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  • The Key to a Procedural Drama Audition

    When I asked a producer friend of mine who has a long history in procedural dramas (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” or “Blue Bloods,” for example) what he looks for in casting his shows he said that in general, “Everyone needs to be about to have a heart attack.” 
    I love that statement. In a procedural, it takes between 40–45 minutes to commit, investigate, and solve a crime. No room for slackers in this genre!
    But, there are often problems with the audition material in procedurals: It tends to be over-written. Scenes that are short and quick when the show is produced tend to be longer and less focused in the sides. This is usually because the writers are asked to write longer scenes so there is room for cutting. 
    I’ve been in many script meetings where I’ve heard the producers, network execs, and even directors talk about the show not as a series of scenes, but as a series of sellable moments. So, if the writer writes a longer scene, there’s a chance for more moments. When the moments that are the brightest and that most effectively move the story forward are chosen in post-production, the rest of the scene is cut. 
    But at the time of the

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