Author Topic: Big Field  (Read 774 times)

Big Field
« on: June 23, 2016, 12:12:50 PM »
Big Field is a series of sketches by Darren Dutton and Jonny Roberts.  They make mash-ups of TV shows, then get actors to lip-sync to the audio, acting out the scenarios in a field with props they found on eBay.  It's a brilliant idea that I wish I'd thought of first, as it not only sidesteps the distracting glitchiness inherent in a mash-up, but it also adds another layer of jokes.  I think there's a clear Vic and Bob influence, but it has a style of its own too.

After starting out on YouTube they got picked up by BBC3, who have been releasing a new episode every day this week.  I haven't had a chance to watch them all yet, but I very much enjoyed this one:

https://youtu.be/Jf8s9cTcY-4

It's not the first time Darren Dutton has had a mash-up idea that I was very jealous of.  I first became aware of him after this simple but effective use of the X Factor contestant Wagner:

https://youtu.be/CAKJBzE8a3A

Re: Big Field
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 01:22:59 PM »
…After starting out on YouTube they got picked up by BBC3…

#HoodDocumentary was another YouTube creation that was picked up in that way – something that I’ve found interesting is you can watch the BBC3 ones via its website or YouTube, but not iPlayer. Maybe there’s a good reason for this but seems a bit of a shame. Other than Comedy.co.uk and Chortle, I don’t think I’ve seen Big Field going with BBC3 getting a mention in the media.

…  I think there's a clear Vic and Bob influence, but it has a style of its own too….

Yes, very much agree that it has a style of its own. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Vic and Bob influence, although my first feeling was that it put me in mind of earlier surreal comedians like the Python mob, Milligan and perhaps Feldman (maybe I’m influenced with the latter because I’m reading a biography!).

….
After starting out on YouTube they got picked up by BBC3, who have been releasing a new episode every day this week.  I haven't had a chance to watch them all yet, but I very much enjoyed this one:

https://youtu.be/Jf8s9cTcY-4...

Very occasionally with that one, thought it seemed rather self-conscious and that’s when it wasn’t effective for me. The bits I had in mind was the excessive mugging (particular in close-up) when laughing in the Lorraine segment and the baguette bit – felt like unnecessary forced wackiness. To a degree, that’s nit-picking (especially as this was minor and the other one I watched, Bicycles didn’t have it) but found that when it’s been played straight, it feels natural and works really well.

…….It's not the first time Darren Dutton has had a mash-up idea that I was very jealous of.  I first became aware of him after this simple but effective use of the X Factor contestant Wagner:

https://youtu.be/CAKJBzE8a3A

Ah, that’s interesting – after watching it, felt sure I had seen it before but can’t remember if it was via a friend or (more likely) someone here posted it.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Big Field
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 10:06:16 PM »
Typical. I'm so behind the times. I've just discovered this nearly two years after the last one was broadcast.

Some cracking stuff here, though. It deserves a bigger audience.

Judge Rinder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_dhcZSqLcg&index=4&list=PL64ScZt2I7wGLZMtJ5dXMYnUZtkCQ9Z4G

Pointless.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kypX1Tm3Vi0&list=PL64ScZt2I7wGLZMtJ5dXMYnUZtkCQ9Z4G&index=2

Re: Big Field
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 12:36:03 PM »
These are brilliant, and they completely passed me by until now as well.

Such a great idea. As Robot DeNiro points out, it takes the cut-up to a new place - divorcing it from the original visuals, and enhancing the surreal non-reality of the cut-up with a surreal perfomance on top.

And features Tony Way too. Hello Tony Way, if you still read CaB. I've been working my way through the whole of the Thomas & Way podcast recently. Eeeh, I'm right up to date, me.

Re: Big Field
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 12:44:08 PM »
Fucking hell, just watched this one - Big Melons. I think this might be my new favourite thing.

The great thing is, there's no pounding a joke into the ground, no 'look at me I'm great at editing' showboatery, and you don't even have to know/care about the show that the audio came from.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Big Field
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 01:45:09 PM »
The great thing is, there's no pounding a joke into the ground, no 'look at me I'm great at editing' showboatery

Yes, or to put it another way: the worst thing about it is there’s no joke to pound into the ground anyway and nothing to showboat about because there’s fuck all to it.

I did not find this stuff funny in the slightest. Not wanting to blow too much smoke up your arse, Robot DeNiro, but Cassetteboy is infinitely better than this at warping source material into a new beast and this only wishes it had the range of the still-wonderful The Parker Tapes.

This sort of thing makes me really cringe when I imagine it being at all representative of Britain’s sense of humour. It has a thin entry level of “in the original context, you know this audio was used for light hearted primetime jollity, but here, we’ve made it weird!” and as soon as that wears off there’s just nothing. Look, we’ve took a woman’s voice and dubbed it on a man wearing a dress! WHATEVER NEXT

Re: Big Field
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 02:11:05 PM »
Wow, wouldn't have thought something with this brevity and and density of surreal gags would provoke such a strong rejection.

It has a thin entry level of “in the original context, you know this audio was used for light hearted primetime jollity, but here, we’ve made it weird!” and as soon as that wears off there’s just nothing. Look, we’ve took a woman’s voice and dubbed it on a man wearing a dress! WHATEVER NEXT

I couldn't disagree more - the fact that it isn't a straight audio/visual re-edit divorces it from the context of the show it came from, as opposed to relying on it as the basis of the joke (as you imply).

It sheds the whole 'hey, you know this gameshow right?' recognition (which I hate, as re-edits like like usually require you to 'buy in' to the original show/hosts, and I don't give a fuck about them), and just uses the audio track as the basis for a new demented surreal programme happening in a field.

If the jokes deflect off of you then there's not much I can say about that, but it surprises me considering the amount of laughs I had in such a short space of time.

What I like about it is it takes the incongruity of the edits and makes them make more sense for being incongruous. The edits make the dialogue, but the filmed sketch makes it a bona fide sketch.

Big Field is in stark contrast to something like that Vic Berger stuff someone posted a while back - your criticisms sound more like criticisms of that oeuvre of re-edit. People were praising those for being brilliant and clever, and I thought they were fucking dogshit. Because they exist for the purposes of making camp dramatic edits, and make/extract no jokes in the process.

Re: Big Field
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 04:02:26 PM »
Are they filming in a field because they want to or is it because BBC3 can't give them a decent budget (and calling it Big Field is a way of making a virture out of it)?

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Big Field
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 05:28:08 PM »
From an interview I found

Quote
It's something I've wanted to make for a long time. I've done quite a few online videos where there's people miming to audio I've edited, and I wondered if you could do a whole show like that.

I also like the look of late 60s/early 70s comedy shows like Python, The Goodies, Marty Feldman, Q, which have a lot of film sequences shot on location in the countryside.

It was a really hard idea to try and sell to anyone in TV though, which is why we made a taster off our own back so we could demonstrate what it might be like.

Here's one of the two tasters they made themselves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBy3nSfAwCg

So it is very cheap, but do I like the aesthetic of it.

Also from the interview I finally realised who the narrator in the earlier episodes was sampling.

Quote
My Dad had two jobs when I was growing up - he was a bin man during the day and then Head Flyman at the North Pier in Blackpool at night (they pull the ropes for the curtains and backdrops). On his round, my Dad would often find odd things and bring them home. One time he brought an LP called Country Walking by Jack Hargreaves - some people may remember him from Out of Town and How. And it was hysterical. Over an hour of this man talking about pigs, cows, sheep. And badgers, of course.

So, years later, we've used him as a narrator in Big Field as a way of bringing you into this weird world. And we have the permission of his family, which is really nice.

In terms of other sound, we use a lot of obscure vinyl but having done mash-ups of TV shows for a few years now there was a deliberate attempt with Big Field to use audio that people would recognise, hence the inclusion of a lot of popular telly stuff.

https://www.comedy.co.uk/online/big_field/interview/darren_dutton/

Malcy

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Re: Big Field
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 07:31:52 PM »
I saw the first one on the iPlayer ages ago and didn't know there was any others so thanks for the heads up.