PDA

View Full Version : My First TV Sitcom (opening scene)



Moe Lester
August 23rd, 2010, 03:00 PM
O.K so I'm having a go at writing a TV sitcom. I have'nt yet got a name for it. Ok here goes this is only the opening scene so I'll just start...

FADE IN:
INT. GUYS APARTMENT. DAY

Apartment is relatively tidy. We see Joel sat on the sofa flicking through the T.V channels looking very bored and giving out the odd sigh. He gets up to turn off the T.V then walks over to the kitchen counter where his wallet lays. He checks how much money is in there when a picture of his ex-wife Kate fall out. He picks it up and smiles but soon changes into a scowl.

Joel: Bitch!

Joel rips up the picture and throws it in the bin, then walks over to the phone and begins to dial a number.

INT. WATTS COLLECTION GROUP OFFICES. DAY

Nick's phone begins to ring

Nick: Hello, Watts Collection Group, Nick speaking can I take your -

INT. GUY'S APARTMENT. DAY

Joel: Hey Nick it's Joel

INT. WATTS COLLECTION GROUP OFFICES. DAY

Nick: Oh hey Nick what's up?

INT. GUY'S APARTMENT. DAY

Joel: What's up is that I'm bored out of my mind. I gotta get out of here. We going to the Footpad tonight?

INT. WATTS COLLECTION GROUP OFFICES. DAY

Nick: Absolutely, I need a drink! Work's a drag as usual. Shall I call Paul and Carl?

INT. GUY'S APARTMENT. DAY

Joel: Well, Yeah. Without them how are we ever gonna talk to any women?

INT. WATTS COLLECTION GROUP OFFICES. DAY

Nick: (laughs) O.K I'll call them. Bye man!

INT. TRANSVERSE MULTI-MART CANTEEN. DAY

Scene cuts to the Transverse Multi-Mart canteen where Paul and Carl are sitting at a table eating their lunch. The canteen is fairly busy. Carl is eating Sandwiches and Paul is drinking a bottle of orange juice.

Carl: So, let me tell you about this girl I hooked up with last night.

Paul: Dude there's no need. I sleep in the next room. I felt like I was having sex with you.

Carl (Shocked): Oh....Sorry...Sometimes I just......

Carls cell phone rings

Carl: Hello Carl's phone, Carl speaking.....St. Nick! What's Up? How's things going down there at the bloodsucking maggot factory?.....I'm just kidding', so what's up?.....The Footpad? Tonight? Do you even have to ask?.....O.K Nicky boy see you in a little while.....Bye.

Paul (curious): So who was that?

Carl gives Paul a bewildered look, gets up and empties his tray, closely follwed by Paul.

FADE OUT TO OPENING CREDITS.

BitofanInkling
August 24th, 2010, 02:55 AM
How long does this scene take? Not long really right?

Moe Lester
August 24th, 2010, 10:15 AM
No not too long, it's just the opening scene. You think it should be a little longer?

Sonofjoe
August 24th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Depends on how long the director has him sat in front of the TV! Otherwise, I recon about 3 minutes at the most. However, I think the first phone call made would leave me dizzy -scene to scene with each one about 2-4 seconds long. Perhaps a picture in picture would work better.:wink:

BitofanInkling
August 25th, 2010, 05:59 AM
No, I don't think it should be longer. Honestly, I think unless that's only about 0-20 seconds, I'd be waiting for where the funny is. Especially for a first episode. ... or, some plot or character thing to grab me.

vangoghsear
August 25th, 2010, 10:40 PM
Welcome Moe Lester,

I think you need to work on your characterization. A test for this is to have someone read any single longer passage of dialog out of context, can you still tell who said it?


What's up is that I'm bored out of my mind. I gotta get out of here. We going to the Footpad tonight?
What's Up? How's things going down there at the bloodsucking maggot factory?.....I'm just kidding', so what's up?.....The Footpad? Tonight? Do you even have to ask?
Absolutely, I need a drink! Work's a drag as usual.Any line above could have been said by any of the characters, there are no distinguishing characteristics, except a little hint in the second quote above, where he talks about the maggot factory, but still there is little within to differential them at this point.


He checks how much money is in there when a picture of his ex-wife Kate fall out. He picks it up and smiles but soon changes into a scowl.

Joel: Bitch!

Joel rips up the picture and throws it in the bin, then walks over to the phone and begins to dial a number.This is an opportunity for creativity. The way you've written it here, I don't much like him. Mainly because I don't know her, and the audience doesn't know her either. You cannot include things in a play or script that the audience has no knowledge of. In other words, you wrote "...when a picture of his ex-wife Kate fall out." How do we know this?

They will just wonder why your character finds it necessary to curse at whatever fell out of his wallet. Instead of "Bitch" you could use a line like, "All those years we were married you clawed onto my money, now your picture won't stay in my wallet?" Then if you wanted to add, "Bitch" you could, it would then make sense as to who you are talking about, gives us a reason to dislike her, tells us your character is divorced, and that the picture is of the ex-wife. It would start to develop the characters.

Moe Lester
August 26th, 2010, 12:54 PM
I have my characterization, plot etc written down on paper I just haven't posted it on here.

vangoghsear
August 26th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Characterization should show in the dialog.

Moe Lester
August 26th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Characterization should show in the dialog.

How do you mean?

vangoghsear
August 27th, 2010, 03:37 PM
How do you mean?

For example, look at the show "Big Bang Theory." You can get a lot out of the personality of the characters from the things they say. Sheldon's knocking on the door and trying to get another character's attention on the other side of the door for instance. He doesn't say much, but the way it is said is what tells us about him.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard.

The fact that the knocking is in threes, the name is said three times, and the entire cycle is repeated three times, tells us he is excessive compulsive, obnoxious, and persistent and yet all he says is three words. This knock of his has become so familiar to viewers it is now called "Sheldon's knock." Variations are added to it for simple, yet great comic effect, such as throwing in other names.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard and Penny. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard and Penny. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard and Penny.

Or one the the other characters may interrupt the cycle and even though they have opened the door mid cycle he completes the knock.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Penny. (Knock, knock, knock) Penny. (Knock.)

(Penny opens the door)

Penny: Hi Sheldon.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock) Penny.

Then maybe one of the other characters will do it and it becomes funny because it is out of character, but it has to be established first as being a signature line for the original character for that to work.

operaghost
October 19th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Itís a good start, there are a few issues with characterisation and dialogue as a poster has already indicated, but this can be sorted out after a few polishes, there are some issues with the format however, firstly this doesnít look like a script, now thatís not a problem as you can get a range of software to put this correct for you, but you have also included unnecessary things such as camera directions (i.e fade in and, scene cuts to ) which are only needed for shooting scripts (which are dealt with by the director not the screenwriter) and also some unnecessary actions for the actors themselves, primarily the mention of a bewildered look , which is something the actors themselves should decide on, the characters also need more fleshing out in their description, remember this is an opening part of a pilot episode so no one knows who these characters are or even what they look like, a brief description of each one should be sufficient for this.