Jackie Chan : How To Do Action Comedy
Who does not know about Jackie Chan? His movies are full of acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself. As a child I was obsessed with Jackie Chan’s stunts and I even tried to imitate some easy ones and fortunately never got hurt. But Jackie got hurt numerous times.
Anyone can be a Superman, but nobody can be Jackie Chan. -Jackie Chan
Yes.. yes.. I get it. There are many other actors/directors who work in action comedy genre but never got as successful as Jackie Chan. These days when you watch an action comedy, the action does not gel with the comedy and vice-versa. Either the movie focuses more on the comedy or action and even if someone tries to combine both you get comedy and action two different styles by two different directors. But for Jackie action is comedy.
So what makes him different? Well the answer has been provided by the Tony Zhou in his video essay which is very easy to understand.
So that is the secret behind the king of action comedy! Well I am not at all surprised by the patience and perfection of Jackie. When you watch his movie’s credits you see at least 10 minutes of bloopers and easily realize how hard he works on his films. Following are the main points of how does Jackie create action which is funny.
- He gives himself a disadvantage. In all his films he starts beneath his opponents. From this point he has to fight way back to the top. Each action creates logical reaction and by following the logic we get the joke.
- He uses anything around him to create action and comedy. Take something familiar and do something unfamiliar.In this way he provides jokes which we haven’t seen.
- He like clarity. He does’t do dark scenes which are color corrected. He uses contrast costumes. If the opponent is wearing black he wears white. His framing is so clear that in every shot he setting up the next bit of action. He hates handheld shots and dolly moves and rarely use them. So wide frame static shot gives you action and reaction in one shot.
- As a perfectionist Jackie Chan is willing to do as many takes for a perfect shot. Sometimes it takes days and sometimes months for a perfect shot. Today most of the actors and directors don’t have that patience or budget.
- Jackie Chan might be invincible in his movies yet he feels pain.He gets hurt a lot.
- Jackie’s style always ends with a real payoff for the audience by fighting from the bottom he converts it into a spectacular finish.
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