When I ﬁrst started writing, and for a while afterwards, I had such a problem with length. I had good ideas, and I could execute them decently enough for a college student, but I was always straining to reach the proper length. Whenever I wrote a movie, it would be 70 minutes. TV episodes would be 15 minutes. I just couldn’t get over the edge to create something that felt truly professional. Not an unﬁxable problem, but it certainly seemed that way. As I got older and improved other aspects of my game, that unshakable ﬂaw remained.
It’s gotten better, but now that I’m in pre-production on my next webseries, different problems are emerging. I’m fortunate to say that length has not been an issue this time around. When you’re making 6-minute episodes, reaching a minimum length is deﬁnitely a minimal concern. But this show is a passion project of mine, and I’m constantly thinking of new ideas and jokes to put in. Some of them are narrative, but many of them are visual. Sight gags, creative shots, editing jokes—there’s more in my mind than I can possibly ﬁt into this series. I’m only allowed to shoot for ﬁve days, and I have enormous spacial constraints. I keep trying to perfect the script, but once I start meeting with my production team, I know I’ll be forced to lose a lot of these jokes that I love. It’s been a difﬁcult math problem to solve, but lately I’ve decided to embrace the paradox. I’m overloading the script with as much humor as I can possibly imagine, even if I know it’s not executable. Then when I eventually have to ﬁlter things out for logistical reasons, I know that only the best stuff will survive.
It’s a simple lesson, but nonetheless one that’s worth learning. Doing too much is always better than doing too little. And when you have a limit on your resources (which is true to an extent in virtually every situation in everyone’s life), pick the things that really matter. And the only way to ﬁnd those is by overloading your art.
Writer, Director, Doer