How to Write a Sitcom in One Easy Webinar

Rules and Techniques
Hosted by Diane Messias

$49

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

This Next Level Education webinar has a 93% user satisfaction rate.

Diane Messias

Webinar hosted by: Diane Messias

BBC Director and Producer

Diane Messias is a former BBC Comedy Producer and Director, whose long list of credits includes directing one of the UK's best-loved sitcoms, One Foot In The Grave. Having worked in professional comedy for the past 30 years, Diane has directed, produced and written for many of the country's top comedians and actors including Alistair McGowan, Rory Bremner, Harry Hill, Ian Hislop, Richard Ingrams, Paul Merton, Richard Wilson, Alan Coren, Willie Rushton, Andrew Sachs, Barry Took, and the list goes on. She has recently formed a new satirical comedy group with Days of Our Lives actress Miranda Wilson, The Caustic Sodas, and teaches comedy writing and standup, both with her own company, SecretofComedy.com and for Up The Creek in Greenwich. You can follow Diane on Twitter as @NiceEtoile, and her topical satire blog can be found at AmuzeNewz.com Diane's Stage 32 Blog Posts: Bottom Line on Above the Title (Part I) Bottom Line on Above the Title (Part II) Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Diane Messias, a former BBC Comedy Producer and Director!

How many times have you watched a funny show and thought 'I can do that'? Or expected to laugh, but not heard any jokes? Perhaps you feel your whole existence is just one long comedy script, and it's your mission to show how art imitates life...

...whatever your motivation, sitcom writing is fun, safe, and you can try it at home! As with other genres, there are rules and techniques, tricks of the trade and logistical considerations to contemplate, all of which Diane Messias will discuss in this instructional webinar. If you're passionate about witty dialogue, or curious about plot creation, prepare for the mysteries of good comic writing to unfold.

Join Diane Messias, a 30-year veteran in comedy and former Director & Producer from the BBC, who's long list of credits include the UK's best loved sitcom, One Foot in the Grave. For more of Diane's bio, click here.

What You'll Learn

  • What makes a good situation?
  • How to create strong comedy characters
  • The importance of episode structure
  • Pacing the script
  • Where jokes come from (no, it's not Walmart. Unless they're on sale.)
  • Getting your characters to interact with each other
  • Planning future episodes
  • What makes sitcom different to comedy drama
  • The pros and cons of audience vs non-audience; studio vs location
  • How to be funny
  • But not funnier than the author of this webinar

About Your Instructor

Diane Messias is a former BBC Comedy Producer and Director, whose long list of credits includes directing one of the UK's best-loved sitcoms, One Foot In The Grave. Having worked in professional comedy for the past 30 years, Diane has directed, produced and written for many of the country's top comedians and actors including Alistair McGowan, Rory Bremner, Harry Hill, Ian Hislop, Richard Ingrams, Paul Merton, Richard Wilson, Alan Coren, Willie Rushton, Andrew Sachs, Barry Took, and the list goes on. She has recently formed a new satirical comedy group with Days of Our Lives actress Miranda Wilson, The Caustic Sodas, and teaches comedy writing and standup, both with her own company, SecretofComedy.com and for Up The Creek in Greenwich. You can follow Diane on Twitter as @NiceEtoile, and her topical satire blog can be found at AmuzeNewz.com

Diane's Stage 32 Blog Posts:

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

"Awesome webinar. Webinar was very interactive and informative and I'll be looking forward to signing up for more through stage32. Thanks!" - Marquese Clack

"I just finished reviewing the recording of your webinar and I just wanted to say thank you for your wisdom and advice! I'm primarily an actress and comedienne, and I've done sitcom acting, but the sitcom writing formula was always a bit of a mystery to me. Not only have you helped me on my way to developing an original sitcom, but your insights really help me with acting in sitcoms as well. Best wishes for 2014 - I can't wait to see the work you do next! Cheers!" - Rachel J. Clark

"Challenging, fun and exciting, Diane Messias's comedy workshop was the most terrifying thing I've done in ages! Worth facing my fears, though - very supportive environment and my sense of achievement was terrific!" - Jacqui Deevoy

"Diane's attitude and enthusiasm helped me (a complete beginner) find my comedy voice and shake off the nerves I fostered about performing. She took us through all areas of comedy to help get the ideas flowing and taught us various helpful exercises for creating jokes. I am now armed with a finely tuned funny-bone and the confidence to try out what I learned in the big wide world!" - Julia Watson

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Develop Compelling Dramatic TV Characters

So you’ve finally fleshed out your ideas for your next TV project and you’re off to the races developing your next screenplay. While working on your pilot, you’re constantly reminded of the one thing that every executive looks for: CHARACTER CHARACTER CHARACTER. Every executive says they want to read compelling characters. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you accomplish this?  Literary Manager Conrad Sun represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as Blindspot, Two Broke Girls and Bojack Horseman and is a master at building character in scripts. In this top rated Stage 32 Next Level Webinar Conrad will teach you how to bring your characters to life and go from good to GREAT. You will learn empathy vs. sympathy and how the best characters invoke both feelings from your audience. Conrad will breakdown real-life examples from characters on shows such as Fargo, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more. And, most importantly, you'll walk away learning how to apply character development to your own writing.  This webinar is vital to help you strengthen your TV pilot! 

Using Self-Publishing to Enhance Your Screenwriting Career

The new wave of indie publishing has taken the book industry by storm. Previously unknown and/or unpublished authors are making a living—sometimes a prosperous living--by writing. Traditionally published authors are also developing hybrid careers, where they write for their publishers as well as self-publish. Some successful indie authors are also catching the attention of traditional publishers, who are acquiring their books.  Screenwriters may struggle to find recognition for their work and make a living with their writing. Often screenwriters must have a “day” job in order to survive, which can leave little time and energy to pursue their dreams of success. Adapting screenplays into a books may produce extra income and recognition, as well as provide other benefits to a screenwriting career. In this Stage 32 Webinar, Debra Holland will discuss her journey from an unpublished author to a NY Times Bestselling author. In her six years of indie publishing, Debra has sold more than a million books and has made a six-figure income for the last five. She’ll introduce you to self-publishing, provide some tips for adapting your screenplays into books, cover basics to get you started in indie publishing, and help you consider whether self-publishing your screenplays as books might be conducive to your career as a screenwriter.

60 Minutes With Emmy Award Winning Producer Kip Konwiser

I was born for this. Started on street corners tap dancing, doing comedy, telling stories & holding an audience until they pay me J A Masters Degree from USC Film School and three decades later there hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t writing, directing, producing or managing as an executive a feature film, television, documentary, live event and/or new media program.  I’ve been blessed to learn from and collaborate with some of the luminaries of sports and entertainment producing and business management. For these efforts, I picked up a shelf full of awards & trophies, maintained an upward financial trajectory and learned to enjoy the ride. A few of the collaborations in my career include: Netflix, YouTube, NBC, CBS, ABC, Univision, HBO, Showtime, TNT, MTV, VH-1, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Studios, Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment The Grateful Dead, Quincy Jones, Michael Jordan & David Falk, Phil Knight/NIKE, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber/Mandalay, Dr. Dre, Snoop & Eminem, Arthur Miller, Michael Bloomberg, Laurence Fishburne, the NFL, MLB and NBA, and most of the financing entities in Hollywood. I’ve established tax incentives that spark states into profitable production while structuring large scale financing. Easier said than done, trust me!      Now, I’m thrilled to join with Stage 32 to talk about my journey and share my experiences from over the years. I love to give back to up and coming filmmakers and I’ll be holding an online Q&A to talk with you, the Stage 32 community, and tell you about the things I’ve learned along the way. If you’re in the middle of your filmmaking journey, now, no matter where you live in the world, I’ll be taking questions from you live, so ask away! So relax, this opportunity to not give up on your daydream just got a lot closer.     Clint Eastwood, Kip & Kern Konwiser Kip & Virginia Madsen Kenny Ortega (director/choreographer), Jim Belushi, William Levy, Emilio Estefan Kip, Ron Shelton (director/writer), Pete Rose, Kurt Soderling (DP) Pre-production at Legendary Studios "The Konwiser Bros." Kern & Kip Konwiser 

The Ultimate Guide to Networking When You Don't Know Anyone

Networking. The mere word puts a chill up the spine of many creatives, especially when you may not even know anyone or know where to start. But if there's been one thing that's been proven time and time again, it's that we work in a relationship business. Winning champions of you and your work is as important than creating and honing the work itself. Whether you're introverted and have a distinct fear of putting yourself out there, or if you're an extrovert who isn't getting the results you're looking for in your relationship building efforts, we're here to help. Let's start by merging the idea of networking with the mindset of relationship building. The truth is relationship building can be a fun exercise you'll want to tackle every day. It's all about setting a positive approach, embracing a long term mentality, and building upon every success. The most successful people in film, television and digital media have spent years cultivating relationships, and remember, they all started without knowing anyone. They've understood that by being likable, selfless, and collaborative that people are going to not only want to help them succeed, but work with them as well. This is why the tribe mentality is so prevalent. And it's why the people who put relationship building strategies into practice every day are those who have found longevity in the business. Industry veteran Jessica Sitomer has over 20 years in the industry as a development executive, producer, writer and career coach for the Cinematographers Guild. Through the years she has perfected the art of relationship building - helping creatives grow their networks from one to two people to hundreds to thousands. When she moved to Los Angeles, she knew two people and one of them moved the day after she got to LA. She made it her mission to learn how to survive and thrive in the creative industry. And survive and thrive she has. Not only is Jessica's network huge, but she has also written three best-selling books on the subject of networking and relationship building, And… Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry, The Greenlight Coach and You Got This: For Those Who Work Hard and Play Hard - How to go From Burnout to Bliss. Here Jessica brings her unique brand and boundless energy exclusive to Stage 32 to help you get to the next level by giving you concrete steps and tools to build relationships that lead to roles, jobs, reads, financing, and more. Jessica will show you how to best approach social media and how to utilize this valuable tool in a way that takes away the intimidation factor to meeting people. She will show you how to be more collaborative, to check your ego at the door, and to make sure you're communicating in the right fashion. She will tackle live events and how you can make sure you get the most bang for your buck. She will teach you strategies to help you grow as a communicator and collaborator. She'll even teach you how to reach out to those you may have previously thought untouchable and show you that no one is off limits!   This is a comprehensive overview of how you can take your networking and relationship building skills from good to great. You will learn everything you need to know to step up, stand out and change the course of your career.    I've been following, reading, and listening to Jessica for years. It's little wonder why she's been so successful. This webinar challenged me to put all my self-made BS to the side and just let myself go. And the results are already speaking for themselves. She's a superstar in every sense of the word. - Miriam P. 

Jake Wagner of Good Fear Management

During this Executive Hour, Jake Wagner of Good Fear Management discusses what it takes to sell as script today.

Lights, Camera, ACTION! Polish a scene with action

Whether it’s epic battles between giant robots, a street fight, or someone chasing after the love of their life at the airport, the vast majority of movies and television use at least a bit of action writing. So we are challenged you to write an original or polish a scene with action, and really focus on making those moments of movement pop!

register for stage 32 Register / Log In