Monday, September 26, 2011

"Lost" Writer Spills The Beans (Hint: They Made A Lot Of Stuff Up)

"Lost" was undeniably one of the most memorable shows of all time. It featured just about every element of science fiction/fantasy writing ever created including invisible monsters, time travel; Heaven, Hell; mad scientists, deserted islands, air plane crashes, flash backs, flash-forwards; special abilities (magic) and enough drama to make a soap opera writer proud.

Unfortunately, its convoluted plot left many viewers confused about what was happening and why. And if you were unfortunate enough to miss an episode you were, well, for lack of a better term, lost.

While the show was on there were rumors that the writers were essentially making it up as they went along; throwing in elements that were designed to build the mystery without knowing exactly how the mystery would be resolved.

Now we know, that's pretty much what the writers were doing: making it up as they went along.

Damon Lindelof was only writing for "Lost" as a way of getting a chance at writing for "Alias." He was the keynote speaker at the New York Television Festival this past weekend where he spoke at length about the mystery surrounding the writing process for "Lost."

Lindelof came in with plenty of ideas, including nonlinear storytelling and flashbacks.

"The biggest issue with a desert island show was the audience is going to get very frustrated that the characters were not getting off the island," he said. "My solution was, hey, let's get off the island every week. And the way we're going to do that is we're going to do these flashbacks. We'll do one character at a time and there's going to be like 70 characters on the show, so we'll go really, really slow, and each one will basically say, here's who they were before the crash and it'll dramatize something that's happening on the island and it will also make the show very character-centric."

Abrams liked the idea, and also had another: "'There should be a hatch on this island! They spend the entire season trying to get it open. And there should be these other people on the island,'" Lindelof recalled Abrams saying. "And I'm like, ''We can call them The Others.' And he's like, 'They should hear this noise out there in the jungle.' And I'm like, 'What's the noise?' And he's like, 'I don't...know. They're never going to pick this thing up anyway.'"

Click here to read the entire story about Lindelof.

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