Four Weeks to Your Sitcom Pilot
Think of your favorite television situation comedies. What do you remember? Jokes? Chances are what remains in our memory most fondly aren’t one-line gags and witticisms so much as the characters populating that sitcom. Lucy Ricardo. Hawkeye Pierce. Archie Bunker. Homer Simpson. Jerry Seinfeld. Liz Lemon. You enjoyed their company during that regular half-hour with them because they invariably made you laugh. And not only main characters but supporting casts made classics of our favorite sitcoms.
Until a writer can put together a group of people that audiences cannot wait to be with every episode, there is no sitcom. Character is the key that allows the creator to deserve jokes or messages.
Students will be encouraged to post work for group review and feedback, since the ‘room’ or ‘table’ is a highly significant element in the professional world of creating television comedy. Interaction benefits comedic creation and fine tuning in almost every instance. In the real world of TV production, creative group sessions can be both daunting and invaluable to the finished product. This class will attempt to replicate that experience. And you will finish the workshop with a complete draft of a 30 minute sitcom script.
This workshop is offered in two formats. The budget-friendly On Demand option (which is for sale here) gives you the option to work on the same great workshop materials as the Online option, only without instructor feedback. You'll immediately receive our comprehensive course in PDF format, which provides instructions and exercises on specific skills you will need to succeed as a screenwriter. You can purchase the On Demand option here. To get the Online option with instructor feedback and online discussions with other students, please click here.
In this workshop you will learn:
- How to find a comedy ‘arena.’
- How comedic protagonists and supporting characters are ’real’ people, no less than those found in the darkest and most serious drama you can imagine.
- How to build a premise into a story.
- How to sustain a comic arc which can last, if you’re lucky, many years.
Session One: The History of the Sitcom
- Sitcoms in a Historical Perspective
- Premise Pages
- Log Lines
Session Two: Structure and the Sitcom
- Beat Sheets
- What exactly is a sitcom?
- Pilot stories
- Structure of a sitcom episode
Session Three: Writing the Script
- What goes on the page and what stays off
- Wait, what about the jokes?
- Crafting a well-written sitcom script
Session Four: How to Approach Revision
- How to ‘get creative’ with your creations
- Working with other writers
- When to trust your audience
- Return policy: This item is not eligible for return.
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