Nore Davis: You Guys Are Dope
This full-length standup special mixes the traditional with improv while capturing the buoyant personality of its star, up-and-coming New York comedian, Nore Davis. Davis’ first special exemplifies the promise he is now fulfilling, and it captures the energy of his hometown.
Get Out of the Way of the Funny People
When Derek, who has always been interested in stand-up comedy, heard Nore was shopping his first comedy special he knew he wanted to be a part of it, and when he was lucky enough to be tabbed as director, he was over the moon. He immediately started collaborating with Nore on the story, look, and tone of the piece.
Nore’s performance was shot at Brooklyn dive bar and performance space, Friends and Lovers. Nore was keen on a personal vibe that was bona fide Brooklyn to the core in its personality. While this presented challenges from a production perspective, given the size of the performance space, Derek went all in to support Nore’s vision. In the opening credits, Derek took the comedy special backstage scene trope and adapted it to the setting. Instead of a greenroom, Nore was prepping for his big show where the weekend warriors smoke heaters.
As fun as it was to highlight the grunge of the Brooklyn dive bar setting and crowd, what set “You Guys Are Dope” apart was what was captured after Nore had left the stage to rapturous applause.
For the soirée scenes, captured in Nore’s Yonkers apartment, Derek leaned on his documentary background. He asked his DP to create a 360° lighting setup in each room, which enabled continuous, uninterrupted footage capture. Derek knew that once a great joke gets going it can snowball into something golden. A director’s greatest sin in that scenario is to stop that momentum and, for lack of a better term, kill the vibes of a good time. Stopping that moment affects the actors’ performances and the audience will feel it. In this free environment, two handheld camera ops roamed around the group of comedians as they bounced one jab after another off each other. Rumor has it, a script was never even written.