The Official Shorty Awards Blog

What I learned while directing Tracy Morgan

Written by Matt Semel, Director of the Shorty Awards

A few months ago, when I was directing the Shorty Awards, I was told that Tracy Morgan was coming in to do a shoot with us. We wrote up a script where, in true Twitter style, Tracy would have to answer all of his questions in 140 characters or less. The end result was this video.

In the fun process of shooting this video I learned a few things about Tracy Morgan.

1. If you want to get Tracy Morgan excited, ask him about Star Wars.

I’m already a 30 Rock fan, but a bit of additional research led me to believe that if we wrote Star Wars into the script, Tracy would just go off. What I didn’t realize was, that lurking inside of a Tracy is a four-year old who just saw Empire Strikes Back for the tenth time. In two and a half minutes he did impressions of the ice-polar bear on Hoth, C3P0, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Luke, Obi Wan, and Yoda.

 2. If you ask Tracy Morgan to make a joke about porn in your video, and your parents are going to inevitably see the video, Tracy is going to include you in the video, to embarrass you in front of your parents.

When Tracy showed up at the office, and the extremely tall crew immediately walked up to him, he said we looked like the Warriors, and that I looked like Ajax. Then, when he tried to get me in the video, he called me a random white dude.

3. Tracy Morgan is a national security asset.

The same people who did Bin Laden’s carpets did Tracy’s. Who knew?

This was an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to doing more videos like this soon.

-Matt Semel

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October 8, 2012