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

(Click on graphic for full-sized image.)

Page 12 of 16

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

[...] A. I had never fully realized, until I got into this subject, how important continuity build-up is. Never again, if I keep conscious of it, will I allow a spot gag to take pace without going back and checking to see how it can be topped more by adding to it.

Q. Proof of the perfection of the build-up would be if it were so good you could skip the scene, or not have any good touches in the scene itself, but still have it go over.

Q. If a scene was done right, you could do it in a series of stills, and yet make your audience cry.

Q. It is much harder to create a genuine happiness than it is to create sadness. You have probably seen scenes of festivals, with people singing and dancing, but how many times did they make you feel gay?

Q. Any mood has to have a reason behind it. You can't just turn on a gay scene without building up to it by contrast. If you do, it is artificial and insincere.

Q. The whole story of Snow White was told in a spontaneous, naive fashion, with everything more or less child-like. Therefore the audience didn't feel any restraint about weeping.

Q. It is a matter of simplicity and directness. Everybody was ready when the tear-jerking scene came around.

A. The mechanics of a happy mood or of a sad mood are the same if they are properly approached and analyzed.

Q. Our naive approach is our greatest advantage. However, it must have the ring of sincerity, or we would be boo'd off the scene.

Q. We won't always be able to get away with the obvious presentations. We will have to resort to inference, like the unfinished pie business referred to earlier.

Q. Resorting to inference in that way can be done successfully only with careful building ahead of the point. Otherwise, you will just appear "arty."

Q. We are going to have another obvious scene, in "Pinocchio" when Pinocchio is supposed to be drowned.

Q. We have cut down on the idea of the old man talking and crying. We will let silent grief take it's place.

Q. Did it ever occur to anyone to have the old man be out; the Fairy comes to Pinocchio, to change him to a real [...]