Postmortem time: Some nice feedback on my writing sample, as well as some good pointers to a few samples out there already I missed before.
My concerns pre-writing were plenty; too long, too short, not enough details, too many technical bits and on and on. But it was more important to finish and get something I was satisfied with and worthy of review by the public, then tweak until the end of time and never actually complete.
The general feedback I received was that it could be more detailed visually, with more specific descriptions and probably less dialog. Also, a few people thought it was a touch slow and could use a few more action parts. All valid concerns.
Several of the other pitches run in the 10-16 page range, so I probably have room to expand. Get more visually descriptive overall. Some of the other pitches are written in script format, and in first person, so I think I’ll do my next sample in that format. Dave Cobb’s samples are probably the best examples I’ve found. I think it’s a challenge to impart a lot of scientific information in the context of a 5 minute ride, but the point of “show don’t tell” is well taken. This sample was a terror to format legibly for the web, so I’ll save everyone’s eyes and attach any new samples to a post as pdfs next time.
On the good side, people reacted favorably to the concept and wanted more from it. People suggested that custom ride vehicles that *transformed* somehow would be cool, and many mentioned to me how the nostalgia of growing up with The Magic School Bus made the concept appealing to them. I think the concept is as sound as any for a dark ride, and people agreed. People liked the infotainment aspect of the ride, especially with the current population problems the Monarch Butterfly population are suffering. Coincidentally, a great article, “Why America needs Epcot… and other ‘non-fiction’ theme parks” while concepting this, and I’d have to heartily agree.
On a technical side, I’m concerned making it stereoscopic is feasible in a environment where you’re looking in several directions potentially, so I’d want that tested early on. It’d be great for the immersiveness if it worked though. And I’d really like articulated butterflies close to normal scale to sell a few critical scenes. But I’m not even sure technical worries should come up in my head while writing a pitch. In fact, I’m leaning towards they shouldn’t.
The sense that I’m getting is that pitches should go pretty big with ideas and worry about scaling back later. Even if my parameters in Part I were to come up with a moderate price and tech ride, my next sample should go as far with the concept as possible, and cut back later as reality sets in.
I think all of this was great and certainly will shape my future samples. Most importantly, it was really, really fun to do.