Readers of this blog (Hello Mum), will know that I have been putting together a sketch show pilot with a lovely bunch of writers, performers and assorted creatives, called SPLENDID.
Well. The day is almost upon us to start filming it.
Sixteen sketches will be shot across eight days, that commence on Monday April 20.
I decided, early on, that each sketch should have a high production value, and feel like a mini-film unto itself in look and feel, and now I'm realizing just what that means!
Sixteen short films in eight days! That is surely the way to madness?
Each script has it's own identity and it's own location, and set of characters, requiring specific props, and costumes and even wigs (Ah, yes... wigs.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not moaning about how busy I am. Far from it. I love the madness of it all.
The pre-production of Splendid has produced some of the most bizarre conversations I have ever had on the phone or in person. This last week I have been asked... "Does the chicken have to be alive?", "Will the man in the leotard actually be interacting with the sheep?", "Do you see the goldfish actually talking?".
I guess that's my fault for creating a silly sketch show.
I don't think you can analyse comedy too much. I think it's either funny or not. And, it's crucial to realise not everyone will find it funny, because "silly humour" is very specific. Hopefully, funny bones will be tickled and grown men and women will smirk and giggle as our flights of fantasy come to life.
I will most likely blog some more about the process of creating comedy, once this is all done. But for now, I'd like to offer a few initial impressions on it so far.
Rehearsing. Crikey. I have to say. I always advocate rehearsing before a shoot. But with comedy its absolutely essential.
When the performers act out a sketch you quickly see whether it works or not. Some sketches, that work well on the page become even better as the performers invest the characters with life and colour, and improvisations expand whats on the page and take the comedy to another level.
It's my job to make sure what we loved in the sketch in the first place makes it onto screen.
I can't wait!
So, for now, I'll be on my way. With the "live" chicken arriving on set at 10:00am on Monday, April 20.