writers

WBKE 126: NBC Playground

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Thrilling news, chums! Hear the tale of Will and Bobby's recent submission(s) to an NBC contest! Will they end up having their own TV show!? Will it be stolen away by a charismatic shirtless man?

The boys are back in town.

YouTube!           @BobbyKoester!           @WB2045!           @WillRogers2000!           Facebook!

iTunes!            Stitcher!

Feel free to send comments or questions to us at COMMENTS@WB2045.com, and we'll be sure to get back to you!

Episode 127 next week!

Will and Bobby Wrote Something: Part Six

Click here to start Will and Bobby Wrote Something from Part One! Last month I described Bobby’s and my effort to create a new show that wouldn’t require so much work or passion. After having created three shows together that asked a lot of us, the idea of creating a simple crime procedural felt like the right thing to do. Despite the fact that we never actually sent our scripts to anyone, we felt rejected. More than that, even though no one had ever actually rejected us, we felt like failures. I think we were about to give up before this show came along.

Surprisingly, Dissecting Henry Crane felt to me like one of the purest creative experiences we’d ever had.

The idea was to take the basic concept of The Silence of the Lambs and turn it into a TV show. We would start at “a serial killer is aiding the FBI in catching serial killers,” and branch outward with completely original characters. The idea works, has a staggering amount of potential, and can be tonally diverse, ranging from “fun,” catch-the-killer episodes to darker character-study territory.

As I mentioned, shortly after we began working on Dissecting Henry Crane (in approximately January 2011) a fully licensed show based on Silence of the Lambs was announced (in February 2011). That being the case, Bobby and I have very little of Dissecting Henry Crane down on paper, as we would meet up and mostly just talk out what the plot would be.

Over the course of these conversations, we had basically decided this:

Henry Crane is a serial killer obsessed with serial killers. It’s known that he would emulate the style of other killers, presumably as a means of trying to understand his desire to kill by following their methods. What this means is that no one knows just how many people he has killed. Some of his murders may have actually been pinned on the killer he was copying, and he may actually shoulder blame for murders he didn’t commit.

Henry was eventually caught by an FBI agent named Leonard Weston, and after the media attention regarding his arrest subsided, he had a controversial idea. Recognizing that in addition to being a murderer, Henry Crane is also an encyclopedia about serial killers, Leonard began to consult Henry on cases. Leonard would consult Henry (in his cell) about the likely motivation of an active killer, and Henry would lend both insight and theorize about the killer’s next move. Ultimately this proved a successful endeavor and eventually the news got out that the hero Leonard Weston was working with a psychopathic madmen. Public response was mixed, but they couldn’t argue with the success rate of the two, so they continued to work together for years. Eventually Leonard began teaching courses to FBI agents in training, and was allowed to teleconference Henry Crane into the room not only as an example of a killer but also as an assistant of sorts. They would go over the details of their successful cases for the students, displaying their techniques and experiences in catching murderers.

It’s here that the pilot of the show would have started, with Leonard and Henry years into teaching the course, when they meet a student named Ed Burger (a name I don’t like, but we used). Ed notices an inconsistency in a case Leonard and Henry solved, and his realization suggests that an innocent man was captured instead of a killer. The relationship between Henry/Leonard and the FBI/media explodes with claims that the Henry Crane manipulated Leonard into letting a killer remain free. It’s suggested that Leonard forgot the real threat that Henry poses, and allowed the lunatic to influence his actions.

Ultimately it’s decided that though Leonard was once a brilliant agent, his mind became corrupted by his constant associations with Henry, who is dangerous, but could still be useful with a fresh intelligent agent using his knowledge correctly. Subsequently, they decide to hand over the responsibility to Ed Burger, but warn him that any agent working with Henry essentially has a countdown to corruption above their head.

From here, the show we planned would have been five seasons long, each season centered on a major serial killer with the potential for self-contained shows centering on the capture of a smaller profile killer. We wanted to do a character study of murderers, and each season’s main killer would have their own in-depth character study, as well as some sort of connection to Henry, whether he’d emulated their M.O. at some point or even crossed paths with them.

One of the only actual documents I have of the show is not a good representation of the show, as it’s basically just a rambling series of ideas trying to flesh out Henry’s background and motivation. I wrote it and sent it to Bobby just before we scrapped the whole project and you can even see at the end that I’m literally listing possible ideas for a killer. At the end I assure Bobby that I’m just trying to hash out concepts and exploring ideas, which we could later fine-tune:

Dissecting Henry Crane – Pilot Concept

Season Four would have ended with Henry escaping, setting the stage for Season 5 to focus on Henry himself as the main killer, with revelations about his past, some sort of connection to Ed’s childhood (which we never agreed on), and the revelation that in addition to emulating other serial killers, he had actually developed his own unique method of murder.

This show felt like a breath of fresh air to Bobby and me, as it seemed truly novel. We thought we had stumbled on a formula that no one else had ever noticed before, and as a result we felt very clever. It was exciting. Dissecting Henry Crane could be the type of show where we were free to do whatever we wanted. We could have episodes centered on Ed’s home life, shows from Henry’s perspective, or shows centered on a one-off killer with a bizarre motivation. It was a sort of creative playground.

The news that someone had noticed the potential for a series based on Hannibal Lecter basically murdered Dissecting Henry Crane. And where we had at least been allowed months of developing The Dead Don’t Walk before news of The Walking Dead came to us, we were now allowed merely a few weeks with our new creation before being steamrolled. Given that we were also only just beginning to feel creatively empowered when the news came, I think we were completely thrown out of orbit.

When Dissecting Henry Crane ended, Bobby and I stopped writing together. At this point, there were four entire universes of characters, settings, and storylines that existed nowhere but in our minds, and I think we were too tired to go on. Writing is not easy when you care about what you’re creating, and we learned that even when we try to create without caring, we can’t help but become completely invested in our work. Ultimately I think that’s a good thing, it’s just our luck that let us down.

Well, there's luck and then there's the fact that, again, we never actually contacted anyone about anything. Ever.

Any comments or questions: WillAndBobby@gmail.com

Next month our final project

WBKE - Episode 36: Writing

This week on WBKE, Bobby and I are joined again by my girlfriend, Allie, and we have a conversation about writing, a topic all three of us have particular opinions of. We read about 50 Shades of Grey, get philosophical about the concept of freedom, and then Allie tells us about her experiences writing for a summer theater program with one of the slimiest pieces of shit we've ever met! It's fucked up and hilarious. Also, Bobby suggests a new theme song for the show... Click here to listen, or get it on iTunes or the Stitcher app for smartphones!

Also, make sure you check out our new YouTube show Car Friends, which we'll be putting online every Wednesday! And when you  watch it, make sure you subscribe to the channel!

We also have a new entry of Will and Bobby Wrote Something, which I'm pretty proud of. Click here to read it!

Other than that, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@WillRogers2000 and @BobbyKoester), like us on Facebook, and help spread the word about us! We're still a small obscure operation, so please tell your friends about us!

You can also email us at WillAndBobby@gmail.com for any comments or questions!

Episode 37 next week!

Will and Bobby Wrote Something: Part Three

Click here to start Will and Bobby Wrote Something from the beginning!

As I mentioned, Bobby and I wrote a second script for The Dead Don't Walk, which is a prequel of sorts to "The Alley," which I posted last month.

We decided at some point that we should probably show an alternate story, which would set up the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, or at least show what happened to a particular group of people when it all started. Matt Battaglia (our artist) sat down with Bobby and myself and together the three of us tried to hatch out a story.

Ultimately we ended up with the idea of office workers having a party when everything goes to hell. I'm just going to jump right into it.

Click here to read the second script for The Dead Don't Walk, titled "The Office."

With this script, we end our explanation of The Dead Don't Walk where we began. At the end of this script we create the image of Gray sitting at the base of the tree, which I posted back in Part One . That image also functions as Gray's starting point before the events that occur in "The Alley," and further show his stoic, world-weary attitude when surrounded by chaos (we also end with a president named "Jeremy Button," for some reason. Stupid).

Just to summarize this project: I love The Dead Don't Walk. I wish we hadn't accidentally ripped off The Walking Dead, and I wish that Bobby and I had just gone ahead with our plans to pitch that show.

It'll remain locked up in a vault for the time being, though, or rather it'll remain posted publicly online until the day that we decide to bring it back. Who knows, it's not impossible.

So that ends The Dead Don't Walk, and now we move on to the third show that Bobby and I ever created.

It is by far the most out-there concept we've ever come up with.

Here's the story of the show Edinburg Falls.

Knowing that we couldn't use The Dead Don't Walk as a show to backup our comedy series, Bobby and I had to come up with something new. We still didn't want to create a second comedy show, and our attempt at horror failed, so we landed on an idea for a mystery series.

We decided at first to feature a writer as our main character, who, at the urging of his editor, goes away to the small mid-west town of Edinburg in an effort to creatively recharge himself.

Bobby and I had long conversations about what should be wrong with the town. At one point ghosts were involved, at another point a murderer was at large, and then ultimately we landed on a genius (I'm serious) idea: Edinburg would be the origination point for American folklore.

Bobby and I went online and studied every kind of American monster we could. At first we assumed we'd find a lot of monsters like Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and the Bogeyman, but mostly all we found were interesting creatures with laughably bad names, like the Squonk.

Regardless, we found enough intriguing monsters to make it worth our while, so we started writing. We created a first episode where our hero, terrified by prophetic visions brought on by monsters, tries to leave. As he reaches the towns limit, a wall of stone appears to rise from the ground, locking the town of Edinburg away from the rest of the world.

Bobby and I laid out a general concept that would take us through five seasons of Edinburg Falls. We explained where the monsters came from, we explained what happens to our characters, and most importantly, we explained the flabbergastingly dumb reason why the wall of stone appeared.

I'll leave the full treatment until next month (which pretty much lays out the entire show), but until then, take a look at this drawing I made of the town, and see if you can find the horrible explanation for the town's isolation (and also read a little bit of insane background):

Click here to view the Edinburg Falls town diagram.

That's right, a wall of stone didn't rise out of the ground, the entire town sank into the ground, because (seriously, we wrote this), the town of Edinburg is resting on the head of a giant screw.

More about Edinburg Falls over in Part Four! Click here! Or take a quick detour by checking out spec script we wrote for Arrested Development in Part Three.Five!

Will and Bobby Wrote Something: Part Two

To go back to Part One: click here! How incredible is it that the name we came up with for our zombie TV show sounds like a weird bitter retort to "The Walking Dead?"

The Dead Don't Walk.

How amazing is that?

"'The Walking Dead,' huh? You know... the dead don't walk. Morons."

As stupid and crazy as all this sounds, I still 100% stand by The Dead Don't Walk. I love the name, I love the concept, and I love our version of zombies.

Being a fan of horror films, I'm familiar with a lot of different versions of zombies. Without a doubt, the most well known and accepted versions of zombies are the ones from Night of the Living Dead. Prior to that, zombies weren't shambling cannibal corpses, but were rather sort of mindless voodoo victims, carrying out someone's orders.

George Romero (the writer/director) somehow redefined the word "zombie" for all time. There have been other revisions, however.

From the Return of the Dead (separate franchise) series, we get the "braaaaaiiiins" zombies, from the 28 Days/Weeks Later franchise we get the "not-a-zombie" Rage Virus victims, and there are countless examples of running, screaming, plotting, talking zombies.

There's no denying that you can't improve upon the original Romero zombies. They're too perfect. They're like the iPad. Apple somehow figured out the formula for a perfect tablet. It feels right and competitors are still playing catch-up.

Romero's zombies feel right.

Bobby and I decided right away, without any discussion on the matter, that the original Romero zombies were what people wanted to see. The shuffling, mindless, hungry, angry reanimated corpses of loved ones.

We did, however, realize that to just take those zombies and build a show around them, while cool, is not ours. That's not our idea. That's just plucking characters out of one situation and putting them in another. Alternatively, that's Bobby and me grabbing a 2 hour movie by it's beginning and ending, and stretching it into a 13 episode TV show.

Bobby and I created a version of zombies similar to the Romero's, but we added the potential for an explanation. We added new weaknesses, and also new strengths.

The treatment we cooked up for The Dead Don't Walk is interesting, but it's also overlong and a little batshit, so just read this portion of it (I'll post the full thing at the end, for those curious), where we explain what our zombies are (notice that you can zoom in or click the arrow to help when reading):

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It's a little clumsily written (get used to that), but the facts are great:

They're blind. The survivors learn to take advantage of that weakness. The monsters can still sense light (like you can even when your eyes are closed), but because of that blindness, their other senses are hightened. Every sound could be the signal that gives you away. They can smell you enter a room. If you're careful enough, you can travel right through a street filled with them. The Dead Don't Walk would have been filled with moments of quiet tension. Uncertainty. We'd get face-to-face with our monsters.

Enough of this, I've definitely made my point. The Dead Don't Walk was an interesting show that we came up with way to late (and again, no one knows who we are), and clearly I still love it. Maybe you'll like it, too, and so without further delay, here's a brief script Bobby and I wrote. The only character from this story that would appear in the final show is Gray, who you can learn a little more about in the full treatment I'll post a link to at the end of this post. It's not a full episode, it's just a little 15 minute story that establishes the world and the tone. I hope you enjoy it:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=45D1D85841BF0556!20839&authkey=!AI3kJGu_E_Ij5Zc&ithint=file%2cpdf

There you have it. "The Alley." In case you didn't realize why Gray (I might hate this name now) didn't help them at the end, he was afraid that the sound of his gun would give him away to that third group of monsters. Already being exposed under that street light, he couldn't risk it. I'm not sure if we made that clear, though it makes perfect sense. Anyway, as I said, here's a link to the full treatment, where you can learn a little more about him and a whole lot about people that you'll never get to see:

Thanks for reading, guys, I hope you enjoyed. I'm really pretty excited that we can sort of put these old scripts to some use. They've just been sitting on a hard drive, and in the back of my mind, for a long time. Please feel free to comment or email us with your thoughts of not only The Dead Don't Walk, but also this whole Will and Bobby Wrote Something endeavor. You can get us at WillandBobby@gmail.com. Also feel free to follow us on Twitter (@WillAndBobby) and like us on Facebook.

Next week we're going to wrap up The Dead Don't Walk. There's one last script (a companion piece to "The Alley"), and maybe I'll give some more info about where the plot of the show would have gone. Maybe.

Click here to go on to Part Three!