I came across a video of Rowan Atkinson playing an invisible piano, which made me think about the whole creative process from the idea to the final video:
Just from this simple bit, there is a lot that can be learned about creating, acting, shooting, lighting, producing and delivering a media piece. I want to make a simple analysis, try to guess and describe the stages from the idea to the video being posted on YouTube.
This scene has most probably started just as an idea in someone’s head – playing an invisible piano. Then, they needed to present the idea to the people that will be involved. A piano piece had to be chosen to suit the concept. Then they needed to contact the copyright holders for the piece to pay for using it, if needed. Meanwhile, the actor and director, with the help of professional piano players and probably a choreographer as well, must have started rehearsing the act. At the same time, the director and the lighting engineers had to decide how the scene should be lit and what type of equipment they would need. Of course, that also means a suitable costume for the actor – the whole aesthetics of the act had to be decided. As we can see, they are using the contrast between black and white, dark and light, to create the impression of artistism, the cliché of art and musicians, a bit grotesque and as a result – funny.
Apart from the creative process, there is a lot more involved. Since this act has been presented in a theater, they had to negotiate and organize the whole event, including booking a scene, advertising the event, ticket sales, etc. The act involves lighting, background music – so they needed the lighting engineer, as well as a sound engineer. They also needed a team for filming the act – a cameraman, a director and an editor. When the footage was finally ready, it must have been broadcast via television, and then, some years later, digitized and uploaded to YouTube.
Here is another wonderful act, again with Rowan Atkinson, this time playing invisible drums:
And last, a short inverview with the actor about Mr. Bean, Blackadder and ‘living’ with the character