Starting with a Stop: How Theme is Everything

This is probably the most important topic in all of storytelling, and go figure, it’s one of the things that gets the least attention. When we talk about what makes a story work, we usually hit upon having great characters, or constructing a compelling plot, etc, etc....

.

Visiting Crazy Town: How to Heighten your Comedy

You’re watching a TV show. A young woman, Sonia, somewhere in her 20s, sits her parents down. She’s holding a Tickle-Me Elmo doll. She explains to them that she’s marrying the doll. Her parents smile and tell her how proud they are. She is exasperated...

.

9 Effective Ways to Get People Hooked on Your Show

You go through withdrawals. It makes you late for work. You can’t even concentrate when you’re hanging with family or friends. Many of us have at some time been hooked on a show. "Binge Watching" is a lot like going on a bender...

.

How to Use Improv in Your Film or Show

Your editor is probably a nice person. So maybe he doesn’t call his mom enough. Or she switches lanes without using a signal. Or he farts on a crowded subway. Whatever the case is, he or she probably doesn’t deserve the hell...

The Magic of Callback Humor

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on creating comedy, the LOL Formula. Now I want to talk about callbacks, which will not only get you laughs, but it will bond your audience together and with you.

How to Create Awesome Character Duos: Reinventing the Color Wheel

Beavis and Butthead. Arya and the Hound. Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy. Lucy and Ethel. Walter White and Jesse. Bert and Ernie. Some of the greatest duos ever on TV. When we start talking about why these couples work...

5 Great Things to Do Before You Write Your TV Pilot

Motivation grabs you and whips you around like a professional tango dancer. Or at the very least, it grinds against you like a drunk guy in a nightclub. What to do with this motivation...