I'm certain that, compared to most Americans, I watch little TV. Oh, I watch some shows and channel surf, but only in small snippets, and usually more to keep up with what is happening in the world and in the world of entertainment. I can barely stand to watch TV more than 30 minutes at a time (movies, sports, and TV dramas are preposterously long and had better be GOOD!) and I usually end up reading or writing or both while watching anything on the tube.
I watch some TV, but certainly not nearly as much TV as my son does.
Lately, however, my son has been asking me about writing a TV pilot. He has his ideas, I have mine. And perhaps this little project is one we can explore together and where we could find some commonality.
One thing that does impress me about my son is that, while he is watching a show, he is much like his old man. He begins by breaking down the action and the dialogue as he is watching, and is thinking about what all of those words and directions would look like on the page. (After all, someone has to actually write all of those award-winning lines and scenes.) Sometimes he astounds me by pointing out small details of action, or camera-angles, or even lines and how they are delivered, and asks, "Why did they do it that way?"
And so . . . how about this as a summer challenge? I'm going to ask my son to write a TV pilot, and I'll write one, too. Perhaps we can forge our two indelibly warped minds and penchant for the strange, the bizarre, and the off-beat, and actually create something that is so unique and weird . . . some crazy loon in Hollywood would actually buy it. Or not.
That, or we could use our scripts to light a campfire this summer. When I'm not watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show . . . I'll be roasting wieners.