Brief for Comedy Films Coursework


I am going to change the film ‘Way out West’ by ‘Oliver Hardy’ and ‘Stan Laurel’. I am going to modernize the film so that it would be like a film which would be created at present time. I will have to follow the key concepts of comedy films and the story line of the film will be kept the same. There will be a different cast of actors and actresses and there names will have to be different from the film in 1937.

The generic conventions for a comedy film would be the following:

* Narrative

* Setting

* Someone to laugh at

* Someone to laugh with

* Someone to sympathize with

* Happy Ending


* Facial Expressions

* Goal/Objective

* Innocence

* Moral Messages

* Female Role

A comedy needs a Narrative because this is basically the story line. The story line in comedy film will usually straight forward. For example in the film ‘The Nutty Professor’ the basic story line is about a fat person who wants to be thin and faces problem while doing this. The setting tells the audience whether the subject which is happening at a certain point is an everyday situation or whether it is over exaggerated. For example the time of day would change the effect on the audience because if it was a dark stormy night then you would know that something bad was going to happen but if it was a bright sunny day then you would expect things in the film to be happy which is usually were the comedy falls into place rather than the sad parts were the audience sympathizes with the actor/actress.

A comedy film needs someone to laugh at because if this was not included then the film would most probably not be funny at all. The person who you laugh at is usually the key actor/actress and usually brings down the tension or sadness from part of the film. This is the actor/actress who has problems in there life infamilyand social aspects. For example in ‘The nutty professor’ the actor ‘Eddie Murphy’ who play ‘Sherman Clump’ he has problems in his life where he is unable to talk to his family about his problems of being fat and socially he has problems with finding a partner for himself. He wants someone to be sexually attracted to him. Usually in these cases the people get so wound up in trying to do something that they forget about the most important things which can be the moral of the film.

A comedy film needs someone to laugh with also with the person to laugh at. This person is often the protagonist. The protagonist is someone who usually annoys the main actor and causes fights and arguments. This person usually annoys the actor by getting to something or someone before him or destroying the person’s plans. He is also the person who usually teases someone about there physical appearance or the physical appearance of a loved one. It is usually the funniest person in the film for example ‘The nutty professor’ in the means of ‘Buddy Love’ who teases ‘Sherman Clump’ about his physical appearance and also steals the girl of hisdreams.

Someone to sympathize with is usually the key actor. For example ‘The nutty professor’ by the means of ‘Sherman Clump’ who although is the key actor is also the person that the audience sympathizes with and the audience can interact with by the means of some people may have experiences of there physical appearance. There is usually music to match the times where the audience is supposed to sympathize with the person. The music is usually slow tempo and quite high pitched.

Every comedy film needs a happy ending because it makes the audience come out of the film feeling happy about there life and things are supposed to be funny to make you happy so it would not be correct to have a funny film with a sad ending because that may effect the way you look at the film and the story line or morals of the film. The narrative resolves and everything goes back to normal completing the equilibrium.

The music of the comedy film plays a major part in the mood or subject of what is happening. If something sad is happening then the music will be slow tempo and usually high pitched. If there is a funny or happy part of the story the music will usually be of high tempo and up beat. This usually tells the audience in advance whether something good or bad happens.

Facial expressions play a major part in films and are easy to make the audience laugh. The facial expressions can also tell the audience whether the person is happy or sad or whether a happy or sad event is going to happen. Actors such as ‘Jim Carrey’ use facial expressions a lot in there film which is what has made them so popular. The protagonist usually uses his/her facial expression to an advantage. This also sets them apart from the rest of the cast.

There is always a goal/objective in a comedy film because if there wasn’t then what would be the point of the film. There would be no story line to the film and the audience would find it boring.

Innocence can play a part in comedy films where the villain works against the innocence pr the hero triumphs over the villain unknowingly. This could mean that there is a villain but is a part of one person’s feelings or views on a particular subject. The person who is innocent can also be the person that the audience sympathizes with.

Moral Messages is something that comedy films have such as good/bad/, right/wrong etc. These are always followed in comedy films. These moral messages can make the audience think about what they are doing wrong in there own life or think about what they are actually doing right in there life.

Female Role has a major part on a comedy film. The female role is usually has a love interest with the key actor and usually plays the supporting role. The female also creates sympathy for the lead role for example in ‘The nutty professor’ the women creates sympathy for ‘Sherman Clump’ as he wants her to be a part of his life but he can’t get that because things keep going wrong with his life of people keep messing things up for him.