Humour in the Best of All Possible Worlds - Writing and Directing for Film Comedy

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en Smith, Christopher 2012-07-03T09:38:22Z 2012-07-03T09:38:22Z 2012
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how to best proceed in writing and directing acting performance for short film comedy, particularly in the area of independently produced film. The key method of answering this question was the production of a 22-minute-long comedy fiction film, The Good Cop, which the author wrote the screenplay for and directed. This thesis aims to use that experience as a reference point in looking at theories of the philosophy of humour, genre conventions of the short comedy film and what key writers have to say on writing and directing for film comedy. The author concluded that there are many key factors which go into a successful short comedy film, not least the right kind of preparation in writing and acting rehearsals as well as having the right kinds of people involved in both the cast and the crew. Also discovered was the usefulness of a more catholic approach in identifying what is comedy in short film. The author found that a comedy can be placed anywhere upon a spectrum which has narratively-foregrounded structure at one end and joke-foregrounded structure at the other. In film comedy, there is no need to be so strict about what constitutes comedy, given the subjectivity of the material and the variety of narrative functions used in putting across a message to the audience. The author also found that comic design in both writing and directing are best treated as coming from the same stable as dramatic design. There can be specific considerations, such as identifying what is funny and helping the actors to explore their own comedic potential; but also key similarities, such as the need for dramatic impetus and character motivations. The principal conclusion was that short film comedy can be an accessible and useful tool in the independent short film-maker’s arsenal. In understanding the mechanics of comedy and how best to make comedy work, the audience can be more effectively reached and the message delivered with alacrity. en
dc.format.extent 56
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.haspart Short fiction film, The Good Cop (22 min), on DVD.
dc.subject.other Visual culture en
dc.title Humour in the Best of All Possible Worlds - Writing and Directing for Film Comedy en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu fi School of Arts, Design and Architecture en
dc.contributor.department Department of Art en
dc.contributor.department Taiteen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword screenwriting en
dc.subject.keyword directing en
dc.subject.keyword acting en
dc.subject.keyword independent en
dc.subject.keyword short film en
dc.subject.keyword comedy en
dc.subject.keyword humour en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201206102266
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.contributor.supervisor Mäenpää, Marjo
dc.programme Master's Degree Programme in Visual Culture en
dc.programme Visuaalisen kulttuurin maisteriohjelma fi

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