Avatar: The Last Airbender had a Style Guide
It’s been 10 years since the finale! Andrew Whalen talks to the creators, Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko:
Still, when looking back at the series bible—a document developed to serve as an internal guide to the characters, settings and overall narrative of a show in the early stages of development—Konietzko and DiMartino found many of their ideas for the finale already in place, years before Avatar premiered in February of 2005.
That’s pretty cool. It feels like a show that had a very solid plan all along and a world that wasn’t just winged. Unlike LOST, in which the writers just did whatever the wanted:
“I had friends that were writing on Lost, I can’t say who they were. And I was watching football with one of them and I was telling them how much I loved the show…and I’m like, “How are you going to pay all this stuff off?” And he looked at me and goes, “We’re not.” And I go, “What do you mean you’re not?” He said, “We literally just think of the weirdest most fcked up thing and write it and we’re never going to pay it off.” And I look at him and I’m like, “That’s such bullshit! You are completely f*cking with the audience.”
I still feel scorned by LOST. It was such an incredible journey, fueled by the idea that this must be the most ingenious intertwined puzzle plot ever and the payoff is going to be incredible… maybe we can even figure out little bits along the way. Only to have it end with close to zero payoff and the admission it was just winged.