Any Screenplays in Your Future?

October 26, 2011

Living in Los Angeles has some perks. Last night, our family went to see a live taping of the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement. We love the cast, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, David Spade, Oliver Hudson, Bianca Kajlich and Adhir Kalyan, and we’ve been fans of the show since the first episode.

If you’ve never been to a live taping of a sitcom, the taping takes much longer than the thirty minutes you see on television, and there are no commercials. Some scenes are taped ahead and shown to the live audience on television screens, and others are taped live in front of you…sometimes several times. Most of the time the actors stick with the script, but every now and then they will adlib, and sometimes the writers will change a line here and there as they tape…what works on paper doesn’t always work on the set.

To warm up the audience and keep the energy going through scene changes and whatever “technical things” are being handled on stage, they have a live stand-up comedian. The very talented and somewhat irreverent Ron Pearson was the comedian last night. So we watched a great episode and enjoyed Ron Pearson’s comedy and amazing juggling talent. (Have I mentioned that my hunky husband is a talented juggler in his own right and of course loves a good juggler?)

What does any of this have to do with writing? We were sitting in the second row when I overheard a comment from the group of important looking people on the set. I won’t repeat it word for word, but basically the comment was that this was the guy’s “first time.” Later the receiver of the comment was introduced as a writer. Now I may not have gotten the story exactly right, but it made me wonder what it would feel like to be a writer on a sitcom…to be sitting on the set while talented actors played out the scenes that you had written.

My husband always says he’s waiting for my book to be made into a screenplay. I’m just waiting for one to be published as a book! But wouldn’t it be fun to write a script and see it played out on film? Maybe I will sign up for a script class.

In the meantime, I’ll look forward to watching my favorite sitcoms on television and maybe seeing more live tapings. What do you think? Any screenplays in your future?


4 Responses to “Any Screenplays in Your Future?”

  1. Everyone tells me I’m good with dialogue (is that a nice way of saying, not so good with the rest?), so I have studied scriptwriting a bit. But not being a very funny person, sitcoms just don’t work for me. As a matter of fact, I haven’t yet found anything that does. Oh well. But I have found that studying the 3 or 4 act structure, along with the necessary speed and brevity of development does make you think about the scenes in whatever it is you do write. It wasn’t totally wasted.

  2. Randall Says:

    I want to write a story in poetry form, like they use too, remember “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”. I hope you can get your stories onto screenplays. Then I can say I commented on the blog of a famous screenplay writer once. Do you find being at a live taping as good as a watching it on TV, or better?

  3. taristhread Says:

    Genie! I think studying different forms of writing strengthens all of your writing…never wasted, just keep writing!!

  4. taristhread Says:

    Randal….I wrote the story of my romance with my husband as a fairy tale, and that was lots of fun. I love experimenting with different forms of storytelling.

    As for watching a live taping or watching on TV, it’s kind of like whether you want to read the book or watch the movie. I enjoy both. Seeing a live taping give you the nuts and bolts, and you see things that may be taken out of the final product, as well as mistakes, and just the process of filming. Then there’s also a little of the live “theater” feeling, getting some of that energy from the actors….of course, every taping is different. I do enjoy the episode on television even more after seeing the live taping. It’s nice to see it from beginning to end without interruption.

    Thank you, it would be fun to write a screenplay and have it produced…right now, I’m happy to work on my novel and see what happens!!

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