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TV serial bible...

Is it just me or other writers and writer/directors struggle to write TV bibles? I wrote 7 eps (all of the eps) 400 + pages but I am not able to distill the synopses (I did OK with the overall and settings though) and do justice to the interwoven stories... before you ask, YES I had a plan whilst writing the full thing... anyway am I alone on this???

  • I have no idea what you're talking about Max. Bibles are either religious or a metaphor for technical rule books. Which type are we discussing?

    5 months ago
    • I guess you've never worked in the industry - TV. that's the way we call TV treatments+synopses + settings etc etc

      5 months ago
  • Thanks for that explanation. I first worked in TV with ITN back in the 70"s, when we shot news on 16mm film. Since then I've worked with BBC, ITV, Channel 4, CBC and many more around the World, mostly in news, documentary and factual through our thirty three year old production company. I've worked as producer, cameraman, director, sound recordist, editor, and narrator. Quite often fulfiling several of those roles at the same time. Never heard of the 'bible' at issue. Mind you I've not worked directly for a broadcaster for well over a decade, only as an independent production company. Clearly there's more to the world of film and TV production than the inhouse language of broadcasters.

    5 months ago
  • Precis is hard :-)

    To quote Bliase Pascal "I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn't have time to write a short one."

    Might be worth having a writer friend have a go for you. You might just be too close to it, wood for the trees issue. A new pair of eyes might help.

    5 months ago
    • Exactly. I think my big mistake was to write all of the episodes and now I don't know how and what to let go. Pascal's quote is sooo on the money! Thank you!

      5 months ago
  • Great quote

    5 months ago
  • Hi Max, yes it is a struggle, a very interesting read is vince gilligan creator of Breaking Bad, speaks about it, if i find the article I'll send it to you. I wrote a Pilot in 1999, it was optioned and the producers wanted a bible for the networks; and painstaking as it was to do, it proved succesful. Good luck

    5 months ago
    • Thank you Patrick. I need as much encouragement as possible. So your words help very, very much! Max

      5 months ago
  • There's a book you need to get WRITING TREATMENTS THAT SELL by Ken Atchity & Chi Li Wong. It contains actual templates and examples you can follow. You can also download actual series bibles from this site (You're welcome!).
    sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/

    5 months ago
  • Great link Alice! Thank you.

    5 months ago
  • Question to SP and original fellow posting this. This is in the Documentary Bulletin board but what has it to do with documentary making?
    Bulking out a board that would have next to nothing on it I guess.

    5 months ago
  • I've noticed that bibles are becoming less and less important. Especially on digital platforms like Netflix or Amazon and some of the smaller networks. Which, frankly, I think is really cool. The writers do a much better job once they see what the actors can do, and write FOR them instead of throwing an entire season at them at once.

    5 months ago
  • I think bibles are important. I have just been offered possible funding of several million for a tv series and asked for a bible. Thank you for the link for templates Alice. Also there are ones you can download off the internet like the one for The Wire. Bibles are made up so I believe, looking at this one as I have never done one before either, of long synopsis, beat sheets for each episode and short character descriptions with their back story. The Wire's one was for series 1 , 70 pages long. I think doing a bible and if you are a production co having your Investment Memorandum plus scripts ready to show commissioners and investors/funders is professional and will massively help.

    4 months ago