We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about the comedy work that Lekker Media is known for, and we thought we would take a look back at a few of our favorite short format documentary-style pieces we have done in the last year or so.

The California Senior Leaders Program was one of our favorite pieces, commissioned by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Not only did it highlight great work done by seniors for seniors, conveying a continuity in the lives of activists who turn their talents towards their situation as aging citizens, but we get a chance to spend time with these truly remarkable individuals and get a sense of how they approach their quietly remarkable lives.

Another favorite, done for Adobe, is a profile on design and game shop Trigger, an LA-based company that created The Green Hornet game for Sony Pictures using all Adobe tools. We had a lot of fun with this and DP Andreas Burgess and our LA-based crew did a fantastic job collaborating with us to come up with a unique look and style for this short doc profile.

Finally, this piece was strangely both an impressionistic, ultra-short documentary in spanish, as well as a PSA for the California Department of Public Health. The main character is a nurse, telling the true story of health professionals not seeing the signs of pertussis, or whooping cough in her child, leading to his demise. It was humbling to witness the personal strength and determination of this person in taking her family’s tragedy and using it to help the community at large.

Lekker Media's first entry into the feature-length world of filmmaking...!

Lekker Media’s first entry into the feature-length world of filmmaking…!

And now Lekker Media is taking the plunge into a feature-length project with The San Francisco Improv Festival to make the first documentary on The Committee, the San Francisco based improvisational and sketch comedy theater that took The City by storm with their biting, clear-eyed political comedy, and later Los Angeles, and New York’s Broadway.

Looks like we get to test all our strengths on this one – wish us luck…!

John Magnuson, Lenny Bruce & The Committee

Sam Shaw, John Magnuson & Jamie Wright

Sam Shaw, John Magnuson & Jamie Wright

Yesterday we were honored to interview John Magnuson, director of ‘Lenny Bruce’, the performance film with the comedy icon from 1967, and producer of Bruce’s ‘Thank You Mask Man’, a subversive, childhood favorite of mine.

Sam Shaw & I interviewed him as part of our project on our documentary  “The Committee: A Secret History of American Comedy”. Lekker Media is the production company of record on the project, produced by The San Francisco Improv Festival.

Mr. Magnuson told us tales of the early days of The Committee, his work with their talented actors, his time collaborating with Lenny Bruce in San Francisco, and his fan/friend relationship with comedy legend Bill Hicks.

We couldn’t have been happier to be invited into his home and to have had the chance to dig deeper into the project which spans the roughly 10 years The Committee changed the face of popular comedy and catalyzed the San Francisco scene from free speech through free love with their sharp, cutting, and intelligent brand of political humor.

Magnuson’s main interaction with the talents of The Committee came through his hiring them for commercial and industrial film work (a tradition with improvisational actors that Lekker Media carries on today). His first foray into the world of commercial work with improvisors was with Mike Nichols and Elaine May in the late 1950’s.

What a ride – thanks, John!

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