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Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:30 PM   #16
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Owing to various family circumstances I have spent a lot of time around special needs children and those who work tirelessly to support them. I have to say that the piece was not funny in any way that I could recognize.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:47 PM   #17
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Bryan is a video maker

... but not much of a writer.
Here's my thought: Go and study Tom Green. He's a Canadian. His career began like yours is seemingly doing so on a track toward, with a few basic differences.

Nice to see the 'maricans who were quick to chime in and show yourselves for what is basically right with the convictions to state that this trash is beyond the line. I'd understand if Bryan were stoned when he thought up the story for this, but sadly, the fact that he was stone sober is likely the truth.

Bryan, you can ask anyone here about my persona and operating code. I mean no harm and I truly support the creative medium to which we all subscribe. But for the time until you mature, you should probably just evaporate from this board. It just doesn't qualify as humour in any interpretive sense.
Insensitive garbage.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:06 PM   #18
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I watched it. I didn't think it was funny. Didn't offend me, just wasn't funny. Guess I'm one of those East Coast Sophisticates? ;-)
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:18 PM   #19
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Yikes, if this is how Tom Green started...well, I'd hope you'd never want to grow up to be like him but maybe you're headin' that way.

Oops...my Mom taught me that if I don't have anything nice to say, shut the h&ll up (NOT quite a direct quote), so I'll leave it at, "No redeeming value whatever."

The End.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:19 PM   #20
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I'm a big fan of Bryan Harley, but found this to be his worst film.

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Old June 2nd, 2005, 10:21 PM   #21
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Tom Green ...?

Man, that's not a career I'd emulate.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 11:32 PM   #22
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What can I say but sorry to those that have been offended. I knew going into this that not everyone would think it was funny. It was just a short little, pointless piece that I put together for an online film fest (I took second).

I'm not an insensitive or hateful person. I'm simply exploring the comedic genre. You can see my other comedy shorts at www.amfproductions.com. I tried to make the Freddy character so terribly farcical and over-the-top, so that he wouldn't really be representative of an actual mentally-handicapped individual. But again, sorry to those who have been offended.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:52 AM   #23
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Okay I'll chime in.

I think you set yourself up by calling him a retard in the title. It immediately puts in my mind that you don't really have any liking for your character.

That said, the film itself is okay. Freddy does have a good heart and you don't hate him. However, you are making fun of his condition. There isn't really anything particularly funny about him acting mentally handicapped by itself. The Steve Martin example is closer to the mark but from "The Jerk" I don't really know if Martin is mentally handicapped or just really really stupid.

Your story wouldn't work unless Freddy is in some way unable to communicate so either way you'd be making funny of him being mentally handicapped, really really stupid, having a speech impediment, being an ESL learner or having braces or something like that.

The first part where he is trying to save the guy from dropping his ice cream is a funny set up but the timing and editing is a bit off. The bit with the gnome got me laughing because it is even more wacko than the ice cream bit. I don't think much about him being hit by the guy in the car who is so angry about his ice cream that he wants to run him over. That doesn't really make sense.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy McKenzie
But for the time until you mature, you should probably just evaporate from this board. It just doesn't qualify as humour in any interpretive sense.
Insensitive garbage.
I don't agree. This is what makes the internet a wonderful thing. Everyone being able to post their art and have others post their opinions on it.

I thought the film has potential, but like Keith said, there needs to be some changes in the editing. I'm no expert, but as a critic, I think the editing could be better.

Keep up your work Bryan. Also, unless you like to spark these types of threads, you may want to reconsider renaming your title, and then let the audience choose what hadicap (if any) your main character has. Remember, film is told visually, give the audience something to mull over for a while. Like what was mentioned earlier, was "The Jerk" mentally challenged or just really really dumb? That's what makes it funny!
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #25
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I laughed at the hero's misplaced assignment of importance to trivial treasures. His sentimental love for the ice cream and the garden gnome was his downfall.

I don't see how sourcing comedy from the developmental flaws of a disabled person is fundamentally different from sourcing comedy from the character flaws of egocentric persons (Seinfeld).

Who among us is not retarded in some fashion?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 04:23 AM   #26
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a few (hopefully) lighthearted replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Knecht Schmidt
I don't see how sourcing comedy from the developmental flaws of a disabled person is fundamentally different from sourcing comedy from the character flaws of egocentric persons (Seinfeld).
That's just great, RKS. You had to light a match to THAT powder keg. I understand your line of thinking, but you may have joined me in the group that, if I read correctly, gives A-mericans a bad name.

Which reminds me, Jimmy. It's spelled "Americans." Not that I was offended.

And Boyd Ostroff-- proof that sophisticated wisecracks abound on the East Coast. Good one!
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #27
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Re: my comment "The End" below.
Well, I've always listened to my mother, but too rarely heed her wisdom...I was really intending to stay out of this discussion but I can't help myself.

Bryan, therein may lie whatever value your Freddy piece may have; with a tasteless (and to some "offensive') clip, you've spurred a broad and spirited discussion -- a wonderful thing as long as we are all remain civil with one another in the process.

By contrast, I could post some of my more scientifically-oriented video clips and only a few technophiles would enjoy watching them and virtually nobody would feel particularly compelled to comment on them.

To expand on my own opinion on your clip: as presented, it was a waste of my bandwidth to have downloaded it. But by even slightly rescripting it to develop Freddy as a likeable character who the viewer can identify with and feel sympathy for, it could have been made into a comic tragedy that more clearly made a positive point.

Re: Seinfeld
Indeed, consider the SOURCE (a very funny standup comedian, who AFAIK has yet to make his mark in the realms of ethics, law, science, or for that matter, any learned discipline at all). I presume Jerry's quote came from the show or one of his comedy routines? If he was truly being serious when he said that, then I'd be forced to lump his funny self in the "egocentric" category. BTW, I DO see a difference.

Re: Americans
The comments about 'maricans/Americans are bait for political arguments and I fear that's the bigger "powder keg" here. LET'S NOT ALLOW OURSELVES TO START DOWN THAT PATH HERE...political discussions are as off-limits as personal flames. The sad way of the world is that no matter where you're from, stereotypes of your national/religious/ethnic cultures or heritages are looked down upon by many, if not most, people who don't share them.

Re: East Coast Sophisticates
Hmpphhh. The East coast ain't the only place that's sophisticated y'all know. We have opera and ballet in Texas. We just call 'em ".38 Special" and Football. (Can you tell I'm not a native Texan?). Stereotypes are easy, eh?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #28
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Hi Pete,

You're making points here that seem to fall into traps, but I need some help pulling the specifics out of my brain. Here's my first thought: I see a double standard at work.

It's all right for one person to slip in a comment that maybe YOU don't see as, say, derogatory, yet as soon as a counter comes along, all of the sudden it's off-limits. Why didn't anyone hop on the first one? Too ambiguous?

You pull the stereotypes card (yes, I'm assuming you were being lighthearted in your "Hmmph) at the end to prove a larger point--precisely what I was trying to do in my last post! Maybe it was too ambiguous, as well.

I think it's fascinating. And I'm sorry I can't articulate my thoughts better. Let me chew on it a while and maybe it'll gel. Or not. :)
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Old June 4th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #29
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Hi Lorinda,

Jimmy dangled some bait with the American-Canadian thing and I saw some nibbling at that bait. I don't moderate this particular forum, but since I decided to comment further on Bryan's short I just went ahead and gave a reminder that we may not detour into that territory. No harm, no foul so far...just want to stay that way.

The thread is about Bryan's work, not the "sterotype cards" we could play against each other or our localities. Yes, my Sophisticates comment was also supposed to be silly humor (specifically ribbing Boyd -- since he is Director of Design and Technology at the Opera Company of Philadelphia and IMHO rightly deserves the title of Sophisticate!); sorry if it didn't come across well -- just as any humor in Bryan's piece didn't come across for some of us.

If you still feel that's a double standard or some kind of trap after chewing on it, fair enough. Freddy is Freddy, however we all interpret it.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 10:38 AM   #30
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Hahaha! Beautifully put. The nice part is that even if differences of opinion manage to persist in some area, we can agree to disagree.

Oh, and I meant that my earlier post was ambiguous--not yours. :)
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