British Comedy Guide

Fiends Like Us

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Peter Mckeirnon

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 12:57pm
  • Runcorn, United Kingdom
  • 7 posts

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and ashamed to say I've only recently discovered this even though I visit BCG on a regular basis. I've also got a web series and a short film up on the 'Online' section.

I've recently finished the 3rd draft of a sitcom pilot called Fiends Like Us. It's a mockumentary about a group of ghouls that run a social club. Think Phoenix Nights meets The office meets hammer Horror.

I co own a small production company and whilst we have been looking into the possibility of creating this ourselves, like most of us, it has always been my goal to have something commissioned for TV. So now begins the challenging road of getting Fiends Like us noticed.

I wanted to share with you the opening scenes and the introduction to The Count. There are a host of supporting characters including a gigolo merman, a half breed werewolf, a Cylcops with a cataract and a depressed reanimated corpse.

I welcome any feedback.

Sorry if the formatting is out of whack!

All the best,

Pete

BLACK SCREEN
Text in a Gothic font appears across a black background.

Ghouls, Demons, Beasts, Monsters,
Fiends...
They are real.
They live amongst us.
In secret.
They share our towns.
Our streets.
Our social clubs.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE NECK & JUGULAR SOCIAL CLUB.

It's early evening and the sun is close to setting. We see the grand double doors of a knackered old social club called The Neck & Jugular.
Either side of the doors are stone pillars. The windows are boarded up and a sign saying 'CLOSED' hangs over them. An eerie fog hangs over the ground.

The doors open and a rush of smoke blows out, filling the doorway. Out of the smoke walks The Count, an ageing vampire. He is wearing an apron and holds a burnt frying pan in hand.
He turns the pan over and blackened sausages hit the floor.

THE COUNT
Burnt me bloody sausages!

The Count realises he is outside and hisses at the sun, lifting his arms to shield himself.

FREEZE FRAME INTO OPENING SEQUENCE

INT. CLUB LOUNGE. BEHIND THE BAR.

The bar is well worn and tatty. Handmade signs are stuck to the walls and drink optics, saying things like 'Happy Hour - Midnight' and 'Bloody Mary - 3 clots for a fiver!'

The lights flicker on and The Count enters the lounge. Taking a cloth he wipes over the beer pumps and the counter, moving along the bar.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
Why don't we start by you telling us a little about yourself?

THE COUNT
Well, my name is Count Von Krooklock. I'm a Virgo. I like dark nights and long evening walks in secluded areas. I'm nine hundred years old and I am the Licensee and secretary of this club.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.
The office consists of a small desk with computer, paperwork, electronic alarm clock and a large filing cabinet. There are pictures on the walls of dogs playing snooker, and
certificates to sell alcohol with the licensee named as The Count. The Count is sat behind his desk.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
And you're a vampire?

THE COUNT
Is it that obvious?

INT. CLUB LOUNGE.
We see more of the club lounge. There are seats and tables on the left and right. Framed pictures hang from the walls and fake flowers in vases are placed on tables. The Count is
hoovering.

THE COUNT (V.O.)
Vampire, the undead, Dracula, Nosferatu... In Albania they call me Shtriga and in Greece, Vrykolakas. But you can simply call me, The
Count.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

THE COUNT
Or if you are from the Department for Work and Pensions my name is Colin Metcalf, retired painter and decorator.

INT. CLUB LOUNGE. TABLE.

The Count re arranges a vase of tatty fake flowers on a table. He leans in to smell them, turning to look at the camera with a blissful smile.

THE COUNT (V.O.)
Oh don't worry I won't bite you, well maybe just a nibble. It's true I have certain urges that must be fulfilled but over the years I have learnt to keep my needs and desires at bay. As have all the vampires. We have had to adapt to survive.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
So no praying on people, using mind control to lure your victims? No drinking the blood of virgins...?

THE COUNT
Virgins? We've not gone it for that for years. It was all the rage at one time. Every drink had to be virgin blood. It was the 'in' thing. Well there was plenty about you see. But then humans became more... promiscuous. So the rules relaxed. A virgin once referred to someone that was clean, untouched. Yet to be deflowered. Then it was all
like, well if they've been kissed it's OK but no tongues. Then tongues were allowed. Then booby grabs, fingering, then a trombone (that's when someone crouches behind you and blows into your bum hole whilst giving you a reach around tug of war). Then before you knew it, it was anything but anal!

INT. CLUB. CORRIDOR.

We are now in the corridor between the lounge and the concert room. The old brown carpet is wearing thin and wallpaper is peeling from the walls. Also there are toilets with 'Bats' written on the ladies door and 'Ghouls' on the gents. The Count, with a feather duster in hand, moves passed the toilets, dusting the doors then walking passed the camera.

THE COUNT (V.O.)
But we'll take what we can get these days.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

THE COUNT
Anal optional.

INT. CLUB CONCERT ROOM.

A spacious square room with a large dance floor and stage. It is presented like a traditional British working mans club. Only all the windows are boarded over and the decor is dated,
tired and scruffy.

The Count is cleaning the dance floor with a mop and bucket.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
So you admit to drinking blood? Can you tell us how you get it?

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

THE COUNT

I can't speak for other vampires but I drink pigs blood. Renfield, my man servant, has a cousin that works at an abattoir. I don't require much, just a few pints a week.

INT. CLUB CONCERT ROOM. BEHIND THE BAR.

The Count opens a fridge and retrieves a bottle labelled 'Blood'. He pours the blood into a cocktail glass, adds an umbrella then drinks. He attempts to hide his disappointment.

THE COUNT (V.O.)
The taste takes a little getting used to I must admit. Pigs blood isn't as sweet or as satisfying as human blood but it keeps me fed.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

THE COUNT
The truth is that in today's society vampires cannot feed as we used to. People have those new fandangled camera phones, CCTV is everywhere and we've been glamorised so much in pop culture it has become increasingly difficult to remain in the shadows.

EXT. CLUB. MAIN DOORS.

The count changes the sign on the club door to 'Open'.

THE COUNT (V.O.)
That's why I reside here, away from society and prying eyes.

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
You said you have learnt to keep your needs at bay? So you have no desire to feed on humans?

THE COUNT
None what so ever.

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 3:00pm
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

Its a great sketch but I'm not sure if it has the legs for a sitcom, especially these days were production companies want at least a potential 24 episodes. There is comedy in there and the dialogue was good , its just the legs that concern me.
However please don't let that put you off as I have never had so much as a full stop spoken by an actor, its just my opinion.
Its funny like I said but I'd need to see the whole script and 5 solid future episode synopsis's before I was convinced about its longevity if you know what I mean .
But stick at it as you have a funny bone, its just that I can't see Ghouls staying funny over 3 hours, but that could just be me as I can't stand all this Zombie stuff thats around now.

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Peter Mckeirnon

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 3:05pm
  • Runcorn, United Kingdom
  • 7 posts

Thanks Teddy.

It's difficult to see from the few scenes I've posted and I agree, a vision sheet for the series and more details about the other characters would make this easier for readers.

I'm actually an author of a zombie book series and I write and direct the online zombie sitcom, Dead Town but I agree, I hate zombies too. :)

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 3:12pm
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

Peter don't get me wrong mate Zombies and all that are hot at the moment its just me I can't stand them.
For me there is nothing worse that being 5 minutes into a film and then some idiot turns into Werewolf.
But as I said its a commercial and popular genre , I just don't get it at all. That said what I said about the legs and synopsis's rings true no matter what the genre .

Peter I also just noticed that you're from Runcorn and I want you to know that doesn't automatically make you a bad person :P

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Peter Mckeirnon

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 3:16pm
  • Runcorn, United Kingdom
  • 7 posts

Haha! I noticed you're from Liverpool and I was waiting for it!

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 3:19pm
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

I'm actually from Everton Pete and its nice to see locals having a go I must say :P

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Rood Eye

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 4:02pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

The following dialogue from the count is a little crude, I feel.

Quote: Peter Mckeirnon @ 25th October 2018, 12:57 PM

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
So no praying on people, using mind control to lure your victims? No drinking the blood of virgins...?

THE COUNT
Virgins? We've not gone it for that for years. It was all the rage at one time. Every drink had to be virgin blood. It was the 'in' thing. Well there was plenty about you see. But then humans became more... promiscuous. So the rules relaxed. A virgin once referred to someone that was clean, untouched. Yet to be deflowered. Then it was all
like, well if they've been kissed it's OK but no tongues. Then tongues were allowed. Then booby grabs, fingering, then a trombone (that's when someone crouches behind you and blows into your bum hole whilst giving you a reach around tug of war). Then before you knew it, it was anything but anal!

Personally, I'd go with something like:

INT. CLUB OFFICE.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
So no praying on people, using mind control to lure your victims? No drinking the blood of beautiful young virgins...?

THE COUNT
You can't get them. Not these days. I blame the Swinging Sixties. Fifty-odd years ago, we were swimming in virgin blood. Then along came the Beatles and suddenly there were fewer and fewer until now you just can't find them.

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
They can't all have disappeared. There must still be virgins about, surely?

THE COUNT
At primary school (BEAT) but we're not (SEARCHES FOR A WORD) monsters!

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
So what do you do?

THE COUNT
We've redefined the term. These days, they don't have to be totally intact. Anyone that doesn't put it about much is acceptable.

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Crindy

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 4:47pm
  • England
  • 116 posts

It's a fun enough idea and a neat little opening. Some of it could do with a trim, but I'd be inclined to keep on reading the full script. :)

I am, however, getting a big What We Do In The Shadows vibe from your opening, especially with the mockumentary format and the fact that we're starting with a vampire. Not to say that's a bad vibe to get from something, and maybe that's what you were going for, but I wonder how close of a comparison you'd want people to make, because it's a pretty high bar to shoot for.

Back on a more positive note, the concept of a Cyclops with a cataract made me stifle a snort. :)

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Peter Mckeirnon

  • Friday 26th October 2018, 9:55am
  • Runcorn, United Kingdom
  • 7 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 25th October 2018, 4:02 PM

The following dialogue from the count is a little crude, I feel.

Thanks Rood Eye.

Yes the comedy in Fiends is a little crude at times. It's definitely not intended for family viewing. I have however taken your advice and toned down that dialogue a little.

[quote name="Crindy" post="1195064" date="25th October 2018, 4:47 PM"]It's a fun enough idea and a neat little opening. Some of it could do with a trim, but I'd be inclined to keep on reading the full script. :)

I am, however, getting a big What We Do In The Shadows vibe from your opening, especially with the mockumentary format and the fact that we're starting with a vampire. Not to say that's a bad vibe to get from something, and maybe that's what you were going for, but I wonder how close of a comparison you'd want people to make, because it's a pretty high bar to shoot for.

Back on a more positive note, the concept of a Cyclops with a cataract made me stifle a snort. :)

Hi Crindy, thanks for your feedback.

I understand completely about What We Do In The Shadows, In fact I first began drafting Fiends Like Us as a feature several years a go and it had a different opening sequence. But then i watched What We Do In The Shadows and they were almost identical! So I threw my toys out of the pram and parked it for a while, not knowing if it was something I should continue with. But ultimately it was itching to be written and whilst I believe the opening sequence, with the introduction to The Count, would draw comparisons, once the other characters are introduced and the arch of the series is established, it's clear they are different.