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From Schtick to Script

Classroom - Toronto
Registration ended: 07/03/2016
Class Begins: 07/04/2016   Ends: 07/08/2016
Class Time: 12:00 pm - (EST)
FEE: $200/$190 Registration Expired

By popular demand, the FROM SCHTICK TO SCRIPT original sitcom pilot writing intensive is back the week of July 4th, Monday to Friday, noon to 4pm at Comedy Bar (otherwise known as "comedians' hours").

FROM SCHTICK TO SCRIPT is an intensive course on how to apply your existing comedic voice (as a stand-up comic, improviser, sketch artist, storyteller, novelist or funny human being) to the medium of half-hour sitcom writing.

*This is NOT a course on how to write a spec script for an existing show, although all the concepts you learn in this class can be easily applied to the writing of a spec script.*

The summer intensive is a fast-track 20-hour program that covers some basic theory on PREMISE, CHARACTER, PLOT STRUCTURE, COMEDIC SCENE STRUCTURES, DIALOGUE, and JOKEWRITING and we will take some time every day to work on personal idea generation for our pilots.

You should come out the other end of this intensive with at least one workable premise for an original sitcom based on your own life or act (though many people end up with multiple premises), as well as a solid strategy for how to execute your pilot script at an industry standard level.

Those interested in continuing on to commit to writing the first draft of their pilot can either do so on their own or opt to register for the WRITERS' ROOM INCUBATOR module four Saturdays or Sundays at a future date (TBA) for an additional $250. 

Past From Schtick to Script intensive students can always opt to join any future Writers' Room module, but you need to have taken the intensive to register for Writers' Room so that we are all speaking the same language in the Room.

While we've heard in the past that people didn't want to read original pilots by new writers, it is the current practice in Hollywood that even writers' room PA's have at least one original pilot and a few spec scripts in their portfolio, and more and more junior writers get staff writing jobs in part based on their original scripts.

The Intensive costs $250, and even if you do not go on to do Writers' Room, you can submit your script for consideration in the next class show we have after taking this class.

The word of mouth on this course is strong and every class to date has been sold out. One of our first year students got a network development deal based on her first original sitcom pilot script developed in this class, and a few others optioned scripts to production companies or used their scripts as writing samples to secure writing jobs. 


Summer Intensive

Comedy Bar:
(945 Bloor St. W – Cabaret Space)

Monday, JULY 4 (noon to 4pm) THE SITCOM PREMISE
Tuesday, JULY 5 (noon to 4pm) CHARACTERS 
Wednesday, JULY 6 (noon to 4pm) STORY STRUCTURE 
Thursday, JULY 7 (noon to 4pm) SCENE STRUCTURE 
Friday, JULY 8 (noon to 4pm) DIALOGUE & JOKE WRITING


DANIELA SAIONI (WGC, ACTRA) is a comedy writer and story editor with clients in feature film and television. She has a BFA in Film Production from York University, a Post-Grad in Comedy Writing from Humber, and trained as an improviser at Toronto’s Second City Training Centre. She is currently adapting Canadian novel NORTH OF HERE for the screen for Saito Films and her female ensemble comedy feature script, THE WBI (co-written with Annie Bradley) was voted Canadian Film Festival's Harold Greenberg Award Top 10 and won Best Reserve Screenplay at the Female Eye Film Festival in 2014. Bradley and Saioni (also known as NOBODY'S DAUGHTERS) also co-created the half-hour comedy series IR-REVEREND, which was a quarterfinalist in Screencraft's Pilot Launch competition in the US and a semi-finalist at JFL's From Set to Screen in 2015. Her own short films as writer / director (RITES, FIRST PERSON PLURAL: COPY CAT) have played at international film festivals and sold to Canadian television.

Daniela hosts and produces WEST END GIRLS, one of Toronto’s longest-running stand-up comedy showcases, and has been training comedians in the creation of their first original TV pilots and since 2012. Her stand-up has been featured on CBC Radio One’s Laugh Out Loud and 15,000 copies of her two greeting cards have sold to date through US publisher, Frank & Funny. A Top 100 Ideator, her ideas for ads and copy have sold to multiple clients including Spotify, MegaRed and Tongal.

What they're saying:

“Daniela has an attentive and constructive teaching style and gave us a lot of great tools for building on our ideas.” - Liz J.

“Daniela has built a gem of a writer's room that provides helpful feedback and dynamic brainstorming sessions that can help elevate the ideas of emerging and established writers.” - Liam G.

“Daniela has a natural gift for inspiring you to do your personal best. With years of experience under her belt, her natural instincts provide immediate, useful feedback. The writing room environment she facilitates is consistently nurturing and fun.” - Bryan P.


Tags: TV Pilot, Comedy