Thursday, 7 February 2013
The simplicity of this sketch is what makes it so remarkable. One man on stage with a stool. One man off stage with a drum kit and you have the makings of a perfect comedy moment.
However, I couldn't help thinking about what must have gone into the creation of this performance. I stopped seeing five minutes of entertainment and instead marvelled at hours of planning and preparation, impeccable timing and a comic genius whose acting makes us truly believe that there is actually a full drum kit sitting in front of him, with a curious cat wandering onto set just at the right moment! And let's not forget of course the years of honing his craft.
As part of my day job, I recently created a two minute video sketch which was used at a conference. It took HOURS to make! First there was the research, writing and fine tuning. Then we had to source costumes and make up, find a location and set. On the day I even had to find a bevy of strong men to help move an incredibly heavy board table that was blocking my cameraman's view. Filming took four hours (acting is definitely not their usual day job!). Add to this editing and final tweaks and a simple two minute film became something of a cinematic marathon.
It was worth every effort though when the audience laughed in all the right places and memories of our VPs for Sales and Finance impersonating Austin Powers and Dr Evil will be indelibly printed on memories for many years to come! The hours and labour were forgotten - the final delivery was everything.
As creatives we don't need our audience to think too deeply about what has gone into our output. The end result, is after all the most important thing. The bit that goes behind it is all part of the magic - the secret wand-waving and ingredients we mix together to create the simplicity of the marvel. I rather like that.