Posts tagged ‘Keith Giglio’

June 10, 2011

Writing the R-Rated Comedy

Keith Giglio led a great session at last weekend’s Great American Pitchfest on R-rated comedies. At the top of the session, Keith pointed out that comedies are the easiest sells in Hollywood – they don’t require A-list talent (in fact, they tend to make stars), they’re cheap to shoot, easy to market, and they make a lot of money. As Keith put it, comedies are “the quickest way to Oz.”

At their core, R-comedies are about primal human urges – love, sex, hate, success. R-comedy is the only genre in which “a guy wants to get laid” is a perfectly acceptable hero’s journey (40 Year Old Virgin). Usually in the end R-rated comedies come down to something deeper, but the ending is still always going to be about something innate to human nature, something any audience member should be able to connect to.

As with any kind of film, Keith underscored how important it is to know your genre. If you want to write comedy, study comedy. Study what’s out there now and where the things that are out there now came from. As with most Hollywood films, the trick is to be uniquely familiar with your concept, said Keith. You want to have an idea that sounds like something that has already worked because it has some universal quality to it. But the idea has to have something new to give.

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