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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Injecting Comedy into Non-Comedic Topics Moderators: George Willson
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Steven
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Writing comedy is subjective enough, but what about when you're tasked to write comedy into a topic which has no comedic element? Do you rely on a "funny" situation while the characters speak in a serious tone? Or what about make fun of the topic and deliver it in a satirical way?


These questions I've asked myself all week as I'm suffering from a case of writer's block.


I'll gladly share the talent involved and the topic. The talent is well known, and I just stumbled into this opportunity.


'm not looking for anyone to help me write it, but I'd love to spit-ball some ideas off people who have experience in this type of writing.
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eldave1
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 10:13am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Steven


I'll gladly share the talent involved and the topic. The talent is well known, and I just stumbled into this opportunity.


Provide - that will help. Kind of impossible question without knowing the premise


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Steven
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


Provide - that will help. Kind of impossible question without knowing the premise


Alright, here it goes...try to stay with me. I'll start by saying the idea behind this isn't mine, I'm merely tasked with the screenwriting.

The theme is culture, and how the vast majority of us are ignorant to what exactly that means. Bryan Callen (Mad TV, The Ten Minute Podcast, Fighter and The Kid Podcast), the person who crafted this whole thing, has put together a curriculum that is built around a martial arts belt system, where each belt represents a different level of "enlightenment." The goal is to, via written pieces (on a website), educate people on what culture means and how our lives are essentially built around them. Other ideas what are covered include how people have evolved yet still remain in a specific culture. Whether or not it's a good idea to let our culture shape us, or if we as a whole should do the shaping.

There is a lot of philosophizing going on here, and by someone who doesn't hold a degree in that field. So some of the ideas aren't exactly perfect, but that isn't my concern. One of those ideas is how are we defined as a people if you remove our culture? Do we belong to the "right" culture?

Still with me? This is a very "self-important" type of project, and I realized that when I started reading the long-form stuff on the site. It's fine, because they know that as well.

So, I need to come up with 9 short (for each belt, maybe 3-5) minute pieces. Each of these shorts will focus on the topic covered under it's related belt.

The through-line I've created is to have Bryan be a sort of teacher, coming off in a preachy, holier than thou fashion. I know his voice pretty well, and I've received that comment through feedback which is good. The person he's teaching is Will Sasso (Mad TV, Three Stooges Movie, Super Troopers 2, etc). I wrote him as a someone who idolizes Bryan to the point of listening to whatever he says...whatever he says. Throughout their journey Will is going to question Bryan's own knowledge on the topic, and I'm probably going to have Will grow more powerful than Bryan in the end.


I wrote an introductory piece and shared with the people involved - they dug it and said give us an outline or a beat sheet. I have some locations in mind and some dialogue, but I'm not sure if I want to move forward with just "two guys hanging out and talking" type of shorts.


Here's the piece, which has some deliberately cheesy stuff because it's their humor.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_vHHlz3zmHYZndyWnNuY2MzZm8
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eldave1
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 11:29am Report to Moderator
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Your original question was how do you write comedy when there is no comedic element?  

The information you provided is somewhat useless.  We learn that (a) there is a teacher and a student (b) they will be talking about culture (c) there is some cultural hierarchy (level of mastery) that will be demonstrated throughout the series.

What you need to provide is the answer to this:


Quoted Text
So, I need to come up with 9 short (for each belt, maybe 3-5) minute pieces. Each of these shorts will focus on the topic covered under it's related belt.


Since we haven't a clue what the hell culture means in context of what you are writing. i.e., what is the topic covered under the belt.

As an example:

If the teacher is talking about the sexual culture - weakness of the flesh type stuff - and the student who is supposed to be taking notes on a laptop is covertly looking at porn as he listens - that might be a comedic opportunity.    But since there is no specifics in your set-up - impossible to know if this applies.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Steven
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 11:43am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Your original question was how do you write comedy when there is no comedic element?  

The information you provided is somewhat useless.  We learn that (a) there is a teacher and a student (b) they will be talking about culture (c) there is some cultural hierarchy (level of mastery) that will be demonstrated throughout the series.

What you need to provide is the answer to this:



Since we haven't a clue what the hell culture means in context of what you are writing. i.e., what is the topic covered under the belt.

As an example:

If the teacher is talking about the sexual culture - weakness of the flesh type stuff - and the student who is supposed to be taking notes on a laptop is covertly looking at porn as he listens - that might be a comedic opportunity.    But since there is no specifics in your set-up - impossible to know if this applies.



I provided what I did just to give some insight as to what the series of shorts is about. I didn't want to dive too deep into the subject matter since it's pretty extensive and wouldn't really help here.


To put it another way - this isn't meant to explain the varying cultures, but to merely help us recognize and appreciate them. Again, this is material I'm still unpacking myself. There is some real pseudo-philosophy going on here.


If you're familiar with the Karate belt system - as it's the most commonly known - it starts with white, ends with black, various colors in between. Here, the White belt section serves as somewhat of an introduction to culture, saying how it's all around us, etc. Nothing too deep.


The Yellow belt covers how cultures have evolved, cultural norms, culture biases.


The Orange is about tribalism, and how people are meant to be in communities of a certain size in order to get to really "know" someone. It goes on to discuss the pros/cons of stereotyping and how that plays into the early days of tribalism.


And so on.

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Dustin
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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I'm falling asleep already.... still, when you're getting paid you end up writing all sorts of shit. Sounds easy to me. Just get 'er done and get paid.
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Warren
Posted: October 9th, 2017, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Steven
'm not looking for anyone to help me write it, but I'd love to spit-ball some ideas off people who have experience in this type of writing.


This is literally all you use this site for anyway. You provide almost no feedback to fellow writers but are constantly asking advice. How about a bit of give and take

So... you donít understand it, it's completely confusing to me and Dave seems to be struggling.

This sounds like an intensely boring subject. Not sure who your target audience would be.





To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

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BSaunders
Posted: October 10th, 2017, 7:10am Report to Moderator
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Yes. If Shinders List can pull of a spec of light heartedness. Anything can.


Who dis nigger up on that ney?
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