Falling Skies

Falling Skies returns for its second season in a couple of weeks so it’s a good time to revisit how the TNT series began. When it debuted in the summer of 2011, carrying an Executive Producer credit from Steven Spielberg, I — and probably many others — had high hopes. (Remember, this was before the harsh lesson that was Terra Nova.) I couldn’t help but compare it to The Walking Dead, which had left us hungry for more six months earlier. Each centers on a band of survivors toughing it out after an apocalyptic event, and each story centers on a family man assuming a role of responsibility within the group. That’s where the similarities end. If you’re going to compare the two, Falling Skies will inevitably lose. So, yeah. Don’t do that. Continue reading

Point of Attack, or Where to Start your Pilot

Jack Bauer, 24Anyone sitting down to write a story, whether it’s for television or any other medium, has to decide where to start. It seems like a simple question. You start at the beginning.

A protagonist’s story arguably starts from the moment of his or her birth, or earlier. So for purposes of this discussion we’ll call the beginning the “inciting incident” that kicks off the action of the story at hand. The inciting incident can happen before or after the camera begins to roll, however, giving the writer choices to make about Point of Attack. Continue reading