Character Research


The Comedy of Rowan Atkinson

What makes Rowan Atkinson a star when it comes to physical comedy? Characterisation- specifically non verbal characterisation, as shown in the Not the Five O’Clock News skit, in which the male passerby acknowledges the camera, glad of the attention, before noting it is short lived.

Atkinson has the ability to broadcast different character through the attitude he portrays in them, Atkinson himself states that characters need to “present a sort of truth to you, whether it is funny, or it’s wacky or it’s rude or it’s silly, but there is sort of a truth there which you identify with’

It is acknowledged in the video that Atkinson excels more in the TV format than feature film, needing no more than a two shot to appear funny, this is a type of shot in which the frame encompasses two people.

The video explores Atkinson’s stage work and his combination of attitude and humor ie.

joke- children with silly names

attitude- stern headmaster

It is important to note the pivotal point of Atkinson’s work; The Character Is The Joke. Atkinson states that; “Generally, the things that make me laugh are characters. It’s people who, kind of, present a sort of truth to you … and you think, ‘I know that situation. I’ve been there or I’ve seen someone like that on the train,’”

Rowan Atkinson- Talking Comedy

-“a lot the characters I do are rather extreme… I do hope that there’s enough acting that goes into them… although they are extreme, I hope they are real as well”

Man in church sketch- observational with comedy, although there is  not a lot of plot in the comedy its the actions involved that give the familiarity with the audience, the looking around the room, not paying attention to the ceremony, having a sudden interest in the ceiling and the gradual nodding off.


Mr Bean- Rowan Atkinson Notes on the character.


Rowan Atkinson on Mr Bean- LA Times

“There are moments of sentimentality in ‘Bean,’ ” Atkinson said recently by phone from England, “but normally it’s undermined pretty rapidly by his outrageously self-centered and self-regarding behavior. I certainly always enjoyed the vindictive side of Bean, and I think it’s interesting to have your cake and eat it — I think sometimes he can be rather sweet, as children can, and sometimes he can be extremely unpleasant, as children can. He covers the child spectrum, I think, quite well.”



BBC Citizens- Charlene

Charlene’s video was one that resonated with me a lot, her story of loss and sadness had immense messages of hope and encouragement.

For this episode, we decided to incorporate some 3D scenes, which I was responsible for some of the work on. In this video I was responsible for the creation of the corridor scene and the stadium, including the camera moves.

I also was used as the live action reference for Rhea’s rotoscoping, and contributed to the collection of assets including images and stock footage for the use throughout the video.

Furthermore, I was the main contact point with Charlene, using Whatsapp to collect more personal images of herself to include in the portrayal of her story.

BBC Citizens- Ashok

Ashok was an interesting video and was quiet a fun video to collect footage and reference.

Throughout the creation of this video I was in charge of the Production Coordination, working with the others to ensure all assets were created in time for delivery.  I also contributed to the creation of the rotoscoping footage, which required a trip to get a carpet book and 4 people to record, surprisingly.

Additionally, I was the main point of contact for Ashok, to obtain photos of his family or any additional needs for the video.

My main creative responsibility lay in the 3D book at the end of the video, and was responsible for the texturing, modelling and camera animation and rendering of the process.

BBC Citizens- Moya

For Moya, I was involved in the Production Coordination of the entire video, and also was responsible for finding the correct assets and any stock footage necessary.

I, additionally, helping Rhea with filming and creating footage we could not find online for the rotoscoping.

For the creative part of things, I was responsible for the creation of the 3D bar scene which involved work trying to sync it to the footage afterwards.

BBC Citizens- Alex

Alex was an interesting video to be involved in due to the subject of Non-Binary- which was interesting as Johnny had never heard of the term before, so I had to teach him the use of pronouns etc.

I actually got in contact with a friend of ours who identifies as non-binary to ensure anything we did was OK and not insulting to any party portrayed.

For this episode I was responsible for the overall production coordination. helped direct some of the episodes rotoscoping reference and got to do some rotoscoping on this episode too.

BBC Citizens- Elana

Elana was the first episode of Citizens that we worked on and was the introduction to the tight schedule we would be following- 2 weeks per episode including story-boarding, rendering, edit and audio edit.

Elana was an eventful, episode due to the gathering of resources needed for the story. It required Matthew and myself driving around all of Belfast taking footage and images.

I was involved in the organisation of the pub scene for rotoscoping, including getting some second year students involved to make our fake pub scene, and I rang around bars to acquire a venue while not busy.

During the episode I was also responsible for the 3D asset scenes- including the wooden toy characters and the living room scene.

Additionally I helped with some camera work in after effects, working on the camera movement and layout of the paradise/ruined Spanish beach scene.