It’s easy to be discouraged from creating a TV program when you take a look at the careers of Aaron Spelling or Norman Lear. The fact of the matter is that they found a formula to creating engaging programming, and that formula is what we all need in order to succeed in the TV show creation process.
There’s not one single formula to creating a TV show, since it’s all relative to what audience you are distributing your message and what vehicle you choose to drive the point home.
New ways of distributing entertainment are created everyday, and there seems to be no end to bringing back old ways to tell a story; however, if you want to have any chance of success, you must stick to what you know and what feels comfortable to you.
If you love comedy, produce comedy. If you love drama, produce drama. It’s unproductive to put energy and effort into something you’re not passionate about. Passion, with a little side of ambition, is most likely what will push you to complete whatever project you decide to bring to fruition.
I’m unable to speak to everyone’s individual process, but mine goes a bit as follows:
MESSAGE – I believe that regardless of what you’re producing, there needs to be a message. What are you trying to say? What’s the point of what you’re saying? If you can’t answer these questions easily, you may not have a viable message. You don’t have to be a preacher and pound information to your audience, but don’t waste the opportunity that people give you when they watch your product. If you have their attention, might as well tell them something worthwhile.
PASSION – Be passionate about your project. Throughout the process of completing a project you will have peaks and valleys. Passion is the only thing that will keep you climbing back up to the peaks from the valleys. When you’re sitting there asking yourself, “is anything you’re doing worth it?”- Passion will bring you back to a “keep going” state of mind. Without passion you might as well not even begin a project.
SELECTIVE LISTENING – Advice is great, especially when it comes from great people. You need feedback and suggestions as much as you need a plan and execution. However, you need to keep in mind that not everyone thinks the way you think, and some advice might lead you to a place you did not intend to go. The best thing to do is to evaluate all feedback, but make decisions based on instinct. Sounds primitive to follow instincts to produce a quality project, but when it comes to the creative process, there are many mysteries that are hard to explain. So always listen to advice from people that have an interest in your success, but when it comes to making decisions, follow your gut.
FINISH WHAT YOU START – How easy is to say, “you’re going to do something”. The hard part is actually doing it! If you start something, finish it. This is a great habit to get into, not only in producing, but also in life in general. If there weren’t any obstacles to get things done, then we would all do what we set out to do. Fortunately, there are obstacles out there, and the good thing about them is that they allow creativity to thrive. Obstacles force you to think of new and innovative ways of doing things, so appreciate every obstacle.
Of course, producing a TV show is easier said than done, but when you firmly believe in something and you have a message that you need to relay the masses, there’s probably no better way currently to get it out there than through television.