Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to create comedy gold

scp3hero.jpg
kdhero.jpg

She co-wrote hit TV show Parks And Recreation and now her first film script The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, is set to be the biggest comedy of the year. Katie Dippold gives us her tips for penning a killer Hollywood script.

Develop your own writing rituals

“I can’t have silence, so I always have Law And Order playing in the background; I find it very calming, which is weird as it’s so violent.”

Analyse your favourite TV and films

“I love Cheers and Frasier but The Golden Girls is my favourite. I always watched them for enjoyment, but then when I got a job as a writer on Parks And Recreation, I studied them to see how they worked in the ad breaks and the number of scenes.”

I wanted to see a film where the female character isn’t the hot girl on the back of the scooter, she’s the one being funny and cool

Use your own life for material

“I have a friend who reminds me of [Melissa McCarthy’s character] Mullen in The Heat, as she’s very frank. If I said, ‘This outfit doesn’t look good on me,’ a lot of women would be like, ‘It looks great.’ Whereas she’d say, ‘No it doesn’t, you better change.’ It was very jarring at first.”

Join an improv group

“I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for the Upright Citizens Brigade [New York theatre founded by Amy Poehler] as they let me write so many shows. Improv is a great way to learn how to keep your writing sharp and focus on the funny thing in the scene.”

Find a point of difference

“I loved buddy-cop movies but I wanted to see a film where the female character isn’t the hot girl on the back of the scooter, she’s the one being funny and cool. So I wrote one.”

The Heat is in cinemas nationwide from 31 July

Related

heronude.jpg

Where to get naked

gymherov.jpg

Britain’s most beautiful gyms

Comments

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Nicole Scherzinger's pamper session to Alicia Keys' colourful new hairstyle

by Nicola Colyer
24 Jul 2017

Princes William and Harry reveal the last words they spoke to Diana

“That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Jul 2017

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

“I have my demons”: Neelam Gill on racism, modelling and mental health

Stylist’s cover star is outspoken, honest and on the up

by Anita Bhagwandas
19 Jul 2017

Actresses who have braved playing iconic women from history

As Felicity Jones signs up to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we take a look at other movie stars who have played real-life legends

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Madonna launches legal battle to get her Tupac breakup letter back

The emotional letter was set to go up for auction – but Madonna says it was taken without her consent

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Kate Middleton’s honest response to being called “perfect”

The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t here for the myth of perfection

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jul 2017