What is it like, working on Lost? Two of the show's producers hint at the terrifying truth... and in the process, explain the four essential days of each episode's creation.
To celebrate the show's 100th episode tonight, producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz tell Variety about the four days that every Lost script goes through: The original idea, the fleshing out of the original idea, and then there's the third day:
We all come back in, maybe a little later than the day before, and all with the same conclusion.
The problem is unfixable.
Time to scrap it. Can't be done. We need something else. Do we have any backup ideas? Island talent show sounds pretty good right about now. Yeah. We're doomed. All appears lost. That is until the sun is setting and someone, thankfully, quietly pipes in with ... the breakthrough. In the case of episode 513 ("Some Like It Hoth"), it went something like this:
Someone: "What if, after they find Chang at the Orchid station, he has to come in the bus with Hurley and Miles?"
Quiet. Time to absorb that. At first it seems just a small thought, but in actuality it has huge repercussions. And this change sweeps through the room, creating a new wave of excitement.
Yeah, if we did that then Miles is forced to interact with the one man with whom he has no interest in spending time. Conflict! Drama! A character going on a journey of discovery. Learning something about his past that will affect his future. And, lo and behold, hope returns to Burbank.
Riding the wave of euphoria, everyone heads home nervous. Is this a real breakthrough? Possibly.
(The fourth day is beginning to break down the specifics of the episode, before scripting.)
And for those who're wondering whether the show can satisfy its audience as it heads towards its conclusion, or if it'll go the Battlestar Galactica route, Kitsis and Horowitz have a message that might calm your concerns... almost:
Yes. We really have a plan.
However, there's quite a distance to travel from "having a plan" to executing it.
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