Saturday, July 23, 2011

Song and Dance: 48 Hour Film, Boston 2011 NICE

Our 2011 48-Hour Film nabbed some awards!


Winner:

Best Original Song ("Forest Floor" by Fey Rey (Laura Wilson) and Jason Rozen)
Best Ensemble Acting
Best Screenplay
Honorable Mention for Best Film

Criteria: "I did not see that coming" as a line, a chess piece as a prop, and "Uncle Hank" as a character. Our genre was Romance.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Film: RAW DEAL (for the 48 Hour Film Project "Go Green" 2011)



Written, shot, and edited in 48 hours. Required criteria:

Line: "When does she arrive?"
Prop: keys
Character: Professor M. Johnson
Theme: Save the Animals

Sunday, February 27, 2011

George Lucas is LAZY: 7 Star Wars Locations & the Words He Stole Their Names From



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"actual" location names: Tatooine, Cloud City, Mos Eisley, Coruscant, Endor, Naboo, and Hoth. Image s o u r c e s.
Irony is me calling out Lucas for his laziness when i sat on this for months.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

7 Great Keith Johnstone Quotes on Improv and Performance

Like Keith Johnstone's astoundingly good Impro, these quotes are aimed at improvisers, but they resonate into comedy, performance, and everyday life. Many of the below tie into Keith's modus operandi of allowing our instincts to lead the interaction - not trying - as outlined here

1. "When things happen that seem truthful, observers project themselves into the characters..."


2. "Don't come on to be funny - come on to solve problems."


3. "If you don't have to kick the students out after school, something is wrong."


4. "The best laughs are on the recognition of truth. "


5. "You don't have to have 'a good idea' - just 'an alter-the-relationship'."


6. "In a scene [where the improvisers must interact] without the letter S, the audience is waiting for you to lose - so they can laugh at you. Don't try to win."


7. "Best side-coaching for improvisers in a scene? 'Do it.' Some actors don't want to move into the future."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Disgusting Bliss: Iannucci's Comedy Insight


I've been reading Disgusting Bliss, a biography of Chris Morris. Morris (subject of previous blog posts here and here) began his collaboration with Armando Iannucci on the surreal current affairs news-parody On The Hour, a radio show which ran from '91-'92. While Morris was the team's most significant and unpredictable creative spark, it was Iannucci who understood and was able to convey the shape of the show and its cutting edge humor:
'[Iannucci] said, "Look, there's a way of performing comedy where the jokes are very much told and [instead] I want you to bury the humour. I want you to do funny voices but I don't want them to be too funny. I want you to improvise funny things but don't be looking for the humour, just trust that it will come."
On The Hour won the British Comedy Award for best radio comedy. Iannucci would go on to produce & write for the multi-award winning TV programs The Day Today and The Thick of It, and the Oscar-nominated film In The Loop.

Iannucci's angle on comedy resonates with the idea of not putting out extra, unnecessary effort for humor's sake- Do less, as Johnstone might say. I believe this angle also sparked the loyalty and passion that fans of these programs have. By not advertising the fact that they were "DOING HUMOR", the programs trusted that those watching would make the necessary cognitive leap to understand that the off-kilter world created was an intentional one.

It also seems - to me - that when something humorous asks more of the person who is processing it (for example, a punchline with two twists in it instead of one), -assuming it is not asking too much of the individual- the additional processing done makes the moment that things 'click' even more enjoyable. They've internalized and taken some ownership over the bit, by way of having to mentally chew it over, rather than being spoon-fed something predictable. Not that the 'predictable' = 'bad,' but that earned complexity can heighten a moment.