British Comedy Guide

Writing Narrative Comedy (Sitcom & Comedy Drama) with Chris Head

Writing Narrative Comedy.
  • Writing
  • £150
  • Online

"This course was so useful for guiding me through the process of developing a comedy script for television. Each week we were set different homeworks that got me into the rhythm of writing much more regularly. Chris has a great manner and clearly many years of invaluable experience in the industry. The fact that it was online made it much more accessible, as we were able to all be in different cities, countries even and share our ideas. I highly recommend this for anyone serious about developing a treatment and script for TV. " JM

"I came to the course with a genuine interest and passion about situation comedy, but no experience in writing it professionally. I found that the course built my confidence, particularly with the homework exercises and feedback, and opened my eyes with regards to structure and the approaches to building up scenes into a world of relatable characters. I now feel I have the tools to work on a pilot and treatment to eventually send out to producers. That's quite an achievement for one course!" PF

"I can't speak highly enough of how positive I've found the last three months of courses with Chris. The sessions have changed how I view comedy and have given me real insight into how to better turn ideas and funny thoughts into character driven narrative comedy. It's also great to learn remotely and know I can ask questions through the Trello board and rewatch sessions. If you've ever wondered should I give it a go the answer is yes and do it!" SM

This online course gives you comprehensive and personalised training and guidance on developing characters and relationships, creating comedic scenarios, structuring scenes, writing dialogue and constructing plots. The course gives you the time, tools and space to go deep with your characters, find the truth in them and their relationships, taking your time to find the deeper, realer funny in scenes. This is the stuff of comedy drama and if you do want to be broader and bigger and write farcical studio audience sitcom, it will be with a truth and groundedness that all comedy ultimately needs.

Make discoveries of scenes and situation that will be the basis of stories and will take your characters places you’d never considered. Learn about story structure and working with multiple plot-lines. Leave the course with new scenes, plotlines, a treatment and everything you need to complete the draft. And it's not only for beginners. There have been more experienced writers doing it and, whether new or not, it will get you writing a whole load of new scenes and creating situations and comic scenarios that you wouldn't have thought of without the stimulus of the course.

Be inspired by watching, analysing and discussing scenes from Fleabag, IT Crowd, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Atlanta, Royle Family, Modern Family, Detectorists, One Foot in the Grave, This Country, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Gavin & Stacey, Friends and more.

On the course you can either:

Work on an existing idea and develop the characters and world, creating new scenes, scenarios and stories. 
Or you can start on an entirely new idea.
Either way, you'll be working closely on the one show idea thoughout the course while learning skills, techniques and approaches that you can apply to any idea.

More into below...

Teacher Chris Head is a comedy director, script editor and author. His second book "Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage and Screen" is being published by Bloomsbury Methuen on Feb 11th 2021. Recent clients have had comedy drama sitcom scripts commissioned by Channel 4 (Chris is currently script-editing one of these), a sitcom pilot broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (that he script-edited) and have been amongst the winners and shortlisted writers in the BAFTA Rocliffe comedy writing competition. Other clients have had comedy plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre (that he script-edited and directed), have won Sitcom Mission and have had a commissioned sitcom on Channel 5. He is also running the Yellow Door script competition (entries now closed) with BCG where the winners will have scripts developed by Lucy Lumsden and Chris to pitch to channels.

"Having just completed a Comedy Narrative and Stand Up courses with Chris Head I feel like I’ve been gifted with a chest of secret comedy techniques. His teaching is motivational and rich in content. I really will be unpacking this for some time to come. His knowledge on comedy is vast with clear teaching methods for the mechanics, I still can’t believe how much work I have been able to produce in such a short amount of time" DB

"Chris is patient, kind and thorough. His classes are excellent, he gives useful examples to help us understand each lesson. The fact that all my classes were over Zoom took nothing away from the learning experience. Chris also gave really constructive and thoughtful feedback notes on everyone's work. I absolutely recommend the course." FK

"I felt compelled just to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying the course and breaking the writing process down and learning new terms and models is very, very helpful. Thanks very much! The one complaint I have is that I now have WAY too many ideas for my first episode!"

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More information on the course

The course gives you the opportunity to write a lot of funny scenes with your characters without worrying initially about where they’ll slot into a story or even what they’re for! This freedom will allow you to make discoveries of scenes and situation that will be highly useful to your script and will take your characters places you’d never considered. Once we have this resource of scenes, in the latter weeks we will look at how to build stories in and around scenes using the plotting from set-pieces approach. Equipped with rich characters and relationships and a panoply of scenes and situations, you will work on putting together a plot for a full script, learning about story structure and working with multiple plot-lines. We’ll work with scenes you have already created and explore how to put them into an episode. You'll then plot out the scenes you need to complete the script. 

How it works
Before the course begins you'll be sent a video lecture to watch before the classes start. This will get you thinking about the style and tone of your show and the kind of production process you are writing for (single camera, studio audience or mockumentary). It also introduces some of the key comedic concepts we will work with like dramatic irony and 'as if', alongside exploring the effectiveness of basing charactrs on real people.

Each class in the course proper is made up of weekly 2 hour Zoom sessions which are supported with follow up notes and discussion on a Trello board. The online classes are fully interactive and creative. Relevant comedy clips are shown, discussed and analysed. You'll undertake creative exercises tailored for the online environment to explore the tools and techniques we're working with. There'll also often be a breakout period for you to create something to bring back and share with the group. Throughout the classes you'll receive immediate, helpful and inspiring feedback on your developing work. The sessions end with homework being set and then you have the week between sessions to work on the comedy writing task. You submit your work in advance of the next session for personalised feedback. You will also receive detailed notes on the topics covered after each session.

"Really liked the combination of very well chosen comedy clips, practical exercises and discussion. The sessions flew by, and having weekly homework kept me focused, gave me structure and kept me writing. The course was packed with useful tips and information from beginning to end. Having previously studied creative writing, it was great to think specifically about comedy writing and learn about some of the common techniques and devices that are commonly used in a comedic setting as these are very different from the hero's journey! " JH

“I thought I knew a lot of the basics around comedy writing and story but this course taught me lots of new tips, tricks and techniques for writing sitcoms, creating characters and scene development. The course was enjoyable, learning with other like minded people and gave us insight into how the industry works too” MG

"Great course which helped me to put theory directly into practice. Value for money and good team spirit within the group." SK

This course is provided by Chris Head.

Whilst British Comedy Guide lists this Course, it is acting as a designated sales agent for Chris Head ('Provider') and neither runs the Course nor has any other control over its content. British Comedy Guide processes payment on the Provider's behalf and all prices include a service charge, itemised separately on your invoice. Please feed back to BCG if you feel a Course is inappropriate. When booking a Course or Service, or joining a waiting/notification list, your name and email address will be shared with the Provider, who may contact you about this and/or future offers. Your payment details are not shared.