Intense Comedy: Part 2

Look! Blue sky! (This is all the sky that I saw all day).

Look! Blue sky! (This is all the sky that I saw all day).

Today was the second half of the comedy intensive workshop that I was taking to get some basic training in the art form before running headlong into our next film project. Yesterday we learned the basics and today we started to apply them to scripts and excerpts from existing movies and plays to see the concepts in action. This was great fun during the class. It was less fun at home afterwards when I couldn’t stop trying to analyze the evening’s TV shows. I’m not even sure all the shows we watched were comedies but I still asked myself if the humor was character driven or was just a series of “bits”? Was there an on-screen observer who was seeing everything that we were seeing? Did the character try to do what they needed to do in order to get to their goal in the most direct way possible or were they busy bantering with the other characters in the scene?

Afterwards I was doing some drawing (you’ll see it later this week) and spent the whole time analyzing the story behind the drawing to figure out if that was character driven or if I was just making jokes because I thought “wouldn’t it be funny if…” And last night, when I finally DID fall asleep, I spent the whole night analyzing my dreams for humorous content.

I guess that is the problem with any intensive learning experience; you need to give it time to shake down into the cracks of your brain. It is like the first day on a new job: no matter how well the first day went you are going to have intrusive thoughts about it all night long. On the one hand I love having lots of new ideas all at once to start thinking about, but on the other I hate that I can’t stop thinking about them.

The bottom line is that no matter how tiresome it is to fight the urge to analyze everything for comedic content I do feel much better informed about what makes comedy work. I may not be able to build the engine (yet) but at least I know how the car works.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 27, 2013.

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