Scott Moran and “Modern Comedian”

Modern Comedian is a new web series by Scott Moran.  Moran, a comedian, follows/films/interviews other comedians.  There will be 10 episodes (at least for this season), 3 are already posted, and new episodes are uploaded on Mondays.

So far:

The episodes are a nice length, scored by very pensive music.  They seem to focus on a facet of the comedian’s act or personality, rather than the comedian’s biography.

Moran on Moran (from his website):

Scott Moran is an up and coming stand-up comedian from Seattle, WA now based in New York City. His material explores his life as a member of the middle class in a silly and sometimes surprisingly poignant, smart-assy manner. Scott is a regular on shows all around NYC and tours the country featuring in comedy clubs and playing indie shows on a regular basis.

From Moran’s interview with thecomicscomic.com:

Were there any other documentary series like this that inspired Modern Comedian? Two things come to mind. The first being the WTF podcast which in my opinion is THE podcast. I know there are a bunch of good podcasts, but I wanted to create something visual where you could learn about a comedian. Also Errol Morris, my favorite documentary film maker, was a huge inspiration.

I love this series and am already hoping for a second season.  I also like finding out about comedians I haven’t heard of yet and this provides a great introduction. Go watch!

 

 

Kumaré

Synopsis:

Sri Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who has come to America to spread his teachings. After three months in Phoenix, Kumaré has found a group of devoted students who embrace him as a true spiritual teacher. But beneath his long beard, deep penetrating eyes, and his endless smile, Kumaré has a secret he is about to unveil to his disciples: he is not real. Kumaré is really Vikram Gandhi, an American filmmaker from New Jersey who wanted to see if he could transform himself into a guru and build a following of real people. Now, he is conflicted — can he unveil the truth to these disciples with whom he has spent so much time, and who now look to him for guidance?

From NY Times interview:

I was meeting tons of different spiritual leaders and teachers, and I’d be saying: “This person is just making something up. Why does everyone else think this is legitimate?” What I saw made me think: “What if I pretended to be one of these people? Wouldn’t that show something about the nature of why people are grasping onto things, especially if I’m going to be saying that what I’m teaching is not real and it’s kind of nonsense?”

I would say I am a skeptical person, and not religious at all, so I can see why Gandhi would want to prove that people are gullible and religion is about blind faith. On the other hand, I would never be able to keep up a ruse this complicated for that amount of time.  Sometimes when I am trying to prank people, I just can’t control my face and I burst out laughing. Furthermore, I would feel soooo uncomfortable with people talking about their personal lives and their beliefs and struggles.  From the interviews I’ve seen, Gandhi definitely did not expect people to accept him so readily and I think he was surprised that people attributed changes in their lives to him.  The documentary follows Gandhi from the development of his “cult” to the unveiling of his true identity.  My impression is that this goes well, rather than turning into a huge disaster, but I guess will have to wait and see.

Here are some interviews from SXSW; they do give away a fair amount of the story:

Motion Typography

How fitting! A motion typography video about a type-face?!? Get outta here! Helvetica is a cool documentary, but you must be interested in the subject or else you will be really bored.

Motion typography, also known as kinetic typography, is awesome. I just love a  well-done commercial or set of opening credits. I like how people make shapes, and move the words and letters, to create art. Maybe one day I will learn how to use Abode After Effects or something so I can make them myself.

The credits of Zombieland are discussed in another PBS Arts: Off Book video.

PBS Arts: Off Book produced this video on typography: how type expresses ideas and information and the balance between a type’s purpose and its artistic value.

Trust Us, This is All Made Up

 

Splitsider has an article on a long-form improv documentary called “Trust Us, This is All Made Up.” Watch the trailer above!

Most of the film features a performance by the duo at the Barrow St. Theatre.  The rest follows Jagodowski and Pasquesi as they look for inspiration and, after the show, as they dissect the choices they made.

TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi are improv partners and Second City alumni. The director, Alex Karpovsky, is currently appearing as recurring character “Ray” on HBO’s “Girls.” The film was an official selection at the 2009 SXSW Festival.

Advice from Jagodowski on improv beginners:

I’m a Sucker for Music from Commercials

I don’t know if it just means that advertisers really have me pegged or what, but I find a lot of great music from commercials.

From the JCPenny commercial with the girl on the see-saw.


From the SuperBowl commercial for H&M with the scantily clad David Beckham

 

From a Red Bull commercial, this song has a very cinematic quality, which may be why is on the soundtrack of a snowboarding documentary (sponsored by Red Bull Media), The Art of Flight.


Also, major congrats to Adele, she is amazing, and RIP Whitney Houston, she will be missed.