reflections on script tank reading of ‘tessa & adam’

4, June 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a couple of episodes of my web sitcom ‘Tessa & Adam’ read as part of a “short works” night at Script Tank on Wednesday and I’m pleased to say I’m very happy with the result.

I got to test out my new pilot as well as another ep that I have worked up. Just hearing it read was valuable enough because it allowed me to quickly weed out the lines that weren’t needed or didn’t work and tighten both scripts up as a whole, which I am always happy to do.

Building on the feedback from my last reading and this most recent reading I’ve now been able to refine my synopsis and the parameters for what makes a ‘Tessa & Adam’ episode:

Tessa & Adam follows the idiosyncratic antics of British lad Adam and his Dutch expat girlfriend Tessa. Capturing their clash of culture, love, life and sex the show reveals just how odd someone can appear once you start sharing your life with them.

  1. It’s observational comedy- finding comedy in intimate ‘truths’ or small moments within a relationship
  2. It’s about discovery – finding out just how odd someone can be once you start living with them
  3. The hook/comic situation needs to be set up ASAP – the first page if possible. If not, open with a joke
  4. Tessa and Adam must always have opposing goals or points of views within each episode to create the greatest amount of comic conflict
  5. The twist more often than not comes from some sort of reversal or reveal related to the characters
  6. Tessa and Adam are equals and must always be able to hold their own, no matter the situation
  7. The stakes may appear low but that doesn’t mean that what is going on in each ep isn’t vitally important to them in that moment
  8. Tessa and Adam have a real and loving relationship – their fidelity and commitment to one another is never in jeopardy
  9. Each episode is self contained and must be resolved at the end

-*-*-

On another note, I also got my Channel 4 Coming Up submission in this week, early even, which makes a difference already to last year. I was also far less stressed this time around because I really believe in my writing samples (episodes of ‘Tessa & Adam’) and had a clear synopsis/pitch that I re-worked and re-worked over several weeks.

To celebrate I went out for fish and chips and a midday pint on Abbey Road. Nice!

So with Coming Up completed it’s back to the keyboard to bash out some more ‘Tessa & Adam’ episodes and mulling over my potential entry for this year’s Red Planet Prize:

Each year the Prize is slightly different, to provide a fresh challenge for those who enter – and to reflect the difficulties faced by professional script writers.

This year’s competition is for an original 60 minute television script, either a single play or a pilot for a new series. You are initially required to submit the first ten pages along with a short synopsis.  The full script should be available on request, you may be required to submit this within a month of the final closing date.

As before, the winner will receive £5000, a script commission and the option of representation if required.
Red Planet and Kudos will also mentor finalists for the Prize.The competition is open to anyone within the UK. The RED PLANET PRIZE with close to new entrants at midnight on 31st July.

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One Response to “reflections on script tank reading of ‘tessa & adam’”

  1. barrymanana Says:

    My girlfriend is Dutch – and you’re right – there’s a lot of comedy conflict between cultures, and she’s at her best when she’s putting a lump hammer to British social mores.

    Shoeless writer gripes http://wp.me/pVoc5-1o


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