Are you watching Yellowjackets on Showtime? This is a show that really crept up on me, no pun intended. It seemed like one day, on Twitter, everyone was just talking about it.
I finally had the time to sit down to watch, and I was pleasantly surprised by one of the best pilots in recent memory. The show is about a wildly talented high school girls' soccer team. After their plane crashes in the remote Canadian wilderness, they descend into savage clans. Simultaneous to that story, we meet them 25 years later, where they discover that what began in the wild is far from over.
You can watch the pilot for free right now. Or you can read and download the Yellowjackets pilot script PDF right here!
Today I want to discuss the three best parts of the writing (for me) and what you can learn from the show. Let's crash land together!
3 Lessons from the Yellowjackets Pilot Script PDF
1. Define Your Characters
The pilot of Yellowjackets introduces us to strong, independent women who play soccer in high school. Their personality is revealed through their play on the field and socialization with others in high school... until it's not.
That's because we flash forward to the present, where we meet a core group who survived the plane crash, and we see who they are and how they've evolved from their time in the wilderness. This is an amazing way to get us wondering about the plot points that made them into the women they are in the present while juxtaposing who they are in the past. Each person has to be clearly defined for that to happen.
2. Write for Your Audience
Right from the first paragraph of the pilot, we know we're in the hands of writers with a voice, who care about us reading their script. There's a level of immersiveness and personality here that grips you during the read.
This kind of style and voice is inviting. It's at the top of the episode and starts us off with a bang. We talk about how opening scenes and pages matter, but the voice at the top also matters. It doesn't pull you out, but rather helps sink you into the pages. Really smart work here to play to the audience reading.
3. Always leave us wanting more...
The key to any pilot writing is an idea with legs. There are just so many questions left wide open after this pilot.
Why is someone being chased? What made them crash? Who survived the crash? Who's keeping tabs on them in the future? Will their relationships work out? Who is left alive? And so on and so forth.
The legs here are obvious, and there is just too much to unravel for this idea to be a movie. It begs for seasons and seasons. The conflict amongst these women is evident as well. There is something else in the past that allowed them to survive, and we're trying to find out.
Is your pilot asking enough questions? Are your characters in deep enough? Make sure you always leave the audience wanting more.