Nov 21 2008 11:32am

Commedia dell’SF: Brandon Sanderson

Who says SF authors can’t do improv? Move over, Saturday Night Live!

VIDEO: “Brandon of Ages”

Last week, Brandon Sanderson visited his publisher’s office and agreed to film a “fun” video for us.

People in the SF community have heretofore displayed some amazing musical talent (sometimes with instruments only seen in Shakespearean movies), but who knew that some possessed theatrical talent that should not be confined to mere book readings.

For almost four weeks, Brandon had toured with friend and fellow author David Farland—until he flew to the East Coast. By himself.

In the video, Brandon talks about the dual author tour ... and life without Dave. Well, Dave was there. In spirit. Well, his book was there. Hm.

Kudos to Brandon, our multimedia guru/ videographer, and our excellent good sport extras for jumping into the guerilla-style filmmaking (shot on a shoestring budget in 20 minutes- Sundance, you interested?).

Extra Credit: Guess the identity of the guy in the video (other than Brandon) for some postmodern amusement. Name all the people in it, and you really deserve a big prize.

The following footage was not caught on camera—remember, “guerrilla filmmaking”...

On the importance of scripts:

ME: Hey Brandon! We have a short script for you...

BRANDON: Do you mind if I ad-lib?

ME:  Sure!

*Throws script away*

On the importance of volunteering:

ME: How would you two like to be in a video?


ME: So glad to have you!

On the importance of second chances:

RELUCTANT TOR EMPLOYEE #1: I haven’t been in a play since playing the Spoon in Beauty and the Beast in the 5th grade.

ME: Maybe this will inspire a new foray into acting for you.

RELUCTANT #1: Nope, don’t think so.

On the importance of staying silent:

BRANDON: Can someone say “Who Killed Asmodean?” in the 3rd scene? That’s a question I get from many people ..

EMPLOYEE #2: Can I say it in my best Comic Book Guy voice?

The writer of this post stayed silent. But later that day, she would go onto the internet and google Asmodean. Please don’t hate.

Other audience questions that didn’t make it into the 3rd scene:

“Do you know Stephenie Meyer?”

“Are you sure you don't know Stephenie Meyer?”

“If I swallowed this piece of metal ...”

“Do you know J.K. Rowling?”

“Why did you kill [person killed at the very end of the book]?”

“Can you sign my Dave Farland book?”

Joe Sherry
1. jsherry
I love the "Who killed Asmodean" question and the response. That was just perfect.

No guesses on the guy, unfortunately, so no post-modern amusement for me.
2. rogerothornhill
There's more than enough postmodern amusement to go around, though.

And personally I think the world needs as many references to complex if rudimentary Italian theatre forms as possible. I could easily envision a sequel video in more of a Dario Fo vein to complement this one.
Dot Lin
3. fangirl
one learns so much from authors- now if I could just learn how to spell the "Asmodean" answer- is it "RAFO?" and how widely known is this term..

And again, not only did I have to look up "Asmodean," but also had to look up "Dario Fo," who, at 82 yrs, looks like he's having way more fun than most of us- and hot damn, he's still alive! what I wouldn't give to have him direct our next video ..
4. ForestsGuardian
RAFO = Read And Find Out

This may not be super commonly used, but it was the favorite answer of Robert Jordan, the author of the Wheel of Time series. Now that Sanderson is "helping Jordan" write the final book, it seems to have entered his vocabulary and is being used to answer questions he's not allowed to actually answer (which I for one, love.)

Way to show us you're a goof, Brandon. As if you hadn't proven it already. :)

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