Director’s Blog: Ep. 1 Nerds On The Run
I meant to start writing these posts a few months back when we were first launching the show, but as things go when you’re launching a web series, blogging falls by the wayside.
Anyway, Nerds on the Run was one of the hardest episodes for me. One of the most attractive things about serialized storytelling is that you only have to introduce your main characters once. We don’t need to establish who Jack and Sawyer are every episode of Lost, we just go chase down the Others, pose a couple supernatural questions, and we ELABORATE. I like elaborating on characters, just not introducing them. When you’ve got 6 or so pages, your episode is an exercise in packing details in. Who are these girls? What do they want? Where are they going? What’s with the sneaking around in the bushes? Establish all that AND tell a satisfying story. Ugh.
So that first episode is always the hardest to crack. There were versions that started in the parking lot, versions without Wayne, versions with too much Wayne, versions where the girls go to the dance, and versions so horrible I’ve blocked them from my memory. Even into production, we didn’t have the introductory phone call. We shot a day of pickups to smooth out the character intros.
With each episode of Squaresville, I’m attempting to reflect upon something universal and vivid for people. It’s a game of connecting to something in my life, and figuring out how everyone else would react and relate. But how do you build a character up enough for an audience to care about them in a couple minutes?
In this episode, the kernel that I truly understood was that moment where Zelda is sitting in the back of the car, disappointed by the night’s turn of events. It’s not that I went running off into the night, but I remember wanting to. It’s where the show takes off, and when i think people really came to understand the series. Hopefully you’ve grown to know Zelda enough in those couple minutes to relate, but at least you know her better now. And hey, if you’re reading this, you either liked it, or you’re hate reading this. I’m totally into both situations, so thanks!