A Series Written By: Mand Paskuski
On her first day at her new job, a Production Assistant, Barbara (Mid 30's), becomes accidentally responsible for the future of the show.
In this workplace drama we follow Barbara, a woman struggling to gain her footing in the world of showbusiness while juggling a catastrophic personal life. She ramps into a fast-Paced work environment at the bottom of the film food-chain and realizes this hierarchy is harder to climb than a rocky mountain on stilts. Told via a strong solo-female lead with an incredibly vibrant ensemble cast. There will be grand dance and musical numbers each show with a new featured guest (Like Bowie, Elton John, or Andy Warhol) alongside theatrical skits the company has to prepare for each week. Life is hard for a struggling performer, and we will see just how hard our characters have it but never surrendering to despair for the show must always go on.
CoMPANY is a 12 hour Workplace Dramedy.
Set in a 1962 New York City, this is the life of the starving artists. Massive City, massive Theatre, massive opportunity to sink or swim.
BARBARA is our girl. She leads us through every episode and as she learns the ropes of showbusiness behind the scenes, so do we.
Barbara arrives late to her first day of work. She enters and already we get a glimpse of how hectic backstages are. Show folks flit about, something wrong here, another thing wrong there, the lights too bright, the dress is too short, the men are too tall for their mark yadda…yadda…yadda. At the center of this tornado is Barbara’s new boss: JAMES “JAMIE” JARKIN. He’s gorgeous, so much so that it’s a wonder he’s not in front of the camera. More than he is handsome, he is great at his job and fair as often as he can be in this line of work.
We discover a famous guest is arriving and Barbara is in charge of making sure he’s ready and on time for curtain call. When the guest in question shows up, shall we say…late and less ready than expected Barbara is forced to figure out a solution to save the show.
The star of the show SABINA STARCHILD we learn is as diva as they come, and doesn’t warm much to pretty new PA’s. She tries hard to cut Barbara’s career short before it begins. Luckily, Barbara makes a few friends on her first day, and as cut throat as company can be, solidarity in rank has the power to unite.
Barbara manages to save the show for that week and in doing so impresses Jarkin, solidifying her job placement at the production company. It ends happy, or so we think until we glimpse a cliffhanger we didn’t see coming just behind the red curtain…
BARBARA KELLY (30), is inquisitive, witty, awkward, and completely unaware of her charms. After years of working menial jobs she hated she came across the serendipitous opportunity to apply as a PA at FIFTEEN MINUTES TELEVISION BRAODCAST STUDIOS. The studio itself has recently come into a bit of controversy for it’s behind the scenes debauchery and scandals but that hasn’t deterred Barbara from pursuing the opportunity. On her first day, she single-handedly saves the show from going under and shocks everyone including herself. She uncovers as well, quite by accident, many of the secret relationships hidden backstage and unintentionally wields quite the bit of power for a PA as a result.
ELLIE CHAPIN (30), A beautiful company dancer and showgirl is in the eye of the controversial scandal surrounding the show. As such, she has been ostracized by the rest of the cast and crew, except for Barbara. They become friends, and help each other as the trials of the show’s demands wear on both their work and personal lives.
BERNIE BOON (Late 20’s), is the niece of Laurence Boon (the former star of the show). She is shy, sweet, impressionable and totally in love with her boss. For months a secret relationship has been developing between the two and since it’s 1962, it’s what would then be considered an HR and PR nightmare. A lesbian couple with a vast age difference, power imbalance and conducting an open affair within the walls of their workplace.
JAMES “JAMIE” JARKIN (40’s) Showrunner of Fifteen Minutes. Hard-working, good at his job in an effortless sense, and seriously gorgeous in a way that questions why he chose to stay behind the camera. He’s fair as often as he can be in his line of work, and say what you will about show-folk but he’s one of the good ones: not easily corruptible and he doesn’t suffer fools lightly. He’s not a man for games or bullshit – give it to him straight like a good Old Fashioned.
DEAN “DINO” GRACEY (40’s) Producer of Fifteen Minutes. Brawny, bold, big-headed, and totally corrupt. Despite his flaws, he and Jamie happen to be best friends, if only so Jamie can live vicariously. Dean currently juggles the hearts of two women: His wife of ten years, and SASHA, a beautiful dancer and showgirl in the company. He holds quite the amount of responcibility but receives hardly any of the blowback or fallout that arises from the show’s many scandals.
SABINA STARCHILD (30’s) is the other half of a duo that was recently cut in half as a result of murder. When her co-star of ten years, LAURENCE BOON is brutally murdered and dies on stage in front of a live audience, her only thought is about the security of her own career. Selfish, self-serving, brazen and a bully, Sabina is every diva we’ve ever come across in life times ten. It’s a pitty her looks are fading, and her talent is thin for not even her personality could save her from looking cheap.
FERNANDO (20’s) is young, gay, and fabulous and he’ll tell you that a thousand times over till you believe it. Truly, he’s a catty bitch who nibbles at the tit of Sabina and is devoted to no one but her. He is instrumental in several person’s being fired from the show due to the spreading of fabricated gossip. He loves a good scandal, especially if he’s the one who caused it.
Like the real-live inner workings of a studio, network, or theatre, the pace of this show will be fast. Told of the dominant perspective and point of view of our female lead, but taking shape in the POV’S of the ensemble cast as well. The audience should feel with every scene that they’re in on a secret, privy to a private conversation, or sneaking glimpses at a scandal. We should feel the weight of these discoveries as they happen and be on the edge of our seats to watch the world fall apart bit by bit as new information is leaked and revealed.
We start off with a BANG and a death, for a while it should feel like we’re making steady progress back up the ladder of success. However, the one things about stars is we love to watch them fall from grace, if only to feel like the playing field is somewhat levelled. As we fall in love with the stars, we will also fall out of love with them, rooting for them to succeed only to relish in their collapse.
This show should make us question our own consciences and take inventory of our personal moral compasses. It’s purpose should be thought provoking, dream-challenging and also…dramatic. In the same way we watch Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy struggle through life, imperfect but loveable as she is, we too should feel that level care for these characters. Barbara and Jamie specifically. They are the love we root for and the love we know might be a doomed one. However fated it might be, the good bits outweigh the bad and the torment they go through by the end of the season should be one we all can relate to on some level.
The soundtrack should be heavily contrasted. In moments of utter horror, we should hear the happy plunky-go-lucky sounds of Cuban congas and bongos. A true juxtaposition of visual and auditory sensations that seems somewhere comical at first until you realize it’s purpose it to point at the true and humanity of life – And more pointedly, life as a struggling artist.
FIFTEEN MINUTES TELEVISION BROADCAST STUDIOS
Style is important. Each space or office will have a distinct personality in regards to aesthetic. The Production Design Team will get to play freely with color, shapes, set-ups. They'll be able to construct a miniature world within our little building. Each space should be a reflection of the people that spend the most time in that space and in turn should mirror in part, their wardrobes and individual personalities.