WITH a long career in television as a writer, art director and producer, Coelho has produced this practical working guide with each chapter beginning with excerpts from interviews of writers in the business and contains flow charts to map the order in which the processes begin. What is more, the text is liberally interspersed with anecdotes and stories. At the end of the book, the Writers’ Toolkit provides the basic information and resources needed as a writer.
Coelho says that the writers begin by getting an idea and concept before pitching it or making a presentation. A struggling writer however has to seek an appointment with the decision-maker at the production house. The right person is the Creative Head or the Creative Director. If the production house or the Creative Director buys it, the next step is the presentation on the channel. Here the author explains through a development flow chart how the idea moves from one step to another. This is followed by the presentation tools which are narration, the pilot, the powerpoint presentation. Then come the promos to showcase the characters, the content, look, feel, style as promos are far more representative and helpful than a pilot where a particular episode is shown, mostly the first one. The pilot can never be representative of what the show will finally be like, she points out.
Coelho explains how to create the story in which the main tool at the heart of the drama is conflict. Conflict happens when you take two people, situations, beliefs, needs and fling them together. Without conflict, there is no movement or energy to your story. Then comes exposition or plot device followed by rising action, climax and finally resolution of the conflict between the antagonist and the protagonist. This is followed by screenplay which is the story in a shape ready to be translated on to the screen. She adds that the television remains a vital living force in the lives of millions of households and women across India. “I still believe that the power of the television to do positive change is immense,” she says.
(Collins, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers India, A-53 Sector 57, Noida-201 301; www.harpercollins.co.in)