Sept 25 - Nov 15
Screenwriting: Writing Your Comedy Feature
Registration is now closed for this session.
Michael Urban

Applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 8 at 2pm PT

Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your comedy screenplay with an experienced screenwriter as your guide. In this live, online course, you move from idea to outline through a review of the foundations of good storytelling, and lessons on character, conflict, dialogue, and the components of the various comedy genres.

In lecture sessions, you will analyze clips from comedy films, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with course advisors. Weekly homework designed to move your concept to a completed outline is reviewed by your advisor. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Learn an overview of the genre.
  • Learn the difference between a beat sheet, an outline and a treatment.
  • Review the foundations of screenwriting, including three-act structure.
  • Sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • Create mood and manage the tone of your story.
  • Identify jokes that serve the story.
  • Build your story world.
  • Identify your character arcs.
  • Set up character conflicts.
  • Effectively use dialogue to bring your characters to life and move the plot forward.
  • Learn how to process notes from your peers, collaborators and studio execs.

This course is ideal for:

  • First-time writers who would like to understand core concepts of comedy screenwriting and how to move their project forward.
  • Experienced writers who want a more formal setting and/or the guidance of an expert in comedy writing.

Course enrollment is capped at 50 participants, with an advisor to participant ratio of no more than twelve to one. To apply, you should have an idea for a comedy screenplay.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live.

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, September 25 - November 15
  • SCHEDULE: Friday, 9am - 11am PT
    • Extended first class session: Friday September 25, 9am - 12:30pm PT
    • Extended last class session: Friday, November 6, 9am - 12:00pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Nov 9 - Nov 15
Michael Urban has been a working screenwriter since selling his first screenplay in 2001, just six months after graduating from the American Film Institute with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Screenwriting. In 2002 production began on that screenplay, resulting in the MGM/UA feature film, SAVED! Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the film went on to win accolades at South by Southwest and the Gen Arts Film Festival. more...
Kim Spurlock is a Vietnamese-American filmmaker based in New York. She holds an MFA in Film Production from NYU. Kim has written, produced and directed multiple award-winning short films including Buổi Chiều, a Vietnamese language ghost story that premiered at Slamdance before winning the Jury Prize at the Vietnamese International Film Festival, and the Student Academy Award Winning DOWN IN NUMBER 5, a Southern Gothic tale of a coal miner pushed to his limits for the love of his son. more...
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Aadip Desai is an Indian American television writer, comedian, and Air Force brat. He was most recently a Staff Writer on ABC’s THE GOLDBERGS, which is a show mostly about yelling. He also runs the daunting 15,000-member LA TV Writers Facebook Group. Aadip took an early departure from the MFA screenwriting program at AFI after being accepted into the ABC/Disney TV Writing Program. more...

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