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Assuming you've done as directed you may have noticed a unifying feature of the clips this month. In coincidental follow-up to my post about the Abba parody earlier this month, the production values of the clips are all rocketing away from the comedian-talks-to-their-webcam style (in plentiful supply in earlier shows) and towards TV-esque micro-series with cut scenes, green screens, subtitles and rolling credits. One in particular even has a blooper reel on the end of it.
With lockdown forcing all performers into a screentime or die scenario it seems many have taken the time to pick up a copy of iMovie or equivalent and set about getting their work out to the biggest audience possible by playing a glossier game.
In this fortnight's show Jack Kelly moves into documentary parody featuring a cast that includes his mum, Aimee Cooper goes the classic route of addressing you directly through the camera as a member of her fitness group (complete with green screen background), Marty Gleeson present the third episode of her ongoing one woman sitcom, Zachary Slater goes mad with Powerpoint, Tom Short and his partner Rhiannon are up to episode thirty two thousand of their travel and lifestyle mocumentary and Gaz Smith produces an entire noir pastiche with the aforementioned blooper reel. This leaves just myself powered by green screen and some, occasionally awkward, dubbing + a straight to camera song by Mark Rodrigues that in this new context actually looks like a deliberate act of indie-inspired minimalism right down to the point that he leans forward to turn off the camera at the end.
Regarding the rights and wrongs of this new normal I'd conclude that no-one knows right now. High production values often make for better viewing but conversely they can delay getting an idea out quick enough for it to be relevent. From my own experience it's quite apparent how little content is going out that is based on current events - beyond a general nod towards Covid-19. When you spend time and effort on something you want it to last so a joke about a dodgy quote from a politician or commentary on a soon forgotten event seems like a waste of time. Perhaps it's just best left to Have I Got News for You and its awkward no-audience atmosphere for the while. Then again, maybe someone will come up with something that works. At the moment there are a lot of unknowns and its actually quite exciting to be observing and being a part of it.
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