--
Any idea that kind of sticks.
FRIEDMAN: And then we send some unfortunate soul, or fortunate soul...
...off to write the first draft of that script.
WIRTH: The writer goes off, writes the script.
I do a set of notes on the script, um, which I give to Josh.
And then he does the final pass on the script.
Every single script we do here runs through his computer.
FRIEDMAN: We have, at that point, a strong structure.
I rarely have to re-structure things...
...but sometimes we were getting scripts...
...pretty much probably 36 hours before we had to start prepping them.
I would take that script and hole up in my room for two nights...
...and rewrite it. Uh...
Kind of, you know, making it all into the voice that I like.
John is John's problem.
Humans are the problem.
There's only one way for him to be safe.
That's to be alone.
This season, one thing we set out to do...
...was to create some stand-alone episodes...
...so that new viewers could watch our show...
...and feel that they'd seen a complete episode.
I know him.
Not unless you're about, oh, 110 years old.
That photo's from 1920.
See? "December 31 st, 1920."
As the season will progress, we realize that...
...you know, there is a literary quality to the show.
There's a novelistic quality to the show. In television, they call it being serialized.
I look at it as literary, because I feel that Josh has a poetry...
...to his vision, and to his writing.
FRIEDMAN: There's a bit of a life cycle to the whole process.
And I think on a lot of shows that have a lot more stand-alone aspects...
...it's easier, because you may have a writer come in and say:
"I wanna do, you know, this, or I read this article about, you know, this...
...and we should do an episode about this."
And our show doesn't really work that way because it's so serialized.
And I think even in the second season...
...where some people had a sense that it was more stand-alone...
...at least for the first part, it really had to carry all these serialized elements.
And you could never ignore the mythology.
So it's very difficult for us to sort of send people off on independent study...
...and come back with five story ideas.
It just doesn't work that way.
WIRTH: So when it comes to deciding what we're gonna do...
...he's the final arbiter.
It's all about what he wants to do.
He sets the table for us.
He tells us where we're going.
We have a lot of talented people on this writing staff...
...and everybody contributes.
And everybody-- You know, over time, it kind of sifts down.
Everybody-- it's like a family.
Dysfunctional family of brothers and sisters.
MIDDLETON: There needs to be, and is, on the show...
...a central vision, an aesthetic.
You know, it's not just about what are our mythology beats.
It's how we tell the story...
...how we use language, how we use voice-over.
Those kind of things need a very specific aesthetic...
...and Josh has that.
For all of us, it's really been-- We have mutual respect for each other.
And we've sort of found a niche, you know?
I mean, James spends almost all of his time on the set, more or less.
You know. And has really done a great job...
...of kind of taking what he knows from me...
...and the things that I-- That are important to me in a performance...
...and found ways to communicate them to the directors and to the actors.
So if you watch our episodes, and you can go from one to 22...
...I think you'll have a real sense of, this all has a feel to it.
It feels of a whole.
It feels like, you know, one thing...
...rather than eight separate people's ideas of what the Sarah Connor universe is like.
And that's the power of having a very strong creator with a vision.
FRIEDMAN: Any television show, it's falling in love with those characters...
...watching them struggle and change through time.
And that's the same for this show.
This show just happens to have an action component to it...
...and a scary robot component to it.
But at the end of the day...
...it's a show about these family members trying to struggle against mortality�