Shooting a Movie Genre: Parody

Some things make us laugh, and parody is a popular movie genre that does just that. People like to make fun of things. Maybe you have an idea for a parody that other people would enjoy. If you do, here are a few tips to help you show your parody to the world.

Step 1: Find Support

Very few people can do this alone. First of all, think about the people who can help, both behind the camera (crew) and in front (cast). For crew, you want to make sure that the people you work with will be able to deliver what you want and do a good job. As far as your cast, a couple of things to think about are their acting talents, but also their sense of humor. Do they make you laugh? They may help make your audience laugh.

Step 2: Identify the Purpose

What's the point of your parody? Do you want to spoof a commercial? A music video? Study it and learn their methods. You'll be imitating what they do for laughs. Maybe the camera floats around a lot in a parody; you can have it floating everywhere (especially places that don't make sense. Have fun with it!). But, remember, keep thinking about "What's the point?" because you'll have to return to that throughout production to make sure you haven't strayed from your original purpose.

Step 3: Push It To the Limit

A gigantic part of parody is exaggeration. If someone has sniffles occasionally, make them do it all the time. If a character is strict, you could make them the strictest person who ever lived! You're trying to make people laugh, and seeing things pushed to the extreme is an effective way to do that.

Step 4: Plan It

As you write your script, you're creating a blueprint for production, and this is true whether you're making a two-minute skit or a two-hour movie. If you know your point (see above), you'll have something to go back to. This helps you communicate your vision to cast and crew, so they can help you communicate it to an audience. When you have it scripted, work out a shooting schedule.

Step 5: Direct

Take your project to the set. When you get there, remember that the people you've brought in have a sense of humor, too. Use it. With that, you can leave room for improvisation, which can deliver some great laughs. But with that, remember your point. If the improv doesn't add to the humor, it doesn't belong there.

Step 6: Cut It

Take your parody, edit it together, and look for the timing. Does it make you laugh? Is there room for laughter? Timing is essential in parody, but editing is a great time to refine your timing.

Step 7: Release It

You've finished your parody, and it makes people laugh. Now, get it out there to a bigger audience. Share your vision. There are popular venues on the Internet, like YouTube and Vimeo, and people frequent these often. There are also festivals, including internet festivals. "Withoutabox" is a helpful website for filmmakers looking to share their vision.