Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

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Sun-Wukong
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Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by Sun-Wukong » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:00 pm

As you can see I'm new here, I actually just found the site looking for info on how many pages should be in one act (which I still haven't found the answer to if anyone would like to tell me). So far I have six pages according to the script writing software I'm using, and I don't have any title in mind yet, but I figured I may as well post it here.
ACT ONE
A logo for "COPS: IN SPRINGFIELD" appears on screen.

EXT. Street - Night
Camera Man's POV:

Eddie and Lou are chasing behind Chief Wiggum, who's pursuing Snake jailbird on foot. Snake starts to climb a fence but gets electrocuted and falls to the ground, smoldering and moaning in pain. Wiggum looks at the camera.
Chief Wiggum
(Out of breath) Okay, we've caught up with the perpetrator. Now...
He looks down, the camera zooms in to show that Snake is holding a gun.
Chief Wiggum (Cont'd)
Eh, he's still armed. Better hand me the Taser, Lou.
TV Static to:
INT. Police Cruiser - Later
Camera Man's POV:

Chief Wiggum and Lou are in the front seats; Eddie is sitting on the far left with Snake between him and the camera man.
Chief Wiggum
Now before we take him down to the Police Department, we're gonna retrieve the stolen property from his hideaway, since he was nice enough to tell us where it is.
Lou
I don't know chief, seems like some kind of trap.
Chief Wiggum
Aw jeez Lou, can't you just trust somebody for once? Maybe if you did, your wife wouldn't have left you.
They all sit silently for a moment.
Lou
Y-yeah...
TV STATIC TO:
E/I. Jailbird's Motel Room - Later Still
Camera Man's POV:

Wiggum unlocks the door and steps in. He turns on the light to reveal a completely bare room, except that there's an orangutan lying on the bed. Wiggum's mouth hangs open.

CLICK

The camera turns around and Snake is standing in front of the locked door; he points at Chief Wiggum.
Snake Jailbird
Haha, Sick him JoJo.
The Camera is still focused on Snake. Wiggum cries out in pain while the orangutan shrieks angrily.
TV STATIC TO:
E/I. POLICE CRUISER - DAWN
The Orangutan, now heavily sedated, is strapped to the roof of the car.

Camera Man's POV:
Chief Wiggum
I may have gotten scratched up pretty bad. In fact, part of my brain is exposed under this hat (pointing), but I'm proud to say that this orangutan in going to be released back into the wild.
Overlapping with the last of his dialogue, a message appears below that reads "Orangutan now available at local police auction."

Reveal:
INT. Simpson Home - DAY
Homer is standing in front of the TV with his arms in the air.
Homer
Omigod, oh my GOD!
The rest of the family rush into the living room.
Marge
What? What is it?
HOMER
(Pointing at the TV)
Police auction, amazing deals, CHEAP PRE-OWNED MONKEY FOR SALE!
Lisa
Dad, it's wrong keep an animal like that in captivity.
Close on: Lisa's face
Lisa (Cont'd)
Besides, an orangutan is part of the great ape family. Monkeys have tails.
Reveal: Visible through the window, Homer is running out to the car.
Homer
Used monkey, people! Come on. Move it or lose it.
Honk-- Everyone walks out of the door at an apathetic pace, except for bart who looks concerned.

EXT. Driveway - CONTINUOUS
Bart
I'm worried dad. Remember the last time you shopped at a police auction? You bought that same guy's car and he tried to kill you.
Homer
Come on boy. A car is one thing, but this is a monkey. Who's gonna care that much about a monkey?
Bart
You seemed pretty exited about it.
Homer
That's because I appreciate the little-- Ooh, there's a penny on the ground!
Bart
It's not even on heads.
Homer
Who says that matters?
(Looks down)
Oh my God, another penny!
Bart shrugs and gets into the car.

EXT. Police Department - Later
An older man stands at the podium with a gavel.
Auctioneer
...And the primate goes to the portly gentleman with whiskey on his breath.
Barney
Alright, I sure am glad I fell off the wagon again or I never would have thought this was a good idea...
Homer
D'oh! Lousy Barney, stealin' my monkey...
Lisa
Again, I'd like to point out that Orangutans are apes, not monk--
Random Crowd Member
Nobody cares!
Lisa
(deflated, sighs)
I know, but I keep trying...
Auctioneer
The last item up for bid is this outdated prison cafeteria deep fryer, used by a sociopath in a mask to splash hot oil on a fellow inmates face. Barely used, do I hear fifty dollars?
HOMER
(raising his paddle)
Fifty one dollars!
Everyone is silent.
Auctioneer
Is that all then? Well, going once, going twice, sold for fifty one dollars to the balding man in blue pants!
Homer
Woohoo!
EXT. Outskirts of Parking Lot - Continuous
Barney is leading the orangutan to his car (the Plow King) holding its hand.
Barney
Now you get into the passenger seat and I can use the carpool lane to get to MOE'S faster.
Barney sits down, Snake jailbird in an orange jumpsuit peers through the window from the truck bed. As Barney pulls out of the parking lot, an ominous score starts to play.
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by c_nordlander » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:51 pm

First of all, welcome aboard! We're always happy to get new scripts, and will hopefully be able to help you with anything you need.

A couple of typoes and other nitpicks: there are some unnecessary capitalisations (like "orangutan" and "sick"), that you'll probably catch if you read through it. On the other hand, "Jailbird" in the first and last stage directions should be capitalised since it's a name. "in going to be released" should be "is".

I know Snake's last name is "Jailbird", but it feels a bit odd that you refer to him by his whole name like that. Just calling him "Snake" would do well. Still, that doesn't really matter.

It's kind of hard to say much about it so far, since it's still fairly short. The set-up is funny (I like orangutans), and could go in interesting directions. (The fact that you didn't have Homer buy the ape already shows a bit of originality.) Writing-wise, it's good, though a little short on jokes so far. However, Wiggum's inconsiderate line about Lou's wife leaving him was funny, and I like the auctioneer's pitch for the deep fryer. On the other hand, Wiggum saying that his brain was exposed was kind of disgusting, and Bart referring to "Realty Bites" feels pretty pointless.

By all means, keep posting here. You've got a good start.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Sun-Wukong
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by Sun-Wukong » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:22 pm

c_nordlander wrote:First of all, welcome aboard! We're always happy to get new scripts, and will hopefully be able to help you with anything you need.
Thanks.
c_nordlander wrote:A couple of typoes and other nitpicks: there are some unnecessary capitalisations (like "orangutan" and "sick"), that you'll probably catch if you read through it. On the other hand, "Jailbird" in the first and last stage directions should be capitalised since it's a name. "in going to be released" should be "is".

I know Snake's last name is "Jailbird", but it feels a bit odd that you refer to him by his whole name like that. Just calling him "Snake" would do well. Still, that doesn't really matter.
I appreciate it. One note for bizarre capitalizations though, the software I'm using auto-formats what I type, but it's only cosmetic and when I copy it onto something else it shows up exactly how it was typed.
c_nordlander wrote:It's kind of hard to say much about it so far, since it's still fairly short. The set-up is funny (I like orangutans), and could go in interesting directions. (The fact that you didn't have Homer buy the ape already shows a bit of originality.) Writing-wise, it's good, though a little short on jokes so far. However, Wiggum's inconsiderate line about Lou's wife leaving him was funny, and I like the auctioneer's pitch for the deep fryer. On the other hand, Wiggum saying that his brain was exposed was kind of disgusting, and Bart referring to "Realty Bites" feels pretty pointless.
I always like to go in a different direction than people expect, nice to see that it went over nicely. I personally like the part about his brain being exposed, but it's kind of hard to gross me out so I'll consider revising in the future. Hey, at least he doesn't lift the hat up. As for the reference to "Realty Bites", I have no real comment. I guess I wanted to hang a lampshade over a reused plot element before the internets could complain.
c_nordlander wrote:By all means, keep posting here. You've got a good start.
Done and done. And I mean done.
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by c_nordlander » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:32 am

I'm glad you don't think I was being too nitpicky.
Sun-Wukong wrote:As for the reference to "Realty Bites", I have no real comment. I guess I wanted to hang a lampshade over a reused plot element before the internets could complain.
The problem is, this rarely works (for you or anyone else). I'm sure there are ways to do it, but most of the time, the readers are just going to think: "If he knew this plot has been done, why did he write it in the first place?" Personally, I'm not bothered by the slight similarity to "Realty Bites": an orangutan is sufficiently different from a car; it's bought by Barney, not Homer; and the story is the main plot, not the subplot. I'm more bothered by Bart having a bland expository line that adds nothing.

You'll see what other readers say as well. These are just my two cents.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Sun-Wukong
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by Sun-Wukong » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:01 pm

I was worried that it was too expository, but I thought I'd wait and see what others thought. Just so you know tough, Barney getting the orangutan is going to be the sub plot, but I'm taking it in a much different direction. By the way, here's some more material:

ACT TWO

INT. Canyonero - Dusk
THE FAMILY SITS IN THEIR USUAL POSITIONS IN THE CAR, THE DEEP FRYER IS IN THE BACK.
HOMER
Oh mama, I'm gonna make so many foods even worse for me!
MARGE
Homer, I don't want you to overdo it. You're not the healthiest man alive, you know.
IN THE BACKGROUND, THE PLOW KING DRIVES ALONGSIDE THE CANYONERO. THE BACK WINDOW IS BROKEN AND BARNEY IS TIED UP IN THE TRUCK-BED. SNAKE IS DRIVING WHILE THE ORANGUTAN PLAYS AIR GUITAR IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.
HOMER
(Sighs)
I finally fulfill my life-long dream of owning a deep fryer and I can't even have fun with it.
MARGE
Your life-long dream was to own an Orangutan. I guess you kind of missed your opportunity to do that today, but I've never heard you say anything about wanting a deep fryer.
HOMER
I'm a fat guy, Marge, it should go without saying. It'll be like eating at a carnival but everyday! And then on Thanksgiving, we can fry a turkey instead of baking it.
(Enraptured, speaking more to himself than Marge)
No wait, scratch that, we can fry a turkey on every holiday, even the ones where we wouldn't normally have a turkey!
MARGE
Homey--
HOMER
Come on, we can use old coat hangers to dunk the turkeys in.
(Pleading)
I know how much you like finding new uses for things instead of just throwing them out.
MARGE
That's true. Okay, we can do something fun with it tonight, but after that I want you to use it sparingly.
HOMER
Deal!
HOMER SWERVES JUST IN TIME TO MAKE AN EXIT ON THEIR LEFT.
E/I. THE PLOW KING - CONTINUOUS
SNAKE TURNS HIS HEAD AND LOOKS TOWARDS THE BACK WINDOW.
SNAKE
I just want to let you know that it's nothing personal, drunky. This orangutan is just the only thing to show me any kindness since Gloria left me. She says I was "abusive", but Tangy here knows I'm only kidding her.
SNAKE ISN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO THE ROAD WHILE HE TALKS, THE ORANGUTAN GRABS THE WHEEL TO AVOID ONCOMING TRAFFIC.
SNAKE (CONT'D)
Isn't that right, banana bunch?
ORANGUTAN (SUBTITLE)
That's the third time this exact thing has happened!
BARNEY
Aw, that's nice... Is there any beer left in my glove box? I'm startin' to sober up.
SNAKE
Looks like some spilled out a while back and hasn't been cleaned up yet.
BARNEY
That's fine, I'm pretty sure there's a bag of bendy straws under the driver's seat. Could you toss some of 'em back here?
SNAKE GETS A SLIGHTLY ANNOYED LOOK ON HIS FACE AND TOSSES THE BAG BEHIND HIS SHOULDER. A STRING OF SEVERAL BENDY STRAWS EMERGES FROM THE HOLE IN THE BACK WINDOW AND JABS SNAKE IN THE FACE.
SNAKE
You know what? I changed my mind, you can't have any.
This isn't all of act two either, just what I have so far.

EDIT: I think I came up with a better way to do that particular line from the the first act, but it may be too tongue-in-cheek. I don't know, you tell me:

EXT. DRIVEWAY - CONTINUOUS
HOMER IS SITTING IN THE CAR, BART STANDS OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
BART
Dad, don't you think this is a little dangerous? They arrest that guy once a month, what if he escapes again?
LISA IS ALREADY IN THE CAR.
LISA
Now that I think about it, didn't you already buy a car that belonged to him? It's almost like we're running out of new things to do...
HOMER
Don't worry kids. A car is one thing, but this is a monkey. Who's gonna care that much about a monkey? I mean, they're so different too.
BART
You seemed pretty exited about it.
HOMER
That's because I appreciate the little-- Ooh, there's a penny on the ground!
BART
It's not even on heads.
HOMER
Who says that matters?
(Looks down at floor mat)
Oh my God, another penny!
BART SHRUGS AND GETS INTO THE CAR.
LISA
That's a melted caramel candy.
HOMER

(Eating)

Even better.
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by c_nordlander » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:36 pm

Continuing comments:

Good Homer line at the start of this scene.
SNAKE IS DRIVING WHILE THE ORANGUTAN PLAYS AIR GUITAR IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.
This made me laugh.

Homer's and Marge's dialogue is very funny.
we can use old coat hangers to dunk the turkeys in.
Seems to me that "with" would be better than "in", but it's up to you.

Regarding the changed line: it's quite an improvement on the old one.

Well, this script is steadily getting funnier. I don't really have any complaints about it, just a nitpick: the Simpsons don't have the Canyonero any more (it blew up at the end of "Marge Simpson in: Screaming Yellow Honkers"). Also, I find the all-caps in the stage directions a bit hard to read (just putting them in brackets or square brackets would be enough to make them distinct from the dialogue), but that's up to you.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Sun-Wukong
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Re: Writing an episode, curious if it's any good.

Post by Sun-Wukong » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:09 pm

Huh, I guess I played so much Hit & Run I forgot about the Canyonero blowing up. Truth be told I just though it would make more sense as the vehicle to take if they were picking up an orangutan but I'll probably change it now.
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