There have been many people in my career that taught me how to produce documentary series for television. But the most profound was, luckily, one of the first executives I worked with. On the terrific show for Lifetime called “What Should You Do?” during the first season, I learned lessons in storytelling from the wonderful Co-Executive Producer, Monique Hart.
Ms. Hart asked two questions at every story meeting. The first was when does the music change? In other words, when do things take a dramatic turn? The second question she asked was what is the button at the end? The final thought that sums everything up. It was my first lesson in keeping thing simple. One I would have to learn over and over when doc-series morphed into reality. Reality is it’s own animal since there are many ways to tell a story.
These days, when I’m stuck or overthinking things, I go back to basics. When does the music change? What is the button?