After the success of the pilot, Channel Fluxx ordered six more episodes of The Teacher Project. Finally our series was going to come alive. Of course, this also meant I needed to create six more scripts. I had already mapped out the basic story for each episode. It simply became a task of adding meat to each basic idea. This wasn’t as easy as you might think.
When we created the pilot, we decided to keep a documentary feel with each episode. However, developing the basic story within each episode (in that documentary format) posed a serious challenge, and it took a while to get into a groove. Episode 2 still has that true documentary form, having a more informational feel to it than other episodes. The story still advances, but not the way the rest of the episodes do. In my personal opinion, Episode 2 is the weakest one in the series with advancing the story.
We always planned Episode 3 to be a more serious episode. In this episode, I decided to explain more of the main character’s background. Why is he a single dad? Why does he seem so depressed? This helps set the tone going forward, and probably could have been a better Episode 2. My favorite part in this episode was the dialogue between Greg (played by Chuck Fonshell) and Karen (played by Teri Lee). Teri is a serious talent who has been in movies with several A-list actors. The interaction between Karen and Greg was so natural and working with such amazing actors certainly made my job as a director easy.
One of the most fun episodes to shoot on The Teacher Project was Episode 4. We knew having a web series about a teacher, we would eventually need students. We came up with the idea of having students ask some of the typical questions that they ask. Writing this was just as much fun as shooting the scenes. I decided to write this as a montage, just a bunch of quick-hitting scenes, that gives the audience a true picture of some of the horrible questions some kids ask. My wife and I, both teachers, had a lot of fun one evening just brainstorming all the different questions. Oh, and yes, they are real questions that we’ve been asked. Casting these kids was also fun. Each one brought their own unique spin on the student they played, and it really couldn’t have turned out any better.