Saturday, August 16, 2008

Big Bouncing Comedy

Alf Garnett - not to be taken internally

Works under consideration: 1
Current Dominant Thought: Woke up smelt the coffee…went back to bed
Ideas: 3.280

This post carries on with writing for the Every1sacritic competition

every1sacritic competition – Minus one day

I’ve sent off my entry, called ‘Hitting Things’ …a band has to pass a test at a call centre to earn enough money for a tour… for the every1sacritic competition (a 15min sit com to be performed live in a competition) and had an acknowledgment. I managed to write the whole thing, from planning, outline, character development, to 2,800 words in seven hours.

How did I do that? Because it’s the quickest I’ve ever written anything. I’ve spend more time on the opening line of a sketch. I cut corners, I didn’t have the foundation of all the work I usually put in but I made it. Either I’m getting good at writing or I’ve managed to overcome that writer thing that dwells on the shoulder – Captain Doubt.

That’s shite! You can’t write. That’s so Channel 4 bore-drivel-barrel-bottom-cack…

I did all or part of the following after generating my
list of ideas.

Fanbloodytastic invention. Love them…come in many colours…and you can shuffle them. I’d been using them for years but not in an organised way. Then I read Robert McKee’s ‘Story.’ I only read the final chapter and he mentions using them. You write what actually happens in each scene on one side of a card, nothing more. It shows you what fits where, you can easily lay them out, discard them, chew them, spit on them but you stick to one liners of what happens on each. You can then add other lines of thought.

Character – How is the active question used in this scene?
Group Dynamic – who’s doing what to whom?
Dialogue – an odd line goes to you bung it on the appropriate scene
Visuals – What does the scene look like?
Jokes – what would work here?
Plants – what do I need to plant in this scene for it to pay off later?

Once I have a rough outline I use the back of the cards to write ideas and questions. Then I keep harvesting them, building the structure and adding texture…

I have separate cards for incidentals like character notes.

A beat sheet is what happens in your piece told in one liners and sticking to the facts. Just google for some examples…

A Scene Document is much the same thing but gathers all the bits and pieces including the wildest of ideas.

I didn’t get around to the beat sheet and I spent very little time with the index cards. I went for the classic ‘everythinggggggg must pay off in the last scene…

I did spent a little time on this but not as much as I would usually so they would need work but I could hear them speak. You know it’s going to be easy to write when you can hear the characters and they don’t say what you expect them to say.

I may ditch the idea of writing for the Rise Film competition. Not enough time and it’s such a long shot, so is the Red Planet competition although this only needs a 10 pages and a synopsis. I think I’m going to pursue some online comedy projects and bringing together a small company of performers to workshop the ‘Hitting Things’ script with a view to putting it with the online project ideas.

If you’d like to see the finished script of ‘Hitting Things’ email me jim [at]

Tune in Next Time for…
How brief can you make written online comedy.

Random Band Mix
The Killers v Moby
Somebody Told Me GO!


At 2:29 pm, Blogger Les Becker said...

Congrats on the 7-hour finish line! Did the sherry work, then? lol!

I like the index cards idea - I think I may have to buy a box when I next dust off the screenplays...

At 6:49 pm, Blogger JimKin said...

Thank you!

Index cards are the way forward...

BTW enjoyed the 'If a Care Hits a Tree in the Forest' post - Fab!

At 12:56 am, Blogger Les Becker said...

Thank you - my Dad would disagree were he here to tell his side of it, methinks.


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