Connor Morley’s 6-minute comedy The Scene takes a nightmare that almost every director is painfully familiar with and turns the frustration into comedy: the lead actor cannot remember their lines.
The words marine life scientist find themselves twisted beyond recognition in the hands of lead actor, Edward Vanterbus (Samson Zilic); zoologist is the least atrocious of the many distortions the character’s job goes through. The higher the number of takes goes, the funnier and more outlandish the mistakes get. The director, Connor (played by Morley himself in a filmmaking ouroboros) has no recourse but to work through his escalating frustration (and do a bit of coke on the side).
The film, having the look and feel of a behind-the-scenes docu of an indie, has less than optimal cinematography. It can largely be explained away with the film being the product of a 48-hour film competition. The merit is to be found in the writing, performances, and editing. Vlad Alexandrov as Vlad, for instance, is hilarious in his delivery of, “Look at Method Actor over there,” while the character is, ironically, being criticised for his delivery. The crew cast make their own mark in typical BTS fashion: brief lines and (very) expressive faces.
The Scene takes what it has got—a very short window and the bare bones of a production—and runs with it. For those who have firsthand experience, it will hit very close to their funny bone. Everyone else will get to walk away laughing.
The Scene: Self-Referential Comedy At Its Most Non-Fictional