Saturday, 29 November 2008

Know your audience

Hi folks. I came up with a TV show idea yesterday and mapped out the pilot episode today. It's quite a dark concept, with murder and genuine peril. My 'hero' is a raving alcoholic and not a very nice bloke. The sort of characters I've created demand a mature audience. This isn't a show for the kids, that's for sure!

So my pondering ( that a word? Oh well, it is now) is where and when it would fit in the world of British television. It'll have some strong language and the pilot is about a rapist. So obviously it would have to be after 9pm. But what channel would be interested in a show like that?

C4 aren't afraid of the bad language, but they focus mainly on a teen audience, and this isn't really that sort of show. It has a supernatural element and I know the BBC don't mind that; they're currently airing Apparitions on Thursday nights. Then we have ITV. They seem to be more into every day pre-watershed drama as well as reality TV. And a lot of the post-9pm stuff are 5-part serials. Channel 5.....well they just seem to take everything from America and Australia and ignore British TV all together.

I'm getting way ahead of myself of course, but I think it's important to know your audience when you write. If you have the intention of writing a teen drama all about sex, then C4 is definitely the place to go. Sometimes it might be necessary to 'tone down' your idea in order to sell it to a wider audience.

I'm suddenly thinking of the upcoming film Wolverine, telling the origins of everyones favourite X-Men. Hugh Jackman is starring and producing and decided to make it a PG-13 (or 12A I suppose). The only thing I didn't like about the character of Wolverine in the X-Men films is that he wasn't quite violent enough. Anyone who has read the comic books will know that he is merciless and gruesome. And it doesn't take a genius to work out that a guy with claws is going to leave someone looking pretty bloody messed up when he's done with them.

Jackman says he wants it to be available to a wider audience - he wants the people who liked the character in X-Men to be able to see him again. Aw, isn't that sweet? Of course it also means that the lower the certificate, the more people can go and see the film (by definition) and the more money Mr. Jackman makes. Huh...isn't that an interesting coincidence?

So I expect the film to lack on the creative side so that Hugh Jackman can make more money. Not to say it's not going to be a great movie of course. I;m going to see it and I hope everyone else will, but I think the film would be better if it had an 18 certificate. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see.

Stay shiny dudes and dudettes,


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