The Laws Pitch Bible

Media artists contend with a series of Laws that dictate elements of theme, time,
and technical production designed to stretch their creativity in producing short
media pieces.
“The Laws” is a weekly half-hour television series following the progress of
various groups of media artists as they produce short works under the
constraints of four Laws per week.  Three of the Laws are technical and one is
the episode’s Theme, a thesis which must be incorporated into each finished
work.  These Laws are presented and enforced by The Host, an enigmatic
figure who operates outside of the normal plane of human existence. The short
media pieces produced will be the focus of “The Laws”, and the creative
process of the production teams will be shown through a series of documentary-
style shorts that are interspersed throughout the episode.
THE LAWS:  The Laws are the central concept of the series.  A Law is a
commandment that each production team must follow in the creation of their
short film.  A Law may be technical, structural, artistic, or even fantastical or
ridiculous.  The Laws will be clear but open to interpretation, achievable but
challenging.  All Laws will be created collectively by the class prior to
production of the first episode and randomly selected two weeks prior to each
episode’s respective production.  There will be four Laws selected per week,
one of them the given Theme for the episode. This Theme will be an
overarching thesis that each filmmaker must incorporate into their piece.  The
Theme ensures that there will be a measure of continuity throughout the
disparate short films produced.   The sixth episode, the show’s finale, will be
The Anarchy Episode.  In this episode, each production team will be expected
to break the Laws selected for that week.
THE SHORTS: The short films themselves will make up the bulk of each
episode.  They may vary in length, content and structure, but will adhere to the
Laws of their respective episode. Their content must also demonstrably be
shown to fit into the overall Theme of the episode in which they appear.  Each
episode will feature at least three short films, but may contain more, if length
and production time allow.  Producers, writers, directors, etc. will sign on to
produce pieces prior to the selection of the Laws and Theme.  The Laws will be
revealed to them one week prior to their episode’s production date (three weeks
before their air date).  This maintains the elements of risk, surprise, and haste
necessary to support dramatic tension in the documentary segments.
THE DOCUMENTARIES:  Each episode will contain short documentary
segments that focus on the creative and technical production challenges that
face the participants in their attempts to produce their films within the Laws and
Theme.  The documentaries will concentrate on the creative process and not on
interpersonal drama.  These segments give the audience a personal glimpse
into the struggles of modern media makers, and provide a rare opportunity for
the artists behind the camera to be seen alongside their work.  The
documentary segments will combine personal interviews (with cast, crew,
producers, directors, etc.), candid filming, and B-roll footage shot behind the
scenes.  The positions of the documentary team will be decided upon at the
same time as the generation of the Laws.  By the end of six episodes the
documentaries will have covered all aspects of production.
THE HOST: The Host is the most recognizable character on the show, opening
each episode with a recitation of the laws.  The function of the host character is
to acclimate the audience to the premise of the show at the beginning of each
episode and remind them of that premise at key points during the show.  The
host is a somewhat mysterious figure, but it is clear that he or she operates on a
higher metaphysical plane than the rest of the characters on the show.  The
Host lives in a realm outside that of human existence, a realm of all things
Media, where they are master of all.  For sport, the Host challenges aspiring
filmmakers to a test of their skills and creativity.  The Host delights equally in
their success and failure.  The appearance and presentation of the Host will
reflect the Theme of each episode.  Thus, the Host will change in presentation
from episode to episode, but will always retain the same demeanor and role in
the series.
Draft Budget
$200/episode would go towards standard costs like costuming, makeup, set
design, props, and HD storage media.  The budget would be divided evenly
among the productions (including production of the host segment), with any
surplus budget being shared with other segment productions when possible, or
carried over to the next episode.  The documentary productions should not incur
any monetary budget.
Preliminary Production Schedule
Production scheduling is largely dependent upon the nature of the short films
being produced.  The production schedule should ultimately give segment
directors the choice of shooting in or out of the CCAM studio, or a combination
thereof.  The production of the host segments will also be included in the
schedule.  Production of the documentary segments will be completed parallel
to one or more segment productions.  The documentary team should allow for
its members to be, at times, involved in other productions.  Production meetings
will be scheduled weekly.
Week 01
Pitch / Generation of Laws and Themes / Production Scheduling
Week 02
Announce Laws Episode 1 / Pre-Production Episode 1
Week 03
Announce Laws Episode 2 / Production Episode 1
Week 04
Announce Laws Episode 3 / Post-Production Episode 1 / Production Episode 2
Week 05
Announce Laws Episode 4 / Post-Production Episode 2 / Production Episode 3 / Episode 1
Week 06
Announce Laws Episode 5 / Post-Production Episode 3 / Production Episode 4 / Episode 2
Week 07
Announce Laws Episode 6 / Post-Production Episode 4 / Production Episode 5 / Episode 3
Week 08
Post-Production Episode 5 / Production Episode 6 / Episode 4 Airs
Week 09
Post-Production Episode 6 / Episode 5 Airs
Week 10
Episode 6 Airs
Sample Script
Theme: Time
1. Pieces must be written, cast, shot, edited, and delivered to the Host within 24
2.  The finished pieces must be constructed of one continuous shot, recorded
3.  The finished piece must incorporate one or more still images.
I. Opening Credits and Title Sequence
II. The Host
[Host appears dressed in formal wear with a prominent pocket watch on a
minimal set featuring a multitude of clocks of different types and sizes, each
clock set to a different time.  Host moves among the clocks, examining or
picking up some, and gesturing to others as he speaks]
[Host appears in left side of screen and reads the Laws as the simplified text of
the Laws appears in the right side of screen, then segues into the next
III. Documentary Segment #1: Pre-Production
IV. Short Film #1: (Time Travel)
V. Documentary Segment #2: Production
VI. Short Film #2 (Disjointed Narrative)
VII. The Host
[Host with the Red Square clock tower in the background]
VIII. Short Film #3 (Experimental Music Video Featuring Clocks)
IX. Documentary Segment #4: Post-Production/Reflection
X. Short Film #4 (A Race Against Time)
XI. The Host
[chroma shot: Host in front of an insert of time-lapse Olympia skyline footage]
[host takes out and looks at pocket watch]
“That’s all the time we have for this week…” etc.
XII. Ending Credits

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