Short Comedy Filmmaking

To become a working filmmaker today, one has to master the short film—being a filmmaker no longer means creating feature films exclusively, if at all. This course will focus on the technical challenges of being short as well as the conceptual challenge of being funny. The collaborative, in-class production of short film comedies will be augmented by critical analysis of the short comedy genre throughout film history, by in-class readings and discussions, and by visits from industry professionals. The ultimate goals will be not only learning how to discern successful short comedy content and why it “works,” but learning how to make it as well.

Sample reading list:
Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics
Buster Keaton, Buster Keaton Short Films Collection: 1920-1923
Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, High Maintenance
David Simon, The Hidden Tools of Comedy
Steve Kaplan, Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
3 short film projects: A pubic service announcement, a sketch, a short narrative film. All videos will be scripted by students, the final script for the short narrative film will be graded. 1 -2 hours per week viewing films for discussion in class.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
One of the following courses: VIS 219 Art For Everyone, VIS 261/262 How To Make A Film, VIS 263 Documentary Filmmaking, VIS 264 Narrative Filmmaking. Students must have proficient technical knowledge of Adobe Premiere, cinematography and sound recording.



“Freshman issue preview: 21 classes for the Great Class of 2021” |



Tuesday, 12:30 - 4:20 pm


Yaara Sumeruk