Home Contact Biography Works Media News

Jane Recommends
Who Hates Whom / Bob Harris

Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

"The geopolitical equivalent of scorecards that get hawked at ball games. Only Bob could make a user’s guide to our increasingly hostile world this absorbing, this breezy, and—ultimately—this hopeful."
~ Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac


Jane in Print
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe, edited by Jane Espenson

Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie and including Jane Espenson's short story, "Georgiana"

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, edited by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth

Jane in DVD

Jane in DVD

Now Available:
+Battlestar Galactica Season 3
+Dinosaurs Seasons 3 & 4
+Gilmore Girls Season 4
+Buffy: The Chosen Collection
+Tru Calling
+Angel: Limited Edition Collectors Set

Jane in Progress


Home » Archives » April 2006 » Laughing at Editing
[Previous entry: "Girls Just Wanna Have Funnel"] [Next entry: "Twist Inflation"]

04/07/2006: Laughing at Editing

Had a great lunch today with friend-of-the-blog Maggie. So much fun! Much talk and analysis of my fave show, Battlestar Galactica. I came to the party late but have lately been much immersed in DVD viewing and the wonderful world of iTunes downloads. What a great show! It's been a long time since I've seen a show that does such a good job of crafting plot developments that defy prediction without feeling arbitrary. It's a tricky line to walk. But it's vital. If an audience gets ahead of the story, they can get very bored.

This is also true in the micro as well as the macro. Wanna see how? Here is possible scene transition. For the sake of the example, let's say this is an excerpt from an episode of, say, Taxi. We start at the end of a scene as Elaine is confiding in someone (probably Alex):

And here's the worst part! I agreed to go out with Louie!
Elaine looks on in horror as Louie blows his nose into a cloth napkin.

Now here is a better scene transition:

And here's the worst part! You'll never believe who I agreed to go out with!
Elaine looks on in horror as Louie blows his nose into a cloth napkin.

See the difference? The second option is better. The reveal of Louie as her date is funnier when it's done as part of the cut. This is because it's a bigger swipe at the viewer's expectations. In the first version they go into the restaurant scene knowing something about what they're going to see. It's simply not as funny.

Try, as much as is possible, not to tell the viewers what they're about to see. Unless you're lying to them. Look at your scene transitions. I bet you can find some that you can arrange so that the cut into the next scene becomes a revelation, not just a what-happens-next.

Lunch: Sushi at Echigo on Santa Monica. Tiny morsels brought one-by-one on clouds of warm rice.


Get Blog Updates Via Email

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
Jane recommends you also visit BobHarris.com



April 2006

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Powered By Greymatter
Greymatter Forums

Home | News | Works | Biography | Frequently Asked Questions

Site design Copyright © PM Carlson
This is a fan site owned and operated entirely by PM Carlson with the cooperation and assistance of Jane Espenson. This site is not affiliated in any way with Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox or ABC.