5:16 AM, Monday, October 12th 2009:
Ugh. What an absolute mess. I am up at 5:16 AM because I was tired of tossing and turning for two hours in bed thinking about this and had to write everything out.
Simply put, I didn't set up the final games of the show correctly and destroyed all the drama. I gave no incentive to be #1, just incentive to be in the Top 2 and it created absolute apathy to win, and the least competitive games we've ever played. All the intrigue and competitiveness of the first shoot was gone and even in the final game -- the race for the Top 2 continued. I was baffled, never saw it coming, and it ruined the show. As a producer/director I should've called the entire shoot immediately and went back to the drawing board on the way the brackets were set-up, but because I was also a player - I didn't want to look like I was being impartial. However what we were left with was the equivalent of a team down by a touchdown in the Superbowl, and kicking a field goal to end the game - 'cause hey, we're both winners! The stadium would riot, and the sport would soon cease to exist.
It's part of the growing pains of mixing a sport that in the professional leagues I've read about is just scored like Nascar (a long season of points) with a reality show where you need to have eliminations. I thought I had it figured out: The last 3 games before the championship had the top 2 people moving on, with the bottom 2 going to a losers bracket. Then in the last game the bottom 2 going home - top 2 going to the championship. It killed the competitive spirit of the game. And it was that mentality that also screwed up the championship. A player was happy with #2 'cause there was a "can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, while the #3 player could barely participate because #2 was beating up on #4 instead of going after #1 for the win. In order for Four Square to be competitive, you have to have each player trying to be #1, not top 2. When that happens? It's entertaining as hell 'cause it becomes play after play of 3 against 1. A huge game of "king of the hill".
Of course bringing up a redo of the final rounds less than 24 hours after the shoot is kinda predictable. Guess what, the people that lost are all for it!!! (sigh) I want to give specifics, but I'm certain a redo of the end will produce the same results - and I don't want to give away the ending. People have talked of reshoots involving just the one player to make it LOOK like he was trying to take out #1, etc. I'm not scriptin' this shit. No way. The brackets were flawed, that's it. If you give the appropriate incentive to win - the personalities take over. I didn't, and it failed. If the final four is determined by actually WINNING the entire previous game, not a top 2 thing? Guess what - it will work. Four games with the remaining players and the #1 winner advancing to the championship solves every single issue and will be completely cut-throat. And for the finale? You end it with a one-on-one game - hopefully pitting an alliance together. So you have a game of 4 with the winner advancing - and a game of 3 with the winner advancing. It will be a thousand times more intense - and a BLAST to watch. Hopefully everyone will want this, and if not? I guess the drama of trying to create a reality show - and totally fucking it up is actually pretty interesting. The footage I have is certainly dramatic if you look at it from my perspective where I realize someone found a loophole in the brackets and undercut the competition. I've certainly never seen a reality show end like this - LMAO. It would create some excitement for a 2nd season done CORRECTLY.
But I obviously don't want that. We have something really special here, and we're just a few games from making it exciting AND real. That's what will sell this. The whole basis for "FOUR" was that there is no "acting" or "scripting" needed. The game, with 4 people gunning for #1, is more exciting than any of us remembered. Get colorful personalities, good stories - and the game will do the rest. The "elimination" angle of the show however, I just fucked up. I can fix it, but I need everyone on board. Time will tell.
After everything was over - we all just kinda had fun. We had two tag-teams in a big 6 person game with everyone trying to win - and it was just a blast. I have to post this for one reason - us being into it? Isn't for the show. There were no points here, we knew this wasn't part of the show - we just all really love the game and want to win. It's very fun to watch...
...as will the end of this series if we set it up right.
For now, all eyes are on a moment one month from today. So much left to do...