Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Show Business

Show, don’t tell. Those three words have probably been scrawled in the margin of every script ever written at some point. It’s a simple rule, but surprisingly easy to forget. The gist of it is that instead of telling the audience something (eg that a particular character is not very nice), you should actually show this character doing something not very nice. It is agreed by everybody that this is better.

I was reminded of this yesterday, when a production company said that they wanted to “show me how much I was valued”, then proceeded to talk about how great my scripts had been on this series and how much they wanted me to work on the next series, but said that they couldn’t do anything about the contractual dispute that we were having. ie merely tell me how much I was valued.

Which is funny, because I don’t remember Cuba Gooding Jr saying “Tell me the money”.