people in this business love their souped-up vocabulary: we “green-light” things, and dump things in “turnaround” and “negative pick-up” and “pitch” and make “pre-emptive strikes.” And we love our creative talk too. We like lots of “character journeys” and “story integrity” and “deeply humanistic values.” Our slang is so vivid and energetic that’s it’s hard to remember that these phrases are used mostly when people are alone in their cars. Although it comes up a lot in meetings, too. I remember a network executive telling me once that while she liked our script, she wanted to see if we could “platform our heroes sooner in the piece, so the audience could begin to celebrate with them earlier in their journey.” Okay. Sure. Not a problem. Just platform the…thing….with the….journey and the…stuff.
Recently, we got a note asking us to have a detective “unpack the clues more extensively.” Within days, we found ourselves also being alerted that “there were more emotions to unpack in this scene, now it is Bob’s to command rather than his to assist and we think that could be amped.”