Second City Film School

Second City Film School

The Second City Film School immerses students in a diverse, collaborative environment that encourages them to create their best work for television, film and the web. In our program, students are exposed to comedic literature and films, learn how to write, direct and produce films, and are introduced to and connected with industry experts, to learn how to best utilize the tools of improvisation to become better storytellers and collaborators.

Located in the heart of Old Town, Chicago – Film School students will have access to the studios, classrooms, screening rooms, and equipment located in the Second City Training Center. Students will graduate the program with a portfolio of work that includes, but is not limited to feature length and TV screenplays and short films, and the essential tools and on-going support required to get work in the industry.

Students are immersed in these key areas:

COMEDY THEORY (Improv + Analysis)
These courses lay the foundation for your creative process. Students are immersed in the methods of The Second City, learning how to use improvisation as a tool for collaboration and content generation. Students screen comedic works from various media and eras to better inform their work as comedic storytellers. Using that material and the art of improvisation, students cultivate their own comedic voices and points of view to make discoveries about their own work.

WRITING (Screenwriting + Storytelling)
The writing track teaches students how to mine their unique POV to create dynamic characters and stories. Inspired by The Second City tradition of agreement and building ideas together, students work in an ensemble to develop content that is reflective of the group mind, while also honing their individual comedic voices. And whether they’re creating in a writers’ room setting or on their own, SCFS students will be learning how to write stories that can be filmed. All students complete the program with a portfolio of written work including, but not limited to, a fully completed script.

FILMMAKING (Production + Directing)
Students make films both in the studio and in the field during their time at The Second City Film School. Here again, students will utilize improvisation as a crucial storytelling tool in everything from punching up dialogue on the fly to working off the page to get the performance they want. They will learn how a director prepares, how to work with actors, and how to collaborate with the various roles on a film set. These production classes will put into practice the lessons on collaboration and storytelling from the other areas. All students complete the program with a portfolio of filmed and edited work including, but not limited to, a festival-ready short film or web series pilot.

Additionally, The Second City Film School hosts a series where working artists from the industry will lead discussions and hands-on workshops connecting students’ work in the program to the real world. The Second City has a wonderful extended family of successful comedy writers, directors, and producers who can speak to how The Second City method of improvisation has strengthened their work in many areas. They will also give students the inside scoop on working in the business.

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