short form / long form
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Does anyone else find people’s use of this terminology a bit ridiculous?
I feel there really isn’t a difference between long form and short form except for the time involved and I’m a bit annoyed at companies who define their work with a tone to suggest one is more or better than then other. Bollocks, they both have pros and cons, benefits and weaknesses. Neither should be hoisted above the other as if only the more highly skilled can achieve this form. Darts or archery it both involves aim and precision.
For me Short Form and Long Form are the same thing when you get to the work, the technique of improvisation and what is called for. They both benefit from, or suffer if lacking, the building blocks of what we know as improvisers. Mainly our narrative skills. A 2 or 3 minute scene falters for the same reasons as a long form and often within the same comparable time frame.
Here are some notes I’ve given on different shows. Have you heard these in shows you’ve been in? Can you tell which are for Short Form and which Long Form?
* “You were thinking ahead and planning. Don’t worry about where it is going, be present in what is happening.”
* “The scene / story had no platform. As a result you started in the middle which didn’t give any foundation. This makes it difficult to step firmly in any direction, so we spin our wheels trying to find something interesting.”
* “The scene / story leapt into instant conflict.
If conflict comes too soon, with little platform, then you are trapped.
Your choices are
1/ to resolve the conflict, which feels like cancelling the offer and nothing happened
2/ to intensify the conflict, which creates a narrative of just repeating yourself.
3/ one person could die, loose or surrender. Yet, without platform we don’t fully understand the stakes, and unless someone is changed there is no point.
* “Whose scene / story was it? Not everyone can play the lead. If we don’t know then how can we create the challenges for our hero or villain. Who are we trying to change and effect?”
* “This scene / story should of ended much earlier. It was hard for you to find the ending because no one really knew what the scene was about.”
* “This scene / story had too many endings. They kept popping up and you just keep playing past them. It would of have much more impact if you had taken one much earlier.”
Could you tell which form for which note? You’ve probably guessed it, I’ve given these same notes for both forms.
The notes are the same, because the work is the same. Underneath the form, however you want to dress it up, the work is the same!
As I said they both have benefits. Short form allows more variety and you are not locked into a story that may be going nowhere, long form allows for more depth of character and theatricality. YET short form could benefit from depth of character and theatricality and long form could benefit from variety and the ability to get out of a story that is going nowhere.
in truth, I enjoy them both. As long as I’m playing with people who are there to inspire, play and allow it to happen it doesn’t matter the shape or length - it is in and of itself a joy.
Play what you like, enjoy them both for what they bring. Let’s stop this one is better than the other because it requires more skill or talent crap.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
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