Melbourne Writers Festival: Comedy Screenwriting Workshop
Just some of the many notes from yesterday’s workshop
According to Tim Ferguson, now that I know the secrets of sitcom writing, I’ll never be able to sustain a successful relationship. It’s a pretty big sacrifice to make, but in order to break into the screenwriting world, it’s a risk that I am more than willing to take.
Yesterday, myself and a bunch of other keen writers gathered at the Wheeler Centre for the Melbourne Writers Festival comedy screenwriting workshop. Our leader for the day was Mr Ferguson, who took us through everything from joke styles to the secrets to the success of Seinfeld.
After reading quotes from The Office and Arrested Development, comparing Sarah Palin to pornography, and discussing the difference between domestic comedy, farce & satire, I know I wasn’t the only one who left the workshop feeling all kinds of inspired. I met Anita in the lobby beforehand, and she told me of the screenplay she’d just finished writing. An actress, about to have her first child, she confided to me afterwards that she was ready to rewrite the whole thing. But in a good way.
Six hours, ten pages of handwritten notes, and a thick bundle of printouts. I almost feel that I learnt more yesterday than I have throughout my entire Arts degree. I’ve always looked up to screenwriters – people like Steven Moffat and Cameron Crowe – and thanks to this class with Tim Ferguson, I’ve realised that this is perhaps the career path that I’ve always wanted to take. But how does one actually become a screenwriter? I guess I’ll start by reading this book…