What is Long-Form Style Improv?

Long form is one suggestion and then you improvise for 25 minutes, and in short form you are constantly coming to the audience for suggestions throughout the evening and treating each improv game as its own little three- or four-minute piece. Another way to think of it is that long form is to jazz as short form is to pop.
— Joshua Funk, artistic director at Second City Training Center in Hollywood

Long form is the technique that helped launch the careers of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, and other screen stars. But it is rarely seen outside the black-box theaters that comprise the front lines of the comedy scenes in New York, Los Angeles, and other cities.

Training in the form provides valuable skills, but an actor isn’t likely to practice it directly on national TV any time soon as it doesn't film very well (even the short-form "Whose Line Is It Anyway" is the only improv TV show).

In general, both short and long forms are about keeping the audience engaged, but here at Grafenberg we focus on the long form as it helps you become a much better actor as you really work on developing characters and scenes.