Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Climbing The Sitcom Script Mountain

In the last post, we established that writing a spec pilot script is really hard. Why? Because you’re trying to do two very hard things at the same time, from a standing start.

Why am I going on about how hard it is?

We need to be honest about the difficulty ahead in writing a script. If you underestimate the mountain you are about to climb, you won’t even make it to base camp, let alone the summit.

Worse, you might start climbing and the fog descends, the weather closes in and suddenly it’s gone from difficult to treacherous. You’re not going to stroll up a mountain.

But it’s worth the climb. The view from up there is incredible.

The feeling you get from having written a script that you know you’ve given everything is great, even though you know it’s not perfect and could be better. That’s partly why I like studio comedy so much. You hear the audience laugh. In the room. It’s a rush of vindication.

There are few scripts I’m really proud of. Like the first episode of Bluestone 42 where we got that show up and running with jokes. And Episode 1 of Series Three is up there as well where the team are pinned down and think they're going to die. It was our take on the classic 'bottle' episode. There is another script that matters to me, which is a play about science and religion called The God Particle. It’s never been on TV or Radio and probably never will (and you can stream it here). I’m really proud of it. But this is a rare feeling.

If you want to write a script that you’re proud of, it’s going to take work and planning.

It will mean working on the script when you don’t feel like it, and spending time on parts of the process that you find boring, annoying, frustrating or well outside your comfort zone.

There’s a process to it and if you skip a step, you tend to regret it later and unpicking it takes longer.

Need a hand?

If you need a hand with that process, spend the day with me on a webinar called Write a Sitcom In A Day. You obviously can’t write a sitcom in a day. But you can spend a day getting your head around the climb head, working out what you need to do, and when to do it by, so you can get to the top before the weather closes and you disappear into a cloud of frustration and despair. Join me on 30th August or 3rd September (9.30am til 5.30pm) to find out what the key steps are and how to make a plan to get that script written. And for that script to be one you are proud of. It’ll be with me, via Zoom, going through the whole process and with loads of time for questions. Details here.

To get an online early bird 45% discount that is good til the end of July, just register with the Situation Room, where you’ll also get access to a bunch of other videos and webinars I’ve done earlier this year that people seem to have appreciated. So register here, get the discount and join us!


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