Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flighting and writing

Season 6 is of Takalani Sesame is flighting.  And we have recently began writing seasons 8 & 9... Quite a journey so far.  I thought I'd jot a few points down about what I have learnt about writing during this process... as writing for kids is tricky... as is sketch comedy. Put them together and... well it is tough.  And writing for a South African audience is not easy.  The programme is translated from English into four other languages.  Therefore verbal jokes don't work - as they more than likely won't translate.  We are asked by production for a number of things... Like... 
  • Minimise locations to one location per sketch.  
  • Use a maximum of 3 Muppets per sketch - and only if absolutely necessary - otherwise two.
  • Use minimal props.  
  • Be aware of the limitations of shooting green screen - and there are many!
But as we know with constraint comes creativity. So...

1.  Keep it simple. Simple simple simple.  If you have to say 'because' when describing your sketch then already it is too complicated.
2.  Get to the point quickly - Nick always says that more often than not you can delete the first paragraph / page.
3. Having one character who doesn't quite 'get it' or has outrageous solutions helps with dialogue... conflict, drama... and of course comedy.
4.  Never 'teach' in your dialogue... learning is revealed - is a consequence - and is not 'the point' as it were.  If you are too on the nose - it's probably boring and patronising.
5.  If someone is a bit off or 'wrong'... it is - mostly - the adult and not the child Monster Muppet.
6.  There has to be a build and a twist at the end... a punch line. In a four minute sketch, that can be rough.  Something surprising has to happen. If the end surprises you - that's good!
7.  Don't have two twists - turn the story twice as it were - it creates a false ending and loses momentum.
8.  Write everything today and edit it tomorrow - it's amazing what a nights sleep can do. 
9.  Just start writing.  Sometimes I sit for ages and ages and ages... writing and rewriting the title for the sketch... and the truth is, even if you don't know exactly where you are going, just start.  More often than not the story will tell you what should or what could happen.  Who cares about the title!
10.  Have fun.  If you are having fun - and if it is shot properly and performed well and edited with good timing - then the audience should have fun too!

And a special one just for me...  Do a spell check :)

I'm sure there's loads more - but that's all for now.

These are some background stills from the new season look... I think they are fabulous.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Desert Trailer

We are very pleased to publish the trailer for our clown show 'A Day in the Desert' ...Ah.  Clown.  Such a wonderful art form.

Day in the Desert from Jenine Collocott on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Love. Of film.

This... made me swoon.  Cinema.  Transposed.  What a beautiful thing.  These people are very clever.  I would also like to be a Dancing Ghosts.

Dancing ghosts from dunun on Vimeo.