One of my favorite shows this year is The Bear, the perfect tonal blend of comedy and drama that took the world by storm. It seems like everyone is talking about Carmy, the chef with a checkered past, hellbent on making sandwiches and figuring out how to honor his brother's legacy.
When it comes to pilot scripts, this show felt like it was shot out of a cannon. And there are so many lessons you can take from the pilot. Let's read it together and then go over three ideas you should take away to apply to your own writing.
3 Lessons From The Bear Pilot Script
1. Make the audience play catch-up
One thing I stress when it comes to writing any opening scene is letting the audience come in late. Force them to pay attention to get what's going on. Let them put together the relationships and stakes. This will get them invested right away and build a curiosity that makes people eager to read more.
2. Build character through action
Don't tell us about people, show us about people. When this show starts, we learn who Carmy is seeing the way he does things around the kitchen. His meticulous nature and even status in the chef world are shown to us. We see how he is revered and how some people push back, all through the "doing" and not just someone talking to us.
3. Showcase your world
Worldbuilding is one of the most fun parts of screenwriting. When it comes to writing a TV pilot, you need to showcase your world. what makes the place this story happens special? It can be cliche to call the location a character, but at least in the pilot, you're focusing on selling the idea to people. And the location can add some specificity and knowledge about a world other people will want to investigate. This is a dingy kitchen, but we are seeing an artist work in it, and we want to watch as he changes this kitchen into something bigger and even more special.
What are some lessons you learned from this pilot? Let us know in the comments.