Essays · Movies

How Tommy Wiseau Blocks a Scene

By  · Published on April 3rd, 2017

Finally, someone made a quality video essay about ‘The Room.’

I have been waiting for this day for a while now. I never knew exactly how it would happen, but I knew it would and now here it is: someone made a video essay about The Room.

If I have to explain what The Room is to you, likely the fun of this post and video will be over your head, but bookmark us and in a few months when everyone’s talking about how rad The Disaster Artist is, come back and everything will make much more sense.

In many ways, this video – from Sven Pape of the YouTube channel This Guy Edits – is totally taking the piss out of The Room and its larger-than-life writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau, but at the same time it’s also acknowledging the bizarre brand of filmic brilliance Wiseau boasts. Watching this, then, is a lot like watching The Room: it’s absurd as all get-out, but at the same time it is oddly captivating, almost hypnotizing.

Pape’s focus is on how Wiseau blocks a particular scene, the pivotal one towards the middle of the film where Johnny (Wiseau) talks on the rooftop with his best friend Mark (Greg Sestero) about the problems with his fiancé Lisa, not knowing Mark is banging her on the sly. If the format feels familiar, that’s because Pape borrowed it from the Nerdwriter, who published an essay a few years back on how Hitchcock blocks a scene. That, to some folks, might make this video a complete parody, but Pape has a legitimate affinity for Wiseau’s film and his filmmaking passion, and though there might be a tongue firmly in cheek here, the appreciation is real. And besides, the Nerdwriter didn’t invent blocking.

Bottom line, this in an intentionally-funny look at a facet of an unintentionally-hilarious film, but underneath all the fun is a solid explanation of a fundamental filmmaking technique. At the least it reveals that for all his eccentricities, Wiseau isn’t some slapdash flash in the pan, but an auteur in his own wonderfully weird way.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist