Category Archives: TV

Bocche Fresca

Web promo for the Bocche Fresche Comedy Show – August 6th, 2010 in Montreal.

Directed/edited by Simon Fraser; produced by Daniela Saioni; written by Sandra Battaglini and Daniela Saioni; cinematography by Emerson John; sound recording by Kathleen Shattock; hair/makeup by Maia Nicole Mitchell; music by Jim Clayton; starring Sandra Battaglini, Raffaella Diana, Daniela Saioni, Mark DeBonis, Marco Bernardi.

The 30-second spot plays on local Montreal TV in the weeks leading up to the event.

Monkey Heresy, Monkey Heredo

What is going on with God these days? I mean, isn’t God supposed to be all-powerful? And yet, if many of God’s followers would have you believe, God is about as powerful as a 98-pound wimp getting sand kicked in his face at the beach and as precious as a baby in a cradle hanging tenuously from a tree branch on the side of a cliff.

The guys from South Park got death threats recently because apparently they depicted Mohammed in a mascot bear suit. To the people who issued these death threats, I would love to ask, “Is the perception of your deity so weak that it cannot withstand mockery?”

After all, it is mockery – the second lowest form of comedy. And you want to kill someone over it? Really? I submit to you that perhaps you just want to kill someone. And South Park is simply your raison d’etre du jour.

Elsewhere, I read a comment in a discussion thread that sprouted from an article about Stephen Hawking’s recent revelation of his fear of alien contact. The comment was from a Christian who was complaining about all the heresy he had to endure in reading the article and the discussion that followed.

Again, just as with the issuers of Islamic death threats, I would love to ask Christians who complain of heresy, “Is the perception of your deity so weak that it cannot withstand an idea?”

After all, it’s only an idea – it doesn’t actually exist. No one’s putting your deity in the middle of a street in Pamplona, where actual trampling does occur. And you want to shut someone down about it? Really? I submit to you that perhaps you just want to shut someone down. And square pegs make for the easiest of targets, don’t they?

We can put a man on the Moon but we can’t cure the lowest common denominator.

Some tips on videos submitted to the Canadian Comedy Awards

As the guy who has processed all the submissions to the Canadian Comedy Awards from 2008 to present, I’m fortunate to find myself in a position where I get to view all of the videos that are submitted. This builds the great pride that I have in my peers and my culture on an annual basis.

However, it can sometimes be frustrating when a submitter has not really done everything they can to put their best foot forward, video-wise. So I give to any who might care some pointers for videos that accompany your submissions to the Canadian Comedy Awards.

For the record, I’m publishing these tips independent of the Canadian Comedy Awards. These tip are my best practices. So if you have any issues with what I’ve written here, take it up with me or comment below; don’t waste the time of anyone at the CCA’s.

My hope here is that it becomes easier for jury members and voters to be able to judge the quality of the talent, rather than the quality of the tape.

  1. We Need To Understand What You’re Saying
    It is almost impossible to judge a cacophony of voices echoing in a large room or anything quieter than a stage whisper. Ensure that the people in your video can be heard AND understood. Otherwise, jury members and voters may not have any basis to judge the submission.
  2. We Need To See Some Faces
    It is hard to make out little white blobs at the other end of a performance venue. Ensure that the people in your video are recognizable. Otherwise, jury members and voters may not know who they’re supposed to be judging.
  3. We Need To Know Who’s Who
    If you are submitting to one of the single artist categories (such as Male Improviser or Female Improviser) and everybody in your video is wearing the same kind of outfit, identify which one of the similarly-adorned people you are submitting. For instance, in your video notes, write “[Name of submission] is wearing the red tie.” Otherwise, as above, jury members and voters may not know who they’re supposed to be judging.
  4. What Everybody Else Does
    The majority of submissions to Live categories are delivered as audible video recordings from live performances. We can see the visual elements of the performance and hear the sounds of the performance. Some of them are edited highlights, some of them are a continuous clip.

    Most TV and Film submissions submit video of entire episodes or films with their selected in and out points for their jury and voter clips.

    Radio submissions submit MP3 files or audio CDs.

    Web Clip submissions submit their entire web clip.

    If you stray too far from how everyone else has assembled their videos, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. If you submit a montage of shots without audio and set to music, you may have made a nice music video but you’ve probably wasted your submission fee.

  5. Jury Video & Voter Video
    With the exception of the Web Clip category (which shows the full clip), you have a maximum of 15 minutes for your Jury Video and 2 minutes for your Voter Video. I have to embolden this because every year, many submitters screw the pooch on this.

    If you go over the maximum amount of time for your clips, your clips shall be chopped off at 15 and 2, and no one will hear that punchline at 15:05 or see that hilarious sight gag at 2:03. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Jury clips have a maximum of 15 minutes running time but do not have a minimum running time. So you do not need to scrounge together a full 15 minutes if you only have an exemplary 10 minutes, or an exemplary 5 minutes… or 7 minutes. Fifteen is only the maximum.

    Edited videos are allowed. You can make a highlight reel from multiple performances, suffice that they all occurred within the respective awards year. So choose your most exemplary content. Use clips that feature your submission. Do not use clips in which the first appearance of the artist you’re submitting is five minutes into the clip.

  6. E. I. Y.
    The Canadian Comedy Awards does not edit video for you. You cannot specify multiple in and out points in your submitted video and expect CCA staff to patch those together. If you want to use multiple clips to build your jury or voting videos, you need to get these clips edited yourself before submitting them. Otherwise, you’ll get a phone call or email and you’ll have to pick which one of your in and out points you want to use, and the rest of them will be ignored.
  7. Direct Messages & Commentary
    Do not directly address jury members or voters in your videos, in overlaid text, voice or image. In other words, do not insert “VOTE FOR ME!” messages into your videos. Any additional production to your videos that directly addresses jury members or voters will be cut out of your video and, in the most extreme cases, your submission will be disqualified.

    Do not insert commentary into your video. Any commentary in your videos will be cut out of your videos and, in the most extreme cases, your submission will be disqualified.

  8. Aspect Ratio
    All jury members and voters view videos in a 4:3 aspect ratio. If the submission video(s) you send are already in 4:3, no change to the image will occur. If the submission video(s) you send are in 16:9 or any other ratio, they will be letterboxed at the top and bottom to fit a 4:3 ratio.

    If you’ve made an aspect ratio error in your post-production process and you have a stretched or crunched image in your submission video(s), it will not be corrected. What you send is what gets viewed by jury members and voters.

  9. Your DVD
    Please ensure that your submission DVD is not set to auto-play AND chapter menus are not removed.

    There was once a huge mix-up because a DVD that was submitted was set to auto-play and the menus had been removed and the submitter failed to indicate that there was more than one chapter on the DVD. The result was that the jury in that category was viewing a video that barely contained the artist for whom it was submitted. Fortunately, this particular mistake was corrected before the jury process ended but it could have easily been prevented by the submitter by NOT setting to auto-play and NOT removing chapter menus.

  10. Just The Facts
    To avoid confusion in the processing of your submission, do not put video content on your DVD that has nothing to do with your submission. Your submitted materials should not require a goose hunt to process them. If your submission DVD has your submission videos plus some other stuff you’ve done, MAKE A NEW DVD THAT DOESN’T HAVE THE OTHER STUFF. TV episodes and films are the exception here since they are typically submitted in their entirety.
  11. Multiple Submissions per DVD
    You can put more than one submission’s clips on the same DVD, as long as you list all the submissions’ tracking numbers on the DVD. For example, if you are submitting a film that has 1 submission each in the Film Directing and Film Writing categories, 2 submissions in the Male Film Performance category and 3 submissions in the Female Film Performance category, send the one DVD and label it with the tracking numbers for all 7 submissions.