The Improv Diaries – Part 6 – Improvised Film Scenes

This week in improv we focussed on more scene work and developing the idea of a story. The one thing that we learnt this week was that whatever anyone says you have or are doing in the scene you have to basically go with it!

To explore this we played a game called ‘In The Forest’ this is where a group of us Improviser’s have to survive the imaginary forest and all the imaginary evils it threw at us. The aim of the game is to stay alive and be the last one standing however the other players can trap you and make you die – because like the original paragraph says – when anything happens you have to say yes and keep moving forward.

We then spent the rest of the evening playing out improvised scenes and trying to ‘go with the flow’ to create an interesting situation and to see where everything leads.

Improvised Film Scenes 

This week instead of looking at a comedy act I thought I would look at a different area of improvisation – the improvised scenes in film. If you look at it – it sort of has a similar style as Improv although the only difference is that the actors tend to do it when they think something is needed in the scene or in some cases by accident. Here are just some of the best improvised scenes that are some of the most iconic in film history.

Pretty Woman

When Richard Gere gives Julia Roberts a necklace in Pretty Woman he slams the box shut which ends up making Julia laugh hysterically. Richard Gere did it as a Joke on Julia but it looked so good on camera they kept the scene in the film.

Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back

This is one of the most famous scenes to come out of the huge film franchise, it is amazing how 2 words have ended up being such a great impact on the character and also so quotable. When Han Solo is about to be frozen, Leia tells Han Solo that she loves him – instead of saying I love You Too, Harrison Ford decided the words ‘I Know’ would suit the scene a lot better.

Raiders of the Lost Ark 

Another Harrison Ford improvised scene in a film. In a market place he is faced with a man who is a professional sword fighter and shows off his skills – instead of fighting him like he is meant to, Harrison got really bad food poisoning whilst on set and he spoke to Speilberg about changing the scene and in the end just shoots the sword fighter.

Dumb and Dumber

Jim Carey is known for being a great improviser and apparently a lot of the film was improvised. The part where they make up the annoying sound, and the line ‘We Landed on the Moon’ were all made up on the spot and lead for some of the films comical laughs.

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