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Serious Business. For 30 Seconds. With a cutaway.
June 27, 2012 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Fred Armisen wants you to Be Serious for 30 Seconds.

The Rules:

Rule 1: It has to be serious.
Rule 2: It has to be 30 seconds or less
Rule 3: No more than 2 people in it
Rule 4: At least one 5 second dramatic pause
Rule 5: At least 1 cutaway to an object
Rule 6: Do your best acting
Rule 7: It needs to have a door slamming

[playlist]
posted by quin (28 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
This reminds me of this Eddie Izzard bit
posted by dismas at 7:31 AM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of these are really good. Although I wonder if it still counts as serious if I laugh, like at Armisen's.
posted by DU at 7:33 AM on June 27, 2012


Rule 8: You have to Rep the Blue.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:37 AM on June 27, 2012


Don't keep me hanging, who got the pizza? Also, I love orange doors.
posted by arcticseal at 7:44 AM on June 27, 2012


Hmmm, I wonder why so many people interpret "serious" as "angry, yelling, arguing, mad." You can be serious and not those things at the same time. Kinda scares me a bit...or a lot.

If someone finds a submission that is serious and not so darn negative, please post it so I can restore my faith in the project.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:45 AM on June 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


It has to end with a door slamming so it's probably easiest to work that in naturally if people are "angry, yelling, arguing, mad". Seldom do you get a door slam of hopefulness and opportunity.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:47 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although I suppose it could be like:

(Scene opens on Jamie and Taylor, two gender-neutral names)

Jamie (turns to Taylor): Hey, wanna make out?

(dramatic five second pause)

Taylor (shrugs): Sure.

(Cut away to sunglasses sitting on the table in front of them while they make out blurrily in the background. There's probably some term for it, I don't know anything about film).

(Cut back to Taylor and Jamie who are still making out. They get up, the camera follows them as they head into a bedroom and then the door is slammed in the camera's face.)

(Scene ends. Fin.)

I guess that would be serious and not angry. If someone wants to film this that would make me super happy! Unfortunately I'm the only one home right now or I'd totally do it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:53 AM on June 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is really interesting, but I felt like the example undermined the purpose of the bit. The dramatic music in the background pushed it over the line from "serious" to "ironic serious". Also, I kind of wish he hadn't done an example - there were enough rules to create a structure. It would be neat to see what people create without any further prompting.
posted by heathkit at 7:53 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Compelling in the same way that mob-sourced remake of Star Wars is.

Or compelling in the same way that watching a roomful of cafe patrons through a peephole cut into the wall above the chalkboard menu is. Nothing much happens but it feels like something stupendous will happen soon.

America needs a shave.
posted by notyou at 7:54 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmmm, I wonder why so many people interpret "serious" as "angry, yelling, arguing, mad."

That's what I expected after the first two, but not even all of them linked in this post are that way.
posted by DU at 8:02 AM on June 27, 2012


Man, just seems fun to work on.
posted by maryr at 8:02 AM on June 27, 2012


A lot of these, including Armisen's, seem to violate the 'Be Serious' rule by having elements of absurdity.
posted by teekat at 8:06 AM on June 27, 2012


That said, I think it would be a lot of fun to try.
posted by teekat at 8:07 AM on June 27, 2012


I've realized that what I really need to make my Serious Film is some Barbie dolls to play the parts of the people who make out so if anyone is in the DC area and feels like lending me a couple of Barbies I would be happy to receive a MeFi Mail from you.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:09 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Something can be absurd and serious at the same time. Just because we tend to react to absurdity with laughter doesn't mean it's actually funny.
posted by tommasz at 8:12 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just because we tend to react to absurdity with laughter doesn't mean it's actually funny.

Which makes it good that this is Fred Armisen's idea, because Fred Armisen is outstanding at not actually being funny.
posted by mightygodking at 8:14 AM on June 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Lots of these are playing fast and loose with the five second pause.
posted by Beardman at 8:40 AM on June 27, 2012


Also, I love orange doors.

Hey, I recognize that door! (and breeze blocks).

Ace Hotel, Palm Springs. It's, well, ace.
posted by Conductor71 at 9:55 AM on June 27, 2012


I wonder why so many people interpret "serious" as "angry, yelling, arguing, mad." You can be serious and not those things at the same time. Kinda scares me a bit...or a lot.

Welcome to American dramatic theatre!
posted by Zed at 10:11 AM on June 27, 2012


Metafilter: Nothing much happens but it feels like something stupendous will happen soon.
posted by achrise at 10:24 AM on June 27, 2012


Seldom do you get a door slam of hopefulness and opportunity.

Sure you do, it happens all the time.

Sue excitedly opens door and enters house slamming door behind her.
Close up on face.
"I have great news!"
Dramatic pause as Sue looks around.
Shot of empty couch. Empty recliner. Empty room.
Shot of disappointment appears on Sue's face.
Full shot of Sue shrugging and walking out of door.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:09 AM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not smiling is one of the rules. I think it would challenging to convey excitement and say "I have great news!" without smiling.
posted by gilrain at 11:23 AM on June 27, 2012


No it's not, you just have to be serious.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:53 AM on June 27, 2012


Or in other words, it has to be serious - as in not a joke. There is no rule stipulating you can't be happy. There is a least a couple of videos up with people smilingly in them.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:56 AM on June 27, 2012


Rocket Surgeon: No it's not, you just have to be serious.

Er...
posted by gilrain at 2:07 PM on June 27, 2012


this is really great. tell me if this is a terrible idea, but could we set up a place for mefites to post theirs...you know, where it wouldn't be shitty to do so?

or would that be here?
posted by es_de_bah at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2012


oh...and it has to END on a doorslam, btw.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:34 PM on June 27, 2012


This is probably the most appropriate place to post mefite-submitted contributions to this, yeah. Projects could arguably work as well, but I think here would make more sense and probably get more eyes. I'd love to see some mefites submitting these!
posted by gilrain at 3:45 PM on June 27, 2012


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