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Old June 4th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #31
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No political re-direct intended. The mild vernacular was intended in no sense as a put down. I can't begin to ammend my comments with enough glowing adjectives to compliment those whose position was that there is just no artistic merit in the title or content of the short. No matter what peice of terra firma you hail from.
Back to the top of the string: Bryan did ask for comments and he got a mitt full of 'em.
His job is to distill from that how his work is perceived by the masses. If no change is wrought, his character is stead fast; and my comments like others should be treated as perspective and not fodder. See ... I really care! I'm sure that's crystal clear among the sophisticates gathered here ... OK I'k kidding on that last one!!!
Bottom line: Bryan, keep producing! We're all watching!
Best regards from Jimmy the poutine eating, snowmobile driving, nature loving Ken-eh-jan ... eh?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy McKenzie
No political re-direct intended. The mild vernacular was intended in no sense as a put down.
Oh, man. Pete, do I have to leave that one alone?? There's a point/comparison there just begging to be made!

Okay...I'll not touch it. :)
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:00 PM   #33
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Go ahead. I have thick skin. You don't have to wait for approval from someone else to state your case.
Please don't let me get in the way of the original intent of this thread. To do so would put this into the realm of MSN messenger.
Please return this thread to Bryan's original query: Comments on his short.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #34
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Okay, I'd stayed away from this one...but finally watched it and felt compelled to comment.

I'm the last person in the world to be easily offended, and I actually like to see that there are people out there doing things that will spark conversations such as these. This thread alone is proof that in some way there is value to such work, if for nothing else to give people a specific example of what might be considered "off limits." Are there any limits to what should be made fun of? Should comedy be kept to the safe an inoffensive topics? Interesting discussion, that's for sure....and for that I think this work has some value.

Subject matter aside....I have to say that I just didn't think it was funny.
I wasn't offended, but it just didn't make me laugh.
Humor from mentally handicapped characters is difficult to pull off, and I would agree with the post that mentioned it was obvious that you had no love for your character, and that makes a big difference. Look at the way the Farrelly Brothers deal with similar humor in 'Something About Mary' and 'Stuck on You.' They walk a fine line, but it's always clear that they respect their characters as people. Their characters don't ever come off as 'handicapped characters,' but instead they seem like people who happen to be handicapped. There's a big difference between those two.

That's something that's not in your short at all.
Freddy is nothing more than a retard (to use your title's terminology).
He's not a person, he's a handicap.

Another important point is that in something like the Farrely brother's work, the disabled characters generally wind up on top. As an audience, we want to see the underdog win, and we want to see those who are mean to the disabled be taken down a peg. Instead, in your short, we have the mean guy kill the "Retard" by running him over with a car. Very very difficult to win your audience over with that.

In comedy, it's alright to laugh along as we see our characters suffer, regardless of who they are....but we want to see that everyone is alright at the end.
It's a comedy after all.... Wiley Coyote may fall off the cliff to certain doom, but we want to see him climb out of the hole and dust himself off at the end.

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).

I'm not sure if that comment was sincere...or supposed to be sarcastic.
But I would point out that there is a fundamental difference.

Egocentric persons suffer from a character flaw, something that they could change if they tried. They are not 'good' people by most standards because of their character.

Handicapped people suffer from developmental flaws, as you pointed out. Through no fault of their own, they are mentally handicapped and cannot change that no matter what they do.

So I would say that there is a major difference in sourcing comedy from something which is a choice versus something which is unchangable about a person.


Just my 2 cents.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #35
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I have to agree. I wasn't offended by it in the least, I just wasn't entertained by it either.
When I read all the fuss this thing was causing I figured that it might be pretty good. Often things that cause a lot of emotional recoil are good. Sadly, Freddy failed on many levels. It wasn't well shot, it wasn't well edited, it wasn't well written, it wasn't funny, and it really wasn't offensive. It wasn't anything really. Just another example of the evils of the new era of inexpensive cameras and editing software.

So there. Just another opinion.

I wonder if Freddy knew ahead of time that this short video would suck?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #36
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Good points, Luis, and VERY well stated. Thank you.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #37
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Thank you Lorinda.

And, just so Bryan is clear on where I stood on his work...I would disagree with Ethan. I think the shots and the edits showed that you definitely have a grasp on production. I thought is was a solid piece, perhaps a bit too slow in parts, but overall well shot and well edited for the budget you were working at (which I assume was the cost of the ice cream cone).
:)

I've done more than my fair share of short films in that way...and I would say that as far as the technical side of things go, you're definitely on the right track.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #38
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I got the ice cream from my fridge and the cone from my pantry. There were no costs. ;)

And Ethan, ouch. Have you seen any of my other work?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 11:25 PM   #39
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Quote:
I'm not sure if that comment was sincere...or supposed to be sarcastic. But I would point out that there is a fundamental difference.

Egocentric persons suffer from a character flaw, something that they could change if they tried. They are not 'good' people by most standards because of their character.

Handicapped people suffer from developmental flaws, as you pointed out. Through no fault of their own, they are mentally handicapped and cannot change that no matter what they do.
But the Seinfeld players can't help themselves out of their character flaws: this is precisely the comic tragedy of the series. George is symbolically doomed to his egocentric neuroses, Jerry to his egocentric phobia of commitment, Elaine to her banal pursuit of superficial relationships, Kramer to his kooky free-lunch pie-in-the-sky schemes. As people, they show no capacity for growth, no inclination toward just valuation, vain guilt but no true responsibility toward the errors in their choices; they are deficient, they are handicapped, they are disabled, they are helpless to rectify themselves. If George one day made an effort to take responsibility in his job and genuinely get along with other people, if Jerry accepted his girlfriend's faults for what they were, as all people have faults, if Elaine fell in love with a man not for his social status or his virulity but because she felt affection in his companionship and promise in their partnership, if Kramer set himself on a course of honest work rather than his sideshow of absurd gambles and Pyrrhic victories, then they would cease to be caricatures and become characters, and the comedy would vanish.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:25 AM   #40
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I agree with Louis too, I found it to be not so offending, but not really entertaining either.
And the reasons are basically the same as Louis said.
But, maybe other people did find it funny and humor is very subjective, so every person his own thing.
I wish you luck with the making of your coming movies.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #41
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Hey man, don't forget when asking opinions to keep your own too. If people dump on your humor or tell you what they would change...take it piece meal. If you run back and change everything that's causing the ruckus you might be losing the most appealing part to your target audience. You didn't make that short for people not into your humor. You made it to identify with YOUR audience...some people responded negatively. That's totally cool, but not nearly as much as a concern as people who DO like it. Get there feedback and made adjustments for THEM. Otherwise, you're doing the "trying to please everyone" thing and no one will show up at your movies. Know your audience...and cater to them.

I like seeing offensive stuff from time to time...it means that Freedom of Speech is alive and well.

People on here are talking about your title and therefore your movie. You've accomplished something, so don't change the "buzz" on your movie. If I were you I'd take everything that was offensive and crank it up a few notches. Your real audience will come out of the woodwork for it. Also, remember that Howard Stern line from his movie? I forget the exact words, but it's something like....fans can't stop listening every day because they don't know what he'll do next....and people who hate him can't stop listening everyday because they don't know what he'll do next. Basically, you're in the Howard Stern world with that short...use it to your advatange and DON'T water it down.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #42
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basic feedback: i didn't find the film funny, but then i'm not a fan of the stupid humor genre. as a former teacher of 'marica's youth, i think the dumbing-down of 'marican humor has been to our detriment. stupid humor smacks of the most heartless, soulless brand of reverse elitism. (e.g., branding the audience as elitist or overly p.c. or simply, gasp, old folks if we don't find the humor in stupid humor).

every generation has its forms of humor--it is always funny to me how each generation thinks *its* cast of saturday night live was the only funny one. older folks don't find younger comedians funny, etc.

that said, the stupid humor genre has not only been done, it's been way overdone. overstayed itself. time to move on.

maybe the worst thing that can be said of this film is that it's derivative.

still, it does prove that, as mark twain pointed out 150 years ago, there's no press as effective as negative press.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #43
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If George one day made an effort to take responsibility in his job and genuinely get along with other people, if Jerry accepted his girlfriend's faults for what they were, as all people have faults, if Elaine fell in love with a man not for his social status or his virulity but because she felt affection in his companionship and promise in their partnership, if Kramer set himself on a course of honest work rather than his sideshow of absurd gambles and Pyrrhic victories, then they would cease to be caricatures and become characters, and the comedy would vanish.

Robert, I don't want to hijack this thread and get it way off topic...but I just wanted to clarify my point.

You are right, that if the characters on Seinfeld suddenly changed, then all the comedy would vanish (of course, that's because it's a sitcom, and it relies on static characters). But that wasn't my point. My point was, regardless of the effect it may have on the comedy, the characters COULD change, they do have that ability, they have that choice. And, in every episode, they CHOOSE not to change. In life, a person who is selfish can change, they can CHOSE not to be selfish. They can have certain experiences which may lead to personal growth and change. And, a change like that wouldn't always mean comedy would vanish (look at all the comedies such as "Liar, Liar" "Family Man" "Scrooged" "As Good as It Gets", etc). Those movies all rely on protagonists who have a personality flaw of some kind, and through the film learn to change, and thus become 'better' people.

("As Good as it Gets" is an interesting one in that the progtag actually suffers from a mental disorder... yet learns that it doesn't mean he has to take it out on the world. Yet most of the comedy didn't come from his disorder, but from his surly attitude towards the world).

A person who is mentally retarded cannot decide not to be retarded, no matter what may or may not happen in their lives, they are and will always be mentally retarded. You can't make a comedy about a guy who is retarded, and through the things he experiences he grows and learns NOT to be retarded.

For that reason it is generally more difficult to successfully source comedy from a mental or physical handicap than from a personality flaw.

Like I said, sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.


PS.

Bryan, I bet you didn't think you're short would spark this type of discussion, did you?
:)
Nice work.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #44
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Luis, I agree with you that the essential (that which we can control) gives us a deeper and more potent source of comedy and drama than the accidental (that which we cannot control).

Yet I see nothing fundamentally wrong with being able to laugh at the victories or failures that exist in the accidental. After all, what vouchsafes the accidental as sacred?
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Old June 6th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #45
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personally i could relate to this short and thought it was funny... i mean c'mon, who wears fanny packs anymore??? personally i've worked with handicapped children, i have handicapped family. i still thought it was entertaining.

i dont know if anyone has thought of it like this, and maybe this is taking it too far and to a different level we shouldnt even talk about. but wouldnt you consider handicapped almost like a "race?" like black, white, latino, etc... and dont comedians make fun of race?? alot!? so if the so called "handicapped" were put in a category such as "Race" would this make it acceptable?

i dont know where that came from, it was just a thought on how to look at it. something to ponder... im not quite sure how i look at it myself.

has anyone seen the movie "scary movie" (forget which one) where they have the character "dooey" and he's blatantly acting retarded and kills people? isnt that pretty much the same situation?

there should be a Master-Debating forum.
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