Comedy Filmmaking: Make Your Low-Budget Videos 100% Funnier | Amber S. | Skillshare

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Comedy Filmmaking: Make Your Low-Budget Videos 100% Funnier

teacher avatar Amber S., Director, Writer, Actor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Comedy?


    • 3.

      The Story


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      The Look


    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

What makes something funny? Pull back the curtain on the mysteries of comedy and make your next video 100% funnier!*

Join award-winning comedy director Amber Schaefer for an inside look at creating funny content at any budget. Drawing on her experience as an actor-writer-producer, Amber shares a fun, flexible framework for enhancing comedy in every step of your process, from writing and casting to cinematography and editing. 

Just like any other creative practice, comedy can be learned. Follow along to discover the best practices and tools you need to make your next TikTok, sketch, or short film that much funnier!

Key lessons cover:

  • The fundamentals of joke structure and script writing
  • Using visual storytelling to help you get weirder faster
  • Assembling your cast and crew without breaking the bank
  • Trusting your gut and connecting with your audience

Plus, Amber shares the stories, mistakes, and synchronicities behind her own wonderfully wacky short films and commercials, along with her favorite movies and TV shows.

Whether you’re writing your first film, planning a web series, or just trying to win at Instagram stories, Amber’s smart and entertaining class will help you achieve wildly watchable results. Most importantly, by the end you’ll have a clear sense of what you find funny and why—and really, that’s what it's all about!


This class is designed for anyone who creates videos for the internet (social media and YouTube count). If you’re a movie buff who wants a better understanding of how your favorite comedies work, you’ll also learn a lot. We recommend taking notes, so grab something to write with.

*According to 4/4 Skillshare employees surveyed.

Meet Your Teacher

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Amber S.

Director, Writer, Actor


Amber Schaefer is an award-winning comedy director with a background in writing, acting and producing. A ‘Jane of all trades’, she’s acted in spots for brands like Smart Water and Stella Artois and wrote and produced content for clients like Expedia and AmEx before making the leap to directing. A gifted and instinctual comedian, Schaefer studied improv, character and sketch at the Pit, the Magnet and Upright Citizens Brigade. As a director she’s worked with talent like Ben Schwartz, Shaquille O’Neal and Sam Smith while crafting content for College Humor, Geico, Kayak and Dos Equis.

She lives in Los Angeles with her half dead plants and is writing her debut feature film.

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1. Introduction: Hey, what are you doing? Let's talk movies. I'm insane and I'm sorry for that. My name is Amber Schaefer and I'm a comedy director, writer, actor, and goofball. Whether you're making a short film, a feature film, a sketch, a TikTok, an Instagram story, this class is here to teach you about the fundamentals of comedy film making. There is a misconception about comedy film making and comedy in general that it's something that you're born with. I don't think that's true. It's a learned skill that takes time. If it's something that you're interested in, it's something you can succeed in. Today's class covers the fundamentals of scripting and development to production and post. I based this class on years of comedy film making and studying comedy and also years of making many, many mistakes. I'm not a good, great winker. At it's best, what comedy does is unveil what's invisible. We take the mundane and we make it unusual. We take the unusual and make it mundane. We learn more about ourselves and more about each other. Hopefully, you can learn from some of my mistakes, but you're going to have to make a few of your own, too. Now let's get started. 2. What is Comedy?: Congratulations. You have decided to take this class, you are incredible, you are awesome, you are a star. We are going to learn a little bit about comedy film making. Welcome. Who the heck is Amber Schaefer? What gives her the cojones to tell you about comedy film making. As a kid, I was always making comedy videos with my parents' home video recorder. Instead of handing in a final report, I would hand in a comedy video. I always thought I was cheating the system, but in reality, I probably spent way more hours not only doing the research to make the film, but then also shooting the video and casting my friends in it and figuring out how to make a room look like an airport. But it didn't feel like work because it's my calling. I have a feeling if you're watching this video right now, you probably have similar stories. So I had a windy road to becoming a comedy director. I started as a producer, and while I was producing, I took improv classes and sketch classes at UCB and the Magnet, and the PIT in New York City and read as many how comedy works books. I have spent many years studying the mechanics of how comedy works while making commercials for clients like Geico, and directing short sketches for platforms like College Humor and making short comedy films. Comedy is a subjective art. What's funny to you might not be funny to someone else. But that doesn't mean there aren't real palpable, learnable skills that can make your content funnier. Some of the objectively least funny people I know socially are the most successful stand-up comedians, comedy writers of the most popular television shows. Conversely, I think a lot of times class clowns, I was the class clown. You think you understand comedy but you don't understand joke structure. I didn't understand joke structure. These are learnable skills that are not inherent. Today's class is going to start with form. Here we're going to explore what type of comedy format you're using. Then we're going to look at structure. In this section we'll ask how are you going to structure the form you're using? Then we're going to look at writing and revising and how to build strong bones for your story. After that, we'll explore casting, mastering your look and cinematography. Then we'll look at production, finding the right team and post-production editing and finishing your film. I encourage you to post your film on the project gallery and check out your peers work as well. Film making is all about collaboration. This is a great platform to start building those relationships. First step, let's talk about form. 3. The Story: If you're here, you know you're making a comedy video. But now it's time to ask what kind of comedy video. There is sketch comedy, which you know from SNL, Portlandia, Key & Peele. Sketch comedy usually revolves around one central game or joke and is usually in one location. They're usually short and sweet, and they're designed to be short and sweet. Comedic shorts, on the other hand, are a little bit meatier. They have a beginning, middle, and end, and often follow the hero's journey. You may have a sliver of an idea now, maybe just a scene or a character and you might not know exactly what format you're using yet. But the worst thing in the world is watching a feature film that should've been a sketch or a sketch that could be. Maybe it's better to watch a sketch that could be a feature film. I just saw a feature that should've been sketch and it's the worst. Don't do it. Just make the sketch. The guidelines for how to write a narrative short or feature film versus a sketch are different, so I'm going to talk about both. Sometimes sketches are more character-driven or more driven by the situation or conflict, but they always continuously heighten throughout. Then at the end, there's a twist and then a button. At the Upright Citizens Brigade, they have a metaphor for heightening of a staircase. You need the horizontal line of exploring your base reality to get to the vertical line, which is your joke. So if your scene takes place during a job interview, for instance, we can ask ourselves, what would the employer ask the job candidate? Maybe they would ask them, what previous experience do you have? This gives us permission to then heighten with jokes. If you're interested in making this format, I would definitely recommend watching as many sketches as you can and taking an improv and sketch class. I would also pick up the Upright Citizens Brigade improv manual, which has a lot of tips that apply to both sketch and improv. Narrative shorts or features don't just heighten. They have a more traditional narrative arc, often following the hero's journey. A vital role to following this form is to write it as a drama first. This is why a lot of times comedy rooms have different skill sets. Some people are better at punching up, some people are better at story structure. Ultimately, the more invested the audience is in the characters and the story, the harder they will laugh. When it is finally time to punch up, which means essentially heighten the jokes, the jokes should ideally tell us more information, either move the story along or help us understand the character better. All of these forms have their different sets of rules. If you're really interested in sitcom writing, I would pick up Elephant Bucks. If you're interested in writing narrative shorts or features, I would definitely pick up Save the Cat. There's tons of other books on it too, but Save the Cat is the Bible, the industry standard. If you go to a meeting, that's the vocabulary that the execs are going to be using and it's better to be on the same page literally, even if you are going to break from the form. Another thing to take into consideration with your format is genre. Nearly all films fit into a genre, and it's very important in the writing process and in the filmmaking process of figuring out your tone is to understand what genre you're shooting and to have a consistency. Even if if it's a cross genre. Is it a film noire meets Western? Having an understanding of the history of the cinematic language of the genre is absolutely vital to good storytelling. When there are no rules and structure, we become paralyzed and immobilized. Having those structure actually allows us is a springboard for us to actually be even more creative, even more innovative. It gives you the base reality for the audience to hold onto that allows you the room to get weirder, to get freakier, to be more experimental. Because we already have this framework, so there's less heavy lifting for you to do. It's there to prop you up. It's like wearing shoes. You must do it except in my house, no shoes. 4. Writing: Now that you have decided on your genre and you have a structure in mind, it's time to put pen to the page and start the writing process. But before you open up final draft or Celtics or whatever script writing program you're using, make an outline making, outline, making, outline making outline. That's where you're figuring out your beats. And, um, it's really there as a road map, and it's there to comfort you as you're there in the writing process. Where you going? Where you going? This is your compass, and your compass can can change and it will change. Um, but it's it's absolutely vital to the process. So your job is a comedy writer is to be aware of and have an emotional response to something. When you're thinking of a comedic premise, pay attention to things that give you a big emotional response. What are the things that angry? What are the things that vex you? One of the things that depress you? What are the things that confuse you truly? It is asking yourself what? What what do you have a big emotional response to and exploring and unpacking that make lists of those things. Um, I'll just Sometimes I'm just stuck and I'll just make a list of, like, what are things that irritate me? What are things that anger me or make me sad? You know, once you're you find your based reality and you find your seat and you find your premise well. Would what are things that make lists of what, our thing, what are normal things and even happen? Like what? What happens in a doctor's office? What happens in a drop interview? The other jobs comedic filmmaker is to make the unusual usual and the usual unusual. What the hell do I mean by that? Comedy at its best unveils things that are in our every day that are so, so basic to us that we've stopped thinking about, um um, and we unveil what's insane about the every day and again, what's every day about the insane? There's a philosopher Heidegger who has this metaphor about a hammer. Um, when you're banging and nail with a hammer, you're looking at the nail and you're banging your banging the hammer, but you don't stop toe. Look at the hammer unless you bam hit your finger and you're like Ah, my hand you hammer. And then in that moment of pain is when, uh, this is create a moment of rupture. And we start to look at the Monday and and ask yourself, What is this Hammer? What is my hand doing? What if I and we stop and we analyze it? And so that's another reason why I ask you again to look at your emotional response to things cause that it those are the moments of rupture. And those are the places to explore, to find ways to unveil the mundane in the unusual in the unusual in the mundane. If it's our job to unveil the unusual within the mundane, uhm, you have to start with the mundane first, similar to the staircase metaphor of starting with that base reality. That's why most joke structure sort of sounds like this normal, normal, normal, normal, normal thing thing you think I'm going to say, Oh, do you think I want to say this? I said that instead, and that sort of joke structure that stand up would use is essentially the same format that you would use for a sketch. That that's your job is comedian your other job is to surprise Thing is a Geico commercial Geico. You could save two, I would argue. There's no comedy without surprise, and that's what you're doing. When you take the unusual on, make it usual and you take the usual and you make it unusual. You're surprising the audience and also again exploring your genres. It's so important that whatever genre you do choose to write in that you watch at least six films within that genre and study those films. And as you're watching or after you're watching, make a list of the tropes that you notice within those films. Everything from, ah, ways that the camera moves in. The cinematography to, um, ways that the actors react to something character archetypes to storytelling, beats to specific set pieces or scenes. Horror film usually has a chase scene. Ah, film Newr will have someone looking to solve a crime coming into a detective's office, look at those patterns and find a way to originally incorporate some. You know, some of those those tropes into your into your piece and again think about what gives you an emotional response. Go to therapy. If you can't think about what if you If you don't know how you are, mostly respond to something. You got it. He's Yeah. Work it out. So think about think about those, Um What? What are those peak emotional responses in your everyday life? Big lists of that. That's your road map to the work that you should be creating. 5. Revising: All right. So we made some lists, you picked a genre and you finished writing the thing. Congratulations. Now what? Well, unfortunately, you're not sun writing. You got to do drafts, baby. You can't just make one draft. Your first draft is going to suck, it's going to be terrible. But it's all about just getting the words on the page and then you have a thing and then you can shape the thing. The first thing you need to do is read it out loud, get it read out loud. It's dialog. This is not meant to stay on the page, it's meant to be spoken out loud. So it's really important before you shoot, to organize a table read. It doesn't need to be the people that will be performing the piece. They don't need to be actors, just take a group of friends and read the script together. That script is going to be a microcosm of your audience. So pay attention to the times that they laugh, the times that they get confused, and I think like a lot of stand-ups do with their comedy sets, record it and pay attention to what are the laugh points, where are people laughing and you can go back to that and use it as a reference when you're revising and writing your next draft. A lot of feature films will go through a table read many, many times before getting to the shoot. I think it's just about what you feel comfortable with. This is really the place to get the poison out, get the kinks out. I think it goes without saying that stuff that is on the page that seems funny in writing may not work in the room, and vice versa, stuff in the room, they're adjacent mediums, but it's very different when you say things out loud versus on the page. Ask yourself, is this how humans actually talk? If it's not, I would consider revising it to be sentences a human makes. It is possible to revise into infinity, and to not take a chance, and just make the darn thing. There's revising that happens on the shoot day, and there's revising that happens editorially. Ultimately, you got to just trust your gut and when you think it's ready to be made, make it. Maybe it won't be perfect, but there'll be things that you learn from it for your next film and there's certainly revising that can be done in the edit as well. But don't rely on that and just know that there's no such thing as a perfect film, except Beetlejuice. 6. Casting: Don't skip casting. I have made this mistake. Sure, you're just making a little sketch. Maybe you are on an improv team and you're just like," I'm going to make a little sketch for my friends and they're going to be in it." The professional thing to do, the right thing to do, the best thing for the work is to always hold a casting session. The casting session can be online, it can be in your living room, it can be in a library basement, but I just recommend that you do it. Even if you're casting, you'd like to cast yourself, you'd like to cast your best friend, Carl, whoever it is, just do the audition process. There's so much you can learn in the audition process about the character, about the scripts, and also if the script is, and the character are right for that particular person. You can be an incredible actor, an incredible comedic performer, and the role still might not be right for you. I made this mistake before because I was just rushing. I just wanted to finish something and I rushed to shoot this show. I cast someone that is an incredible comedy performer, but they just weren't the right fit for this specific role. It's something that I couldn't fix in post and I threw that show and the garbage can. I mean, it was a huge waste of time and money. My favorite sketch show of all time is Tim Robinson's, I think you should leave. Tim Robinson is a very, very funny, comedic actor, and he plays many of the roles throughout the series of sketches. But in their process, they cast for every single role, even if the writers were like, "Oh, maybe Tim will be good for this, maybe this person will be good for this." What they did, they cast for every single role, including and Tim Robinson, the creator, he would audition for each of those roles as well. The other thing to keep in mind with casting is creating a free and comfortable and welcoming environment for the actors that are coming into a very vulnerable situation. It's a totally different process than acting. It's your job as the person running the session to make sure that the talent feel comfortable to be vulnerable, and to carve out the time to allow them to get the poison out first. I always like to tell my talent when they come in, "Hey, let's do a take and then we'll throw it in the garbage can and then we can begin." I would always recommend too, asking your talent to make a choice. I think it's important to see how your talent take direction and give them specific direction in the audition and see if they're able to adjust, but then also really important to say," Okay, let's make a different choice this time and see what happens." Their choice might totally be way better than anything you could think of and it could totally change your perspective on the character and on the role and on the approach of the performance. If you're having a hard time making the casting decision, go with your gut. Going with your gut is going to be a vital skill for every element of the filmmaking and the comedic filmmaking process. If I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm feeling or what my gut is actually saying, I'll even just put my hand on my heart and my hand on my stomach and I'll think about the thing. If my gut is like sinking down, I know that it's not right. If I put my hand on my heart and it's lifting up, I know that it's the right choice. Sometimes it's hard to be in touch with your gut because you're so distracted by just the amount of decisions you need to make as a filmmaker, the stresses of the logistics of whatever it is you're trying to do. Allow yourself to be surprised and open-minded. 7. The Look: What does the look have to do with comedy filmmaking? There is a lot of heavy lifting that can be done with just the look itself in the visual storytelling. I'll use an example of this serious proposal I'm putting together with my friends that's for a show that's essentially The Addams Family, but in lower middle-class America. Usually when we think of the Addams Family or these goth archetypes, we think of these ornate, candelabras, and castles and mansions. What if it was those characters, but they're in a lower middle-class American situation? So instead of elaborate trapdoors, they make their trapdoors out of a garage door. By visually marrying the tropes of the Addams Family and the visual tropes of lower middle-class American living, we're able to communicate the premise without any works on the page. Filmmaking should never just be a heads talking. You should cut to a troll right now. You've spent so much time writing your script, your script's important, but don't forget about this whole other part, which is what we're looking at and how much you can communicate through it. You'll be shocked by how much expositional language you can cut too. There's nothing I hate more and I see it all the time in films that you're just like, why did they still leave this in the edit where it's just like, "Well, I'm glad we left your grandmother's house to go to the kitchen." It's just like, no, you don't need to say that it made sense in the script, but we're seeing it now. So in terms of your look, there's your production design, your location, your cinematography, your location is really where it all starts. Everyone's different, but I like shooting on a real location versus a stage because there's an imperfection that you can't really make up when you build it yourself. Imperfection is a part of the authenticity of the fabric of our lives. Find a location that needs as little production design and art direction augmentation as possible because you also might find a lot of inspiration from the locations that you find. Oh, I never thought wood paneling would be cool for this, but here it is in this relocate. I didn't know that vending machines were something that were always in teachers' rooms. For instance with, It's Been Too Long, it's a short film that I may have written and starring David Ebert and Krista Jensen. We did not do any production design for that film. We scouted some locations, but we found this place that felt untouched from the 90s, which was perfect for us because we were doing a 90s period piece and we found this crazy La-Z-Boy couch that had cup holders. I didn't even know they made a couch with cup holders, but as soon as I thought I was like, this is the place, and as soon as I saw it I was like, I'm going to put candles in those cup holders, because I was talking about before, we're mixing the tropes of the 90s, sort of kitsch design, and we'll mix with the visual tropes of the erotic thriller. The visualization of those two tropes together is a candle in a cup holder on the couch. So the first step of finding a location is making a mood board. Mood board, mood board, mood board, mood board. The more you can mood board, every step of the process, the more closely your film in your head is going to match the film that you make, because this is the tools that you use to show people your vision. The clearer and more detailed your mood boards are, the more your film will look like, the film in your head. When I say telephone, I think of maybe an old telephone like this, and you're thinking of one of those clear telephones from the 90s that show all the dials on it. I'm a big fan of Easter eggs, but I think if you're making a narrative short, you should be mindful of making sure your comedic Easter eggs don't take away from the storytelling and the truth of the characters. I just watched an credible narrative film that premiered at Sundance called the Last Shift. I would say it's a perfect movie. I loved the scripts and the acting and everything, but I had one note, and my note was that there was a character in the film who wants to be a good person, but she's a little ignorant. On her computer is a sticker that says, "Co-exist," which is funny and it made me laugh, and the director made that choice because he wanted to communicate something visually about who that character is, but being released in 2020, I didn't find it believable because I haven't seen a coexist sticker, not as a joke in like 15 years. I would say, use a human rights sticker or something that layers, probably UNICEF. So that's visual storytelling. 8. Cinematography: Let's talk about cinematography or cinematography as Communist central's corporate likes to call it. Rest in peace show got canceled, great show. Would watch it, very cinematic. This is the cinematic visual language you're using to tell your story. First and foremost, make a shot list. Professionals who do not do this are idiots. You have people coming to work on your movie and you don't have the dignity to write down what you're shooting? Go home. Sometimes you have to shoot in a location blindly. I say still make the shot list and then you can adapt it once you get into the location. Once you do the blocking, you might change things around. That's okay. But you need to start with an initial road-map. Knowing that language is going to be vital to working with crews and communicating your vision, the more detailed you are in your shot list, the closer the actual film will look like to the vision in your head. You ask, "I don't know how to make a shot list, I'm scared." Well, just google shot list formatting and study them and look at them. If you're not a cinematographer, I'm certainly not, that's what your cinematographer's there for. Ask them questions. Trust them. Be like, "Do you think that this would look cool like this? Do you have any ideas for this?" They probably have better ideas and you do; my DPs always do. The other thing to keep in mind with every choice that you make in terms of your cinematography is why you're making it. Whether you like it or not, you're communicating something by how close the camera is to the subjects. If the camera's moving or not. If the camera has a little bit of shake and is coming from some bushes, has a more of a voyeuristic feel. Is it a high angle shot? What does that say about the power dynamics and the relationship of the character? Is it a beautiful wide shot of Alaskan Vista? Sure. But what does that say about the loneliness of the character? Is it a close up because this is the first time the mother has admitted that she was wrong? All of those decisions should be made from a narrative and emotional point of view, and not to make it look cool. You can never use that justification. If you did the shot to make it look cool, that's how the audience will feel. It's not going to emotionally resonate with them. Make choices, and also make rules for yourself. I think the greatest directors and filmmakers all create rules for themselves and that's how they've been able to have a signature style. Whether it's in the color palette or how wide do you go in the film, how close do you go, create a set of rules, and that's what ends up creating the aesthetic that makes your specific work your specific work and your specific body of work. Investigating genres is another really important part of thinking about your cinematography and creating a cinematography look and plan for your work. If you're writing something that's in a Western genre, watch at least six Westerns. Look at the cinematography, study it. When are they moving the camera? When are they not? How close are they? So much of the language of the genre happens in cinematography. I just talked a lot about cinematography in general, but there are a lot of ways that you can incorporate comedy into your cinematography. I definitely suggest watching Every Frame a Painting. They have a wonderful episode on Edgar Wright and the visual tactics he uses in his films to do comedic visual storytelling. But I also suggest just studying some of your favorite comedy films and seeing what tools they utilize. How do they create comedy in the cinematography? Or maybe they don't, and how could they do it better? One thing that just made me laugh is watching Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. Adam Driver is in the midst of discussing the details of his messy divorce with this divorce lawyer and it's a vulnerable and very personal situation. The scene plays out and then suddenly we cut to this wide shot showing just how enormous this divorce lawyer's office is and also that there's, the entire time, been a third party in the office hearing all of the details of this messy divorce. It was just, for me, like a perfect example of using cinematography to an editing to surprise the audience and that was emotionally rooted in the narrative and in Adam Driver's misery. It's very funny to me. Enough about cinematography. Let's talk about production. 9. Production: One of the things I love about filmmaking is that you really can't do it alone. It's something you do with other people. I mean you can go make a fly on the wall documentary with a 5D and a zoom recorder but filmmaking, it's a team art which is a beautiful thing. If you're working with a smaller budget, I have a couple words of advice. One is don't be afraid to ask your friends for favors. Most people in the film industry got into this business for a reason because they genuinely love filmmaking, and they love the art of filmmaking. I'm always surprised when I'm doing a passion project, and I ask people, I'm like, "Hey, I'm so sorry, but is there any way you could maybe come on Saturday?" They're like, "Yes. I would love to." Because they like filmmaking. Don't be afraid to message someone on Vimeo. You like their short film? Great. Maybe you guys are going to be collaborators. Message them, "Hey, do you want to DP this project? Hey, what are you doing? Let's talk movies." If you have a small budget or a non-existent budget, hire a sound person. If it's one thing you spend money on, get a professional sound person because you could shoot something that's utter garbage, and people will sit through it. But you cannot make people sit through something that sounds like garbage. It will immediately feel like it isn't a choice, which it probably wasn't, and it is just intolerable to sit through something that has bad sound. Don't do it. It's rude, very rude. It's a small community, but it is a community. People remember when you're a dick. A lot of filmmaking is making a choice, and having an opinion, and trusting your gut. Having an opinion and trusting your gut isn't the same thing as being a dick and being confrontational. It's okay to have an opinion, have a POV, and not be a dick about it. One other thing about the film community, it's small, but it can also be a competitive field. If you work in the industry long enough, you're going to see friends and colleagues rise. You're going to see them experience success. If you become full of resentment and negativity around your friend's success, you are stabbing yourself in the leg. You're chopping your legs off. No, but really you're hurting your own career by being resentful, and the more you can be proud and happy for your friend's success, truly the more you shine on them, the more they'll shine back. It's just so important to lift each other up in this small, small industry and to be happy for each other's success. 10. Editing: After you shoot the film, you enter the post-production phase. It can be really hard to have objectivity in the edit process after you were on set. Maybe we remember a certain take and it felt better in the room than it feels in the edit or maybe we had a headache when we were doing a certain line, which is why I recommend always when you can, working with an editor that is not yourself. Even if you're editing the piece yourself, make sure to get some fresh eyes on it. Do the same thing that you did with the table read with the edit. Invite some friends over, make some popcorn. Pay attention to when they laugh and when they get confused, does it make sense? Would you read confused here? Ultimately, it's your vision and you should trust your gut and your instincts with it and stick to your guns, but pay attention to when the audience laughs and when the audience is confused. The other thing is kill your babies. Just kill them. I think it's really important in every step of the process, but it's probably the most important in the edit. A lot of times it's my favorite joke but for some reason, it just doesn't work with everything else. You love that joke on its own, but keeping that one joke in there actually makes the rest of the film a piece of shit. You have to just be like, I experienced that joke, I loved that joke, I treasured that joke, and yet I kill that joke. It is dead and you leave it. You kill that, you put it on the edit room floor. I Think You Should Leave, my favorite sketch show, the best comedy sketch show of all time, cut at least 30 percent of what was written on the page and what makes it into the final edit. Don't be afraid to kill your babies. Also, don't be afraid to lose shots that we hold on to for weird reasons. I've looked at shots and been like, that was so expensive, but it doesn't work. Just get rid of it. Whatever the reason, I think you have to you have to Marie Kondo your shots. If it doesn't bring you joy, throw it in the trash. I don't know why, but a lot of, I think, beginner filmmakers have this desire to challenge the viewer. What you end up doing is alienating your audience and the viewer is your friend. If you're holding on a shot too long to challenge the audience, I don't know. Ask yourself why you're doing that and go therapy. Just cut and yeah. Let's just cut. 11. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for watching. I hope something I said resonated with you. Ultimately, you are going to create your own process as a filmmaker. I'm still revising and creating my process all the time and constantly learning new methods. That's I think how we grow as filmmakers and as artists. So please, share your work with your friends, post it in the project gallery, have fun, make mistakes. That's what I'm going to go do. I've got tons of more mistakes to make, so let's do it together baby.