The most popular form of filmed entertainment today, probably to the dismay of the studios, is the comedy short, as found across YouTube and circulated every day throughout corporate cubeland. YouTube has 100 hours of video uploaded every minute! Many of these films began with an idea that grew into a script. And, some of them have launched comedy, screenwriting, filmmaking, or acting careers. And, that doesn´t even include porn. This course is for current and would-be comedic short film screenwriters, directors, producers, and actors, to develop ideas for small screens and to practice the techniques to evolve those ideas into a finished 10-minute screenplay. Topics will include structure, characters, dialogue, the hook, beats, production considerations, and much more. Coursework will involve progressive exercises in the development of a script, table reads, feedback from classmates and the instructor, and finally a screenplay for a short film. By the end of the six weeks, students will be able to go out shoot the funniest 1/600 of what is uploaded to YouTube in a particular minute.
Brian McLaughlin was a visiting film professor at the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater, where he taught Screenwriting: Writing the Feature Film, The Film Producer: From Concept to Distribution, and Advanced Filmmaking. He has also taught at Cal State San Bernardino and The Art Institute of Tucson. He helped developed and write a TV spec pilot which won Best TV Pilot at the California Film Awards. He was produced four feature films, all of which were acquired for distribution, and many short films. His films have won two Accolade Awards of Excellence and a dozen other awards. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. He has performed stand-up comedy in venues including The Comedy Store in Hollywood, The Ice House in Pasadena, and ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.