So we pulled “Period Comedy” out of the hat (or cup, to be technical about it). (“Period” in, historical period, not l’origine du monde.) This revelation was followed immediately by a rather shocked silence and some bumbling, inelegantly captured on video. Barely out of the gate and we’ve already hit a snag. What exactly is a period comedy? There are comedies set in historical periods, but that’s not really a genre. What I mean is, there’s something like “Shanghai Noon” — which is just a buddy comedy that happens to be set in the Old West. Or “The Nice Guys” — a buddy comedy set in the 70s. Or “Shakespeare in Love” — a romantic comedy set in Elizabethan England. There are recognized formulas within comedy, but “Period” isn’t one of them. And in order for this to work, for us to crank out a script in the time allotted, we need to be writing within a formula. In other words, we’d not properly vetted our genres before dropping them into a hat. (I think we’d both tacitly just been assuming that we’d write an action film this weekend.)
But we said that we were gonna write whatever we pulled out of that hat (cup), and by gum that’s what we’re gonna do. Somehow.