MY LIFE IN LIPPY AND LEOPARD PRINT
I love sitcoms, and these last weeks I’ve had an excuse to re-watch all my favourites because I’ve been working on a sitcom of my very own (read an excerpt here).
My script work so far has been confined to radio plays before I moved on to film, which I still enjoy. I was bound to get around to doing TV drama eventually as situation comedies are very dear to my heart. I always think they often reflect more of real life than ‘serious’ dramas, instead communicating the message in a more light hearted way; points are sometimes better made with humour than by barracking and lecturing.
So, I’ve been heroically (it’s hard work but someone’s got to do it, dammit) re-watching a plethora of classic and new sitcoms – in the name of research, naturally.
My favourite sitcoms are Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David is a genius, not a word I use lightly), Still Game, Desmond’s, Everybody Loves Raymond, The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Married…With Children. Of course there’s lots of others but these are the ones I keep coming back to over and over again.
I should have news on my sitcom shortly, but it’s been such an exciting journey with it so far already.
I’ve had a real hoot working on my script, scurrying around with my notebook and earwigging to conversations and writing tasty stuff down, even more than I normally do. I’ve found the best places for finding inspiring phrases and concepts include sitting in my garden listening to my neighbours when the weather was nice recently (I’m in the soup if they’re reading this, aren’t I?) and of course dear old public transport which provides an intriguing snapshot of people’s lives as they interact and talk to others.
I sometimes think I’m being a bit rude by earwigging but I would be a very unusual writer indeed if I was to come up with inspiration and ideas by just sitting in the house. It’s a bit of a quandary. I often ask my hubby or friends if I can use snatches of our conversation if something strikes me as funny, but it would be odd if I tapped a stranger on the shoulder whilst travelling on the bus and say ‘Erm you don’t know me but I’m a writer. Could I use that story you just told about your neighbour’s wild affair with the milkman for my sitcom?’
Imagine the response I’d get…
I’d be interested in how other writers source their work and do you ask friends and relatives if you can ‘borrow’ parts of their lives?