Will and Bobby Wrote Something: Part One

On WBKE, Bobby and I have made reference to different scripts that we’ve written, and on the banner of our website, we call ourselves writers, but none of our writing is available anywhere (aside from bullshit about being fat/going bald). From around 2005 to 2011, Bobby and I were co-writers on a number of different concepts, none of which ever went anywhere. Most of them were awful, some of them had merit, and all of them are completely unrealistic right now.

I’m going to start putting them online.

On the 1st of the month, every month, until I run out of material, come here to see a new script, treatment, or concept for the TV shows, movies, and comic books that Bobby and I (sort of) created.

The first piece of material I’m going to post is from the second project Bobby and I really put effort into. There are things that came before this, and I’ll touch on those eventually, but what I’m writing about today is a really great concept that Bobby and I unfortunately came up with a few years too late.

On Episode 12 of the podcast, Bobby and I had Mike Costa and Matt Battaglia on the show and we started to tell this story:

After Bobby and I came up with our first concept for a TV show, a concept that I still fucking love to this day, we were doing research about how to pitch a show. What we read was that, if you are lucky enough to get a meeting, you should go in to the room with not just one but two concepts. The rationale is that, if the network likes you as a writer but maybe they’re already working on a similar project (or maybe they just don’t like that first idea), they’ll be interested to hear what else you have to offer.

In the beginning of 2010, Bobby and I started trying to figure out another show to write. We had already come up with a comedy, and we wanted to branch out.

Eventually, we realized that the only genre you couldn’t really find on TV was horror. I’ve always been a huge horror-nut, and Bobby was into it, so we just had to figure out what sort of horror we wanted to do.

Vampires had already been fucked by the Twilight series, serial killers were (and are) overdone, and we’ve always been huge fans of the George Romero zombie movies (Night/Dawn/Day of the Living Dead),  so ultimately that’s what we went with.

At the time, it felt so fucking brilliant, simple, and obvious. There had never been a television zombie story! It makes perfect fucking sense: zombie movies are commentaries on society. They have a message hidden under all the fucked up biting and gore. More than that, it seemed like a brilliant idea to have a cast of characters that a viewer would grow to love. We’d show them learn about the monsters, try to adapt, have leadership struggles, and try to find a way to survive. It was brilliant. We came up with a unique, clever, new version of zombies, and started writing immediately.

We wrote a treatment, which lays out the overall concept, the characters, the threat, and where the show would go, and we wrote a short script that could serve as a bite-sized representation of the tone. Then we wrote another.

Previously with our comedy show, we’d tried to film a pilot. Realizing that it would be risky and expensive to film this new zombie show, we had an idea:

Instead of filming anything, we decided to have the script made into a comic book.

Movies and TV shows commonly use storyboards to show the progression of a scene. They’re lightly drawn representations of how the show will be shot. We just wanted to push that idea further. With a comic you could get the mood, the timing, you could show how the world would feel. I was excited. Again, this was before the big zombie-boom and it seemed like we had stumbled across television gold.

I told Mike Costa about the idea to make a comic of our script. He’s a graphic designer who had made a few things for me before, and I thought he might be interested. He suggested that I bring the idea to Matt Battaglia instead, saying that it was something that Matt might be more interested in.

I met with Matt at a bar and explained the entire show to him. I read him parts of the treatment. I showed him pages of the script, he nodded along, he was interested, and then he asked me if I’d ever heard of The Walking Dead.

He told me all about it: an ongoing horror story. A cast of characters with conflicts who grow and change. It was announced as a TV show. Based on a comic book.

Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I’d heard that. Maybe we did inadvertently steal the concept, but I really don’t think so. I think we just had the same idea way too late.

It’s also not like we’d have made the show if it weren’t for The Walking Dead. We were (are) just two goofy guys who no one has ever heard of.

We’re not so delusional as to think we’d have been kings off the concept.

It was just a weird coincidence.

It happens.

The most fucking absurd, goofy, cartoonish, and annoying thing? The name of the show we came up with. After telling Bobby and me about The Walking Dead, Matt Battaglia agreed to  draw a potential page from the book.

I’ll post scripts starting next month, but for now, look at this amazing, simple, subtle page.

I love it.

He did a great job.

Now look at the fucking name:

The Dead Don't Walk

Feel free to leave a comment or email about how unoriginal and stupid we are. And click here to go to Part Two!