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The Deconstruction w/Piero Procaccini – session 5 . . .

    Session 5:

Running (Callbacks, Tangential information, Momentum, Memory)

Notes from Piero are in CAPS.

Memory-based. Any information you want to use this is the moment to use it. Normally anything goes in a run except new invention of material. Is something new is invented it must be followed up on. Momentum versus content becomes the most important element in a run.

Techniques to push momentum – energy of the scene should vary, recognize the distinction between scene energy and the run’s energy, and the use of edits.

Types of edits at use – ***TAGOUTS AND WALKONS ARE NOT ACTUALLY EDITS. EDITS, TAGOUTS AND WALKONS ARE BASICALLY THE THREE DIFFERENT INTENTIONS BEHIND A PLAYER WALKING ONSTAGE.

Edit – This edit changes the time, space, characters.

Tag-out – This edit changes the time and space, but the person that remained on stage from the last scene is still the same character.

Walk-ons – This edit changes nothing between the two people on stage but may add more to the space that already exists in the scene being entered.
SCENE PAINTING AND MOVIE TECHNIQUE ARE BOTH DEVICES THAT OFTEN SERVE TO INCREASE THE MOMENTUM OF A PIECE.

Scene Painting – Environment through description. This technique is different from narrative because it doesn’t make assumptions onto the scene but just provides technical information without bias. Is used to transition from one scene to another, involves the whole group jumping in fast, the person on stage should only describe one or at most two things. Think to add one piece of info and someone should be editing. (YES, IN SCENE PAINTING – AND AS I MENTIONED, I’M BEING REALLY PICKY HERE – I PERSONALLY PREFER TO FOCUS ON SHOWING INSTEAD OF TELLING. I THINK WE GET MORE OUT OF DESCRIBING A SCENE PREGNANT WITH MEANING INSTEAD OF NARRATING WHAT DEFINITELY HAPPENED. AS AN EXAMPLE, “ON THE FLOOR OF THIS HOTEL ROOM, WE SEE A TRAIL OF CLOTHING, LEADING TO THE BED, BY THE DOOR IS A MEN’S SPORTSCOAT AND A WOMAN’S BLOUSE, THEN A SHIRT AND TIE, THEN A SKIRT, THEN PANTS, AS WE APPROACH THE BED WE SEE A WHITE LACEY BRA AND PANTIES AND A PAIR OF BOXER BRIEFS. UNDER THE COVERS, WE MAKE OUT THE FORM OF TWO BODIES IN AN EMBRACE.” TO ME THIS IS MORE POWERFUL THAN “WE SEE A HOTEL ROOM WHERE TWO PEOPLE HAVE JUST HAD SEX.” IN NARRATING YOU ARE AN OMNISCIENT FORCE THAT IS GIVING INFORMATION WE MUST TAKE ON FAITH. IN SCENE PAINTING, YOU ARE DESCRIBING ONLY WHAT A VIEWER MIGHT OBSERVE ON THEIR OWN AND YOU ARE ALLOWING THEM TO COME TO THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS. BOTH ARE FINE, BUT I FEEL THAT SCENE PAINTING IS MORE SOPHISTICATED AND INTERESTING FOR AN AUDIENCE. HOPE THAT MAKES SENSE.)

Movie Technique – This should be of things that you cannot see but can only portray through description (camera shots), “You pull back and see . . .” again a group activity. If a character is being followed the character is still on stage miming the description being given.
Transformational – This is more symbolic in description. E.g., “you see a record spinning on a record playing, as it spins it turns into the wheel of a bus.”

Exercise –

YEP, ANYTHING YOU MIGHT OBSERVE DONE IN A MOVIE IS FAIR GAME IN MOVIE TECHNIQUE: CROSSFADES, SMASH CUTS, TRANSFORMATION, ETC.

Edits, tag-outs, and walk-ons.

Edits, tag-outs, and walk-ons with only eye contact and audio cues. To whom you make eye contact is the person that you are doing a scene with. Start the scene from the sides by initiating dialogue.
Scene painting and movie technique. (YES, WE CAN DISTINGUISH BETWEEN EDITS, TAGOUTS AND WALK ONS THROUGH THE USE OF EYE CONTACT. IF WE GET GOOD AT THIS, IT ADDS A REAL FINESSE TO OUR SHOW.)

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About improvunderdogs

A fan of improv and using it in a variety of ways. This blog is part of our quest to make improv more valued in the community.

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