Development Program : Staging as Applied to Presentation of Story and Gag Ideas

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From the collection of Hans Perk at A. Film L.A. and reprinted here with his permission.

[...] agony of the dog to that boy. It may seem like a Marcovan theory, but we should study psychology and emotions.

Q. When we walk into a theater, we are prepared to accept things that we wouldn't accept in real life.

A. That is true. Therefore we should present our ideas for that kind of mind, rather than for the sophisticated.

Q. In the experiment with the boy and the dog, did you mean to infer that it took longer for the drama to sink in and register, than it did for relief?

A. Yes. It seemed that the mental process was slower in accepting the full knowledge of his loss. However, in the second experiment, when he heard the yelp of the dog, he cried at once.

Q. This leads back to what Perce said about Snow White endearing herself to the dwarfs, If the dog hadn't been one the boy played with and learned to love, he wouldn't have cried, If I cried at all at Snow White it was because of these little men, more or less belligerent at first, who had been brought around to loving her. It could have been built up more.

A. With sufficient build up beforehand, you don't have to be convinced in the individual scene -- you know how touched the person is.

Q. As it was, since we had failed to build up the affection between Snow White and the dwarfs to any great extent, we had to have the dwarfs put on an act to convince the audience.

Q. I believe Snow White's offstage dying could have been handled better, too -- the dropping of the hand and apple, and the reaction of the witch. She might have made some sound or said some line with a lot of feeling in it.

Q. There could have been a sustained silence, even on the part of the witch, with the realization of what has happened. It might have been more dramatic.

Q. One of the big improvements we make will be one that we see in motion pictures now. We laugh at old movies now, because they didn't lead us along with their story, so they had to over-act to compensate for it. Even in death-bed scenes in the old pictures, we laugh at the over-acting. Nowadays, they build along with the character, rather than trying to overcome lack of story building with a lot of contortions and exaggerated facial expressions. [...]