The Sitcom Trials 2012 Page 3

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Kev F

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 12:50pm [Edited]
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts

Image

Vince and I just discussed your script entries and thought it would be good to have some ready to read at the meeting in Bristol on Feb 12th. So, although it's way ahead of deadline (and we've just seen from the Sitcom Mission thread how much you lot enjoy waiting until the 11th hour to get your scripts in) if you were to enter your Sitcom Trials scripts to the files now, then on Feb 12 we could read some with our new team of actors, and maybe even give you some feedback on them.

No promises they'll get read, and we can't say what shape this meeting will take yet (in the past meetings have ranged from three hours of solid script reading to three hours of people introducing themselves and queueing for the bar, so it's all to play for), but if you enter a script now, there will be plenty of time for you to withdraw it, rewrite it and re-enter it before the deadline, with no harm done, and you can only benefit from the opportunity.

Bring them on. The files are here, and you'll find the brief there too (or a little earlier in this thread if you prefer). The Sitcom Trials is (and always has been btw) free to enter.

Kev F http://sitcomtrials.co.uk

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Marc P

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 1:05pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

Shame there is a limit to only four characters. Presumably writers performers can bring more to the party if they are doing it themselves?

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ShirleyMcFurley

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 1:52pm
  • England
  • 136 posts

My 1st one's up, so feedback would be great (and needed).
Feel free to pull it to shreads. Huh

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Marc P

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 2:48pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts
Quote: ShirleyMcFurley @ February 1 2012, 1:52 PM GMT

My 1st one's up, so feedback would be great (and needed).
Feel free to pull it to shreads. Huh


Up where??

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ShirleyMcFurley

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 3:24pm
  • England
  • 136 posts
Quote: Marc P @ February 1 2012, 2:48 PM GMT

Up where??

:D :D :D

Hi Marc,
It's on the sitcom trials yahoo group, via Kev's link above. If you're not a member it's easy to join. That's where the scripts should be uploaded to, although I believe there's going to be a thread on here for them too.

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Marc P

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 3:25pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

I just looked whirley no sign of your script!

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Marc P

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 3:59pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts
Quote: ShirleyMcFurley @ February 1 2012, 3:34 PM GMT

It's under 'Bristol Sitcom Trials March'


Just started this, you didn't co-write it with Chip did you?

Shouldn't it have a cliff hanger?? Reminded me a bit of the two Ronnies sketch. Bit radical maybe but wouldn't it be better to invert it perhaps, women fed up with new men nowadays or some such?

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ShirleyMcFurley

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 4:06pm
  • England
  • 136 posts
Quote: Marc P @ February 1 2012, 3:59 PM GMT

Just started this, you didn't co-write it with Chip did you?

Shouldn't it have a cliff hanger?? Reminded me a bit of the two Ronnies sketch. Bit radical maybe but wouldn't it be better to invert it perhaps, women fed up with new men nowadays or some such?


Hi Marc,
Thanks for that.
The cliffhanger is *drumroll* will they be allowed on the improvers course or will they be consigned forever to the BIGOT BOG!!!!

Obviously didn't work :D

I agree, it's an old hat subject, but because it's totally OTT, I think there's some mileage left in it - maybe.

But - there are more in the pipeline - it's fun, this!!!

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Marc P

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 4:12pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts
Quote: ShirleyMcFurley @ February 1 2012, 4:06 PM GMT

Hi Marc,
Thanks for that.
The cliffhanger is *drumroll* will they be allowed on the improvers course or will they be consigned forever to the BIGOT BOG!!!!

Obviously didn't work :D

I agree, it's an old hat subject, but because it's totally OTT, I think there's some mileage left in it - maybe.

But - there are more in the pipeline - it's fun, this!!!


Well read the guidelines, the cliff hanger means you have to write a 2/3 minute ending to the episode after the cliff as I recall. :)

Have you seen the worm that turned it's not that totally OTT :)

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ShirleyMcFurley

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 4:27pm
  • England
  • 136 posts

Marc, this is the cliffhanger/resolution 2/3 minutes.

RESOLUTION

SCENE 3. INT. DAY.

BACK IN THE CLASSROOM LATER THAT DAY.

MISS WHIPPY: So, gentlemen, have you been mulling over the R's?

PICKERING: Oh, yes, we've had a radical rethink and we realise what total idiots we've been.

MISS WHIPPY: (LEANS CLOSE TO PICKERING'S FACE AS HE LEANS BACKWARDS) You smell of fish. (BEAT) Go on.

PICKERING: (WITH HAND SHIELDING MOUTH) We recognise what wonderful wives we have...and...we respect them enormously...and...the first thing we're going to do when we get out is order a wonderful bouquet of flowers for them...not the Tescos ones...proper ones...from a florist.

MISS WHIPPY: And you, Balshaw?

BALSHAW: Yeah... Wot 'e said.

MISS WHIPPY: I see. Were those magic pilchards you consumed for lunch by any chance? (THE TWO MEN EXCHANGE ANXIOUS LOOKS) BALSHAW: Well...the pilchards did 'ave summit to do with it, yes, because it makes you fink dunnit? The dinners at home are so much better. A man would be an idiot to take 'is wife for granted, wouldn't he?

(MISS WHIPPY LASHES BALSHAW'S DESK WITH THE CROP)

MISS WHIPPY: (RAGING)
Can you see placenta behind my ears?
(MISS WHIPPY BEGINS TO LOOK DIZZY)
Oh...I feel a little nauseous...I feel...
(SHE FAINTS. SHE IS LYING ON HER BACK. THE MEN REMAIN IN THEIR SEATS LOOKING SUSPICIOUS)

BALSHAW: Is she dead?

PICKERING: No, I think I can see her chest moving.

(THE MEN SLOWLY GET UP AND STAND EITHER SIDE OF HER)

BALSHAW: Give 'er the kiss of life.

PICKERING: What if she doesn't respond?

BALSHAW: What d'you want 'er to do, put 'er tongue down your froat?

PICKERING: Well...er...aren't you supposed to do the chest pumping thing nowadays?

BALSHAW: Go on then.

PICKERING: She hasn't got a medallion on.

(MISS WHIPPY GROANS AND MOVES HER ARMS)

BALSHAW: Hold up. She's comin' round.

(THE MEN BOTH TAKE AN ARM AND PULL HER TO HER FEET)

MISS WHIPPY: Oh...what happened...I...

PICKERING: You fainted. (BEAT)
I gave you the kiss of life, and Balshaw here gave you...a chest pumping.

BALSHAW: Yeah, you were nearly a gonner.

MISS WHIPPY: Oh, my lord, thank you.

BALSHAW: Does this mean we're off the hook?

MISS WHIPPY: (REGAINING COMPOSURE)
Hardly. One snog and a grope doesn't make for a personality transplant. But...all things considered, I won't consign you to the Bigot Bog for now. I'm sticking my neck out, but I'll recommend Improver's Centre for both of you.

BALSHAW: Yeay! I knew the fairy godmother would come up trumps!

(MEN DO HIGH 5's)

END

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evan rubivellian

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 4:52pm
  • England
  • 672 posts

I might send in "Shock Treatment" and "As Plain as Day" for the script reading. To be honest though, I'm having second thoughts about entering scripts that have already been part of previous sitcom trials. Both scripts made it to the finals, so it's fair to say they've had their moment.

Is there any potential clash if I rework this year's sitcom mission entry and submit that?

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Kev F

  • Wednesday 1st February 2012, 8:40pm [Edited]
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts
Quote: Marc P @ February 1 2012, 1:05 PM GMT

Shame there is a limit to only four characters. Presumably writers performers can bring more to the party if they are doing it themselves?


We've used the standard template from the Trials, where the stipulation of four characters proved to be a great discipline and a pragmatic move when it comes to staging. Dec & Si and James (Parker) relaxed the rules when they ran their seasons of the show, and if Vince is willing to handle the extra logistical problems of more characters, then he's welcome to. But I would urge writers to stick to the four characters if they can. You've only got approximately eight minutes, that's not very long to make proper use of two characters, let alone more than four.

Writer-performers, if they come in a gang of five, would get to bend the rules as, I suppose, would anyone who brings their own complete cast. But, hey, why am I butting in? Vince is the boss.

Remember, if it's funny that's what counts.

Kev F

Quote: evan rubivellian @ February 1 2012, 4:52 PM GMT

...I'm having second thoughts about entering scripts that have already been part of previous sitcom trials. Both scripts made it to the finals, so it's fair to say they've had their moment.

Is there any potential clash if I rework this year's sitcom mission entry and submit that?


I don't think so. In the past (when I produced the shows, 99-06) the Sitcom Trials were all about testing out sitcoms and developing them for potential sale to telly and radio. This meant we regularly re-wrote things after their first performance, learning from the lessons of the audience test, and re-performed them. We staged different episodes of favourite sitcoms (see these scripts for The Lavender Millbank Mob, created by Rich Johnston and written by Rich, myself, Brainstopping and various others), encouraged team writing (see this collaboration between myself and Geoff Whiting, Didn't You Used To Be..?) and made use of the format of the show to keep the audience involved while not losing sight of the important aim of developing comedy, making it better through seeing our writing performed live. (See also Situation Murder, an attempt to mix sitcom and murder mystery, developed in 04/05 by the then Bristol Sitcom Trials team).

With the Edinburgh Fringe shows (2001-4) the format slightly took over, and with the TV series the emphasis moved to showcasing different scripts every week and giving new writers a break. In 2007-9, under Dec & Si, the Trials became a tournament with a grand prize, and the idea of concentrating on developing individual sitcoms was left behind.

Whether the new Bristol group sets itself up as a tournament or a workshop, a showcase for scripts from around the world or a hotbed for the comedy talents of the West Country is entirely dependent on Vince and how the meetings go, starting on Feb 12th. Let's see what happens.

Quote: evan rubivellian @ February 1 2012, 4:52 PM GMT

Is there any potential clash if I rework this year's sitcom mission entry and submit that?


As for whether there's a clash with the Sitcom Mission, I don't know if there's something in their contract that precludes involvement with another show. But since they only shortlist a very small number of scripts (and we're assuming they've had another 1000 entries this year), err on the side of keeping your script out there. If they choose you and tell you you have to pull your script from the Trials, I think we'll cope.

Kev F

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Kev F

  • Thursday 2nd February 2012, 2:40pm
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts

More FAQs answered:

RLC writes:
Hi Keith,
...... I am wishing to submit a sitcom entry to this years Sitcom Trials. After searching on the Sitcom Trials website I still cannot work out where I send my script to. I get directed to yahoo and attempted to join or whatever it asked me to do, but I now can't bring up the links you have showing about the competition.
...I would also like to confirm that the sitcom scripts are to be 15 minutes long and how many settings are allowed?
I have entered the sitcommission competition already this last week. Are your guidelines and sitcom format similar to theirs? Thank-you,

Kev F:
Sorry you're having trouble with the Sits vac egroup - I must confess it's an antiquated system. Let me see if I can help.

So, you have to go to the SitsVac group: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SitsVac/ and in order to upload you have to join. It's so long since I joined Yahoo, I can't recall how I did it, but I remember it being straightforward.

Even unsigned-in you can read the messages here: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SitsVac/messages

These include one about the guidelines: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SitsVac/message/10426

And you upload to the files here: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SitsVac/files/

If you can't sign into the group, you can also ask questions over at the British Sitcom Guide thread here: https://www.comedy.co.uk/forums/thread/23202/3/

As for the difference from the Sitcom Mission, the big difference (apart from the fact that the Trials is free to enter) is that we ask for an approx 10 minute script culminating in a "cliffhanger" then we ask for a 3 minute "payoff" scene. When the audience vote for the competing sitcoms they will then only be shown the ending of the sitcom that wins.

You'll get the best idea of the Trials, how it works, and how things have gone in the past, by reading the Sitcom Trials blog at http://sitcomtrials.co.uk

Hope that all helps, we're looking forward to your entry.

Kev F
Exec Producer http://sitcomtrials.co.uk

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Kev F

  • Sunday 5th February 2012, 10:51am
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts
Quote: Park Bench @ February 5 2012, 7:08 AM GMT

I've just finished (i.e. about 15 hours ago) writing my first ever sitcom. I was going to send it in next week, to the usual BBC unsolicited script section. Do I wait and send it in for this or write another one ? Or both ?


If you want the chance of it getting read out at the Sitcom Trials Bristol meeting on Feb 12th, you could get a short Trials-format taster of your script entered into the Trials this week. The deadline for scripts is Feb 29th, but we need something to read at the first meeting of the new team next weekend. No promises, but there are about 20 comedy actors waiting to read someone's script. It could be yours. Enter scripts here: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SitsVac/files/ Details here: http://sitcomtrials.blogspot.com/