In 15 seconds can you make someone laugh?
Go on, give it a go.
Now making someone laugh in a 15 second animation would seem to be a piece of cake. Mmmm… Cake. Actually it turn out to be a bit of a challenge to have an animation that short. No cake for me.
In my funny 15 sec team, which consists of Ben Wardle and Olivia Reaveley, we wanted the visuals to become the gag rather than a dialog to deliver the joke. Taking this approach, we had to create a style and idea to deliver that visual gag. From our brainstorm session we chose a news anchor man reporting pointless news with Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animation style. We pick his style because how caricature and wacky his style is, which would deliver a visual gag. Also we never done a 2D cut out animation before; what perfect time to do one.
So with the style and idea there, we needed to have some dialog. Now remember I said it was a bit of a challenge? You may think, why is making a small script a challenge? Well remember its only 15 second long animation…. Yeah we kept going way over 15 seconds long after making an animatic because we wanted to make pointless breaking news and with the holds, this was not possible to deliver. So we went back to the drawing board to change our approach.
If you look at comedy and break down the elements of what makes a comedy so funny, is that it shows how much negative subject comedy touches on.
For example: We laugh seeing John Cleese character “Basil Fawlty” getting angry and smacking his car with a branch from Fawlty Towers. If you look at this character as a whole, he is a negative person but we laugh because of his actions, which makes it comedy.
So by rethinking our idea for the script, I came up with an idea, which tie nicely to our visual objective. My idea was playing on people perception by telling the audience a subject then switching to a twisted visual version of that subject.
Confused? Let me explain.
If the news said drunk driver causing chaos on the road, you would expect someone drunk driving a car. But you wouldn’t expect a drunken old man driving a scooter going 5mph down the road causing chaos.
This approach was perfect to deliver our objectives.