NOTE: The following contains plot and character details for INSIDE OUT. If you do not wish to be spoiled, please leave now. If reading fictional network television notes makes you break out in hives, please take an antihistamine.
INSIDE OUT ROUGH CUT 4 NOTES
Hello! Thanks for turning our notes around so quickly. As it stands, the show is really making some progress but it's really not there yet. What you've given is so immensely creative and thrilling, which is great... and is also a huge concern. The problem is we kept getting lost in what's going on. A clarity pass is absolutely necessary. Bites, bites, bites! If we're going to ask for the audience to take the leap to go into someone's mind, we need to spell things out for them very clearly so they don't get nervous. Once you do this with a very thorough bite pass, then we'll give time coded notes. Please address the following (and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my assistant to set up a time for a call.).
We really do like that Joy is our main character here. Her introduction is great and all, but with the arrival of each emotion into Riley's brain, it starts getting confusing. Yes, none of them look or sound alike at all and they each have a very distinctive personality, but we can't assume that the audience can suss out who is who right off the bat. So, let's do a chyron pass and an intro package on each emotion. Sure, Anger says he's anger, but if we throw in a lower third that says "Anger" when he's on the screen, then the audience will know for sure!
RILEY'S MOVE TO SAN FRANCISCO
There is some great scene work when Riley and her family arrive in San Francisco. Still, once they are actually in their house, I forgot which town they were in! Can we throw up another lower third to remind us where we are? We started in Minnesota and then they switched locations; man, that's a lot to swallow!
Disgust has a great sound-up once they see the dead mouse in Riley's room; does she have a bite about it? I would love to get inside the head of the beings inside Riley's head.
MEMORY STORAGE/ISLANDS OF PERSONALITY
So, the different emotions run Riley at different times depending on the situation. I know we established that at the very beginning but on Riley's first day of school, I think we should really throw in a flashback to this to remind the audience exactly why the emotions are there at the control panel in the first place. Sure, it just happened 10 minutes before and it's in all the promotional materials and is the very concept of the show to begin with, but it couldn't help to remind the audience of this. Remember, always reiterating what is going is what we storytellers do best!
Memories come in as big marbles and then go into long-term storage. Some memories are core memories that create the different islands that form Riley's personality - wow, that is a LOT of information for our audience to remember! Let's construct a very tight flashback that we can use every 4-5 minutes to jog the audience's memory of this. It's hard to remember how Riley remembers so we need to remember to remind the audience of this so they can remember it all. Got it?
Please add a pick up scene where Disgust goes over Riley's first day of school outfit. We think this could really go over well with our audience and serve as a possible makeover show backdoor pilot called "Ughh, You're Not Going To Wear THAT, Are You?" Advertisers love shows where we shame women on their fashion choices Throw the scene in and let's make it work!
When Riley has her breakdown during her first day of class, do we have any bites from the cool girls in school? We get the idea from Disgust and Fear what Riley's stakes are, but if we can get a few from that clique of mean girls, it can really hammer home what Riley is really risking. And also the funnier the better!
JOY AND SADNESS TRY TO GET BACK TO HEADQUARTERS
When Joy and Sadness meet Bing Bong, let's give him a really big intro package. I know he introduces himself in scene, but let's throw in a bite along the lines of "Hi, I'm Bing Bong. I'm Riley's imaginary friend. I'm part elephant, part cotton candy and an all-around great guy and since I've been wandering around Riley's long-term memory, I really know my way around." Please get this verbatim.
Please double check our trade out agreement with Triple Dent gum. I really don't think they want us to have some much scene work of our people groaning every time their jingle is heard.
The section where Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong get caught in the Abstract Thought section can be cut. I am really not clear on what Abstract Thought is, so let's just make it a web extra.
Does Rainbow Unicorn have any bites regarding Riley's dream going haywire? We're paying an arm and a leg for her appearance fee, so let's get the most for our money.
I know Joy says that the Subconscious is where Riley stores all of the big things that frighten her, but can she explain in in a bite? Or maybe Sadness can? We haven't heard from her in a while, let's see what she has to say.
We've been in Riley's head for so long; is there any more scene work that we can cut to? Maybe with the parents or the cool girls at school? This is starting to feel a bit claustrophobic.
Please make sure the killer birthday party clown has signed a release.
When the personality islands start breaking apart, can we add in a bite from Sadness or Joy about what this means? We have to always remind the audience about the stakes. What would happen if Riley loses every portion of her personality? What would happen to her? Does this mean she would end up working in insurance? Let's spell this out.
JOY AND SADNESS MAKE IT TO HEADQUARTERS
When Joy and Bing Bong are trying to get out of the Memory Dump using his wagon, let's throw in a flashback of him and younger Riley playing on it and saying that it's powered by song. They start singing to power it and I'm completely lost! (Also, the Bing Bong song is cleared, right? Our music budget has been eaten up with the Triple Dent trade out).
Please add a bite from Joy when she realizes that Bing Bong is no longer there. Even though we see she's crying, how am I to know if she really misses him or not without a bite exactly saying that?
Now that we see that the memories are now coming in with multiple colors instead of just one, let's add in a bite from Joy about how important it is for Riley's development that all of her emotions be validated. We can't assume the audience will pick up on this; it's only obvious to us since we're professionals at this but remember, the audience isn't!
Please have these done with a notes response by 11am tomorrow morning. Thanks!