Magazine article Variety

Improv Yields to Scripts

Magazine article Variety

Improv Yields to Scripts

Article excerpt

Comedy might have the reputation for being loose and spontaneous, but when it comes to gamering laughs for TV series, writing and refining is often the key to the humor. While some shows leave room for improvisation, both HBO's "Veep" and Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" achieve their style from a heavily scripted process.

For "Kimmy Schmidt" writers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, there isn't time for tweaks on set. They generally make changes after the first table read, but once shooting commences, the script is usually locked.

"We'll make little adjustments (on set)," Carlock says. "But when you're doing a single-camera show and shooting for 13 hours a day, you need to be using those hours to shoot and light. It's hard to give too much rein to finding things on that day."

"Veep" creator Armando Iannucci begins his writing process six months prior to shooting and does dozens of rewrites before any of the actors read a page. …

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