If I were going to write this show, I’d focus on how many kinds of witches there are and how paganism is adaptable to all kinds of lifestyles. I’d write a series of the same questions that I would ask each witch as starting points. I’d record their interviews as talking head style interviews, and then I’d shoot a tour of their home or neighborhood. I’d shoot lots of B roll - details of their belongings, and possibly some interaction with their tools of the trade. If they are into it, maybe a vignette of their job in the real world. As there are so many kinds of witches, I would go set up a booth at the Witch Fair in NYC and the pagan fairs in western MA, and the Samhain witch fests in Salem, MA to start with New England based witches. I'd post recruitment castings via Mandy.com, Craigslist, Casting Agencies, etc. and ask people to send 5 images and answer a few questions about themselves. Possibly a video submission via website. The more varied the better. After we had a good number to begin with locally, I'd check out other pagan / witch events around the country. Maybe set up something at Burning Man. Here are a few categories that might be cast-able:
- Hippie healthy witch - sort of health goth options too
- Drugs / psychedelic witch
- Hippie chakra witch
- Metal witch
- Solitary witch
- Potions witch
- Stripper witch
- Seer tarot witch
- Mean old lady witch - classic stereo type, but maybe a proud curmudgeon
- Obsessed with past lives witch
- Loving old lady witch
- Young hipster witch (could be a whole series at this point)
- Power hungry witch
- Man hating witch
- Yoga witch
- Team building / PreSchool teacher witch
- Science witch
- Ghost believer witch
- Crystals witch
- Goth witch - also various varieties within
- Devout witch
- Pagan / Druid style witch
- Voodoo witch
- Witch doctor witch
- Secret witch - shot entirely in silhouette
- Love obsessed witch
- Satanist witch
- What drew you to paganism / witchcraft?
- When did you begin practicing?
- What do you call yourself?
- What is your belief system?
- How do you apply it to your life?
- Are you “out” as a witch?
- What are your favorite things about yourself?
- Are you alone in your beliefs within your friend group? Or do you know many people with the same interests?
- Do you find you are judged by others based on their misconceptions of your belief system?
- Do you find power through witchcraft?
- Has paganism / witchcraft helped you in times of need?
- Does the environment play a role in your beliefs?
- Are you part of a coven / group? Or are you solitary?
- Does your family support you in your beliefs?
- Will you raise your children as pagans? (if applicable)
- Do you identify with other witches you meet?
- What are your favorite parts of paganism / witchcraft & how do you practice those in life?
- Do you practice magic? If so, what kinds?
- What do you find beautiful about your beliefs?
- What would you want outsiders to understand more about your religion / belief system?
- Do you float? - Yes, I float.
(I think it could be a funny button on every episode if the last question was "do you float?” and every kind of witch can have a floating scene, like at the beach, or in a hot tub, or at a hotel pool, lakeside, etc. They could be sipping a beverage and float by a stationary camera or something along those lines. Llike the Daily Show’s “moment of Zen” end of show button format.)
I also think one or two consistent hooks within each show would be smart and it would be fun to play on "Cribs" as it has come before. They used to always walk into the master bedroom and say "This is where the magic happens" and that can easily translate to an altar or the kitchen, or whatever in the witch's house. It would be smart to have every witch say the line just to have for edit. A super cut of "this is where the magic happens" could make an awesome teaser / trailer.
Another idea is to have 2-3 witches per episode and have each of them answering the same questions back to back throughout, showing the differences and similarities in lifestyle - country, city, old, young, hip, suburban, etc. Could potentially flesh the episodes out to an hour that way.
Yet another idea is to mix in short sketches based on their own stories, or maybe animations acting out their experiences?
Maybe witchy illustrations break up the scenes or art card the questions.
Possible Scripted Sketch ideas (not ideal yet, still thinking about this variation):
(Two witches pull up to a gas station, one in a fancy white 60’s Mercedes & one on a motorcycle. They know each other.)
Psst... have you heard about Amity’s daughter?
No! What’s up? Which one, Alice?
No her oldest, Prudence… (looks around to see if anyone is listening) She’s dating a Christian!
Whaat!? Really? Yikes.
I know, (shaking her head) it’s gonna be so hard for Amity over the holidays.
Well, I’m just shocked. All of that entrenched misogyny and shame? What could Prudence possibly see in that religion? Is he that cute?
Ugh, very very cute. (they both shake their heads)
Office cubicle setting:
A well dressed "traditionally normal” pastel sweater set styled woman leans over the wall of her cubicle and whispers loudly to the woman in the next cubicle.
Hi! I’m Linda! I meant to say welcome when you arrived last week, I’ve been swamped.
Camera pulls back to reveal the woman she is speaking to - She is dressed a little more avant garde, dramatic blacks and fully made up.
Hi Linda, I'm Louisa.
Great, hi! Listen, there is something I’ve been meaning to ask you.
Really? Ok, how can I help?
(whispering a bit more quietly, eyes darting around) Do you know how to get rid of a ghost?
What? (really not thinking she heard her correctly)
(louder) Ghosts. Do you know how to get rid of one?
Oh! (looking very surprised) Why do you think… (trails off)
You just seem like you’d know (gestures to her vaguely) how to get rid of a ghost, and I swear there is one in my house.
Well, ok… I mean... you could put bowls of sea salt in the corners of your home and light some sage in each room? Maybe dip your broom in sage water and sweep out each room toward the exits? I think those are the traditional methods…
I knew you’d know, I’m going to write those down. My goodness, thank you so much.
Happy to help. (looking a little bewildered, shaking her head)
(Two witches meet in the grocery store. They both reach for the herbs in the same spot. One is older, matronly, gray hair, etc. while the other is scantily clad, overly made up - very stereotypical “stripper” aesthetic)
You haven’t been returning my calls.
I know, I know, I’m sorry. It’s been really crazy at the club.
We’ve been worried about you.
(Skeptically) Oh yeah? All of you?
We’ll sure! You know, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge. I’m sure you’d fit in just fine.
I really appreciate it, Cynthia, but I’m really not into groups? I like being a solitary.
Well, ok. But we are down a witch and our coven really comes together as 13, you know? Completes the circle. Really amps up the power.
Yes, well… Marilyn has made it very clear that she doesn’t approve of my “dancing".
Ugh. Fuck Marilyn.
(She winks devilishly as Blanca looks up, surprised at the older woman’s cursing.)
I’ll talk to her. We all express ourselves in different ways. Blessed be your many blessings. (Winks, gesturing to her curves.) Marilyn can be a little “basic” if you know what I’m saying. (grimaces and rolls her eyes slightly)
Thank you, Cynthia. I’ll think about it. (Smiling at her kindness) And here, you can have the last of the fresh rosemary. (Hands her the last sprig.)