Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dying is Easy

I had an interesting 'discussion' with a friend of mine this evening.

He's a budding filmmaker and since I write, we're doing the old collaboration cha-cha. Possibly.

The thing is, he wants to do a short film. I was excited until he stressed that he wanted me to script it in my own personal idiom, aka, sarcastically. In other words, he wants to make a funny short film. The word "Clerks" was bandied about. And I winced. Because I love that movie. I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan. Dude's a genius. But...that's kind of the reason I winced.

Because comedy's hard, folks. It's hard to write (believe me!) but it's even harder to perform. And I'm not talking standup, which is incredibly hard, but rather making a funny movie. And a short one, at that. Humor has a build, so to do it short, you'd better have a killer of a set up and the best punchlines ever.

Drama is clear. Most people won't argue about something being dramatic unless it's unintentionally funny. "Bloodrayne" easily leaps to mind in this category, particularly since the only good performance in that great epic came from Billy Zane, who was clearly laughing at the entire thing just like the rest of us. (By 'us', of course, I mean those who just had to watch the thing in order to verify that Uwe Boll is indeed the worst director in the history of film. He is.) Comedy, however, requires expert timing, perfect delivery, and even more perfect reactions. Or it just ain't funny.

My friend, naturally, feels that the 'company' (as he's starting to refer to all of us he's roped into this grand scheme of working hard for no pay) is up to the challenge. And, of course, he also mentioned that it all starts with the script. Which, in between everything else I've got on that horrible to-do list of mine, I'm pondering. I have three pages as of tonight, and none of the lines are making me laugh. But maybe in the hands of a group of amateur actors, none of whom ever before expressed a desire to be an actor, they'll shine. And maybe the economy will right itself by the weekend.

Then again, maybe I should try something else, a different tack, so to speak. I'm sort of envisioning something kind of like Bloodrayne, only without Billy Zane. Though, one of the guys in the 'company' is a big, bald guy. Hey, maybe this thing has a shot! The heck with aiming us for a "Clerks"-level debut. If I set our bar at "Bloodrayne", we can only do better than that, right?

G.J. Koch

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to rain on anyone's parade...I have been involved with one of those 'little, visionary, every one works for free' film companies. And I work with people who actually work on big budget films in various capacities. Don't waste your time. Give heartfelt good wishes, and get back to writing your stuff.


March 6, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous WKEverhart said...

Mark Twain once said, "Dying is easy;humor is hard." The worse case scenario? You might die from the horror of reviews. If you're up to it..go.!

March 23, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

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