Cold Opens

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cold Opens

    I really just want to whine about this cold open I'm stuck on, but I'll make it constructive instead. Anybody have advice for writing a cold open in a sitcom? Things that make it easier? Examples of ones you love? Thoughts of any kind? Help a sister out.

  • #2
    Re: Cold Opens

    "Friends" did a Cold Open all the time. Usually at the coffee shop. So did "Everybody Loves Raymond". So did "Cheers".

    Not sure if that helps.

    EDIT: "Arrested Development" as well.
    Last edited by UneducatedFan; 12-28-2016, 10:04 AM. Reason: added Arrested Development.
    You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cold Opens

      Seems like pretty much every "traditional" broadcast sitcom does them. Right now I'm doing a Brooklyn Nine-Nine spec for next year's fellowships. They do a 1-2 page cold open in every episode - sometimes related to the rest of the plot, more often not.

      I think the hard thing about it is that it's the VERY BEGINNING of the script, which puts all this pressure on it. So I tend to overthink. Like I can jump in and make some jokes and get out, but I don't know if they're good enough or set the stage well enough...siiiiiigh...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cold Opens

        I hear ya. I think in an episodic/sitcom setting it's all about mood setting. In a comedy like Brooklyn Nine-Nine they're ice breakers to get you in the right humor frame of mind.

        I've seen them (cold opens) used alot in holiday special openings a ton to set the stage that "Hey, It's Halloween!".

        The Office used them a ton as well.

        I'm sure you're already familiar with the characters, etc. of Brooklyn Nine-Nine so maybe watch a few cold opens of some other comedies and see what they did.

        Maybe even do a 'homage' cold open like referencing Police Squad, etc.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm_t3g4RhpY
        Last edited by UneducatedFan; 12-28-2016, 01:43 PM. Reason: Added Police Squad opening vid.
        You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cold Opens

          Originally posted by omjs View Post
          Seems like pretty much every "traditional" broadcast sitcom does them. Right now I'm doing a Brooklyn Nine-Nine spec for next year's fellowships. They do a 1-2 page cold open in every episode - sometimes related to the rest of the plot, more often not.

          I think the hard thing about it is that it's the VERY BEGINNING of the script, which puts all this pressure on it. So I tend to overthink. Like I can jump in and make some jokes and get out, but I don't know if they're good enough or set the stage well enough...siiiiiigh...
          Do you have a scene you've cut — or are about to cut, one that is somehow superfluous to the others or it won't quite fit in — that would make a good cold open, one that's funny and perhaps even related to the episode plot, but one that helps to set the tone and we only see its relation to the episode, what it foreshadows (portends), after viewing the entire episode? Is there in your arsenal a standalone bit you've always wanted to write that says who are, and helps define, the characters?
          "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cold Opens

            Originally posted by UneducatedFan View Post
            The Office used them a ton as well.
            That.

            The office uses them wonderfully often to set the story/tone up, and I also enjoy if it ties in with the ending, SPECIALLY if I don't see it coming.

            I've used cold openings in all three of the episodes for my sitcom (links in sig) and I use them as described above.

            The show HOUSE, and a great deal of those detective shows do cold openings as a way to grab your attention and keep you interested through the slow parts, with the promise of a resolve for what you first saw.
            "We're going to be rich!" - 1/2 hr COMEDY written/directed/edited by me, I also act in it.
            SUBTITLED
            Episode 1 (Beef pills)
            Episode 2 (African commercial)
            Episode 3 (Brenda's rescue)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cold Opens

              Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
              Do you have a scene you've cut - or are about to cut, one that is somehow superfluous to the others or it won't quite fit in - that would make a good cold open, one that's funny and perhaps even related to the episode plot, but one that helps to set the tone and we only see its relation to the episode, what it foreshadows (portends), after viewing the entire episode? Is there in your arsenal a standalone bit you've always wanted to write that says who are, and helps define, the characters?
              Ooh, that's a good idea.

              Right now I've just skipped it and I'm writing the rest of the episode, hoping something will come to me later. Maybe now I can justify that as an actual technique...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cold Opens

                Good call on the homage idea, too.

                And the cold opens in The Office are AWESOME. Definitely a good reference.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cold Opens

                  "Last Man on Earth" uses them as well.
                  You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cold Opens

                    Originally posted by omjs View Post
                    Ooh, that's a good idea.

                    Right now I've just skipped it and I'm writing the rest of the episode, hoping something will come to me later. Maybe now I can justify that as an actual technique...
                    Here's a piece I found on how John Irving wrote his books: John Irving begins with the End.

                    There's no reason at all why you couldn't apply Irving's technique to your craft. So write your heart out toward the ending of your episode(s) of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Perhaps when you write the ending it will inform you of the beginning, your cold open. Ouroboros.
                    "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X