Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

Creating Online Comedy

Units: 4
Student Level: Beginning

Jun 28 - Aug 6 Add to cart
Schedule: Tues / Thurs 10:00am - 2:10pm
Orientation: Jun 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Max. Seats: 14
Faculty: Christopher Guerrero

About the Class

What does SNL, Tik-Tok, BuzzFeed, and Charlie Chaplin have in common? In this intensive online comedy course in which students will learn what it takes to create comedic and viral digital sketch videos with the help of classmates, guests, and excellent faculty.

From the concept to screenings/release of video projects, students will learn the essential tools and skills for creating funny viral videos that capture audiences from the first frame to the last. Using their identities, students will learn how to utilize existing video formats and iterate based on feedback from peers, audiences, and video platform analytics.

Personal perspective and voice are crucial to success. Students will be encouraged to use tools taught in the class to craft their brand and voice. Every student will write, direct, photograph, and edit 1-2 digital projects a week that range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. Students will start by iterating on existing formats from their favorite platforms (Tik-Tok, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.) and outlets (influencers, celebrities, BuzzFeed, etc) and developing their formats and styles.

Internet video creation techniques will be taught, such as:

  • Capturing an audience for specific platforms
  • Identifying formats, trends, and utilizing popular culture
  • Iterating on formats
  • Creating specific, concise titles and concepts
  • Effective collaboration
  • Utilizing the "Group Mind"
  • Understanding, "Why a video worked or didn't work"

Basic sketch comedy technique will be taught, such as:

  • Ideation
  • Beat Writing
  • Sketch writing basics
  • Improvisation
  • Utilizing "The Game"
  • Sharp, concise editing

Lectures, guests, and workshops will focus on:

  • How history has informed the content, we make now
  • How communities shape platforms and formats
  • The links between failure, success, and iteration
  • Constraints as a secret filmmaking weapon
  • Content creation and at home/remote filmmaking techniques
  • Histories and examinations of successful content creators
  • Deep dives into famous viral and digital content
  • How to create content consistently and continuously
  • Group writing and group ideations

*All projects are created outside of scheduled class time.                                                                                                                  *Please note that dates and times of the course are subject to changes. Additional tutorials are taught during outside hours.


Should the SCA Summer Program move to an online format for Summer 2021, this course will be CONVERTED to an online class.