During this module, I think I have learned a fair amount. Prior to embarking on this project, I had no idea what it took to write comedy. My only experience had been watching television shows, or films that made me laugh, or watching stand up comedians. I like comedy, I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, I watch a lot of comedy on television and I go to the Edinburgh Fringe festival most years with my Brother and Father in order to watch some stand up comedy, so I am fairly well immersed in knowing who I should be looking at, and probably picked up a lot of their techniques just by watching them several times.
But it differs, writing for screen. Even on what sort of thing you are writing. I chose to write a stand alone one hour episode, which has it’s own particular ‘feel’ when you are writing it. If it had been a feature or a short, it would have had a different kind of feel again, and series are perhaps best noted because they have the ability to be built upon, repetitive jokes to be spun and jokes linked back to things which may have happened in earlier series.
In this sense, I think that writing comedy as a series is probably the most successful form of comedy writing for screen. You can build upon ideas, you have a lot longer to get to know the characters and you build their back story throughout. With shorter pieces, you have to rely on exposition and supposition, or clever storytelling techniques to express prior experience.
But I chose to write a stand alone episode, in the hope that I would be able to express my ideas concisely enough through that. I have not got enough foresight at this juncture to be able to write a full series, and I do not think that these characters would work in a longer piece. The main goal for our protagonist was to achieve relationship status with one of the other characters, and by the end of the story it looks like he might have done. The goal for our main supporting character is to get a job, which she also achieves. Had I intended to write this as a series, I would have left their goals unattained, allowing room for a longer character arc to build. In this sense though, I am happy for it to be self-contained and short in comparison. Perhaps I might return at a later date to write a longer, perhaps six or seven part series with a similar set of characters, but these particular characters would not suite for a longer piece. Not without going through some changes anyway.
I am happy with the direction it is taking, I am happy with the amount of work I have achieved and I am happy with the ideas that I have come up with. There are plenty which I have kept for other pieces, as they would not have worked in this particular piece, but I am more comfortable with experimenting and expressing my ideas.
If I can get enough re-writing done within the next few weeks, I would like to put together a crack team to be able to create this piece, however it would be a big task. More likely, I suspect, I will write a shorter piece, perhaps between fifteen minutes and half an hour, and get a team to create that. The feedback I have got has been positive, with some criticism which I accept gratefully, as it will only help to enhance my work.
When I have finished the piece, I will post it to Circalit to get more critique from my peers and other writers to see how they feel about the piece.