“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
“Nobody ever starts their final reflection with a Dr Seuss quote!” – Mark Poole in the Future when he reads this
Looking back at Sketchy Students, everybody will agree that it was a wild ride, there were many ups and downs and everybody learnt something. Throughout the process I was a member of the writing team, and I cant say that i disagree. When I was originally assigned to the writing team I was quite excited, because something I wanted to do was learn about how TV shows are written, so that some day I could write my own.
Firstly, I wanted to know how to lay out a proper script, this I feel I achieved. One Point. However, this was not nearly the largest learning curve, i believe the greatest thing I learnt was the importance of communication. Personally, I spend a lot of time on the internet, however, its mainly in the evenings that I sit down and make any long replies to correspondence This became a challenge during sketchy students, because often we would get feedback during the day, and if we did not reply quickly, we would miss the opportunity to contribute. Therefore I quickly became resigned and detached from the process, as I could not keep up with the pace required. In some ways this taught me detachment from the creative process, and was quite humbling, as I realized i was a cog in a larger machine. But at the same time it taught me how writing teams should operate.
One of my dreams is to work on the set of a sitcom, such as Modern Family, I would love to see how the world class comedy writers operate. One things for sure. They have stellar communication. Coming from a YouTuber background, I am used to writing and producing all my own material, thus I am very familiar with the end result from the onset. This led me to underestimate the workload for Sketchy Students, not that the writing itself was strenuous, but it required constant communication, iteration and improvement. Combined with the learning that face to face communication is the most effective, this meant that we needed as a team to meet as much as possible. However, we did not seem to get the opportunity due to our personal schedules. This lack of communication caused a lot of tension throughout the season, especially when it came time for us to finalize scripts, and we didn’t even have the story outlined properly.
Another thing that happened throughout the process was that the management team had a strong influence over the writing of the show. Admittedly this was partially due to the fact that the writing teams lack of communication led to inconsistency, however, for future projects I would like to see firmer boundaries between teams. I believe that if everybody did their jobs to the best of their ability, crossover roles would not be necessary and the show would still maintain its quality.
If I was to do it all again, I would make the writing team smaller, perhaps a streamlined 3 people. The story could initially be brainstormed, taken to a larger group, but then brought back to the 3 writers. This would make communication simpler as well as insure a more consistent storyline.