Apply Now: Directing & Writing Comedy with Jonathan Brough & Declan Fay


The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites you to apply for a 1-day workshop on Directing & Writing Screen Comedy with Jonathan Brough & Declan Fay in Auckland, taking place on Saturday 13 May.

Award-winning comedy director Jonathan Brough and acclaimed comedy writer/showrunner Declan Fay discuss the many ways to achieve comedy for the screen.

About Jonathan Brough

Jonathan is a New Zealand director of film and television, now based in Melbourne. With over 20 years of professional experience, his work has screened at the Cannes, Edinburgh, Hof, Slamdance and Sydney Film Festivals, and screened on international TV networks, including Netflix. Recently, he directed the comedy pilot Ronny Chieng: International Student and the hit ABC comedy Rosehaven, which has been nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Comedy Program’ in the 2017 Logie awards and earned him one of his two nominations for ‘Best Direction in a TV Comedy’ in the 2017 ADG awards, the other for The Family Law.

About Declan Fay

Declan is one of Australia’s leading comedy writers. He was head writer on Sam Simmon’s Problems, TV sketch comedy Fancy Boy, and co-writer on Ronny Chieng: International Student coming to ABC and Comedy Central in 2017 as a full series. He has directed a number of sold out and award-winning comedy stage shows, which have played at the Comedy Festivals and Fringe Festivals over the years. He is also a comedian, actor, radio host, podcaster and motivational speaker.

Try Not to Get in the Way

Starting with the writing process then continuing on to working on set and in the edit, Jonathan & Declan will explore:

  • Shaping the material on the page. How do you take funny ideas and make them sustain a half-hour show? What are good techniques to transition standup comedians to the screen?
  • Finding the right story. How do you find the idea? How do you know which one is the right idea to turn into a whole show?
  • Rewriting the story until you’ve gone gradually insane.
  • The art of collaboration. Working with writers, talent, directors, script editors, to expand your vision.
  • Casting. How to shape an ensemble to get the comedy tone you want.
  • Working on set. Ideas for setting up a style of shoot that will get the right results, and ways to get the best out of your performers on the day.
  • Improvisation. Really?
  • Editing. Who cuts? Who decides? How to defend your ideas and get them through the network.

Using examples from their recent shows, including their collaboration on Ronny Chieng: International Student, Jonathan & Declan will share their wealth of experience on making successful, memorable and distinctive comedies for the screen.


What: Directing & Writing Screen Comedy with Jonathan Brough & Declan Fay

When: Saturday 13 May, 9am – 5pm

Where: Auckland

Cost: Free for DEGNZ members, $100 for non-members

A travel allowance is available for DEGNZ members coming from out of town. Lunch and refreshments provided.

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF to with ‘Directing Comedy Workshop’ in the subject line.

In your application, please provide:

  • CV
  • links to samples of your work
  • a maximum one-page letter stating why you want to attend this workshop.
  • please also include your mobile number and any dietary requirements.

Application Deadline: 9am, Friday 28 April.

This initiative is brought to you with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and ASDACS – the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society.

Last updated on 20 March 2020