Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Writing TV
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2010, 02:14 AM   #1
rhimmer
New User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 8
Default Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Hi All,

Thinking of writing another spec tv pilot, even though it's obviously too late for this development season.

Question: Is the multi camera sitcom dead?

The most watched comedy on tv is three camera ("two and a half men"), but virtually every new pilot I read seems geared towards single camera. Am I wasting my time writing a three camera? Why would a studio choose a three camera over single camera?

Somewhat related: What's your favorite comedy pilot of this development season so far (the ones developed for Fall 2010)?
rhimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
odocoileus
Member
 
odocoileus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chatsworth
Posts: 1,826
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Big Bang is the most watched in the 18-49 demo.

However you reckon it, BBT & 2 1/2 Men are one and two, with everything else a distant second. They're both multi-camera.

You may have a point about multi camera pilots not being hip enough for execs and critics. If only they could get the viewers to agree.
__________________
If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
odocoileus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
ylekot43
Member
 
ylekot43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

I've heard of a few people (including a specific network) looking for them in the past year. Why not do one of each?

They definitely have a different joke rhythm than single-cam so I would first determine if your skill set is more geared to a single or mult-cam.
__________________
"Take the thing you love, and make it your life"--Californication.
ylekot43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
12916studios
Member
 
12916studios's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,305
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

The two comedies you want to spec right now are The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. Both are incredibly hot at the moment.

I've only read one of the comedies being developed for Fall 2010. I don't remember what it was called off the top of my head though.
__________________

INT. PINEAPPLE - DAY


12916studios is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
mtoomey
Member
 
mtoomey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 876
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Funny enough, I actually watched 2.5 Men for the first time tonight and it was easily the worst sitcom I've seen in 10 years. Saying it was 10 pounds of dog sh!t crammed into a 9 pound bag doesn't quite do it justice.

I then tried to watch Big Bang Theory and the first 2 minutes made me throw my remote at the TV in anger. Who watches this crap? If you do, I'm sorry, it's not personal...I'm sure you have other redeeming qualities like nice teeth or mad gardening skillz.

Modern Family, on the other hand, classic.

MT
__________________
If Lindsey Lohan has a child, and that child will lead...I will follow.
mtoomey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 10:23 PM   #6
12916studios
Member
 
12916studios's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,305
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtoomey View Post
Who watches this crap?
I do. The Big Bang Theory is brilliant. But, you know, two minutes might not necessarily show you that.

And Two and a Half Men is very hit or miss. I've seen every episode, and it has certainly declined in quality lately. I still enjoy it for what it is though: a show primarily about poop jokes.
__________________

INT. PINEAPPLE - DAY


12916studios is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
Jenny
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 781
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Back when I had a TV, the nightly re-runs of early Two and a Half Men seasons were sometimes the best part of my day.

That was some seriously funny writing, I can see why it found such a devoted audience.

I've got some new episodes on Hulu, and some of the charm has definitely dissipated over the years.
Jenny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 10:08 AM   #8
odocoileus
Member
 
odocoileus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chatsworth
Posts: 1,826
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

2 1/2 Men is based on comedic archetypes - the rake, the smartmouthed surly servant, the glutton, the high strung fastidious fool, the old harpy, the young harpy, the silly young girl. You can find pretty much the same things in the commedia dell'arte centuries ago.

And a Malibu beach house where nobody but the servants really has to work comes pretty close to commedia dell'art settings like country houses in Italy.

It works because it always works if you execute it properly - place the action in a recognizable situation, use likeable characters, keep the language and dilemmas current, use plots that first make sense dramatically in terms of the characters' emotions, and then layer in really sharp (if predictable) jokes.
__________________
If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
odocoileus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 11:17 AM   #9
WritersBlock2010
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,682
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Odocoileus is right.

If you want to write for TV, learn your archetypes. It doesn't matter what kind of show:

-Police Procedural
-Teen Drama
-1/2 Hour sitcom
-Reality TV show <--- These DO have writers, by the way

The archetype is your bread and butter because it is the foundation your living, breathing 3D characters are built upon. Archetypes are the most accessible character types there are. Even more so than stereotypes because archetypes are universal vs. stereotypes that rely on specific (physical) exaggerations.

The biggest archetype itself in the TV world is the Family Unit.

Even if the characters aren't genetically related, the relationships and how their archetypes fit into a larger social unit often resemble the traditional Family unit. Audiences can relate to this on a subconscious level and it gives them a familiar base where they can immerse themselves into the world you are creating.

You can tell who is the "dad", the "mom", the "big brother", "little sister", etc. is by their archetype and how they interact with each other.

The parental figures are the ones who have wisdom, patience, etc. However, they don't have to be physically, or chronologically older to play the role of "mom", or "dad". Brenda and Brandon Walsh, on the original "90201" were the parental figures in their clique of friends.

Once again, this is why archetypes are so important because they aren't restricted by physical factors and are interchangeable on a universal level that allows you to create unique & original characters based on the archetype.
__________________
Positive outcomes. Only.
WritersBlock2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
mtoomey
Member
 
mtoomey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 876
Default Re: Single Camera vs. Multi Camera Comedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by odocoileus View Post
2 1/2 Men is based on comedic archetypes - the rake, the smartmouthed surly servant, the glutton, the high strung fastidious fool, the old harpy, the young harpy, the silly young girl. You can find pretty much the same things in the commedia dell'arte centuries ago.

And a Malibu beach house where nobody but the servants really has to work comes pretty close to commedia dell'art settings like country houses in Italy.

It works because it always works if you execute it properly - place the action in a recognizable situation, use likeable characters, keep the language and dilemmas current, use plots that first make sense dramatically in terms of the characters' emotions, and then layer in really sharp (if predictable) jokes.
I understand the formula, it's the execution that seemed dreadful to me. It was the "sharp jokes" that were missing. Which is a shame, because I've always liked Charlie Sheen in film. Maybe I need to give it more than one episode, but I won't because there are too many other good shows on TV to watch.

MT
__________________
If Lindsey Lohan has a child, and that child will lead...I will follow.
mtoomey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker