During a recent beery night out with fellow scribes, much was discussed. Some of it hilarious. Yet when the subject of writing comedy came up there was a general sucking of teeth and a 'no, not for me'
I don't write comedy. I might just about tackle a comedy/drama given a fair wind and a lot of alcohol. But a flat out comedy? Nope.
It's not the way my mind works. When I write a dramatic scene I can see that drama unfold on screen. If I try to write a funny scene all that happens is I see it on the page and wonder if anyone else will find it funny because it sure doesn't look like it to me. It's the difference between hearing a well told joke and reading it. The first might have you in stitches, the other....meh?
Basically I don't have the confidence for it. And I think that is what you need to be a good comedy writer. Because the inescapable truth is that the chances are that a dramatic scene would be pretty much universally understood. A comedic scene is far more subjective.
I love 'Meet The Parents' To me it is almost the perfect comedy. A simple premise. The stakes are constantly and logically raised. Character is bang on and situations are believable. It's also very funny.
I don't think I would even begin to try writing something like that. Again. It's not the way my mind works.
When I write a scene my first though is that I have characters do and say things that advance plot, story and character. That, I think is also a prerequisite of writing a comedy scene. But there are a few additional extras. Most importantly, it has to be funny. So, you are advancing plot, character, story and being 'funny'. For 90 minutes! Man, that is a tough gig. And I suspect the main reason why there are so few good comedy movies.
Maybe one day I'll surprise myself, wake up one morning and decide to write a shit hot comedy. Until then my hat is off to good comedy writers everywhere .
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5 years ago