Tuesday, February 3, 2009

R.A.'s self-critique: Advertising Edition

My advertising sketch is yet another example of an interesting premise in need of editing. I seem to be producing a lot of these lately. It's a simple blackout, but I dragged it out by inserting the second scene in 1992. I think it's necessary for internal narrative cohesiveness, but lessens the overall impact. Way too much time passes from setup to finish.

Then I made matters worse because I didn't trust the blackout.

The second scene could probably have been a two- or three-liner, but I wanted to include the little "soften the ground" joke. It's not a big laugh, good at best for a chuckle in retrospect after the final joke falls, and clearly unnecessary.

Worse is the first scene. As I was writing the sketch I tried dealing with the tension between getting to the end fast and actually making the sketch *funny*. One joke sketches scare me. If the joke's not funny enough, they're complete failures. So I stuffed in the Don/Darren/Rock jokes, of which I hope everyone got at least two (and a gold star to anyone who got all three,) hoping to ensure at least a couple of chuckles. But of course that delays the time to blackout more, so it's probably a net humor loss. Also, they should have hit quicker with a ba-ba-boom, boom, boom pattern. Oh yeah, and I *hated* the whole "crow kept tapping" crap but couldn't think of a better way of implying Darren had been transformed. Ugh.

And of course, the biggest worry is that the big joke didn't actually land. Y'all got that Gareth's dad wanted to "sell ice to an Eskimo", right?


David Niall Wilson said...

Yep, I got that, and I love the concept...the time travel advertising...

I also agree that the one scene is a bit longer than necessary...and I think it could use some one-liners, or something funnier, in the meat of it.

But (as you probably guessed from a Little White Lion" I like the notion of working toward the one-line ending...

Michael Brownlee said...

Well geez, Richard, if you're going to be so hard on yourself, what's left for us to do?

I agree with your assessment though. I think it would make a great blackout, using the last part.

Trust yourself, my man. You know what works.