Cold Opens

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  • TigerFang
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • UneducatedFan
    replied
    Re: Cold Opens

    "Last Man on Earth" uses them as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • omjs
    replied
    Re: Cold Opens

    Good call on the homage idea, too.

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

    Leave a comment:


  • omjs
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mpimentel
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TigerFang
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • UneducatedFan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • omjs
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • UneducatedFan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • omjs
    started a topic Cold Opens

    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.
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