British Comedy Guide

Gentleman of Leisure

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Here I am

  • Monday 13th November 2006, 11:33pm
  • Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • 2 posts

I've only just started scripting, but I'm kinda eager to shout from the rooftops, I'm sure you know what I mean. So, After weeks of idea swapping, jotting and tearing up paper I thought I had an idea, but after reading some scripts on here, I feel I may need to take a step back and re-think.

What we have here is kinda rough, but I thought I could get feedback from the start. I don't know if I'm getting ahead of myself.

The name of the show is 'Gentleman of Leisure' and here's a summary:

Following the interesting lives of a group of working class friends. The story will unfold with a chain of events within their local city.

Main Characters:-

Ben: Bit of a loner, but will be made likeable through pity. (Cringeville)

Kieran: Bit of a lad. Loves the ladies, hates their thoughts. Charmer, outgoing, competitive, and cheeky. (Could be seen as the protagonist)

Dawson aka Daws: Bit of a geezer, likes his ale, has domestics with Kieran a lot, but they buzz off it. (The relationship between him and Kieran would be seen as a married couple, bickering and what not)

Liam: Bit of a family man. As he is only there a bit of the time. Brother to Kieran, lover to anyone.

Other characters:

Fat Goth
Wolf Man
Documentary Crew
Ben's Over-protective Mother (regular character)
Psycho Girl (possibly regular)
Old Lady

We wanted to include wolf man from Gladiators, but seeing as this is a totally unrealistic idea, it could be easily taken out. The same with episode 2 we had the idea of involving a guy from a kids cartoon show called 'Blues Clues' If you've never heard of the show, it was on Nickelodeon. A real guy in a cartoon house, solving clues to find his dog blue. It was kinda trippy, but we thought including him as a skitzophrenic booked for a kid's party could be fun.

After one of our characters kids were begging to get him for their birthday party. The dad books him up, but he turns out to be a complete utter mental and believes that BLUE the fictional cartoon dog is actually real.

We've got pages and pages wrote down for the first 3 episodes, but haven't started scripting, I'm finding it difficult to word it. In what makes the best sense, and finding a good way to start it. The original idea was our character 'ben' getting woken up by his over protective mother and handed the phone, which is the daughter of one his mothers work friends. He's been set up on a blind date by his mother, that's how much of a loser he is. She turns out to be a goth, and lot's of calamity goes on. What worried me the most is locations, I feel I have too many, and no regularity.. apart from ben's house (kitchen) I don't know where I'm going with this. If anyone could give me some feedback on the characters it would be much appreciated.

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jobfromthebible

  • Tuesday 14th November 2006, 12:27am
  • Israel
  • 27 posts

The only way to get started is to start writing. What wisdom! At least then you can change it, but you have to have an 'it' first. Start with the scene where Ben is woken by his mother and take it from there.
Examples of script formats can be found at bbc.co.uk/writersroom
Keep the locations to a minimum, it's expensive to shoot.

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Matthew Stott

  • Tuesday 14th November 2006, 12:43am
  • Yemen
  • 19,296 posts

Yeah, if you build it up to much then the harder it will become, just start writing, you can alway re-write and change later.

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Thomps

  • Tuesday 14th November 2006, 12:45am [Edited]
  • England
  • 172 posts

The plot sounds a bit 'done before'. "Following the interesting lives of a group of working class friends." Doesn't really grab my attention. Can you pitch it in one or two sentences but make it more interesting and different to the stuff that is already out there?

If you're finding it hard to word it and can't produce an opening scene, there is only so much advice you can get on a forum like this. You might want to sign up for a 'how to write a sitcom' course because these are basic things that you are struggling with. IMO, it seems like you've spent so long thinking about it to the point that you've overcomplicated things and you've produced a jumble of characters and situations that are now holding you back. You need to strip it down to the basics (decide on two key locations and stick to it, get rid of a few characters - you have too many at the moment) and then perhaps the first scene will come and you will get a strong idea of where you want to go with it.

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Badge

  • Tuesday 14th November 2006, 2:23am [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 9,490 posts

I'd not write anything yet until you have plotted out episode 1. What are the key relationships, and what is the motivation of the protagonist over the first half hour?
And how wanky did that sound?
Back to the point, it will almost certainly help if you are able to sum up what the sitcom is about in a couple of sentences. Then you'll definitely know who the main character is and what it is they want.
Also IMO it's probably better to try to keep key appearances of celebrities and other externally created characters to a minimum (zero if possible) for all sorts of reasons (rights, availability of stars, cliched, etc)

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Here I am

  • Tuesday 14th November 2006, 2:42am
  • Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • 2 posts
Quote: Thomps @ November 13, 2006, 7:45 PM

it seems like you've spent so long thinking about it to the point that you've overcomplicated things and you've produced a jumble of characters and situations that are now holding you back.

That sums up my entire thinking for everything.

I ordered the sitcom writing books earlier from amazon. I did media and we covered sitcoms briefly, I kinda know what I should be doing, but when I'm writing it doesn't justify how me and the other writer portray how we've discussed it and acted out the scene. The excitement seems to disappear when it hits the paper.

I'll get back to you all with something more constructive soon,
and I'll definitely be keeping it more simple. Thanks for the help.