American actor/storyteller Buster Keaton developed his comic style following a certain set of rules and preferences that have influenced filmmakers over the years since, including Wes Anderson or Jackie Chan to name recent ones.
Tony Zhou, whose been doing a stellar work recently at picking less “in your face” topics, digging deep and connecting the dots between storytelling through past and present, just released another amazing video essay through his channel, Every Frame a Painting, deconstructing how Buster Keaton built a gag.
There are 6 elements that Keaton used to build his gags and make a comedy based on visual, as opposed to titles in his time, and fatigued techniques in ours.
#1 – Tell your story through action
Keaton focused on gestures and pantomime
#2 – Never do the same thing twice
Keaton believed that everything he did should be unique
#3 – Find the right camera placement
A good gag on paper will work great or lose power depending on where the camera is placed. (See Zhou’s visual example in the video)
#4 – Build your gag within your world’s rules.
In Keaton’s case, his world was flat, and the characters could only see what the camera could see. Keaton found humor in geometry, using circles, triangles, and parallel lines to accentuate gags within the frame and help the audience read it well.
#5 – Keep yourself open to improvisation
Keaton had 50% of his intentions outlined, and the rest was opened to improvisation and happy accidents
#6 – Never fake a gag
Keaton would do everything himself, and it had to be captured in one take, which gave an undeniable feeling of ‘this is really happening’
You must watch the video below for illustrations of each points and much more. Zhou really managed to pay homage to Keaton through his editing, the pace of the video, and the selection of extracts he picked.
As far as I am concerned, going back to Keaton and looking at how he handled his craft is useful for both directors and screenwriters, to push the envelope and try to move the story forward through actions, as opposed to dialogues.
Massive Attack feat. Young Fathers - 'Voodoo In My Blood'.
“it’s not about the pieces... it’s about how the pieces work together” — ICE CUBE ON EAMES
*this short video featuring Ice Cube on Eames... & we use the quote right on the front page of our website as it speaks directly to our core! iSPARX : By Design.
Pa Dentro / Juanes - by Greg&Lio
Underworld & Iggy Pop - Bells & Circles
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ARTIVIST has posted this a number of times... if you search for Beach Boutique Fat Boy Slim you'll find the PARENTAL ADVICE ARTIVIST badge image on the first page like some sort of SEO freak... it's because we rate this as a gig / event / engagement like no other! Get some Beach Boutique on LOUD! Be Happy like Fat Boy Slim!
1. Intro / It Just Won't Do Tim Deluxe feat Sam Obernik
2. 77 Strings - Chamonix
3. Lazy - X-Press 2
4. Sexiest Man In Jamaica
5. At Night - Shakedown
6. Delicious - Conga Squad
7. Get Me Off - Basement Jaxx
8. Love Story - Layo & Bushwacka
9. Hi Jackers - Glen Masters
10. Long Time - Static Revenger
11. Lord Of The Land - Cylone
12. Born Slippy - Underworld
13. Let Me Show You - Camisra
14. Farfisa - Fusion Orchestra
15. Ke Dolor - Santos
16. Star 69 - Fatboy Slim
17. Hypnotista (ambient dub)
18. I Would Die For You - Space Cowboy
19. It Just Won't Do (dub mix)
20. Pure Shores - All Saints
On 13 July 2002, Fatboy Slim performed the second of his free, open air concerts on Brighton Beach. Although organisers expected a crowd of around 60,000 people, the event instead attracted an estimated 250,000 who crammed the promenade and beach between Brighton's piers. Local police forced the event to end early amid safety concerns, overcrowding, and one death. After the music had finished and the crowd began to dissipate, traffic ensued throughout the Brighton area with many caught in traffic jams until the morning.
In June 2005, Fatboy Slim filled the Friday night headline slot on the "Other Stage" at the Glastonbury Festival. In 2006, Fatboy Slim filled the Saturday headline slot at the Global Gathering festival, Long Marston Airfield in the English Midlands. He played a two hour set, appearing in front of a visual stage set comprising video screens and 3D lighting. A firework display rounded off the show. Having being banned by police from playing in Brighton since 2002, Fatboy Slim was given permission in 2006 to play again in his home town. On 1 January 2007, he played to an audience of more than 20,000 fans along Brighton's seafront. Tickets to the event, titled "Fatboy Slim's Big Beach Boutique 3", were made available only to Brighton residents. The concert was deemed a stunning success by Sussex Police, Fatboy Slim, and the crowd. The Cuban Brothers and David Guetta opened the concert. The next similar event, 'Big Beach Boutique 4', was held on 27 September 2008.