Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writing another Modern Family spec script.

Well, truth to be told, I didn't feel like writing another Modern Family script. That's because I didn't think I would be able to come up with good story ideas. I also thought that there wouldn't be any point in writing another script because it probably wouldn't matter anyway.

But for some reason (perhaps to prove myself that I could write Haley & Alex) I did write it and what I learned from the experience is that you shouldn't judge yourself too easily. Just because you think you can't come up with anything new doesn't necessarily make it so. I think I actually came up with pretty good storylines.

Another thing I learned from writing the script is that you don't have to write that much every day. In fact, if you write a mere two pages a day - and that's not much - you'll write a script in just two weeks. That's something that everyone should keep in mind if they think that writing a spec takes too much time.

The thing is that I didn't write more than two pages a day. Not even once. The minute I had reached my goal for the day, I closed the screenwriting software. I didn't have to do more than that. (not that I was particularly motivated either)

As usual, I tried to come up with an outline because that's how you're supposed to write your scripts. So what happened was that I really tried to try and I wanted to have some kind of a blueprint to work from. But as usual, I just couldn't come up with one this time either. I just wrote and hoped for the best.

Oh, the storylines. They are (in no particular order):

The first one, is about Alex and Haley getting to know each other better. Since Haley doesn't have anything better to do that day, she joins Alex who has her 'pick one piece of a litter a day' project going on. The twist here is that Claire, who happens to be jogging at the same time gets these two in the act - smoking that is. Except that Alex & Haley aren't really smoking.

The second storyline is about Jay and Phil going to an auctioning event. Claire, who is worried that Phil might make stupid bids, calls Jay and asks him to join and to look after his husband. Jay doesn't have a problem with this - because the audience knows that he's determined to get one specific item from the auction - at any cost.

The third storyline is about Mitchell having his big day at the court. However, he is so worried about screwing up his closing argument that Cameron has to calm him down and make sure that he won't fall apart.

I also have some stuff for Manny and Gloria, but four storylines in one episode is too much, so I had to take that into consideration. Other than that, the Mitchell & Cameron storyline doesn't have any twists so that one runs purely on observations that hopefully make sense.

Anyway, I'll publish the script at some point.


  1. Hi!
    I read your Spec. Liked it, but I thought it was maybe a little too simple at times (Felt like you could've done more with some conversations), but there's no real harm in that. And I also felt it was a little hard to understand, but that's understandable since English is your second language. (It is also my second language, I'm from Norway. Whoot-Whoot! Scandinavian Brothers!) But I liked it. And it had some good jokes as well. :)

    I have also written a Modern Family Spec, and I am currently working on another one, so I find this Blog very helpful. So thank you :)

    I've read some of your older posts, and I agree on some of the things you say (Especially the "Big-Bang theory 100th episode" post)
    But I have to say, that I kinda disagree on many of your Modern Family posts. You might be right by saying that Season 3 hasn't been as good as the previews ones, but the two previous seasons has set a ridiculously high standard. And every show has it's Ups and Downs. I'm sure they will be back to their old class soon. That being said, I still think it's brilliant and it's by far the funniest thing on TV. Unless Ricky Gervais has a show on.
    I really love that you get to see emotions and feelings on the show, cause that's what life is about. I love how the characters has their own story, and how the show writers play on that. There's so many scenes from Modern Family that could be taken right out of my house, or the situations/conversation/what have you that I have with my friends. I really love what Steven Levitan stands for. I think he and Chris Lloyd has created a masterpiece. Watch "Inside the actors studio Modern Family" if you haven't already. It really takes you in on the show.

    By now, you probably understand that I'm a HUGE fan of the show (I've probably watched every episode at least 5 times), and when I'm a huge fan of a TV-Show I pick up on every little detail. And so far, I have yet to find a writing "error". Like I have with FRIENDS, Prison Break and so on and so on.
    But being a HUGE fan of the show, it is also hard for me being "critical" to the show (As you may already understand). But anyways..

    I also wondered if you use a certain Writing "Software" or "Program" when writing scripts? I only use Open Office, but plan on buying a software of some sort when I get a new computer. I've read somewhere that you're supposed to use "Courier" and size "12" when you write scripts, is this true? I'm still new to this :)

    But anyways, keep doing what you're doing :)

    Best wishes :)

    Simen. 18 years old. Norway.

  2. Hey, thanks for the post and the feedback. Also, thanks for the 'inside actors studio' tip. And thanks for not saying that the script sucks.


    I think the 3rd season of Modern Family has been the worst and honestly some of the episodes have been very very weak. Having said that, I'm not saying that I have given up on the show. I like how they have tried to keep the fizbo stuff going and some of the episodes have been, well, almost life-affirming.

    The Big Bang Theory, on the other hand.. ..oh man. Season 2 episodes for example you can watch over and over again. Season 4-5, unless someone pays me, I'm not going to watch these eps ever again. (I have written 4 TBBT scripts myself btw)

    Other than that, I don't tend to watch episodes more than once if I'm about to write a spec.

    Oh, I use Final Draft. Courier 12, I think.