Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Modern Family spec script.

I decided to make my first Modern Family spec script available, so there you are.

Once again it's pretty difficult to tell how good the script is but at least I tried to keep the storylines somewhat simple, logical and straightforward. I also tried to keep the reader interested in what was going on.

Another challenge was how to deal with the information, "who knows what and when" - how to reveal information to the characters and to the audience.

For example, in Gloria's and Jay's storyline about Gloria wanting to buy a tandem bike, I think I had to keep what she wanted hidden as long as possible. If they would have mentioned the bike in their first scene, would anyone have cared about what happened in the next scene? My guess is a pretty solid no.

The storyline about Cam and Mitchell taking Lily to a babyswim was also pretty challenging. Again, I had to keep the Fizbo part hidden. If Mitchell had known about it in the first scene, they would never have gotten to the swimming hall. Of course it's another question whether one finds this storyline plausible.

The third storyline was about Phil meeting his college buddy for the first time in years. His friend used to have a drinking problem so the question was whether he was still an alcoholic. This storyline was a serious one but I thought it was a good idea to show Phil as a real person and not just as a harmless goofball.

Modern Family usually has storylines that in the end tend to converge. The problem with these endings has been that the lessons or happy endings have usually been implausible. So I tried to circumvent the problem by being tongue-in-cheek instead of using voice-overs that wouldn't have worked.

As I said, I don't know how good the script is, but I did write it.


  1. Hey, just stumbled across your website. A few thoughts on your spec after a couple pages: Be sure to establish where characters are in the scene before you have them talk. Also, right now, I think your biggest challenge is English as a second language. There are a couple of things that don't roll off the native tongue. Also, be careful to keep the talking heads to as long as they are in the show - I don't think they go on very long, generally just a few lines. Good luck!

  2. You're right, I should have written a simple description there.

    It's the dialogue that matters... so therefore I'd be grateful if someone would be nice enough to point out my biggest mistakes. I know I make them.

    About the interviews: It's true that they tend to be short, but we're only like twenty seconds in here. The problem with the show (despite it winning Emmys) has been that we don't really care about the characters that much. So I'm basically trying to connect with the audience here.