The final session of my first iO writing class wrapped up last night with a staged reading of a half-hour show we cobbled together from the various sketches the students have been writing and co-writing in the same process that the Pythons used to put together their shows. It went even better than I had hoped, especially considering the degree of difficulty involved.
It occurred to me that we managed to do in four three-hour sessions what would normally require twice as many sessions. But despite the breakneck pace, they acquitted themselves very well. Although it would have been nice to have a bit more time for polish, they were amazing, especially considering that four weeks ago, none of them knew each other, but managed to collaborate enough to produce a half-hour program.
But even the short schedule, I think, was beneficial. As I told them last night, most writers have virtually their whole life to come up with and polish their first portfolio of sketches or their first TV spec script. But if they get hired, they often have one week to produce their second one. There’s not a lot of ways to train for that. Hopefully, my students are a little better equipped than they were four weeks ago.
We even had time to watch the very first episode ever filmed of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to give them some ideas about sequencing sketches, so I decided to post one that got a lot of laughs. Enjoy.