After watching Devin Field, Zac Oyama, and Jacob Wysocki’s short The Grillmasters, I know two things to be true. First, I’m not the only one who mercilessly mocks “grillmasters.” Next, these three are a hell of a lot better at it than I am.
One in a trilogy of recently released one-offs produced by Field, Oyama, and Wysocki’s digital collective Three Princes, The Grillmasters is four minutes of unabashed, misguided machismo. Our three creators and leads — each finely tuned improv machines — decide they want to chow down on some burgers and proceed to talk over each other about proper meat prep and grilling technique. I’m talking nonstop ruminations, all of which I have to imagine are completely ad-libbed and all too reminiscent of things you’ve probably heard at least five of your male friends permutate in some obnoxious way.
The Grillmasters isn’t beautiful in spite of its intensely low concept; no, no. It is because of it. As both a commentary on dumb dude braggadocio that always seems to take root in the most trivial of tasks, and as a film expertly directed by Ryan Anthony Martin and shot by Cooper James, this piece marks the lovely intersection between the sketch form and improv that must buck it at every step.