Writing a comedy script

Kate Stone

Kate Stone

Judy Upton is a writer, you can find her short film Milk here and a number of her short comedies are available as podcasts here. Her comedy feature film My Imprisoned Heart won Cobravision: Make Your Mark In Film and premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Judy has shared with us some of her writing tips…

1. Start With A Comic Premise.

Find a subject and then look at it in a skewed or slightly odd way. For my short film Milk (produced by Arts Ed Drama School) I wondered ‘What if milk no longer contained actual milk?’ To give this a comic slant I made the person who discovers this fact, lactose intolerant. To ramp it up still further, she was on a blind date with a dairy farmer at the time.

2. Find Comedic Conflict.

In Milk the government were involved in the conspiracy, putting our heroine in jeopardy. A comedic conflict might spoof a scenario we recognise from thrillers, horror films or even serious dramas.

3. Create A Comic Character.

A comic character sees the world in a slightly different way. Maybe they’re more naïve, more optimistic, grumpier than your average person. Establish what the exaggerated personality trait is early on, and then start putting him or her in situations where their character trait will cause comedic problems i.e. grumpy girl is made lead cheerleader, or becomes a life coach.

4. Funny Vs Real.

Try placing a funny character in a very normal, real world situation. Or else put a very normal, realistic character into a funny, skewed world. Both will often create a ‘fish out of water’ situation, e.g. a vegan is hired as a butcher.

5. It All Gets Worse And Worse And Worse.

Building disaster on top of disaster can make your script funnier and funnier. A disaster happens and your character tries to put things right, but in doing so they go a lot more wrong, e.g. In my short play/podcast True Grit a man from the council sells their supply of road grit just before a late freeze. He needs to replace the grit before his mistake is discovered. Chocolate cornflakes prove a solution, until they come into contact with snow, pigeons and finally his defence solicitor’s car. This is a rule of three; the disasters build to a climax – worst last.

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Comedy Shorts Award Entry Requirements

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.

WHAT KIND OF FILM ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

A 1- 6 minute film that can take the form of anything comical. It’s a great opportunity to show us your creative flair and have fun!

WHO CAN ENTER?

This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.

ARE THERE ANY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR MY FILM?

Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system https://www.prsformusic.com/ .

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH MY FILM?

We will broadcast selected entries on our Funny Women YouTube channel and social media (so keep an eye out) and the top 10 finalists’ films will also hosted on a dedicated Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards page on our website. We will also broadcast the final 3 entries as part of the grand final night.

HOW IS IT JUDGED?

Films are judged for production, concept, delivery/performance, creativity, writing and overall funniness. The top 10 films are then viewed by an independent judging panel of top television and film industry professionals who will choose one overall winner and two runners up. The final three will be invited to attend the grand final in London on the 23rd September.

WHAT CAN I WIN?

2021 Funny Women Awards Prizes

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

If you need further information please contact us here