TV Insights, Observations and Obsessions from the NYTVF
Check out our Q&A series with Fest Founder Terence Gray (and others), designed to provide submitting artists and TV fans with insight to the current development landscape. If you're thinking about submitting to the NYTVF, this is for you.
Insights from the intern bullpen
As part of our expanded intern program, we are looking at the backgrounds and interests of the students and recent grads who help make the NYTVF run smoothly and keep the NYTVF staff on our toes. For the most recent of these interviews, we asked Carlie Lindower, a recent graduate of Colgate University, to tell us why she watches television, what makes a successful pilot, and where she sees herself in the television world.
So, let's start by talking about you. What's your educational background, and what do you look for in a great television show?
My name is Carlie Lindower and I recently graduated from Colgate University with a major in Theater and minor in Film and Media Studies. My television tastes vary from the slyly funny – like 30 Rock and Community – to the indulgently engaging – like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Lost.
What makes a TV pilot successful?
It’s easy to spot a brilliant pilot, but often difficult to determine what makes it so perfect. I’ve found that most successful pilots can actually be broken down into a few vital elements, the most important of which is the establishing character moment. The establishing character moment, a term popularized by the website 'TV Tropes,' refers to a moment in the pilot that reveals “a character's motivations and abilities in a single introductory scene”. Whatever the audience needs to know to understand a protagonist, it will be established in this moment. Both comedies and dramas use establishing character moments in their pilots. Those of us who have seen the pilots for 30 Rock or Breaking Bad, respectively, remember Liz Lemon buying all the hot dogs or Walter White pointing out the mustard on his doctor’s tie. The former reveals Liz as a stickler for rules and social order, while the latter pinpoints Walt as meticulous and unsentimental even in the face of his own cancer diagnosis. Such a small act can leave a lasting impression, providing the viewer with an anchor of characterization to ground the pilot episode.
Where are you looking to work in the world of television?
I’d love to continue working in the television industry, especially development or production. Right now I’m just looking forward to all my fall TV shows returning!
What Carlie's Reading:
Check out previous downloads here:
Insights from the intern bullpen - 7/30/14 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 7/24/14 | Rory Covey of My Damn Channel's Honchos - 4/10/14 | Drama advice from Siobhan Byrne O'Connor - 4/3/14 | NYTVF Alum Danny Abrahms - 3/21/14 | Drama Advice - 3/13/14 | Advice from Chicago - 3/10/14 | Unscripted LA Panel - 2/25/14 | Drama Development - 2/20/14 | MSN Development - 2/12/14 | Casting - 2/5/14 | The Network Development Process - 1/29/14 | History Development - 1/15/14 | Comedy Formats - 3/18/13 | A&E Pipeline - 4/3/13| Fox Script Contest - 4/10/13 | From Film to TV - 5/17/13 | Lifetime Unscripted - 9/4/13