Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.
TV Sitcom Pilot – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Synopsis: A gay couple deals with two life-changing events on Mother’s Day.
Interview with Jamie Pierce:
What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
“Marriage Equality” centers on Anthony and Andrew, a bookend-pair of husbands, as they attempt to navigate the chaos that is their unpredictable family. In the pilot, it’s Mother’s Day and as the husbands dutifully make the rounds visiting the various mothers in their life, they are met by a series of unexpected familial revelations.
Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
To offer a comparison, in many ways the premise is similar to the relationship created by the TV sitcom characters of Frasier and Lilith (and then later Niles) in that we have two people who are more or less carbon copies of one another, which creates its own unique comic situation. Add to that the wildly different and varying personalities that surrounds them. This creates two unique dynamics that can be explored both individually and as a whole.
This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?
What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
My favorite sitcom has always been Night Court. I’ve seen every episode multiples times and can recite many of them from memory. Great writing and a great premise that keeps things fresh. That show never gets old.
This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The pilot is based on my act as a stand-up comic. So in that sense, I’ve been developing this material for over a decade. Fashioning it into a teleplay was a slightly swifter process.
How many stories have you written?
This is my first for the screen. Previously, I’ve written novels, essays and stage plays.
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
In the classic tradition of stand-up comedy becoming situation comedy, I wanted to see how my particular act and brand would translate to that medium.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I kept questioning the ending I wanted to create a situation that would allow for trying to create a situation while also avoiding tropes.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for over 10 years and I really enjoy that. It’s creatively fulfilling as not only a writer but also performer, director and producer.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I really welcomed the feedback and found all of it very insightful and constructive. That’s not always the case with feedback from festival submissions!
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Specificity is good in comedy. Offering something distinctive also helps to avoid the risk of coming across as derivative. In other words, different is good!
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson