If you follow comedians on social media like I do, it’s always a pleasant surprise when you feel like you’ve discovered someone new.
That’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Not just clicking on the latest 5 minute clip from Anthony Jeselnik. But in fact finding someone new. Award winning comedian Steven Briggs is “new”, though he’s been at it for a short while and is making incredible strides. I, for one, am a fan.
His short-form videos are non-consecutive, non-linier, and non-unfunny. Very well structured stories which always have a satisfying payoff, Briggs brings his own terribly unique outlook and embodies sort of a random universal element to all his, for lack of a better term: short comedy films.
Larf Magazine caught up with Briggs on the set of his latest film venture:
LARF: What inspired you to put so much craft and effort into what essentially is an episodic web-series?
BRIGGS: I wouldn’t call it a episodic web series because most of them don’t connect with each other. I would call it sketch comedy. I started out writing short sketches and then accumulated a bunch to where I wanted to see them made. I didn’t know how to get them made so I invested in a camera, editing software and taught myself how to make them. The goal was to eventually get them to come out the way I saw them in my imagination.
“John leguizamo is one of my biggest influences.”
LARF: Are you tracking the numbers? How are they?
BRIGGS: Yes, it’s weird. Some that I think will do nothing end up doing the biggest numbers.
LARF: How many episodes have you produced and how many more are you planning?
BRIGGS: I’ve lost count now but it’s over 100 sketches. I plan to keep on doing them because for me it’s a very satisfying creative freedom. Also it’s a great excuse to get together with friends and play around.
LARF: How long does it take from concept to finished product?
BRIGGS: That really depends. For example I wrote a sketch that required a horse and buggy. That took me months to find.
LARF: What kind of team do you have?
BRIGGS: At first it was just me. As the sketches started getting better I got some really talented people that wanted to help.
LARF: Where are you originally from and what brought you out to Hollywood?
BRIGGS: Originally born in New York. Landed in Hollywood on accident.
LARF: You recently won some kind of stand-up award?
BRIGGS: The presidential comedy festival. That was a incredible experience. Ryan Schendzielos put together an amazing festival and I would recommend it to anyone.
LARF: What do you ultimately want to get out of the videos? For example, would you like to direct a feature film one day? Or are you “selling” you as a comedy actor?
BRIGGS: I love writing. Currently I am working on finishing up my 5th pilot. Through making these videos though I have had to work every position on a film set and directing is a lot of fun as well and would like to do that for a feature some day.
LARF: How would you describe your character in the films? He seems to be hapless and yet likeable.
BRIGGS: A lot of my characters are like that. I like to find problems and work my way through them with the character in a unconventional way.
LARF: Who are your filmmaking and comedy influences?
BRIGGS: John leguizamo is one of my biggest influences. I grew watching John and have seen all of his one man shows and read his books. I love how he created something for himself and still continues to do it.
LARF: How are you finding being a stand-up on the LA circuit?
BRIGGS: I like it a lot. It’s very diverse and constantly keeps me motivated.
LARF: What’s next for you?
BRIGGS: I am going to continue producing the sketches but am also going to start producing some bigger projects. I am already in pre-production for one that I am very excited about.
For more info on comedian/filmmaker Steven Briggs, as well as performance dates, visit his website.