THREAD: A few years ago, a screenwriter who was giving me notes on a pilot asked me a question which totally up-leveled me as a writer...
He asked, what is the DRAMATIC QUESTION of your show?
I'm a screenwriting nerd, but for whatever reason, I had not encountered this term before this moment, and I've never really heard anyone say it since. Maybe that's because people call it something else, or it's more of a theatre thing, but I really like it for film/TV.
A dramatic question (DQ) is, basically, a compelling question that you establish by the END OF YOUR PILOT that your audience has to watch the series to answer.
Found these coffee-stained scripts today when cleaning! I learned how to write TV scripts by writing specs. Before speccing a show, I would watch every episode 2-3 times, summarize them, then get three scripts and break them down like so:
Then, I'd try to write a spec that matched the show tonally and story-wise, but also structurally. It was total overkill, but I feel like I really get 1/2 hour structure now while I still struggle with 1-hr because I never specced them!
Okay, since some people are finding this helpful, here's an example of a slightly more sophisticated script breakdown from when I started doing them in Excel.
just thinking about all the times someone told me I was pretty "for an indian girl" and I was like "thanks?" rather than "damn, that's really racist!"
comments like that used to feel innocuous, but now they feel indicative of how skewed society's perception of beauty is and how a lot of people feel it becomes less and less probable the further we get from whiteness.
even in India, all the actresses on telelvision and in movies are super light-skinned and skin lightening products are STILL popular in beauty.