Creator Richie Mehta shares the structural differences between writing features and TV when it comes to plot, character, and world - and how he visually scaled the world for his series DELHI CRIME.
Fiction feature films have a very different structure than an episodic series. Some of the key differences are:
Feature films are more plot-centered. Many character choices and events are created to serve the main plot.
A series is character and/or world-based. Scenes do not have to relate to the main plot as long as they connect to the character(s) and/or greater world.
A summary of priorities:
Feature film: 1) plot; 2) character; 3) world
Episodic series: 1) world; 2) character; 3) plot
Your audience should feel the honesty of an image even when it's a reconstruction. For example, in Delhi Crime when filming a street scene, Richie had 400 extras on set but only needed 30 of them strategically placed in the foreground to make the scene feel authentic.
Build the feel and scale of a world using location shots as transitions. For example, Richie used b-roll of cities and streets to open up the massive world in which the police officers were trying to solve the crime.
For Richie, the ending of a story should be precise and calculated. A good ending doesn’t tell you how to feel, rather it offers an emotional catharsis and leads you to the completion of a journey.
Engage with the world. It’s the best way to get out of your own head and will serve as a constant source of inspiration
Richie Mehta is the creator of DELHI CRIME, which is based on the real-life events and the investigation of Delhi’s most notorious rape cases. Produced by Golden Karavan and Ivanhoe Pictures, Mehta wrote and directed all seven episodes of the series, a crime drama offering a compassionate look at law and order in the one of the world’s largest cities. more...