For those of you following me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been watching a lot of Sorkin lately. I was in the middle of the third episode of Sports Night, when I realized that once again he was taking me somewhere I had never been before . . . and there was no magic carpet required.
In West Wing, he took his audiences behind the scenes of The Oval Office, a place steeped in mystery and excitement and high stakes, and something the world doesn’t really know much about, because we’re not allowed access.
In Studio 60, he took his audiences behind the scenes of SNL, a place
steeped in mystery and excitement and high stakes, and something the
world doesn’t really know much about, because we’re not allowed access.
Sports Night? Same thing. A Few Good Men? I’d never seen a military trial for murder with words like Code Red before, had you?
Sorkin opens doors that are usually closed. The subject matter alone is enough to excite the audience into tuning in, and then his twists and turns keep you there.
And when he’s done, you feel like you’ve learned something about a subculture that you knew nothing about before. You feel like you’re on the inside. You feel like a Soprano (another great example of this device).
Works in the theater too: A Chorus Line, Wicked, Rent . . . heck, even Cats!
Your audience is Jasmine. You are Aladdin. Take her somewhere.
And listen, that girl has been around, so don’t show her the usual sights. Show her a subculture.
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