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Exploring Genre – Screenplay Unlimited Comedy Workshop

Tutors: Emmanuel Oberg

Date: Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Duration: 2 days

Venue: Dublin TBC

Cost: €190

Course Profile:

This course is aimed at writers, development personnel, directors and editors who wish to hone their understanding of storytelling in comedies.  It is required that applicants have either attended Emmanuel Oberg’s Advanced Development Workshop or read his book- “Screenwriting Unchained: Reclaim your Creative Freedom and Master Story Structure”.

The aim of the workshop is to equip filmmakers with a detailed understanding of the principles of screen writing for the comedy genre.


  • What makes a comedy? When you’re selling a comedy, make sure you deliver a comedy!
  • Low-brow (sex/excrement/slapstick), Romantic (love/relationships) or Ethereal (satire/manners): from scatological to cerebral, where do you set the dial?
  • Different types of comedy: dark, character, romantic/screwball, action, horror, slapstick, fish-out-of-water, teen, situation, anarchic, mockumentary, spoof/parody, satire, comedy of manners, fantasy/sci-fi, gross out, just a few of the many subgenres. What do they all have in common?
  • Which story-types are used most for comedies and why?
  • How do we use Maslow to work for – not against – a comedy and target the right audience?
  • Comedy and budget: cheap and cheerful or action-filled star(s) vehicle?
  • High concept and humour: Can you pitch two laughs with one line?
  • Anatomy of a comedy: What are the mechanics of humour? How do we design a gag? How do we generate, sustain and milk the essential elements of a comedy: identification and frustration, pity and mockery, laughter and elation?
  • A good set-up, or how to design the first 15 minutes of a comedy.
  • The protagonist: Why we need to care about the characters, even in a comedy.
  • The antagonist: Do we need one in a comedy? What makes a good comedy antagonist?
  • Comedy and Craft: Running GagTopperMilkingClassical MisunderstandingDialogueVisual Gag, Ad-lib/Improvisation, Laughs-per-Minute, Catch Phrase, Timing
  • Managing conflict: How do we design a comedy storyline, and how do we break it up into funny scenes and sequences? How do we keep the pace up?
  • Managing information: using dramatic irony to generate humour; creating gags with surprises; making sure mystery doesn’t kill humour or prevent identification.
  • Designing a comedy climax: How to design a funny and moving ending; Can a comedy convey meaning?
  • Developing a Plot-Led Comedy.
  • Developing a Character-Led Comedy.
  • Developing a Theme-Led Comedy.
  • Developing a Comedy as a Hybrid or an Exception.
  • The Rewrite Stuff: 12 Steps to a Stronger Comedy, or how to tackle the next draft of your project.

Throughout the workshop, we’ll use many film clips and case studies to illustrate various dramatic tools, story-types and sub-genres.

Participant Profile:

This course is open to writers, development personnel, directors and editors who wish to hone their storytelling craft in the comedy genre.

Application Procedure:

Please apply online attaching a current CV at by 10:00 am on the 28th of May. For further information please contact

*Please note places on this course are limited.

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