The other week, I was in a narrative intensive taught by Chris Mead and it got me thinking about the world of story. Now, whilst I may not of learnt that much new content because as a Video Editor I work with narrative everyday it got me thinking about the world of narrative as a whole. Narrative may be quite a huge thing in long form improv but it is also just as important in the world of short form improv as well.
In most long form improv sets you have time to let the scene breath and paint a strong picture of all the pictures, the locations and the story. In short form you have to paint that picture in the opening lines of the game that you are playing.
Since doing Chris Meads course the other week, I find myself being really critical with the narratives of television or films that I am watching. I have always been a strong lover of narrative in things due to the nature of my job however, thinking about it in a medy sense is a tad different. When I look at stand up comedians that I admire the most a lot of them don’t just tell jokes, they are also storytellers as well.
I am going to focus on my area of improv for now on and side swipe on the long form. In comedy such as stand up and short form, narrative is really a key for the audience to enjoy a scene and feel attached to it. Due to these both being areas you have to pin point the narrative in such a fast period of time you have to create strong characters, strong locations, actions to paint the scene and if you can round it up with a word or a scene that will bring it back to the first hit that made the audience laugh.
So what I am trying to say with this weeks article is, that do not take ANY improv lesson for granted. You may of been doing improv for only a few months or a few years and think you know EVERYTHING but that isn’t the case – a lesson you have done time and time again can always lead to new ideas and routes.
Also, Chris asked us what were some of our narratives we have seen lately that we really admire – i could of gone on for ages about this in lesson but I couldn’t so here are a few that I have recently adored and my reasons why:
* Series of Unfortunate Events – I never liked the film, ever, I used to find it annoying and only watched it because Jim Carrey was in it. However, when they announced the Netflix television show I thought I would give it a go – again because I was a huge fan of the lead actor – Neil Patrick Harris. I started to watch it not expecting much and it has blown my mind. It is so good – the narrative is set up so welll, it is casted well and Neil really does steal the show. I really reccomend a watch.
* The Amazing Spiderman – I got into thse films very very late, I loved the Toby Maguire films (apart from the third one, i mean really? ) so when they announced they were revamping it i was angry. I watched the first one with Andrew Garfield when it came on to Netflix and only the otehr week watched the second one and was pleasantly surprised. The narrative is built up so so well, the stories are really good and the character development is really strong. From watching the second one I am actually really angry that there won’t be anymore in thie universe, however saying that I am a huge fan of the Marvel Universe films so when I do get round to watching the Tom Holland film I am sure I will like it.
* Gotham – I watched this when it first came out but didn’t watch it in its entirity until it went onto Netflix- this show completley blew my mind, out of all the shows I have watched in recent years, this one definitely has the best character development and such a great narrative. This television show I became so addiced to.