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Old Idea

Recent events made me realize I had this on my computer. I started this last year for a group I am a part of that is trying to produce some stuff. Very cheesy and rough copy that didn’t get past the first round of our writers table, hence it stayed in poor shape.  I still like the concept.


          EDDIE, IBRAHIM AL-QUSI  and a TERRORIST GUARD sit near a
          campfire near a mouth of a cave. Make shift pots, pans and
          cooking utensils are scattered around the campfire.

                    Welcome to Outlaw Cooking, where
                    we’ve embedded ourselves with the
                    real bad boys of cooking. As you
                    can tell, we’re not on the set of
                    Minute to Win it, we’re in a remote
                    location near the Afghanistan and
                    Pakistan border. Today we’re going
                    to throw down with the terrorists.

          The Terrorist Guard angrily points his weapon at Eddie.
          Ibrahim grabs the barrel of the gun and pushes it back down
          to the guards side.

                    Whoa, whoa, throw down is just a
                    playful term the network uses.

                    It’s OK, he not so smart.  If he
                    completes this assignment
                    successfully, he gets promoted to
                    suicide bomber.

          Terrorist Guard quickly flashes a grin to the Eddie.

                    Really? Oh well, as you may have
                    noticed already our guest is
                    IBRAHIM AL-QUSI. He’s been a chef
                    for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in
                    this region for about 9 years and
                    has opened several roadside

                    Business is, how you say, booming!

                    For a chef, you have extremely poor
                    taste. Anyway, today we are going
                    to see how a terrorist on the run
                    can still find time to cook a good

                    One of the first things we teach
                    new terrorists is how to find and
                    cook food fast.  Tell Rachel Ray,
                    30 minutes, too long.

                    I can tell you, I’ve been at this
                    location for about an hour and a
                    few drones have already come close.

                    Too close. As you can see most our
                    cooking equipment is very
                    rudimentary.  We must be ready to
                    move quickly sometimes. I had a
                    nice Calaphon set that was
                    vaporized by a predator drone. 
                    Professional Non Stick II, oh what
                    I would do to cook on them again.
                    Allah willing one day I will.

                    So quick good food is very
                    important to terrorists.

                    Where we are located yes. For our
                    comrades that have taken shelter in
                    Pakistan and Iran, they can prepare
                    elaborate meals.  A fellow chef in
                    Iran likes to prank my satellite
                    phone, he calls asking for slow
                    cooker recipes.

                    I hear a little jealously in that
                    voice. I say we start cooking. What
                    are we going to make today.

          The terrorist holds up some sort of fowl.

                    Today we have a special treat for
                    our infidel guests from the Food
                    Network. This is a favorite of Mr.
                    Bin Laden.

                    That looks like some kind of fowl,
                    maybe quail. Quail is very abundant
                    in this area.

                    Exactly, its a quail. Very funny
                    story. We were all out stoning a
                    local woman because her husband had
                    an affair.

                              TERRORIST GUARD

                    Yes, she was a hoar.  Anyway some
                    of the stones flew into the brush
                    behind her and stirred up several
                    quail. We were able to get some for
                    this meal.

                    Sounds like a bad joke.

                    No, it was a gift from Allah for
                    doing his bidding. Infidel. Ok, so
                    ee could cook quail over the open
                    fire but that would take too much
                    time. So when we want to quickly
                    cook our quail, we cook them on

          The Terrorist Guard produces a George Foreman grill from a
          duffle bag. Together the terrorists put the quail on the

                    A Foreman?

                    Yes, George Foreman. Contact
                    grilling, very fast, very easy. We
                    can cook, eat and clean in twenty

                    Seriously I came out here, to see
                    you cook on a Foreman?

                    Do not disrespect us infidel. You
                    want to see how terrorists cook,
                    well now you see.

                    I apologize, I did not mean to
                    offend you. Do you at least use
                    some seasoning?

                    Of course, we’re not cavemen.

          Eddie looks around at the surroundings, it is a cave. A 
          beep goes off.

                    Well, it’s done, would you like to
                    try some.

          Eddie takes quail off a plate the Terrorist is handing him.

                    Sure. Umm, this is actually better
                    than I expected.

                    Yes, very good.

          A loud drone flies over head, several close explosions

                    See my infidel friend we must go.

          They start to scatter, only grabbing the Foreman Grill.

                    Well, I guess that’s it for this
                    week. Join us next week as we
                    venture into the real Hells
                    Kitchen. Well at least a Hell’s
                    Angels kitchen. And remember, you
                    can always find the Most Wanted
                    Chefs, on Outlaw Cooking every
                    Tuesday at nine on the Food

Intro to Statistics

Even though I didn’t write up a post on Sunday, I did have the analysis of Community scripts done.  The four scripts I looked at were all from the first season including the pilot.  Here’s the breakdown of what I found:

Average Script Length 29.5 pages and17 scenes

Half the scripts had 3 acts

Half the scripts had 2 acts

All scripts start with a cold open

Cold opens averaged 3.5 pages and 2 scenes

Act I averaged 10.5 pages and 7 scenes

Act II averaged 11 pages and 6 scenes

Act III (when used) averaged 7.75 pages and 4 scenes

On average Jeff was in the most scenes

On average Troy was in the least scenes

Episodes averaged 2 Guest Characters, which appear in approximately 6 scenes

Each script averaged 8 sets

Average of 3 jokes per page

My next step is to re-read all the scripts and then create my story idea.

Ideas #1

I am going to start documenting my script ideas here.  Just a few to start with.

Community Spec Script – Goonies Theme (or scavenger hunt movie theme)

Movie Idea:
Title: It’s funny cause he’s fat
Logline: When a health scare forces an overweight comedian to get in shape, losing weight may also lose him his chance at his big break.

I’m Back

The blog I created as a place to motivate myself with assignments hasn’t been updated in two months. In those two months my writing has continued to be an afterthought. That’s stopping now. Immediately.

Assignment #2 – Analyze Community scripts, write a post. Due Date: Sunday, February 27 @ 8PM.

Just a quick follow up to my last post. I enrolled in the Introduction to Improv class. To be honest, I can’t recall a time in my life when I purposely placed myself so far beyond my comfort zone as I was going to be by enrolling in this class. Overall it has been a great learning experience, both about improv and me. I love the class, but I also hate the class. If that makes sense at all. Stage fright is an understatement, I have stage death. I would literally drive to class not knowing if I was really going to go in and participate. Every.Single.Week. If the instructors and my classmates were any less supportive, I wouldn’t have went back after the first week. I was lucky to have a great class. The class is ending this week, although I am already done because this week is strictly a rehearsal for a real show that the class puts on at the end of the semester. I was undecided about actually participating in the show, but in the end a scheduling conflict made the decision easier.

In the end I am happy that I took this class. I gained some self confidence and I learned some things I can apply to my writing. The most important thing being this: lose the filter. The times on stage when I think I was my funniest and most creative was when I was actually able to turn that filter off and just flow. I am going to continue to apply this to my writing, so look out for some unfiltered posts and tweets. That probably means fart jokes, I’m really just a teenage boy trapped in an adult body.

Final Draft

Wondering if anybody using final draft has used the templates? I see they now have a Modern Family and Community template.  Here they are…

Head of the Class

As the New Year approaches, I am starting to create my goals for next year.   The entire list will make it here by Jan 31st, but for now just let’s look at the one where I need to make a decision soon.

Attend two classes/workshops/seminars related to my writing/comedy goals.

So here are my current options and I need to decide before some of the classes fill up.

Breaking Into Sitcom Writing – $99

Pro’s – Cheap, Online (no extra snow driving), offered every month
Con’s – Online (not my best style of learning),

Intro to Improv – $200

Pro’s – Brick & Mortar Class, Being around other creative people, free admission to all shows during semester, pushes me beyond my comfort zone
Con’s – 8 Saturdays, Most expensive option, is it as beneficial to writing as I think it would be

Digital Video Editing – Free (Offered through CE at the school I work at)

Pro’s – Free, will help sketch comedy group produce something besides scripts
Con’s – Saturdays (again), nothing to do with writing

So these are my three options for January. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Of course that implies someone reads this blog.

Modern Family Analysis

When I set a deadline for this analysis, I never imagined I would be pushing up against it this way. Realistically that’s why I had to set a deadline; too many times I just keep putting it off. So here it is, although I did not get to analyze three scripts like I intended, two will suffice for now.

This being my first whole-hearted attempt at a spec, I wanted to look at the structure of the show. The barebones if you will. How many acts, pages, scenes, sets, etc… I created a spread sheet using the example in The TV Writers Workbook that I recently bought from Amazon.  Using this spread sheet I analyzed the Pilot episode and episode three (Come fly with me).  I found these scripts and more thanks to Evan and MK. Although I only really analyzed these two, I have quickly glanced at the others available.

Looking at the numbers, what do I think is most important to my spec? I think it’s the number of jokes per page, which with my count came in averaging 2 per page. Don’t think that I am not paying attention to the averages pages, averages scenes per act, etc…I just think the jokes per page is more important right now.  Why does this help me the most? Because the show is so flexible when it comes to stories and resolutions, that making sure I am aiming for the correct amount of jokes is very important. And by flexible I mean the main problem can be within any one of the families, start with any family and even end with a group resolution. Or not.

What are your thoughts? Have you reviewed more scripts and found anything important in the numbers?


Welcome to my blog, Fade In: Detroit.  Why Fade In: Detroit? I want to write comedy. Sitcoms mainly, but anything funny will do.  But I have a problem.

Every day I tell myself that I am going to sit down and write. It starts with good intentions the night before, “Wake up with the alarm and write for 30 minutes.”  Then when the alarm goes off, I roll over and tell myself “You have an hour at lunch to write, do it then.” So I go through the first part of my day wondering what I am going to write about at lunch. Then lunch comes and goes without more than a random idea or two written down.  Sports radio suckers me in every time. Then I tell myself, “You’ll write tonight instead of wasting your time on the PS3.”  In reality it’s not the PS3 that stops me most of the time, it’s just me. I haven’t found the switch for my internal editor yet, even as I write this, I’m thinking too much. The only thing that seems to turn it off temporarily is pressure.  If I have something due, I can’t avoid it any more, I have to get it done.  The problem is I don’t write for a living yet and the only external pressure I am able to exert has temporarily disappeared (Sketch Comedy group that busy schedules has put on hold.) So I am stuck.

I can’t tell you how many podcasts I’ve heard that a writer says “Writers write; that’s what they do.” So if I want to be a writer so bad, why do I choose not to write? I think that’s where this blog comes into play. My goal is to create assignments that I post and stick to for this blog. A place I can be held accountable by someone, even if it’s just some of my invisible friends reminding me that my outline was supposed to be posted an hour ago.

Let’s get started shall we…

Assignment #1
Analyze Modern Family scripts, write a post about it. Due Date – 8:00 PM EST Friday November 26, 2010.