A Masterclass in Masterclasses

This mockumentary short about masterclasses in film/directing is not just hilarious, but also smart about it. It's completely self-aware and knows exactly what it's doing. They say brevity is the soul of wit, and where this succeeds is that it's brief. It gets in, tells its story/jokes, and gets out before it's overstayed its welcome. My only regret is that I never made something like this - it's always been a dream of mine to satirize Hollywood in such a clever way, but it seems ClassMasters has gotten there first! Let's jump into the ways ClassMasters is effective as a self-aware mockumentary.

The Humor

The most effective aspect of ClassMasters is its humorous script. In fact, it's so funny and enjoyable that you don't want it to end. I mentioned earlier that its brevity contributes to its effectiveness, but I also see it as a curse because I wish there was more! It plays like a commercial for one of those Masterclasses that you would see Aaron Sorkin advertise, for instance. But instead, it's a parody of that and clearly someone like a Michael Bay is the target of this joke. It plays so well as a parody of commercial directors for Hollywood and it's all the more hilarious for it.

The Lead Performance

Basically the entire short film must be carried by the lead performance, as it all centers around him. As I alluded to, this Michael Bay-esque figure is played to perfection by Graham Currin. His portrayal of the narcissistic Hollywood action director is, dare I say, masterful and it's gleefully irreverent and totally self-aware. I love his charisma and his faux confidence he puts on in this very tongue-in-cheek take on Hollywood's big budget blockbuster craze. As I stated before, my only issue was that there wasn't even more of it.

The Craft

The other primary aspect for the success of this short is the craft on display. I love the effects and the editing that really add to the overall effect of the commercial parody. There are flames that transition us from scene to scene and this is thanks to the crafty editing. The flames, fake explosions, and creative editing all add to the Michael Bay effect that they were going for and they really nail it. The way that this is presented just adds to the hilarity and the self-aware nature of the parody and it just works on every level. I would love to explore more of this crazy man's ClassMasters, if we're to ever get a sequel or a feature length narrative of his life and antics.

The Verdict

What more is there to say about ClassMasters? It's a hilarious and self-aware parody which really nails the culture of big budget Hollywood that only sets out to make money with no real thought put into these productions. Graham Currin absolutely nails this parody with his writing, his lead performance and the direction of this short mockumentary style comedy. Aided by the editing and effects, this Get It Made production just works on very nearly every level. This raucous parody is well worth the two and a half minutes of your time, even if you aren't obsessed with the industry or Masterclasses.

 

Rating: Great

 

ClassMasters is a Get It Made short production and is available on their website, YouTube, and the script is available to read as well. The link to the film can be found here.

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By Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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