In the last several years, many Indonesian stand-up comedians are involved in the making of the country’s films, whether in the title role, as a cameo actor, even as the director. The year 2015 sees the trend peaks. As of August 2015, at least 15 Indonesian films, both comedy and non-comedy, have featured the country’s stand-up comedians.
To name but some of them, 2015 comedy movies featuring stand-up comedian casts were Air & Api (Abdur Arsyad), Epen Cupen the Movie (Babe Cabiita), Lamaran (Arie Kriting dan Mongol), Catatan Akhir Kuliah (Muhadkly Acho), as well as Love You… Love You Not… (Kemal Pahlevi dan Fico Fachriza). Whilst the non-comedy ones showcasing stand-up comedian talents were CJR: The Movie (Arie Kriting dan Ernest Prakasa), LDR (Muhadkly AchoI), Toba Dreams (Boris Bokir), as well as Surga yang Tak Dirindukan (Kemal Pahlevi).
It is fair to deem, the trend started at the success of Cinta Brontosaurus, a 2013 movie starred by stand-up comedians Raditya Dika and Soleh Solihun, recording a sales of over 890.000 tickets sold. Next in 2014, Comic 8, an action-cum-comedy movie, showcased an all-star cast of stand-up comedians for its main characters: Arie Kriting, Kemal Palevi, Ernest Prakasa, Babe Cabiita, Fico Fachriza, Eastern Star, Mongol, Mudy Taylor, as well as senior stand-up comedians Pandji Pragiwaksono and Cak Lontong.
Now, what factors draws these stand-up comedians into being involved and featured in the country’s newly-launched movies? Pandji Pragiwaksono, Indonesian rapper and senior stand-up comedy artist, described some of the factors, during the “From Standup Comedy to Film” talkshow, as part of Artvolution 2015’s series of event held by BINUS INTERNATIONAL in BINUS NORTHUMBRIA SCHOOL OF DESIGN (BNSD) Campus, FX Mall, 6th Floor, Friday (4/12).
In Pandji’s view, 5 factors contribute to a stand-up comedian’s getting a role in a film. First, stand-up comedian has the capability of writing. They are unlike other film actors that do not all posses the ability to write. “Writing is a basis for stand-up comedy artists,” asserted Pandji who was inspired for a stand-up comedian career after watching Robin Williams’ DVD, “Live on Broadway”.
Second, it is timing or the ability to perform humor at the right time. Third, it is relatively easy for a stand-up comedian to memorize his or her script because they compose their own stand-up material. “This is obviously crucial because both a stand-up comedy show and a movie need this expertise,” said Pandji. Fourth, a stand-up comedian needs high sensitivity of comedy. Having this, the comedian can make people laugh without having to speak a single word. “Take Babe Cabiita for example. Without a script, he can be funny. Simply with his gestures,” revealed Pandji. Fifth, stand-up comedians don’t fear mistakes. With this kind of mentality, a stand-up comedian is free to explore and invent new contents and techniques of delivering the content to his or her audience.
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