The video essays below created by Tony Zhou (Every Frame a Painting) and Evan Puschak (The Nerd Writer) explore physical comedy and the staging of gags/action for film. Including, the importance of characterisation, physical performance, readability, using a single/static camera, selecting the correct camera angles, clear staging, and editing. These video's illustrate many of the fundamental elements you will encounter in making your film for the Collaboration project (and beyond). Please take the time to watch them either as a group or on your own.
Buster Keaton: The Art of the Gag
"Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him. Today, I’d like to talk about the artistry (and the thinking) behind his gags.- Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting".
Jackie Chan: How to Do Action Comedy
"Some filmmakers can do action. Others can do comedy. But for 40 years, the master of combining them has been Jackie Chan. Let’s see how he does it - Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting".
Edgar Wright: How to Do Visual Comedy
"If you love visual comedy, you gotta love Edgar Wright, one of the few filmmakers who is consistently finding humor through framing, camera movement, editing, goofy sound effects and music. This is an analysis and appreciation of one of our finest comedic voices. - Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting".
The Physical Comedy of Rowan Atkinson (Repost)
A closer look at the incredible physical comedy of Rowan Atkinson.
Some of you will know Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean. However, throughout his career Rowan Atkinson has portrayed many different comedy characters. Including, various characters in the sketch comedy series Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-82), on stage in one man shows, in sitcom comedies such as BlackAdder (1983-89) and The Thin Blue Line (1995-96), and multiple film roles such as Johnny English (2003-present), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), The Lion King (1994), and the Mr Bean films (1997-present).
What makes Rowan Atkinson' comedy successful is his ability to physically (and verbally) portray characters so precisely. In this video the Nerdwriter explores the nature of Rowan Atkinson's comedy and how skilled he is as a character based performer. In Rowan Atkinson's work there is a big emphasis on 'contrast' and 'accurate' characterisation. Whether that is a 'silly person in a serious situation' (Mr Bean), or a serious School Master reading out silly names (his stage show). This is particularly relevant to character animation and the Collaboration Project. One of Rowan Atkinson's less talked about works is Laughing Matters (1992) which is video essay on physical comedy - it is lost piece of 'educational gold' for animators. You can watch here or find it online.