Screenwriting : Comedy or Drama? by Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

Comedy or Drama?

I'm currently writing a screenplay called Godfellas. It's about a mormon mafia. i can't decide if I should make it a comedy or a drama. Any suggestions?

William Martell

Totally your choice, but it comes down to: can you write funny?

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

I can't. I can act comedy but I can write drama. I need to come up with a story arc so that I can write the script. I have already built the world these people live in but I couldn't find the story.

Lawrence Costales

Do Comedy, the description already reads that way. Just remember, for the actors sake and the strength of the story, the situations should be funny not the actors.

Patrick Meraz

COMEDY! The title alone sounds funny. If you need help with writing funny scenes or situations, team up with a friend that you joke with all or network with a compatible comedian with the style you want at nearby improv comedy bar.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Yeah, the title and idea are comedic. If you write this as a drama it won't work. Just the pitch, Mormon Mafia makes you laugh!

Mark O'Neill

I agree with Lawrence. Think The Sopranos or Breaking Bad - dry comedy which is driven by the events and situations but is ultimately a drama. I think funny ha-ha is a no-no unless it's a sitcom. All the best, Mark -------- http://www.moviedraft.com

Lawrence Costales

Exactly Mark - For it to work, the actors have to think and play it serious. Denise gets it - you can't put Mormon and Mafia together and be taken serious. The next hurtle is timing - comedy is timing.

D Marcus

Is there a Mormon mafia. Is your script like "GoodFellas" - based on a true story? If so, it needs to be true to the story. But the title alone suggests parody. But you say you can't write funny. So there's that... if you can't write funny then you shouldn't be writing a comedy.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Dan, it is? I mean, I'm glad to hear that, because I write comedies. But yes? That's the market?

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

I'm not sure if there is or isn't a mormon mafia. I've come up with the world they live in but I can't come up with a story arc. does anyone have any ideas for the story? I've decided to make it a dry comedy.

William Martell

Actually, comedy can be a tough sell because it usually doesn't travel well. 70% of a USA film's income is from outside the USA and countries where English is not the primary language. Verbal comedy usually doesn't do well. Visual comedy can work. But whether comedy is easier to sell or not - it's much harder to write. If this is just a concept, I'd find a better one.

D Marcus

By the title alone I can think of several ideas for the story.

Darrin Smith

A combination of both.

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

what ideas do you have for a story D Marcus?

Mark O'Neill

Carlos, I believe the story part of this equation is for you to come up with. ;-)

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

I know. i just can't.

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

Awesome! I love this! Thank you!

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

I've decided to make it mostly a drama but with some dry comedy mixed in.

Angela Giorgio

I love the idea and would go with Comedy laced with a few serious parts. Best of luck!

Vienna Avelares

LOL...I love the name.... funny... the name made me smile and laugh... so I don't know about the script but the name is funny. A mormon mafia, that is awesome... go for it... and good luck...

Carlos Sebastian Perdomo

Thanks. I just started writing. Ive come up with the story. Its going well.

D Marcus

Good to hear! What story idea did you decide on?

Jr Vaca

Drama all the way, there could be such a thing like the mormon mafia. I myself know some pretty crazy mormons. They live this double life and clam to be these church boys lol. I wouldnt want to steal there bikes haha. Let me know if you need help!

Brigitte Talevski

Without a second thought, comedy. The title and concept read comedy.

Curt Butler

... Mormon Mafia, that's funny... no aspersions cast on the current major owners of Las Vegas, who don't gamble being against their religion, but will gladly promote others. Do a comedy, with their multi-wives families dealing with their form of socialism, while their kids think their parents are whack-o with their beliefs. ... oh yeah, as religions go, Mormon religious ideology all by itself is hilarious. ... the return of the "Latter Day Saints", now alive and well in Salt Lake City with John Smith himself having returned as the messiah. ... if you go funny that's you central theme. ... DISCLAIMER: am not personally religeous, so would appreciate No-Blowback "IF" anyone else is, you may worship ANY God you choose, including those who worship money... makes no never-mind to me!

Skip Allocco

BLACK COMEDY!!! definitely!

Jr Vaca

The reason why i say make it a drama is beacuse there is a movie called mormons and mafia or mafia and mormons and its a funny movie. Be o.g. broski and take it down with blood and guts. Let me know if you need any help.

Robert Kane

I think a comedy about this would be amazing! I think putting a comedic mormon mafia being placed in serious situations, not knowing how to deal with them would be hilarious!

Brian Knox McGugan

Great Idea! Its a comedy, but treat it very seriously. The characters shouldn't know that they are funny at all... in fact treat it even more seriously than you would a drama and the comedy will emerge organically. Best of Luck! Love, BKM

Carrie Rasmussen

Yes, Carlos, make it a comedy....Morman Mafia...says it all....will be waiting to see it!!

Michael Eddy

If you don't even know what the tone of the piece is - and are asking others whether it whould be written as a comedy or a drama - because you haven't made up your own mind - than clearly you are not ready to write it yet. So don't.

Lars Davidson

Ease up there, Michael. I think Carlos is looking for a little encouragement and would ask the same question to his friends. Sometimes we work in such isolation. Perhaps he felt he could reach out to this community, even at the early stage of his story conception. I, for one, think we should try and encourage him. What'd ya say? Carlos, I think you need to write what's in your heart. Personally, I think it's a comedy -- but that's just me. It's a great and catchy title, so you're off to a great start. Now if you can hook Donnie Osmond to play the lead, hey, that'd be hilarious. Keep the light coming, man, and don't let anyone extinguish it. I'm sure Michael really didn't mean to diminish your hope and was just coming from the point of view of say -- a fatherly-like concern, right Michael?

Carlos Pfister

Which are you better at, comedy or drama?

"One World Television"

Drama will test if You have pretensions, Comedy? You just better be Good at it!

Michael Eddy

No Lars. No fatherly concern here. Just being honest with Carlos based on the question he asked on this thread. True - writers (sans writing partners) do work in isolation. And true - I suppose that one could look to others here in this community strictly for encouragement. But that's not the real world. It's the movie business. Business. Trust me - encouragement you might get from friends and family and here - but in the real world - they could care less. If Carlos can seriously ask a question as fundamental as "is my story a comedy or a drama" - than in my "professional" opinion - as someone who has been a writer and WGA member for a long time - he is not ready to write it. Period. Bottom line. If my response discourages Carlos, than he's not cut out for the myriad potholes ahead on his road to writing success. By no means do I mean to diminish his hope, but if that's the result of my comment - I'm doing him a favor in the long run. Hollywood spits people out like a cowboy with a tobacco tureen in the local saloon. He posed the question. I offered my personal honest thoughts. I notice that Carlos hasn't reacted to it himself. If he himself has yet to decide what the tone of the piece is - and is in a place where he thinks it can work either way - he ain't ready to put pen to paper - or digits to keyboard. That's all. Your comment about casting Donnie Osmond does him far less of a favor than my original post.

Stacia Roybal

I say comedy-but honestly so your decision

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