Updated: Sep 12
"I can't speak highly enough of how positive I've found the sessions with Chris. The sessions have changed how I view comedy and have given me real insight into how to better turn ideas and funny thoughts into character driven narrative comedy. It's also great to learn remotely and know I can ask questions through the Trello board and rewatch sessions. If you've ever wondered should I give it a go the answer is yes and do it!" SM
Note: I am running two TV comedy script writing courses starting early 2024.
This SITCOM & COMEDY DRAMA - ESSENTIAL WRITING TOOLS course is more exploratory. Learning and trying out techniques, writing scenes, developing characters, finding your world - you can even try more than one idea. You'll leave the course with strong characters, story ideas, scenes and a toolkit of techniques to create comedy, setting you up to write your script.
The other WRITE YOUR TV COMEDY SCRIPT course is focused on getting the actual script written, with a close focus on getting the structure and rhythm of it right. For this you need to have your world and characters figured out and at least a rough outline of a story ready to go.
Sitcom & Comedy Drama Essential Tools
Next: 5 x Wednesday nights from 21st February-20th March 2024, 7pm - 9pm (UK time)
Learn all the tools and techniques that you need to write wonderful scripts. This is an exploratory course where you get to try out characters, scenes and situations, while working with comedy techniques. By the end of the course you'll be ready to write your script - plus you will now be equipped with a tool kit of comedy techniques. This Essential Tools Zoom course will equip you with the essential tools for writing sitcom and comedy drama. You might have:
- an idea in mind already that you want to develop and write,
- a draft of a script that you want to rewrite and enhance
- or even no specific idea at this point. (If this is the case, the course will definitely give you ideas!).
"Really liked the combination of very well chosen comedy clips, practical exercises and discussion. The sessions flew by, and having weekly homework kept me focused, gave me structure and kept me writing." JH
As well as providing you with a complete set of essential tools, on the course you will write a lot of funny scenes with your characters without worrying initially about where they’ll slot into a story. You'll simply be working with that week's tools. This freedom will allow you to make discoveries of scenes and situation that will be highly useful to your script and will take your characters places you’d never considered. If however you have a much clearer idea of where your script is going from the outset, you can use the tools in the places that are most relevant for your developing story.
Here are the main tools you'll acquire or sharpen on the course (and there are more!)...
* TOOL: Bosses, strivers, fools and foils for developing characters and relationships.
* TOOL: POV - how to create comedic points-of-view and how the unreasonable/ reasonable POV dynamic can fuel your comedy scenes.
* TOOL: 'Stuck-in-the-middle' - a classic comedy character dynamic where a character is caught between two extremes.
* TOOL: Dramatic irony - this is a classic dramatic tool and absolutely essential for comedy.
* TOOL: SREP (set-up/ reveal, escalationa and payoff) for creating and structuring comedic scenes.
* TOOL: 3 levels; bringing three levels to a scene to add dynamism and comedy.
* TOOL: Dialogue shredder! Writing dialogue that's naturalistic and believeable by cutting back what you've written.
* TOOL: Bathos. Bringing in serious topics and using bathos as a way of finding the comedy in dramatic or serious situations.
* TOOL: Pathos. Positive emotions in your script and characters making each other feel better in sad situations (comedy is so much about conflict but this flip side can bring heart and pathos to your show).
* TOOL: Montage. A classic narrative tool and how you can use it in comedy drama and sitcom.
* TOOLS: Three act structure, multi plotlines. Learn about story structure and working with multiple plot-lines. And it's not only for beginners. More experienced writers (and two TV comedy producers!) have done the course and have appreciated the fresh perspectives and also the greater clarity on tools they had been using but without such a clear understanding of what they are and why they work. And, whether new or not, it will get you writing a whole load of new scenes and creating situations and comic scenarios that you wouldn't have thought of without the stimulus of the course.
Be inspired by watching, analysing and discussing short excerpts showing the tools in action from Fleabag, IT Crowd, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Atlanta, Royle Family, Modern Family, Detectorists, One Foot in the Grave, This Country, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Gavin & Stacey, Friends, Ghosts, Detectorists, Motherland, Mum, Flowers, Friday Night Dinner, Catastrophe, This Way Up, Black-ish, Derry Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mighty Boosh.
"This course was so useful for guiding me through the process of developing a comedy script for television. Each week we were set different homeworks that got me into the rhythm of writing much more regularly. Chris has a great manner and clearly many years of invaluable experience in the industry. The fact that it was online made it much more accessible, as we were able to all be in different cities, countries even and share our ideas. I highly recommend this for anyone serious about developing a treatment and script for TV. " JM
Next: 5 x Thursday nights from 7th September 2023, 7pm - 9pm (UK time)
OTHER SITCOM/COMEDY DRAMA COURSES
I run three great online narrative comedy writing classes for sitcom and comedy drama. These courses have been done by writers all over the UK, Europe and internationally - and have been attended by three TV comedy producers! (One of them is run with a TV producer too). This Tools course gives you all the techniques you need. Then when you're ready to write a script you can do my Write Your TV Comedy Script course. And a few times a year I offer an incredible TV comedy writers online retreat with producer and former comedy commissioner Lucy Lumsden. I also offer one-to-one script workshops.
FREE VIDEO COURSE I also offer a FREE video course to get you started with your 30 mins TV comedy scripts that you can do in an hour. It's a great precursor to my live and interactive Write Your TV Script and my Sitcom & Comedy Drama Essential Tools courses - more info on those below. FREE VIDEO COURSE - ONE HOUR TO GET SET TO WRITE YOUR TV SCRIPT With clips from This Country, Fawlty Towers, The Thick of It and Raised by Wolves.
"I came to Chris's course knowing how to write but never having written comedy. I've been stretched, challenged and had crushing moments of self-doubt but his sitcom writing courses have been the highlight of my year. The courses are well-structured, clear and packed full of useful tips and Chris provides insightful feedback on weekly homework assignments which helped me progress. Looking forward to more!" KP
Any queries let me know: