For the last few weeks I’ve been working on an U.S. pilot script. It's a joint project and has been going about three months. But the reason its what I’m working on now is down to the pilot script of Heroes: Genesis. (Not why it exists but why I’ve returned to work on it.)
Heroes is one of these shows that (as a writer) makes you feel many different emotions all at once; firstly awe, at the fact that its such an exciting and original show, then jealously, because it is such a great show and you wish you had written it and then comes, self-doubt and worthlessness, because you’ll never be able to write anything that good. Also add possible heartbreak, when a major element/reason of the show mirrors one of your own ideas. But I’ve managed to suppress the negative and i'm in complete awe of the show. Above all else its inspiring and that's what took me back to my script.
I printed the Heroes script out around February I think - with the intention of reading it as soon as possible. I always knew that I wanted to read it before I saw it. But it never felt like the right time to read it. I had flicked through and caught the opening picture of the eclipse and then at its various stages with multiplying cockroaches and saw the end picture- the last image of the pilot episode. Some people had already seen the show or were currently watching it. But I couldn’t bare to watch it online or downloaded to DVD- to me it just goes against the whole point of a good show. I always knew I wanted to experience the Heroes universe in my own time.
The right time came five months later and the night before the episode is about to air on BB2.
I’m no expert on reading scripts or reviewing them but a few things come to mind with the Genesis script; above all - its quality. It's well written and thought out. It's visually perfect, dramatic, suspenseful, has amazing intrigue; complex but is presented in a simple way and has a variety of distinct characters who have clear goals. Overall it was an amazing read and experience.
One of the reasons for reading the script before I saw the episode was to see how it translated and how much of it did.
*Minor Spoiler Alert*
A very interesting and rightful cut was with Issac - he had handcuffed himself to the radiator in a bid to kick his habit. But ended up doing a 'saw' and cut off his hand to free himself for a fix. I don't know how this original conclusion came about as surely Issac would be needed to paint more images of the future.
They also cut a whole character and his story out of the pilot. This character is D.L and he now turns up in a later episode. But its easy to see why he was cut because he wasn't completely necessary and didn't advance the story at all.
Another noticeable cut was with Claire, the cheerleader and having dinner with her family. This was a great scene and a favourite of mine mainly because - in reply of her mother asking what she did today she said 'I jumped off a cliff and didn't die'. Her mother then tried to identify with her and said she'd had many metaphorical jumps herself. But really didn't understand what she meant.
Also in this scene her father wasn't said to be the mysterious villain guy with the glasses, which was odd. Her father in the scene was called Kent. So it seems they decided afterwards to combine him and the father character for better effect or he planned to take his place during the series and they brought it forward. One of the great things with the script - was that this villian character was only known as Horn Rimmed Glasses.
An odd change was the names of Peter Petrelli and his (flying) brother. They originally were Ethan and Harrison Cambell.
Although I loved watching the episode it did seem to run past me pretty quickly. It's being able to read at your own pace, the enhanced level of detail and being open to interpretation and free of boundaries is why I prefered reading the script over watching it.
The fact that the script was so visual and entertaining it inspired me to return to a project that was similar in its market and target audience. It's something I’d left for awhile and didn't seem as keen on. But it wasn’t that the idea was boring or had no life it was the fact that I had done all I could on it so far and just needed some new inspiration and perspective. And there was no greater inspiration (and reality check) than Heroes.
You can read the Heroes pilot script here.
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