So your boss wants to know 7 things about South Africa, but is completely too afraid to ask.
And we’re talking relevant questions by the water-cooler in case he looks stupid or worse. Like bankruptcy, divorce and gout.
Don’t fret though, here’s a fantastic list of alternative facts about South Africa you can pass along to your employer in the form of an anonymous Post-It note sitting underneath his mouse. Keep Reading
Every podcast with most veterans will include a soundbite that goes something along the lines of “I love playing the villain.”
The antagonist is the best thing about a movie, regardless of the protagonist chosen as the film’s blockbuster drawcard. From Gary Oldman in Dracula, to Darth Vader in Star Wars.
And in comedy, it’s no different. Here’s my Top Five Classic Comedy Villains you have to see.
Alan Rickman in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
While Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman “chewed the furniture”, Alan Rickman gorged upon his lines with relish…and mustard.
It had tremendously help from Kevin Kostner’s wooden Robin Hood to make Rickman’s antics and larky comments that much richer.
Gary Oldman in “The Fifth Element”
In stand-up a joke can be told the same way throughout, yet the performance will constantly change the nuances of the punchlines. And one could’ve delivered a better “Jean-Baptist Emannuel Zorg” quite like theatre great Gary Oldman.
This multi-layered Brit lavishes his character with a Southern drawl and neurotic energy that can never be copied, imitated or perfected.
Thomas F Wilson in “Back to the Future”
Range is a gift and a talent for any actor, and Thomas F Wilson’s many turns as “Biff Tannen” in Back to the Future.
Consider this: he played a rambunctious teenager twice, a self-made business bully and a subservient lacky, a conniving old man AND a villainous, dirty cowboy. Across three movies. I’m still trying to think of a more widely known role any other actor has yet achieved.
Oh and coolest fact I’ve found about a movie yet, Back to the Future is banned in China as they consider time travel “disrespects history.” This means that, potentially, half of the world has never seen Back to the Future.
Rick Moranis in “Spaceballs”
For all the choices above, this list needs a campy, straight-shooting actor who knows when to have fun, and Rick Moranis shone in Mel Brook’s Lucas-blessed parody “Space Balls”.
He provided everything a comedic director would ask for, “Just go out there and be funny.” and Moranis definitely did.
G.W. Bailey in “Police Academy”
While R Lee Eremy as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket” epitomised true military authority most teenagers despised, G.W. Bailey’s turn as the underrated leader Lieutenant Harris in “Police Academy” galvanised the comedic version.
Campy and Napoleonic, the character was the butt of the group’s jokes and the source of recalcitrance for many a youth then and today.
And there you have it. Hope this cheered up your day from the long weekend.
I’ve been thinking about all the internet junk we leave behind and how it amounts to digital pollution.
It’s like the garbage bags that float in the ocean or the space debris that orbits our planet. We create and leave behind so many email addresses, dating profiles and competition entries.
You know that every time you create a fake Facebook account to stalk your ex, someone out there has to switch on a server? A server that requires electricity, air conditioning and extra RAM, just because you need to see how happier she is without you?
We also forget the other possibility that with all this information we keep feeding into this beast could fill it up. What if one day we’re all signing up to a new form of social media and the Internet sends us all a message that says “insufficient space.”
And in voice we’ll all yell, “Awww fuck,” in so many languages.
Tomorrow I wouldn’t mug you for your car, I’d mug you for your email address. The government will send out messages, “please delete your unwanted Twitter accounts. For only 1 Gig free, you can provide an African child with an untapped source of self-esteem issues, and the opportunity to achieve unsustainable relationships…online.”
Ok, so it’s not quite possible for the Internet to fill up. But what if the Cloud acts exactly like a Cloud? When it gets heavy with water, it begins to rain. What will The Cloud do? Will my computer burst open and out will Coe this huge avalanche of cat videos, blog posts and dick pics hitting you in the face?
My question is would you prefer a big picture of a dickpic hitting you in the face, or a picture of a huge dick hitting you in the face?
Teehee. Of course you shouldn’t pirate any TV show, that’s horrible and illegal. But, as classic comedy TV shows go, these Top 5 are the best at instigating humour and laughter without feeling outdated and old. Keep Reading
I starting writing my own comedy shortfilm as a way to create something I thought I never could. I realised too that, in order for them to be made, I would have to make them.
So, I may have learnt a couple of things along the way that most would never know, some know only too well and others forget.
1. Write your comedy shortfilm properly…then ask a friend if it’s funny
It all starts with the story. I have no specific way of writing anything well, as I haven’t as yet. Everything I write down is an experience in line with an experiment.
The format is key too. Learn to write in a screenplay format, there’s tons of tutorials out there, like this one for my last sketch, the Driving Test. It helps because everyone knows the format.
Don’t wait. I could easily wait until a buddy of mine would show up at my pad, beers in hand and ready to dish out some cool anecdote I’ll be inspired to write down, but it’s not so easy for those that don’t come around to mine.
Don’t look to anybody else for inspiration, just write your story. You can, and should however, look to someone else for guidance after writing it. Get their take, receive their input gladly and follow along with whatever advice they give.
Most times, they’ll be right.
2. Get a better camera than what you’ve got, cos yours is crap
Filming your comedy shortfilm with an iPhone is actually ok. In our first one I used two when myself and Joe Emilio filmed our Driving Test one, and it was easy to use.
However, you can tell the quality is lacking, with depth of field and quality of view. So, get a better camera.
If you’re lucky, get a friend who knows cameras. Maybe he is a cameraman. I know one, he’s cool and wants to do more sketches. I’ll keep at it.
3. Keep it simple, don’t try to redo Police Academy
The first time was with me a Joe, the next with Nathan and a few more. The following was a huge undertaking and it didn’t pan out as well as I would’ve liked.
Focus on the simpler tasks first. Write all your stories, but then focus on the ones you can practically pull off on a shoestring budget with minimal fuss.
It takes a lot to coordinate extras, props, main leads and continuity. Keep it between friends. The bigger stories can be created later when more people follow and believe in you.
4. No beer on set, your grip will let go
I learnt that from my last big production. Don’t bring alcohol to the set as people will start fooling around and make unnecessary noise while director and cinematographer speak.
Keep to simple snacks, drinks and sandwiches. But no alcohol, trust me. It will spare you time.
5. Learn to edit yourself, cos no one else will
That’s my biggest joy of the whole process, the editing phase. I love taking what Iv’e written down, then organising all the clips into one big mess.
And be prepared, this is the most time-consuming part. You will get frustrated with the files you have to sort, the audio you have to bring together and syncing both all at the same time.
And it’s learning the programs. Adobe Premiere is the industry standard, while Final Cut Pro is the layman’s lazy “professional” movie editor. Go for the latter, it’ll save you time.
As for the art of editing, I can’t teach you that. Watch other things and then mimic them. Reproduce the editing in some of the best films you’ve seen and avoid the worst ones. This will take some research.
6. Take care of the special effects and they’ll take care of you
I mean more about the titles and the lighting, as these affect the mood and how audiences perceive your shortfilm. I’m busy reediting my latest short because the lighting is all wrong on so many places and it bothers me.
Where you can, learn about filters and effects. In one comedy shortfilm I filmed long ago, I’m learning Adobe After Effects to turn it into an old 80’s movie complete with broken film (to hide that we never shot the connecting scenes). It’s excruciating, but in the end worth it.
And invest in taking time to make a cool introduction. There’s plenty of title templates to choose one, so use one that’s right for you.
7. Listen to your sound and make sure they can hear the punchline.
Need I say more? Don’t pass up the opportunity to better your sound. If you feel you can’t hear that one thing, fix it and fake it if you have to.
8. Release it and then don’t expect anything
Marketing your comedy shortfilm is the second hardest thing, as nobody would’ve heard nor care about its premise. And it won’t get many likes.
Mine hasn’t. I know. But I gotta keep trying, as I love the process of taking a story to film. Eventually, someone’s going to like it.