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Joe Cristalli Headshot

Hey Man, Could You Read This Thing and Give Me Notes?

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Hey Man,

Do you remember that thing I was working on? I told you about it at that house party a couple of weeks ago? Anyway, I finally think it's time. Could you read this thing and give me notes?

It's a half-hour, single-camera sitcom pilot. Before you answer, let me give you a quick overview. The main character, "John Everyman," is kind of like a Patton Oswalt type. Originally, he was more of a Tom Hanks, but I wanted him to have this goofy, funny sensibility. Although I appreciate all of Hanks' comedic work, frankly, I don't think he'd have the chops for my pilot. Oh, by the way, the name of the pilot is, Friends Forever: The Story of Hanging Out.

In FFTSOHO, John's love interest is a different kind of beast. Nothing like you've ever seen on a sitcom. She's sassy and lovable, but also, crazy hot. Like, imagine the hottest girl you've ever seen, but then take her, and have her start making out with Jennifer Love Hewitt circa 1998. Her name is "Jillian Heart." Throughout the pilot, I constantly switch back and forth between Jillian and Jilly-Billy as the character name, so just make sure you keep that in the back of your mind. Obviously I wouldn't have two characters with such similar names. This isn't amateur hour. This is auteur hour. (I actually use that joke in the pilot, so please try to approach it fresh.)

The show is set in Los Angeles. The group of friends are aspiring writers, trying to make it in LA, but they just haven't found a way in yet. It's kind of like Friends meets this other show where writers are trying to make it in Hollywood. I don't think that story has ever been done, so in the future, people will probably say about their pilot dealing with friends trying to make it as writers in LA that it's like Friends meets Friends Forever: The Story of Hanging Out.

Anyway, the pilot takes you on this journey of John Everyman and Jilly-Billy Heart moving to Los Angeles from the mid-west town of "White Haven Falls." It sounds real, so when people watch the show they'll be like, "We should go to White Haven Falls some time. It sounds so bourgeois." That's what makes this pilot so great: it's relatable.

When you get to the end, I know it feels a little rushed. There's all this exposition that I need to get across. Pilots, right? When you get to page 64, I think I hit my stride, but by 83, I definitely hit my stride. I'm not sure where I should put the last round of talking heads though. Oh right, I should mention, it's kind of like this mockumentary type thing, where the camera is following around all these friends and we get to hear insights during their talking heads. Cool idea, right?

Okay, so I guess that's it. I'm attaching the script to this email. Do you have Final Draft? I didn't PDF it, I just attached the Final Draft file, so I hope that's cool. I'm actually planning to do another pass on it after I get your notes, so if you could get them to me by later tonight, that would be awesome. Also, if you don't read it by tonight, I'll probably have another revised draft by tomorrow afternoon-ish. I can send you that one if you'd prefer.

Thanks a lot, man. Really appreciate it.

Joe