Friday, June 4, 2010

Scripted TV Comedy Writing 101

When I was a kid I loved writing out elaborate plots for my Legos, Thundercats, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (sometimes all involved in the same storyline). I probably spent more time setting up these ridiculous stories than I did actually enacting them - which usually involved all the toys standing around and discussing who was going to defeat who, a journey across the entire living room, kitchen and bathroom leading eventually to a climactic battle in my bedroom, and then some brief action figure on action figure fisticuffs that inevitably ended in Snarf dying. Not just because Snarf was lame and deserved to be killed off (something the actual producers of the show never realized, but maybe they will now), but because I understood compelling drama.

I've started to work on my aforementioned spec script for Community, and it's been great so far, though I still have plenty more to go. In following these instructions step by step, I've found myself really getting into breaking down each of the character's relationships to each other, as well as noticing little things like how many scenes a B story takes to full resolve - like Troy realizing he's the 'Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind'   (edit, just kidding, I've been told it's actually Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting - do'h!) - of plumbers. Or how character arcs resolve themselves in an episode but also don't to allow for future issues to be exploited. I'm also excited to start inserting my own personal experiences from college, which for better or for worse was a truly fascinating time of my life.

Apologies in advance if the blogging slows to a crawl over the next few weeks (its exciting, and then of course very sad to see blog traffic spike and then slowly fade away to nothing with every post). Just know that I'm still writing, just on something not entirely public for once.

Wish me luck!

-Matt

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