Contrary to popular belief, comedy is a craft that can be learned. Comedy screenwriting, like all other disciplines of writing, has its own rules, rhythms, and form. In the professional world there are many different career paths for the professional comedy writer, and each of these has its own unique styles and formats. This workshop will teach students how to properly structure a feature length comedy screenplay.
Students will come prepared with 5-10 movie ideas. We'll choose the best, most sale-able 'high concept' idea. Then, students will learn (with materials) how to take that kernel of an idea and how to lay out the bones of a feature film. I will also then use scenes from a popular Hollywood comedy to illustrate the concepts that I will teach.
The next day students will work on the structural landmarks for their ideas and I will assist help them (with feedback from the class) in crafting an in-depth outline from which to write their film.
Saturday, August 24th 10:30AM - 3:30PM
Sunday, August 25th 10:30AM - 3:30PM
Gotham Comedy Club
208 W. 23rd Street
New York, NY
Jonathan Kesselman is an award-winning comedy writer, director, and producer. He began his career over a decade ago, writing and directing the cult comedy classic ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ that premiered at the Sundance film festival in 2003, before being picked up for theatrical distribution (Hanukkah 2003) by Strand Releasing in conjunction with Comedy Central and Paramount Home Video. The Hebrew Hammer has been voted one of the top holiday movies by Vanity Fair, Boston Globe and Time Magazine.
Jonathan has written film and television for Fox, Sony, Blue Sky Animation, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount among other studios, production companies, and networks. Jonathan also writes and directs commercials through his company The Worldwide Media Conspiracy and for a range of clients including: Nintendo, Red Mango, and American Media Inc.
Last year, Jonathan produced and directed the Television Pilot, 'Grow,' a dark comedy that explores the world of a Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensary, starring Fran Kranz ('Cabin in the Woods') and Jamie Hector ('The Wire'). Currently, Jonathan is writing the Sketch Comedy Radio pilot ‘True Stories!’ with Kevin McDonald (‘The Kids In The Hall’) for Comedy Central/Sirius XM and is in pre-production on the film ‘Jimmy Vestvood: American Hero’ written by and starring Maz Jobrani, which shoots in Los Angeles in October.
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