I attended an event yesterday where I had the opportunity to speak with a TV director. Since I’ve worked on a ton of shows, you wouldn’t think this was anything special for me, but I’ve actually had very few opportunities to speak with directors, especially those that work closely with their writers.
Question: We’re working on a show together. How can I the writer make you the director feel like part of the process while still getting my ideas across.
Answer: By telling the story from the inside out. Say that the episode is about loss, then drill down from there. The director appreciates this method, because then it’s really clear where to go from there. An example of an outside in approach would be to point out how on page 3, there’s a comma, and you really want the actor to pause there.
Now, this method could be helpful in communicating your vision to anyone, but note it doesn’t mean you have to write from the inside out, unless that’s your style.