Friday, December 23, 2005

How about this for your spec?

I just had a thought. A possible way for your spec script to stand out. Do a Christmas episode. In the ten million specs I’ve read over the years I can’t recall a single one that’s holiday themed. And fortunately, since only nine people read this blog, you won’t have to worry about a sudden glut of Christmas specs. It’ll just be you and one other guy and he’s in Australia.

The trick of course is to find a fresh twist on the subject – not an easy task by any means. As a show runner I always dreaded the Christmas episode. What could we do that hasn’t been done so many times the FATHER KNOWS BEST writers were tired of it? The Scrooge rip-off. Wonderful Life rip off. Forgot to get a present. Gift exchanges going awry. Can’t get home for Christmas. Family staying with you for Christmas. Volunteered to help at the homeless shelter but got invited to a swank party. Is that old guy with a beard who urinates on your lawn really Santa Claus? Christmas miracles. Christmas lessons. You know the drill.

But if you can somehow find a variation, your spec might really stand out, and who knows? Show runners may just want to buy it for the story alone.

Anyway, it’s a thought. Along with….

Merry Christmas.

11 comments:

af said...

Never even thought of that before, it's a great idea.

Merry Christmas to you, sir, and thank you for sharing with us. And I must say, thank you for updating so often. I love that.

Jason Looney said...

Just a quick note to let you know that I love your blog. You're the first writer I've ever seen talking about spec scripts in a remotely positive light, which is refreshing. Your blog is both informative and encouraging. I look forward to reading each post.

And now I'm off to ponder whether I could ever top Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo.

The Moviequill said...

what are your feelings on a spec Christmas movie?

zazupitts said...

It's keen to find a blog like this because you've accomplished a lot; and you're confident and free enough with your thoughts and ideas to share them with those lucky enough to pay attention. And it's funny! :) Thanks for doing this.

Ken Levine said...

what are your feelings on a spec Christmas movie?

Since I'm currently writing one myself I'd have to say it's a good idea.

ZazuPits,

Great to see you're still alive. I loved you in that Gale Storm show.

Thanks to all for the nice comments. We need the next generation of great comedy writers.

Anonymous said...

I'm always feel inspired when I visit your blog...It seems you've been pretty suscessful in your career, and you really don't have to give advice to aspiring screenwriters...But I thank you for sharing your thoughts about getting our scripts looked at.

If I ever get to meet you, it would be an honor to shake your hand and thank you for couraging me to follow my dream...God bless you.

Rob said...

Any chance you mentioned this though to some exec a few months back and that you may be singlehandedly responsible for about 90% of prime time shows having a Christmas episode this year?

And even if only nine people read this, I think we're all very glad it's here.

Rob said...

That word in the first sentence is supposed to be thought.

The next generation of writers can't afford functioning keyboards (or brains).

rdubard said...

Did you by chance catch the Christmas Office Party episode of "The Office?" Documentary style--absolutely hilarious. Reminded me of "Waiting for Guffman," but obviously (and cleverly) scripted. Truly painful and familiar in parts, and really out there in other places. Yeh, some parts were hackneyed, but the overall presentation was a GREAT new take on the Christmas show.

shecanfilmit said...

Another Xmas episode to check out, the "Afternoon Delight" episode of Arrested Development, my favorite episode of the whole series. At the Bluth company Xmas party, Michael sings the song "Afternoon Delight" with Maebe and after a few lyrics, realizes it's offensive. Then, Lindsay makes the same mistake with George Michael.

My boyfriend and I decided if we ever get married, we're going to play that song at our wedding reception and see how many relatives raise their eyebrows.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

I think my favorite Christmas episode of any show is the episode of King of the Hill where Bill becomes suicidal at Christmas (because that's when his wife left him), and, after his friends stop him from killing himself, he starts dressing up as his ex-wife. And no, that doesn't sound like a Christmas episode or a funny episode, but it is both.

Favorite line from a Christmas episode, from WKRP in Cincinnati (another can't-get-home-for-Christmas episode): "In the spirit of Christmas, we killed a tree for you."

I seem to have rather dark taste in Christmas comedy....