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Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive

Steve Kaplan Comedy Intensive

Course overview

The Comedy Intensive is a two-day course that explores the hidden tools and principles of comedy: what it is, how it works, why it works, what’s happening when it’s not working and what you can do to fix it, and offers proven and practical methods and techniques. On Day 1, we explore the Hidden Tools–useable, practical tools that you can apply immediately to your work. Day 2 focuses on character, structure, comic premise and specific ways of applying the tools to text. The workshop covers includes interactive exercises, solo and group writing activities, as well as a liberal use of clips from current and classic comedies to illustrate our points and principles.

Who is Steve Kaplan

For years, Steve Kaplan has been the industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy. In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities, Steve created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. He has consulted and taught workshops at companies such as HBO, DreamWorks, Disney, Aardman Animation, Sony Pictures Network India, Globo Brazil, and others.

In addition to private coaching and one-on-one consultations, Steve has taught his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students in the United States and countries around the world, including London, Toronto, Galway, Athens, Paris, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Melbourne, Rio, Munich, New Zealand, and Singapore. This year, he will be presenting seminars and workshops in Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Milan, Belgium, New York, London, and via Skype, Sweden

Creator of the HBO Workspace Creator of the HBO New Writers Program Consultant and script doctor to Dreamworks, Disney, HBO, Paramount, Touchstone and others. Highly sought-after instructor at UCLA, NYU, Yale, and other top universities.

Steve Kaplan

Course Outline

  • Premise - The Art and science of Comedy

    • Introduction and Overview 
    • Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard
    • Comedy Perception Test – Are you seeing 20/20?
    • Funny vs. Comic – The difference
    • The Comedy Equation
  • Set-up - The Hidden Tools Of Comedy

    • Winning
    • Non-Hero 
    • Metaphorical Relationships 
    • Positive (and Negative) Actions
    • Active Emotion 
    • Straight Line/Wavy Line
    • Four Elements of Jokes.
    • The Tools Applied.
  • Development - Comedy Practicum

    • Entire History of Comedy…in 15 minutes.
    • Comedy Archetypes
    • Comic Premise—The Lie That Tells the Truth
    • Developing the Comic Premise
    • The Comedy Paradigm
  • Payoff - Structure And Development

    • The Comic Hero’s Journey
    • Art of Romantic Comedy
    • Sitcoms & Pilots
    • Final Q&A



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