Make 'Em Laugh for 90 Minutes: The Art of Comedy Feature Filmmaking

Discovery Category: Training (e.g. workshops, courses, etc.)
Start Date: Sep 28, 2019
End Date: Sep 28, 2019
Format: In-Person
Venue Name: Comedy Bar
Address: 945 Bloor Street West (downstairs), Toronto, ON
Cost: $100
Provider: Mondo Cinema Film & TV Workshops
WebSite Address:



This one-day intensive overview will dive into the process of comedy feature filmmaking from concept to completion, from the perspective of both the writer and the director, to get you inspired and focused on making your first - or next - comedy feature.

On the writing side, this course will cover: what makes an idea best suited to the comedy feature format, understanding high-concept versus low-concept, comedy subgenres, tone, what makes a character comedic, structuring your story and incorporating set pieces that organically reflect your movie's central idea, writing for a low budget reality, incorporating comedy writing tools in your scene work, finding the game of the scene, improving your dialogue and punching up your jokes in a multi-rewrite process.

On the directing side, we will go over: casting and workshopping the script, the writer-director relationship at the production stage, examples of pro comedy director processes on set, directing comedy performances, incorporating on-camera improvisation, comedic visual storytelling and working with your editor.

All participants will have access to a collection of multiple feature film scripts in a range of comedy genres for study purposes via DropBox.

This is the first time this course is being taught, so it is being offered at a special rate of $100 with the goal of getting your feedback on how to further improve future iterations of this class. All students who take one of my beta classes get a deep discount on any future expanded versions of this course.

To register, please email


DANIELA SAIONI is a comedy writer and performer whose stand-up developed at her long-running West End Girls monthly live show at Comedy Bar and was featured on CBC Radio's Laugh Out Loud to over 1 million listeners. Her raucous female ensemble comedy screenplay The WBI, co-written with Annie Bradley, received the 2014 Best Reserve Screenplay Award at the Female Eye Film Festival and was named CFF Harold Greenberg Fund's Top Ten in 2016. Her self-penned directorial debut short mockumentary, FIRST PERSON PLURAL: COPY CAT, aired on The Comedy Network and premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. She also co-created the pilot and series proof of concept IR-REVEREND with Annie Bradley, starring Nikki Payne, and her latest magic realism dramedy feature script JIYAN, based on a story by filmmaker Mazdak Taebi, is now in development.

In her other life on the front lines of film sets as a world-class script supervisor, Daniela has been lucky enough to crawl around inside the comedy brains of directors like Rodman Flender, Greg Daniels and Paul Feig. Her script supervision achievements include the notorious comedy features MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, THREE TO TANGO, SHAZAM! and the upcoming Netflix teen dance movie, WORK IT. She has been training comics and improvisers in the art of original sitcom writing since 2012 through her From Schtick to Script intensive program, where multiple alumni went on to get staffed in Canada's TV writing rooms. She also trains directors in the art of visual storytelling through her Am I Covered? program and has been the script supervision mentor for the CFC Director and Producer residents since 2010. She is a proud member of the WGC, ACTRA and IATSE 873.

How to Register:

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