Here’s something a little different. Ken Levine is an emmy-winning comedy writer whose long list of credits include M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Recently he hosted a free online seminar about comedy writing titled “Sitcom Secrets Revealed”. It covered such topics as:
• The current & future states of sitcoms
• How the possible writers’ strike affects struggling new writers
• Writing & submitting spec scripts
• Key elements of writing farces
• How to create fresh, interesting characters
The event was primarily aimed at writers, but I think it can be healthy for an artist to broaden himself by learning about other disciplines. Especially writing. Many artist are in fact writers in the sense that they tell stories visually. This is especially true of cartoonists, storyboard artists, and comic book artists, but to an extent it is true of any artist.
I’ve always admired writers. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag (Bobo the chimp handles all my blog posts), but I’m a firm believer that writers are the unsung heroes of the entertainment world. Writing is even more important than the visual stuff when it comes to the success or failure of an animated project. I am especially in awe of good comedy writers. I mean the good ones. There aren’t that many out there, but Ken Levine is one of the best.
You can download an MP3 of the teleseminar for free here. (You’ll have to give your name and email address to download the MP3, but Ken promises it will only be used to add you to his seminar mailing list and you can unsubscribe at any time). I haven’t had time to listen to it yet, but I’m very much looking forward to it. Comedy, as they say, is serious business.