This is a playful, inspiring eight hour workshop (4 x 2.5 hours) designed to help beginning and novice directors up their comedic filmmaking game and start to define their own directorial voice. Using their own project as primary course material, students will explore directorial choices that make for great comedic filmmaking (whether simple or complex), as they develop their material, under the guidance of a well-seasoned, and lightly-flambeed, comedy director. The idea is to get your project as camera ready (or even on camera) by the end of the class. Students will be supported as they face directorial challenges that range from the pragmatic, to the aesthetic, to the philosophical and even the emotional. There will be lecture and discussion elements, analysis of clips, as well as hands on assignments.
Prior to the first class, students will ideally submit a script, scene or proposal for a comedic short (either their own, or someone else’s). They must also revue a series of comedy clips which will be referenced throughout the class.
Topics covered will include:
- The director’s role - A slippery question
- How to make a creative treatment to guide and/ or pitch your project
- Working with a script to get the most out of it comedically
- Performance Tone: what works best for you and your project?
- How to create great preparatory notes for actors
- How to work with actors on set
- Camera blocking and rehearsal
- Visual storytelling - what shots and why
- Using cinematic style comedically
- Production Design approaches
- Comedic use of wardrobe
- The importance of audio
- Editing - story structure, comedic timing, absurd
- Putting together a team
- Working with collaborators