Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sitcom Writing Workshop - The 'Shitegeist'


Seven Words You SHOULD Say on Television

Works under consideration: 1
Current Dominant Thought: Comedy Writing Thrills
Ideas in my head: 9.17


Sitcom Writing Workshops - The ‘Shitegeist’*

Had a fab time yesterday with a bunch of sitcom writers at a workshop organized by Ever1sacritic . A big thank you to Simon and Declan especially for making it all happen and creating such a supportive and fun atmosphere. And another big SHOUTING thank you to all the other writers that made the whole day such a pleasure and a ‘Hoot.’

THINGS LEARNED
- Comedy writing is hard work.
- A writer’s work is never done
- Reading your work to others is ‘scary’
- Cock’ is, well, everywhere…
- Avoid multi-story orphanages
- Swearing is fun
- Talking to other writers is liberating and is now part of the ‘Shitegeist.’

I need to take my piece ‘Hitting Things’ and workshop it with some actors and work with them to get the most out of the physical business. I didn’t realize that the work was so visual and one of the best things about the day was not having to EXPLAIN what it would look like.


MULTI-STAGE-WRITING-THING
I wrote “Hitting Things’ especially for Every1sacritc and it has only had one draft so far and nine hours work. When I come to a 1st draft I’ve already infested a lot of time in mapping what will happen. I start with an idea and break down the action into chunks and just what happens on one side of an index card. On the other side I write my ideas and mark up the visual element, s/fx, what the characters are doing and general ideas that may or may not work, and more besides….

Then I write a beat or ‘step’ sheet where every action is written out a line at a time.

The beat sheet is the map for writing the 1st draft**

If I was writing a longer piece I would use a giant piece of paper and write up all the different elements that go into creating a piece, everything from music, to the group dynamic for that scene. I picked this up at an Arvon course on Physical Theatre and I read recently that John Cleese and Connie Booth did the same thing to work out the plots of Fawlty Towers , only using the back of a roll of wallpaper…

Swearing is Fun
George Carlin captured almost our entire vocabulary of the day. Enjoy the clip and here’s a previous blog entry where I imagine Quentin Tarantino woes Jane Austen Quentin Tarantino woes Jane Austen but I’ve used some cunning word substitution…


Tune in Next Time…
Tools for developing comedy characters.


Random Mix
Green Day v Cornershop
‘Brimful of American Idiots’


*©Gary Lynch

**I must write the process up (mind you it changes every time I write)

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2 Comments:

At 12:58 am, Blogger Stevie From The TV said...

Hey there! Loving your work.
Stevie

 
At 8:50 pm, Blogger JimKin said...

Thank you Mr Stevie from the TV.

Jim

'Endeavoring to persevere' since 1998

 

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