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Shooting Comedy


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#1 Rory McGuinness

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:15 PM

Hi everybody,

I'm a film student DPing a comedy project for the first time. Any recommendations for films to watch?

I'm know Gordon Willis' work with Woody Allen. And all the Hal Ashby films look beautiful to me (Willis, Alanzo, Chapman, Kovacs, Wexler, Deschanel). But I want to study as many different approaches as possible, and I'd appreciate any favorites you can throw out.

Also, feel free to spout off on your own personal theories about what to do/not-do with a camera when you're trying to make people laugh.

Thanks!

-Rory
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#2 Phil Soheili

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 04:29 AM

Any recommendations for films to watch?


LA VIE DE BOHÈME
France/Italy/Sweden/Finnland 1992
Script and director: AKI KAURISKÄKI, DoPh: TIMO SALMINEN
FORMAT: 16:9 ANAMORPH · B/W · LENGTH: 98 MIN

;)

Cheers, Phil
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:03 AM

Besides the Woody Allen / Gordon Willis movies, check out "Local Hero" and "Comfort & Joy", shot by Chris Menges.

There are several sub genres of comedy so it's hard to get too specific with rules, but then general one is that comedy plays in looser shots while drama plays in tighter shots. This is mainly because humor often comes from relationships -- person to person, person to situation, person to object (a prop for example) -- so you often want to see the relationships in one frame, if you have to cut for the punchline rather than have it develop from the shot, it's a bit forced unless the joke is a reaction shot of someone watching the proceedings. Buster Keaton was a master of physical comedy, both in performance and in shooting, so watch some of his movies. In "The General" he created one of the most expensive shots in the silent era, a train crashing off of a burning bridge... but the humor came from then cutting to the deadpan reaction of the general who ordered the train to cross the burning bridge because he said it could make it.
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Glidecam

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc