Buster Keaton The Art of the Gag

le_cameraman_buster_keaton
French version of a film in which Keaton becomes
a news cameraman to win the favor of a young woman.

clear1
Tony Zhou has an excellent video series called “Every Frame a Painting.” His latest video is about the artistry and logic behind Buster Keaton’s gags AKA stunts. It’s called Buster Keaton – The Art of the Gag. Watch his stunts and see if you don’t agree that they are still funny and delightful. They hold up very well for today’s audience. In Keaton’s day before talkies, title cards were one way to convey the story, much like narration does in some films today. The average was 240 cards per feature film. Keaton’s films averaged only 56 because he was such a good visual storyteller. He used body language and expression and eliminated the need for many cards by telling the story with action. In today’s world, narration is typically used in place of title cards. Both narration and title cards can be a story-telling crutch. It’s always best to let the action tell the story wherever possible.

Surprisingly, Buster Keaton never faked a stunt. Today our movies tend to rely heavily on CGI and editing to “fake” stunts and everything else. It is rare to see stunts that are not edited. For Buster Keaton, if he had to make a cut, he would throw it out. Enjoy Buster Keaton – The Art of the Gag.

PS. His nickname came about at age 6 when he fell down a light of steps unharmed. Family friend, Harry Houdini, called him “Buster.”




Keep Reading...

360° HD Action Camera

A company called JK Imaging has licensed the Kodak name. The agreement enables JK Imaging to manufacture and sell Kodak branded digital imaging products. One of the most intriguing is the Kodak PixPro SP360. It captures 1080p video with a 360º field of view. This 360° HD Action Camera pairs with smart phones via WiFi […]

Read More

GoPro Goes Public

More Than A Camera This company, which makes the camera we videographers love, just made the largest initial public offering of a consumer electronics company in more than 20 years! On the first day of trading the new stock (GPRO) jumped up more than 30%. The only other consumer electronic company to go public was […]

Read More
How to Get a Grant For A Documentary

How to Get A Grant for A Documentary

Learning how to get a grant for a documentary is one of the first skills a documentary producer must learn.

Read More
Airlines regulations litium batteries

New Airline Regulations for Batteries

The airlines naturally worry about battery leakage, fire or explosion. Bad enough on land, but potentially disastrous on an airplane. Last year, the FAA said that lithium-ion batteries were sparking airplane fires once every 10 days on average. The International Air Transport Association is now instructing its 300 airline members to restrict lithium-powered smart bags. […]

Read More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award