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Common Strategies of Animated Comedy

As an independent filmmaker specializing in animated comedy, I'd like to share my thoughts and observations on how to create projects intended to make people laugh (in a good way). By taking a close look at recent popular shows and movies (i.e. Simpsons, Family Guy, Shrek, etc) I've outlined a brief analysis that identifies some of the major strategies of humor used in many of today's animated television programs and shows, as well as the advantages/disadvantages of implementing them. Just a note before we continue: this article isn't intended only as a guide for comedy filmmakers- I'm sure those of you who appreciate good humor will get something out of it as well.

The following compilation is the result of my own observations, and I'm certain you'll see what I mean if you take a closer look this Sunday night when Family Guy comes on. Later, I'll share some of my own thoughts on the subject of creating effective humor for mainstream audiences.

1. Parody: This involves poking fun of well-known genres and plot formulas (action, horror, porn, etc), and making references to well-known films, TV shows, famous people, significant historical events, etc. Very often, these genres, films, and TV shows are spoofed. Think of the number of times you've seen a reference to a Kubrick film during an episode of The Simpsons, or a Star Wars reference in Family Guy to emphasize a joke.

Advantages: First off, it's easy to do and often elicits laughs. The basic structure of the joke is based on a well-known source, and the audience is likely to get it right away.

Disadvantages: To be blunt, it's lazy filmmaking. Too much parody thrown in a story can often be interpreted as a lack of creativity/originality, and ultimately limits the project's depth. Jokes/gags of this kind will only last as long as the spoofed or referenced subject is popular or is fashionable.

2. Animation that is deliberately bad/cheesy: Includes the use of poorly drawn/animated characters and backgrounds as an important element of the humor.

Advantages: Sometimes more efficient and more cost effective than using more detailed animation techniques. It's funny to watch and calling some attention to the bad animation can generate new jokes and great sight gags. Think of shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021.

Disadvantages: Like the parody, this can quickly turn into lazy filmmaking. Depending only on bad animation for laughs might make the project difficult to maintain in the long run.

3. Gross-Out Humor/Explicit Language: Includes humor that is, but not limited to being scatological, sexual, bloody, etc. Also includes use of foul language. Since the Simpsons and South Park, audiences have come to expect jokes of this kind.

Advantages: In small doses and if done with subtlety, gross-out humor and the use of explicit language combined with visual sight gags can be hilarious.

Disadvantage: Easy to overuse. Dialogue containing too many four-letter words for the sake of being obnoxious will turn off most viewers. Gross-out humor, if only used for shock value, will seem shallow if it does nothing to contribute to the overall story.

4. Non-Sequitors (Random Humor): Jokes, statements, events, etc. that happen out of nowhere.

Advantages: Absurd humor that occurs at random works on several levels, which include the outlandishness of the act itself, its unpredictability, and also its general disregard for logic in context with the scene's apparent focus. It can take an audience by surprise, and can add some originality to the project.

Disadvantages: If an absurd and random act suddenly shifts the focus of the story, it may disappoint viewers who have otherwise been engaged in the narrative. Also, many people may not "get it," which has the potential of restricting the viewing demographic. When a nonsequitor serves as a story's conclusion, it's usually evidence of an inability to create an effective ending.

On creating more effective humor:

Characters with unique qualities: Trying to be original isn't easy, but it is a lot of fun. When creating characters, don't worry too much about whatever's "hip" or "in" at the moment. Start off with characters that have very specific personality traits, habits, etc. Base them off yourself, off of people you know, your experiences, or just let your imagination run wild. Give your characters specific hobbies, unusual interests (i.e. a hero that can't resist objects that squirt water), and/or specific likes/dislikes. These concrete qualities will often provide opportunities to develop character, storylines, and above all, humorous events.

Stories with solid conclusions: Many creative folks I've talked to notice the difficulty of coming up with good endings. No matter what the genre, filmmakers of all sorts can learn a valuable lesson from mystery novel authors. When you come up with the idea for a film, start by knowing how it's going to end. This gives the story focus, and makes it easier for all the events to logically pan out. Another important tip to remember- audiences will almost always forgive a film with a bad beginning, but will never forgive a film with a bad ending.

Understand that being funny isn't the same as acting funny: Okay, what does this mean? Here's an illustration: There was a video on the internet of a careless skateboarder falling on his face multiple times after trying to coast off the roof of his parents' house. It wasn't funny to the skateboarder, but it was funny to most of the people who saw it happen. Why? On a psychological level, it's in our nature to laugh or take some kind of satisfaction in someone else's misfortune/failure so long as the screw-up doesn't result in death or dismemberment (most of the time). On a more practical level, most of the online viewers laughed at the sheer idiocy of the act. After all, the careless skateboarder who plunged off the roof actually expected positive results from his stunt. So how do we apply this to creating comedy? Create situations that are funny to the audience, but not to your characters. One effective way of doing this is having your characters expect serious results from doing things that are clearly dangerous, stupid, or both.

These are just a few pointers to help you get started with creating your own comedy, or to help you understand some of the more successful comedy out there today. I hope you enjoyed the article. Have a good laugh!

By: Joe Yang

Rate Your Children's Movies

As a parent, it's my job to make sure the movies my children watch are appropriate. I don't rely on the standard movie rating system.


The standard movie ratings are given by a group of parents that are part of a committee called the film and rating board, which is part of the Classification and Rating Administration. The following quote, taken directly from, explains the process:

"As a group they review each film and, after a group discussion, vote on it's rating, making an educated estimate as to which rating most American parents would consider appropriate."(emphasis mine)

If the members of the film and rating board don't know me and my children, how can they have any idea of what I would consider appropriate? They can't.

I do admire the work the group does and I'm glad they exist. But, even though this system is generally good, I have seen many that I don't agree with. I personally review the movies my children watch before I allow them to watch.

You have to be careful because anyone can miss something. And it seems, at least at times, the movie makers try to slip things in on us. If the film and ratings board misses something, there's a good chance that another set of eyes will catch it.

The bottom line? My children are mine, not the children of the film and ratings board. I will decide what is appropriate and what isn't.
By: Joey Phillips

The History of the Star Wars Films

Star Wars was one of those magnificent films that was an instant phenomenon when it hit the box office and continues to be a hit today. Why not take a moment to follow the intriguing history of Star Wars.

After a successful run in the early 1970s with the box office hit American Graffiti; in 1975 George Lucas writes a basic story about Anakin Skywalker's rise, fall, and redemption. The story is so long that it needs to be divided into 2 trilogies.

The first trilogy focuses on Anakin Skywalker's young life while the second focuses on the life of Anakin's son Luke Skywalker. Since the second trilogy is the most interesting, Lucas decides to film it first.

He offers the film to Universal Studios who had financed his American Graffiti film, but they chose to pass thinking it was a ridiculous movie. They would live to regret this decision which would cost millions of dollars in lost profits. But they wouldn't be alone in those regrets as every Hollywood studio passed on the movie. That is except for 20th Century Fox who came up with $10 million for Lucas to make his first Star Wars movie a reality.

In May of 1977 Fox released Episode 4 of Star Wars, A New Hope. The tone was quickly set. The film was instantly seen as the biggest adventure ever on film. The special effects were considered magnificent and outstanding. In fact, nothing remotely close had ever made it to the big screen before.

On opening day, the Star Wars movie ran in only 32 theaters, but it still produced an amazing $254,309 in ticket sales. By the end of its first run it had become the most successful film ever in North American history grossing more than $290 million.

Lucas reportedly received $50 million of those profits. When Lucas cut his deal with Fox he was more interested in control of the film then he was in his percentage. He wanted all rights to the final cut and all rights to future sequels, Star Wars merchandise rights, and 40% of the gross. This deal ultimately made Lucas a billionaire.

By 1978 Lucas had purchased the more than 1800 acre Bulltail Ranch in San Rafael and soon production of the sequel to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, was underway. Lucas was financing it out of his own pocket and it had a budget of $18 million; however due to budget overruns the actual filming cost more than $30 million. In May of 1980, The Empire Strike Back, hit the theaters grossing $222 million, making it the highest grossing film of the year.

In May of 1983, Return of the Jedi, hit the theaters grossing $265 million in North America and Lucas decides to retire from Star Wars projects to pursue some of his other interests. He made a vague promise to make the Prequel Trilogy someday if special effects ever become advanced enough.

That day arrived in 1994 when Lucas announces he will begin working on the Prequel Trilogy with a tentative release scheduled for 1998. In 1996 Lucas signs the biggest deal ever seen in the industry with PepsiCo for movie tie ins, and later in the year he announces that the pre-production has started, and in May of 1999 Episode 1 titled, The Phantom Menace, was released, followed by Episode 2 titled, The Attack of the Clones.

Many believe that 100 years from now Star Wars will still have a following. In fact by then it may have grown to epidemic proportions.
By: Gray Rollins

Types of Actors

Types of Actors
By David Chandler

All humans are actors to some extent. This sounds Shakespearean
but it is very true. Many times we have done what we do not like
and many times we begin to like what we are doing. We represent
those very feelings on stage or before the camera in the form of
characters. The person's who enact those characters are actors.

The hero-actor in a play or a film is not always the protagonist
though usually he is so. The plot of a story or a play takes the hero
through a number of coincides or circumstantial changes to show
that he can adjust in any space and time and yet remains a leader
or a savoir.

Well! A tragic hero on the other hand distorts his own good
circumstance and he also worsens in his temperament in such a
way that the spectators sympathizes with wraths than looking
down on him. In both the above cases the actors who portray
these characters must be very skilled in showing their feelings by
their eyes, the face and of course the body. Sometimes they may
have to overact.

The comedians have to keep improvising methods to portray the
force in the society and the foolishness of the rich who haven't
experienced the world around and take it for granted that all
happiness can be commodities. Many times a comedian performs
serious roles yet he makes us laugh-he is an actor.

The lady on the other hand whether a heroine or a vamp usually
shows excess feminine energy either she is a sacrificing friend, a
mother or a seductor. To portray these feelings the lady actors
need very good supporting actors.

The dancers or singers are also actors who are usually speaking of
the hero, the heroine or the villain who would like to confess, or it
could be about love, hate, or jealousy. Many times mindsets are
condemned through a singer who also dances.

Basically the actors are also informal teachers.

For more information, visit
David Chandler
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A new Face of Internet - Online Video Streaming

A new Face of Internet - Online Video Streaming
By parag Tondon

One of the biggest changes in the online space is the prevalence of online video.

It was only a few years ago that just the thought of streaming videos on the Internet seemed a distant reality.

Fast forward to December 2006 and online video is in full swing… Google bought YouTube for US$1.6 billion, and companies like Metacafe pay publishers based on the number of people who watch their video.

Video streaming has become a bit like an on demand micro video channel. Thousands of videos are now on demand online with more and more television content available. You can download video streams of the latest movie trailers and find both entertaining video streams along with knowledge-based electronic seminars.

The clarity of online video may be significantly less than a television set, but what it lacks in clarity it makes up for in availability. Video streams are sent by email, included in blogs and are a key part of most social network sites.

The mythical world of video production has been relegated to Internet hobbyists and the result is a whole new world where on demand consumers are finding video gems worth sharing online.

The use of video streaming is a growing phenomenon with so many different positive applications. Video streaming provides opportunities for individuals to share footage of their families with other family members. Music and entertainment video streams can be shared. Television shows can be downloaded and best all, business can be done effectively through the use of video streaming technology.

Another benefit of video streaming is the strong potential for increased backlinks that can increase the number visitors to your video stream. In turn, those visitors may stick around to check out what you have to offer in your online business.

After USA and UK Online Video sites are also being very much popular like India, Middle East, Singapor Etc...

India is growing in terms of internet traffic and Online Video streaming site is being much popular now a days in India also.

You can visit to get quality Online video on various topic

Visit to enjoy Online Video, Hollywood Movie Clips ,Bollywood Movie clips and lots more.

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Download movies of DVD quality

Download movies of DVD quality
By Ken Wilson

Are you passionate about movies? Then you must desperately want to view and collect all the memorable motion pictures created. As for many other products, the Internet is the cheap and easy solution for making your dream come true. This is possible, as new websites have appeared that provide almost free and unlimited access to some large movie databases.

Since the motion picture emerged as the wonderful creation that it still is, it rapidly became a means to express artistic ideas and intense feelings through ingenuous situations. A true movie passionate will always count some titles that he or she would love to have in his or her home as an illustration of his or her hobby. Any of us, either cinema passionate or not, has some titles old or new that we would love to have in our homes.

To build the movie collection of your dreams, you have the following means: you buy original DVD’s from the multimedia shops, either online or not, or you illegally download movies from peer-to-peer networks or you try the new one time fee DVD download websites. It is rather easy to see that the last solution offers the most fortunate proportion between quality and price.

If you are not convinced, here are some of the reasons why you should choose a website as ours for your movie resource site through DVD downloads. Purchasing original disks for each movie you wish to see or add to your precious collection might leave a huge hole into your budget. You might also not find all the titles that you want or you will have to go through a lot of trouble to find them.

Internet is a great source for any product. It is considerably easy to search from the comfort of your own home, in the front of your computer, and it is significantly cheaper too if you order the original disk or if you download movies. Over the Internet, you have two major types of movies resources you either have two choose from the peer-to-peer networks or access to databases through DVD downloads sites.

Peer-to-peer networks are pools of data of all kinds: documents, games, movies, pictures, that are available free within the network. It sounds easy and free, but there are some significant disadvantages. You have to share a considerable amount of data yourself and usually the quality and the diversity of the movies you can download is unsatisfactory.

On the new one-time fee movie-download websites, you can purchase, for a small fee, yearly or unlimited access to huge movie databases. There are several advantages to this method. The first one is that the fee is rather small and insignificant if you compare it to the opportunity of unlimited DVD downloads. Another one is that, in exchange for this small fee, you will benefit from virus and spyware protection and 24-hour technical support.

The quality of the movies is considerably better than the one you can find in any other networks of DVD downloads. Many of the movies are DVD quality. You can download movies in any format to allow you to see them with your favorite player and of course burn them on CDs or DVDs to create a personal movie collection. You also have access to some of the latest releases.

Therefore, if you enjoy watching movies or you are passionate about them and you wish to have your own collection of the most memorable movies, the best place to turn to is the Internet. We recommend that you purchase unlimited access to download movies and many other products. In this manner, you can save a lot of time and money and enjoy your hobby even better.

We hope we have convinced you that this is the recommended source for you to download movies. If you wish to know more about DVD downloads, you will find the needed information here, on our website.

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Complete your movie collection through free movie downloads

Complete your movie collection through free movie downloads
By Ken Wilson

Are you one of the cinemagoers, and wish to complete or create you own movie collection? You have a new and easy method of doing this, since the development of the Internet. There are great advantages of downloading movies from the Internet: you can choose from a very wide variety and the investment you need to make is low, nearly zero.

Similar to books, you just need to see several movies in order to consolidate your cultural cultivation. Watching a movie is also an ideal method of relaxation after an intense day. The movie industry is flourishing nowadays and increasingly better products appear on the market. Many of us enjoy a good movie either at the cinema or in the comfortable sofa in front of our PC.

In this manner, movie watching becomes an enjoyment that you can come across much more often, if you manage to purchase the movies at very low prices. Thanks to the movie databases created over the Internet, it is now possible to obtain a particular film for nearly nothing. Websites dedicated to free movie downloads for a small one time membership fee have now appeared to solve the problem of cheap, but legal movie downloads.

The advantages of such databases are numerous; essentially, they offer the ideal means to create a movie collection. The first advantage is that great care comes to what concerns the protection of the customer from viruses and spyware, which are often a threat when downloading from peer-to-peer download networks. These networks include a great number of users that share documents with each other.

This concurrent method of movie downloads also has the disadvantage that new movies are rarely available for download because the pool of free movies available renew only rarely. Apart from that, if you wish to sign up with them, although free, you are required to share a great amount of multimedia and other documents, sometimes up to 20 GB.

Other advantages of one-time fee movie downloads websites are that downloading free movies is legal (compared to the same activity carried out through peer-to-peer) and the videos available are good quality, often DVD quality. Therefore, by comparing the two most popular methods of free movie downloading, you obviously have a great advantage if you register with one of the free movies websites.

Another advantage is that download speed of free movies is sufficiently high to allow frequent and easy movie downloading activity. It however depends to the type of Internet connection you have. Unfortunately, dial-up connection hardly allows movie downloads. However, if you have such a connection, you can download small videos, pictures and MP3 music.

Although the registration fee usually prevents Internet users from appealing to such databases offering movies free of charge, it is affordable. After you register, you have unlimited access to browse and download free movies, music and any other videos like TV shows, documentaries, but also pictures and the latest games. Therefore, you may actually consider that you have access to free download after a registration fee.

These are only some of the advantages that we have prepared for you. If you are still not convinced that the best way to download movies free of charge is by registering with us, you can browse our pages to see some of the titles of free movies and other technical and legal details. In a word, we offer the best method to complete your film collection, unlimited free movie downloads.

We offer a great variety of free movies through unlimited movie downloads. Search our website for more registration advantages and information.

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