Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Speaking of Scripts

One of the ways to break in as a television writer is to write a spec script of an existing show. I don’t really dream of a career in television writing, but I am tempted to write a spec script for the show Arrested Development because – hey – it sounds like fun. Yes, the show is cancelled and, yes, I haven’t seen the third season, but there is no other TV show out there that comes close to matching my writing style.

Television sit-com scripts have all sorts of rules to them. They have to be 22 pages with at least three jokes on a page. The pacing of Arrested Development is so off, though, that there can be as many as five or six jokes per page. And most of these jokes aren’t really build up build up punch line, but instead just a continuous fire hose of nonsense. How to approach a script like this? I just started brainstorming odd scenarios. I scribbled all sorts of things on yellow sticky notes and left them in my cube at work.

Imagine my surprise when, coming back from a coffee break, I found a co-worker in my cube, looking at little yellow notes with phrases on them like, “Magic trick goes horribly wrong and Gob's skin is stained red,” “Tobias tries to get George Michael into male modeling,” “Buster writes a blog, not realizing that he is sending emails to the entire company” and “You are a pee laugher! PEE LAUGHER!!”

My co-workers don’t quite know what to make of me, now.

My greatest dream, darkest nightmare is that somehow I lose one of the sticky notes and it winds up on the Found Magazine website’s Find of the Day.

No comments: