We have embarked into filming sketch comedy, again. It was a major part of our organization 5-15 years ago, but we got busy with live Improv shows, classes and private events. Now online, and with many getting burnt out on online events, we have poured our energies back into filming some scripted humor. However, remote filming provide many challenges. We want to get as many involved as we can.
INTERESTED IN SKETCH? How about taking a class? EMAIL us with interest.
We also have online stand-up comedy and Improv comedy classes for ALL levels.
SKETCH COMEDY CHECK LIST – Download the FREE PDF CLICK HERE
- Brainstorm ideas: whether working solo or with a team, bounce around some ideas for sketches.
- Develop ideas: Through Improv, research and other creative development, flesh out ideas, heighten the game, consider your WHO WHERE WHAT
- Rough Draft – get SOMETHING on paper to work.
- Read Thrus, discussion, and rewrite.
- CAST YOUR SKETCH and Discuss Production needs – costuming, props, camera, lights, sound, locations, angles, CHEAP GREEN SCREEN. $1 party store table cloth can be pinned to a wall for close ups. 2-3 can allow full body shot. CAMERA ANGLES – make sure to film 16×9 portrait unless otherwise noted. Think about special effects. What can be achieved simply by actor reacting to an off screen action? How can you adjust story to avoid spending small fortune? What can we do with the talent/resources at hand?
- DIRECTORS It is your job to make sure talent is set up to succeed. The more clear you are the more your actors will deliver for you. Storyboard – sketch out who is where in the space. Direct players to film selves standing with a certain focus. Set deadlines. Be respectful of talent’s time but set goals for completing each step.
- ACTORS FILMING SELF: Consider SELF TAPE techniques. Tripod ideal. CHEAP $5-10 for small cell phone holder can be placed the table top or on the bookshelf. For under $20 you can get a folding tripod that will be great for standing. If doing self tapes these at the minimum are a must. This gives you more options for moving around a room. Natural light is best. Harsh shadows or over exposed faces (WHITE OUT) look terrible and difficult to edit together. GREEN SCREEN options open up possibilities but LIGHTING is key. HARSH shadows or flares make it hard to remove background cleanly. LABEL CLIPS. Save clips as the first line spoken. For simple sketches, you can record ONE line at a time. Save as smaller, easier to transfer files. If doing a lot of green screen and other special effects, actually easier to record multiple lines in one file. I like to render the entire clip with chroma key and other parameters all at once before clipping.
- MAKE CHOICES – If this was a major audition for TV/FILM, how would you attack the material. If you put 100% into the project you will get usable results for your own reels, portfolios etc. What are your character’s goals? What is the inner monologue/subtext of the moment. Give the cheesiest sketches some legit acting considerations and the project will rise to new heights.
- LEAVE SOME BLEED TIME. Act a few seconds before and after each like before cutting away to stop vid. We often lose GREAT take by rushed wrap up.
- CHECK THE GATE – Make sure you got what you intended. I don’t want you to spend a fortune of time. BUT sub par work, cutting of a word and or otherwise making the take useless will destroy all your efforts.
- DON’T DELETE YOUR WORK – after uploading, keep the files until the finished project is posted. If we accidentally delete the files, or you forget to upload something, we don’t want to have to reshoot etc
- POST PRODUCTIONS – what does the editor need to complete the project. Organize all clips in one folder, with images, sound files etc. Establishing shots (Stock photos to set up setting)
LATEST SKETCHES BY CAST AND STUDENTS
- SKETCH TITLE ________________________________________
- Writer(s) ________________________________________
- Director ________________________________________
- Editor ________________________________________
- Cast ________________________________________
- SCRIPT LINK
- PRODUCTION NEEDS
_____ FINAL SCRIPT DUE / READ THRU DATE
_____ FILMING DEADLINE
_____ POST PRODUCTION DEADLINE