Buster Keaton : The Original King Of Visual Comedy

Inside the Art of Buster Keaton

<img src="Buster-Keaton-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Buster Keaton Bhushan Mahadani">

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Buster Keaton have you ever seen his movie? If you haven’t then you must. He is undoubtedly the original king of visual comedy. Buster Keaton was recognized as the 7th greatest director by Entertainment Weekly. The American Film Institute ranked Keaton the 21st-greatest male star of Classic Hollywood Cinema in 1999. Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton’s “extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, when he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies.”

Tony Zhou from Every Frame Of Painting has once again come up with another incredible video essay about the Buster Keaton’s visual storytelling, physical comedy, and framing shots for comedic effect. Please check out the video essay first and then we will discuss more about it.

Isn’t that a fantastic video essay? This guy has inspired people like Jackie Chan and Wes Anderson. If you remember I have written about Jackie Chan’s visual style in my previous post. So what can we learn from this guy about visual comedy?

  • Framing is the most important factor for visual comedy. Perfect framing can make visuals funny even if there are no dialog.
  • Comedy should be through only visuals only. Gestures are the great tool to convey comedy. Communicate with audience through actions only.
  • Never do the same action twice. Every single fall is the opportunity to creativity.
  • Buster’s world is governed by only one law. If the camera cannot see it then the characters cannot see it either.
  • He loved the geometry of the shots. He used almost all the shapes in his compositions. You can further read about the Geometry Of A Scene here.
  • Never fake a gag.

There is so much to learn from Buster Keaton who created hilarious funny things 100 years back. I hope you like the post. Get a free ebook by subscribing newsletter above and let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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