It either works or it doesn’t
Count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you’ve never experienced being on a set when the funny part just. isn’t. working. *Wa wa wa waaa. Most of us have unfortunately had the traumatising experience of staring deep into our client’s fear-filled eyes as the sound of laughter is replaced by the deafening noise of crickets. You see, even though comedy is so layered with different styles, comedy in fact is quite simple (and scary) because it either works or it doesn’t.
You can’t hide a failed joke or missed comedy beat behind models, actors or fancy cars. Making sure you have a director you can trust to bring your comedy script to life on the day is probably one of the most serious decisions you’ll have to make. According to Bevan the biggest obstacle we face in the South African media space is language; ‘You make comedy for the Japanese, you make comedy for the Japanese. You make comedy for the French, you make comedy for the French. But who do you make comedy for South Africa? Who is your audience in a country with 11 official languages? You make physical comedy.’ Think of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin, the many rubbery faces of Jim Carrey, or how about Melissa McCarthy crouched over a sink with food poisoning in Bridesmaids? On paper, disgusting, on Melissa, still disgusting, but comedy gold. But physicality doesn’t have to be over the top at all, in fact, think of the subtle micro-expressions from Steve Carrell or Ricky Gervais in The Office. Physical performance transcends many language and cultural barriers, and it’s Bevan’s same approach to comedy, the focus on physicality as a universal language, that he brings to all his scripts.
Bevan Cullinan and Gaye Leong – Together (in the yoghurt aisle)
Having worked alongside each other in the industry on and off since 2013, Bevan and Gaye’s paths happen to cross a few weeks ago in the yoghurt aisle. Whether it was the probiotics talking we’ll never know, but the two instantly hit it off and within a few days it was official, Bevan was signed to Together Films.
Gaye: You look at Bevan’s showreel and it’s a no brainer. We are so excited to represent one of the best comedy directors there is, who is also an exceptional performance and dialogue director. I’ve worked alongside Bevan in the industry for many years and I know the script is in good hands with him. I trust him.