TV Analysis

Alex and Nick are joined by Buffy the Vampire Slayer expert Evan Schmitt to discuss visual storytelling in television writing through the prism of two episodes, “Hush” and “Restless”.

How do you convey information visually? How can you use imagery to illustrate story and character? What does exposition look like without dialogue? How creepy are the Gentlemen? What was the Cheese Man all about?

The Paper Team invokes the First Slayer…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – About “Hush” and “Restless” (01:39)
2 – Narrative structures of “Hush” and “Restless” (11:08)
3 – Visual storytelling in “Hush” (18:33)
4 – Visual storytelling in “Restless” (40:53)
Takeaways and Resources (56:37)

Announcement

Paper Team is going to WonderCon 2017! Join our panel “Writer Versus Fandom: TV Writer’s Rooms and Fan Interaction” on Sunday, April 2 at 4:00PM in Room 209.

Links

Evan Schmitt on Instagram
Paper Team panel at WonderCon 2017
Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD
“Hush” (4×10 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Restless” (4×22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Shooting script for “Hush” (dated November 3, 1999)
Shooting script for “Restless” (dated April 8, 2000)
The Ascension
“Primeval” (4×21 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“How Joss Whedon and the Buffy writers’ room broke episodes” – TV Calling
The Gentlemen
Cheese Man
“Beer Bad” (4×05 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Ozymandias” (5×14 – Breaking Bad)
Christophe Beck
Saint-Saëns’ “Danse macabre”
“The Zeppo” (3×13 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Ethan Rayne
“Band Candy” (3×06 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Ripper
Maggie Walsh
“Graduation Day” (3×21-22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“This Year’s Girl” (4×15 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Dawn Summers
Joyce Summers
Mr. Pointy
“The Gift” (5×22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Resources

Buffy World’s episode index with shooting scripts
“Tough Enough: Female Friendship and Heroism in Xena and Buffy” – Dr. Sharon Ross
Dr. Sharon Ross (Columbia College Chicago)

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of themes and values in television writing, and how you can use them to your advantage in your own TV scripts.

Why are themes and values important in television writing? What are some examples of both? How do you work them in scripts? How do you avoid preachiness in the writing?

The Paper Team shares their motifs…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What are themes and values? (01:20)
2 – How to write themes and values in TV (14:12)
3 – Avoiding preachiness in your writing (23:10)
Takeaways and Resources (27:28)

Links

Survivor: Blood vs. Water
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
“Far Beyond the Stars” (6×13 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Sons of Anarchy
Everybody Loves Raymond
Desperate Housewives
“Earshot” (3×18 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Danny Strong
Buffy Studies
“Beer Bad” (4×05 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Scorpius (Farscape)
The Outer Limits (1963 TV series)
The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)
“Chaos is a ladder” speech from Game of Thrones (Video)
“BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish”

Resources

“Philosophy of…” Books
“The Philosophy of The Simpsons” – William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, Aeon J. Skoble
Star Trek episodes with social themes

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick welcome Sam Miller, writer on YouTube’s Single by 30 and CBS’ Mom, to discuss his own process for creating a web series (L.A. Beer), the state of the format, his TV writing work, and being involved in JHRTS and the WGA.

How do you make and market your own independent web series? What are the differences between television writing and writing for a YouTube web series? What are the benefits of being involved in JHRTS and the Writers Guild of America?

The Paper Team skips the ad and goes straight to the content…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Beginnings and making/marketing an independent web series (00:37)
2 – The relationship between professional web series and tradition television (18:13)
3 – Writing for TV versus a YouTube Red series (23:39)
4 – Being involved in JHRTS, the WGA, and how Sam sees the evolution of television content (28:32)
Recommendations and Outro (38:49)

Links

Sam Miller on Twitter
L.A. Beer
Machinima
Half-Life
“Small Screen, Big Picture” – Chad Gervich
LA TV Writers Yahoo Group
Desperate Housewives
Supah Ninjas
Mike Alber
Kirby Buckets
Chris Wu
Ali Chen
Jessica Kivnik
Greg Machlin
Andrew Orillion
The Exes
“L.A. Beer, First Web Series Filmed With Live Studio Audience to Launch” (Variety)
High Maintenance
Teachers (TV Land)
CW Seed
Broad City
Single by 30
Machinima, Inc.
Maker Studios
FullScreen
Todd Waldman
JHRTS
“#TheGreyBox: A TV Writing Chatroom” (TV Calling)
“Creating Your Web Series: Empowering Writers to do their Own from Concept to Completion” (Video)
WGF Library
James L. Brooks
Jeff Melvoin
“Farewell, Hulu! Hello, Criterion Channel!” (Criterion)
Seeso
CBS All-Access
YouTube Red Membership
WGAw (YouTube)
PGA (YouTube)
MIPCOM (YouTube)

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick celebrate the holiday season and the end of 2016 by taking a look at their favorite TV holiday episodes, the best media of the past year, and some stats about the first six months of Paper Team.

What makes a TV Christmas special? What are some of the best holiday specials? What was the best thing of 2016? What gifts did Nick and Alex give each other?

The Paper Team settles down in front of the fire and grabs a cup of eggnog…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What makes a TV Christmas special? (00:30)
2 – The best holiday TV episodes (11:12)
3 – Best of 2016 (27:10)
4 – A look back at Paper Team’s first year (47:45)
Gift Exchange and Outro (52:45)

Links

Jingle All the Way
It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas Episode (TV Tropes)
List of U.S. Christmas television episodes
EastEnders
Downton Abbey
Doctor Who Christmas specials
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)
Home Alone
Die Hard
“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” (1×01 – The Simpsons)
“Marge Be Not Proud” (7×11 – The Simpsons)
“Xmas Story” (2×08 – Futurama)
“Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” (1×09 – South Park)
“Amends” (3×10 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
A Christmas Carol
“Merry Mayhem” (6×10 – Dawson’s Creek)
“The Best Chrismukkah Ever” (1×13 – The O.C.)
The OC Insider Shop
Yamaclaus
“The Strike” (9×10 – Seinfeld)
The Get Down
The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
BrainDead
Atlanta
The Good Place
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (1×06 – American Crime Story)
“San Junipero” (3×04 – Black Mirror)
“Fish Out Of Water” (3×04 – Bojack Horseman)
“Category 55 Doomsday Crisis” (1×05 – The Good Place)
Travelers
We Bare Bears
The Hamilton Mixtape
Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)
“Conscious” – BROODS
“Sprained Ankle” – Julien Baker
Moonlight
Arrival
Eric Heisserer
Lights Out
La La Land
“Bitch Planet” – Kelly Sue DeConnick
“Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” – Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz
The Influence of TV: Scratching the Surface (PT11)
Diversity in TV and the Writers’ Room ft. Francesca Butler & Kelly Lynne D’Angelo (PT14)
The Writers Guild Foundation Podcast
Time Timer
Pomodoro Technique
Aaron Sorkin’s Trump Letter
YearCompass
Home Alone: The Authorized Coloring Book
Die Hard: The Authorized Coloring and Activity Book
Aqua Notes Water-Proof Notepad

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

650 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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