What makes for a good comedy film or show? Funny people reading (or improvising) funny lines is not enough; an good director needs to capture (or recreate in the editing room) comic timing, construct shots so that the humor comes through and coach the actors to make sure that the tone of the work is consistent.
Your Pretty Much Pop hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt are joined by Heather Fink to discuss the role of the director in making a comedy (or anything else) actually good. Heather has directed for TV, film, and commercials and spent a lot of time doing sound (a boom operator or sound utility) for productions like Saturday Night Live, Get Out, The Morning Show, and Marvel’s Daredevil.
We talk about maintaining comedy through the tedious process of filming, putting actors through sex scenes and other hardships, not telling them how to say their lines, comedians in dramas, directing improv/prank shows, and more. We touch on include Bad Trip, Barry, and Ted Lasso, and more.
Watch some of Heather’s work:
- Alleged, a short about dramatizing accusations against Steven Segal
- Inside You, a film she wrote, directed, and (reluctantly) starred in
- The Focus Group, a short Heather directed written by and starring Sara Benincasa
We used some articles to bring various directors and techniques to mind:
- “Directing Comedy 101” by Ray Richmond
- “Judd Apatow Talks to Jason Bateman About Being the ‘Anti-David Fincher’ | Directors on Directors”
- “10 Best Contemporary Comedy Directors” by Rafael Sarmiento
- “The Best Comedy Directors in Film History” from Ranker
- “10 Hollywood notables who directed an episode of ‘The Office’” by Mike Rose
Hear more of this podcast at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus discussion that you can access by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.
Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.