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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Rusty works in the animation industry doing Storyboards, Timing, Animation and Directing. Recently he has worked at Disney TV Animation and Universal Animation Studios. He's best known for his Directing and Producing for Warner Bros. on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain".

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Letting the Audience Ahead

While reading Jenny Lerew's Blackwing Diaries
blog I began thinking about how story in silent and early sound films sometimes utilized a method by which you let your audience get ahead of the main character or characters. This was especially true in comedy. Notice in the picture above from Laurel and Hardy's "The fixer uppers" how letting the audience see the villain behind Oliver Hardy makes the look on Ollie's face much funnier.
Today's stories often misuse this method and instead of letting the audience ahead they make the situation too predictable. That's because the story point is lost. In the situation presented above the story point isn't if Laurel and Hardy are going to get caught but rather how are they going to get out of the situation. It's built around the characters.
Sometimes it's the surprise that comes from letting the audience ahead that makes it work. My film is setup early and leaves the audience ahead of the characters until near the end when an unforeseen gag leaves the audience wondering what's next.
Through most of the film the audience knows that each time a type of insurance is presented that situation will happen.Here the salesman offers Auto insurance. We as the audience know something is going to happen to the car. It's the surprise in how the gag is delivered that makes it work.


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