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Yeah, it's only been 2 days since my previous journal and already I'm writing another one.
You could say I've been really active these past few days, and I seem to have some kind of andrenaline rush to do as many creative things as possible.

So anyway, Action Comedy.
I've seen so many Action Movies that give you that awesome feeling of suspense and scenes where the characters end up doing death defying stunts and all that.
I've also seen many Comedies where you laugh your ass off due to a hilarious physical scene, like two poor chaps who try to get something heavy up the stairs.
And lastly I've also seen movies where you have both suspense and humour at the same time, like Jackie Chan movies.

Now notice how the previous two are very general, since for the Action Movies you can very easily picture either Mission Impossible, but you could just as easily picture James Bond or the Matrix. For the Comedy it could just as easily be Laurel and Hardy or Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin. But the third one I specifically say Jackie Chan.

That's because generally, nobody does the combination of the two genres as well as Jackie Chan. At least in my opinion.

Yes there are funny scenes in Action Movies, even within the actual Action Scenes. And yes, Comedies ARE able to get suspense from the subject manner of their Comedy, heck I'll quote Leo Rosten here: "Humour is the affectionate communication of insight". Comedy is a great way of demonstrating the tragedy or to put more context to the darker subject matters.

It's also again why "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is my favourite story of all time, and yes I WOULD have married that play since I love it so much. Sadly I don't think Tom Stoppard would have approved of that marriage. Mostly because he has no idea who I am.

But back to the point, why is it that Jackie Chan's mixture of Action Comedy just works so well for me?

Well personally, I think it's because he builds on both the strengths of Action and Comedy individually and made them work together so well.

Action and Comedy is all about build up. You bring the context into the scene as quick as possible and you keep building up from there, adding twists and turns along the way until it comes to an awesome climax.

In hindsight, the lack of the above seems to be a problem with current Action and Comedy movies nowadays since they tend to just stagnate in one place until it goes to the next scene, but that's for another time. It's not like there AREN'T current Action and Comedy movies that do that anymore, I'm just talking the majority here.

Anyway with Jackie Chan movies there's a very simple context, and it just builds up around that context. He has something the bad guys want, the bad guys want to get him, oh no, he's running away from them, crap a truck is in the way, oh don't worry, Jackie does a funny stunt to get away from that guy using the truck, oh wait the enemy now thought of something to do with the truck, etc. etc.

When writing action, it's not always about what kind of long Shakespearean Soliloquys you can put in a scene, sometimes it just works to have a simple concept and have the characters interact around it.

What makes Jackie Chan scenes work is that it's a two-way street. Yes, many fans simply look at Jackie as he does his stunts, but I personally constantly look at the bad guys. Just their expressions and their looks of surprise as they suddenly realize that Jackie expertly dodged something in a way they didn't expect. But the bad guys aren't stupid either, they constantly think on the fly too. They also pick up random stuff on the ground or in the room and try throwing it against Jackie.

There are people who seem to have this idea that serious action and comedic slapstick don't belong together. I disagree, I think just as much as Comedic Writing can help Dramatic Writing, so can Comedic Slapstick help Action Choreography. It humanizes the fighters. It makes us care about them and makes us root for their survival.

Sure you can't have literal Tom and Jerry Cartoon physics in the exact same scene where the characters suddenly have Hunger Games types of injury, but that is why new stories should be made specifically tailored to the right mixture of Slapstick and Action.

I mean think about it, it's not like a guy being hit with a hammer and walking dizzily is any less realistic than the kinds of action sequences you see nowadays where someone is shot and just walks it off as a flesh wound. At the very least the slapstick shows the character as being vulnerable, which is exactly what is missing from Action Movies nowadays to begin with.

Bottom line, just have a simple context for your scenes, add more and more complications to it that work for and against the main character, have it be a two-way street where the villains also think for themselves and just add some humanity to the characters by adding some vulnerability with the slapstick.

Oh, and maybe also have characters that are likable, that may help too.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Endless Possibilities (by Bowling For Soup)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my TV, my laptop screen is broken...
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Yeah, you know this phrase, right? "It's just a kid's show".

There's been so many uses of this phrase that there are just as many people who use it as well as people who hate it with a passion.
Sometimes it even ends up being used AND criticized by the exact same person.

So what's MY opinion on it?
Well, I think both points of views are right, but both have faults too.

On one hand, yes, some shows truly ARE made for kids, and taking it so damn seriously is completely missing the point of the whole thing.
Honestly, would Tiny Toons REALLY be that much better if the characters had lasting injuries and ended up being permanently crippled because of their slapstick?
Would continuity truly help a show like Tom and Jerry? Do they have to explain how Tom and Jerry suddenly became Musketeers and how in the next episode Tom survived being beheaded by the Guillotine?

On the other hand, just beceause something is a cartoon or a show that kids can watch does it mean it SHOULD be devoid of depth or even dark moments.
If Batman the Animated Series lost it's depth and dark moments, that would mean removing the death of Bruce Wayne's parents. It would mean the villains would have been one-note characters for Batman to beat up instead of the deep characters they are now. Hell, in a lot of people's opinions, the villains are the true stars of the show rather than Batman. In fact, I'm one them.
Same with Spectacular Spider-Man. That show had continuity and you could see Peter Parker's growth as a person. Taking that away will make Peter Parker's scenes a waste of time as you simply wait for him to dress up like Spider-Man and beat some villains up with no real context.

Where I think both views are wrong, though, is the fact that there is a difference between a show made for kids and a show made for the whole family.

A lot of people seem to miss this. It's obvious Tiny Toons or Tom and Jerry are totally different shows than Batman the Animated Series or Spectacular Spider-Man. Yet simply because kids can watch all 4, they all end up getting called "Kid's shows".

It's all a matter of demographics.

Kid's shows are shows meant EXCLUSIVELY to kids. Yes, some nostalgic fans or even some casual fans outside of that demographic can still watch it. I mean, I love Tom and Jerry as much as the next guy. But it's obvious that it's targeted towards kids. You're not supposed to think about how things are affecting the characters or what their ulterior motives are. It's just fun to see a cat and mouse try to beat each other at their own games.

Family shows are shows meant for EVERYONE, and that INCLUDES kids. Because of that, while it still won't have stuff like excessive blood and gore or sex or whatever, it still TRIES to speak towards people other than kids. Teenagers could relate to the young characters, adults can appreciate the deep stories and kids can just cheer for the hero or heroine as they save the day or whatever.

It's the family shows where standards should be held high.
Here is where you can complain about continuity errors, characters being out-of-character, writers botching up a storyline, etc.

Kids shows however? Come on, it should be obvious they're not meant to be taken so seriously.
Do you really want to know about the politics of Sesame Street?
Is it really going to help Teletubbies by explaining how those TVs on their bellies work biologically?

My point is, if you ever feel like saying "It's just a kid's show", please make sure the show in question truly IS a kid's show, and not a show for the whole family.
Because as much as I'd love to show my future children Spectacular Spider-Man, it's not going to be until AFTER they've seen their fair share of Looney Tunes.
  • Listening to: Endless Possibilities (by Bowling For Soup)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my TV, my laptop screen is broken...
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Usually when I ask someone what kind of movie they like to see, they always say they prefer comedy, action or drama.
Well they can also say they want action and drama, or comedy and action, or drama and comedy, but my point is that there's a general feeling the viewers want to feel as they watch the movie.

For action you could generalize it as wanting to feel adrenaline or anger.
For comedy it's usually about laughter or having likable characters.
For drama it's all about being fully invested and crying.

Of course, whenever people like something more than the other, many will sadly take sides and start some kind of opinion war out of it.

People who like comedy will talk about how melodramatic the drama movies are, people who like action will hate the slapstick included in their beautifully choreographed fighting, people who like drama will say how the action is mindless.

Obviously that way of thinking is pretty simple-minded, and I think it's pretty obvious that a good movie makes use of all the three emotional responses rather than focus on just one of them.
There can be a preference in your story, of course, but a good story can't stand on it's own with JUST one emotional response.

Like always, comedy seems to be the most under-appreciated out of them, many thinking comedy is about watching people being stupid and all that.
They of course don't realize that without the comedy, people will never truly LIKE your characters.
I mean they can admire their skill in martial arts with the action or sympathize them with the drama, but to actually LIKE them?

Think of it this way, imagine your character is a very pompous and overconfident guy who always succeeds in everything and does everything in the story with ease.
Sounds like a bit of a Mary Sue, doesn't he? You don't appreciate the things he's done because there wasn't really anything that gave you the feeling he COULDN'T do it in the first place.
Now imagine if he's overconfident, but he NEVER succeeded in anything in his life and actually goes through a lot of problems, becoming the butt of the joke all the time until finally he succeeds in the end.
He still as the same personality, but the events have changed. He can be overconfident all he wants, but he's easily put back on his place by falling into a haystack or getting hit in the face with a basketball or whatever.
You end up liking him for having such optimism, even if still a bit narcissistic. And as overconfident as he is, you still really do feel happy the moment he finally succeeded in the end.
That's why people like characters like Johnny Bravo, Sherlock Holmes or Tony Stark. 

On the flip side, though, drama seems to be generalized as what's winning Oscars most of the time.
Pushing aside the fact of whether Oscars are actually credible or not, drama IS what's making people invested in your stories to begin with.
Sure, sometimes all it takes for someone to check out a movie is to read the description and say "Oh, that sounds funny/cool. I'll watch it!".
But a movie with nothing BUT Comedy or nothing BUT Action will end up boring fast.

A Comedy is about timing, but you won't ever GET the opportunity for the next best time for a gag without some drama in between.
Action is all about resolving conflict in a violent manner, but the conflict has to come from SOMEWHERE.

Whenever people think of drama, they usually think of romantic drama where a guy and a girl fight over something and cry cry cry, or some art-house movie where some student goes all emotional over a pen falling on the ground in slow-motion.
...
Okay, maybe the last one's just me, but that just sounds hilarious to me.

But drama is more than that.
Drama is about investment.
Drama is about making people know what the characters are going through, what they feel and what weight their decisions have.
Drama is about making you realize how one character feels about the other, or how a crowd feels about one person.

Drama and Comedy are not exclusive.
Naked Gun is a great example of that.
If it was JUST the slapstick in Naked Gun without any context, it would've been tiring and eventually the joke, no matter how good they are, end up simply becoming annoying.
But as much as people claim Naked Gun is nothing but comedy, it really isn't.
As weird as it is, Naked Gun has characters that people invest in.
The situations are still hilarious, but there's a plot going on that gives the characters different emotions to the situation.
It obviously gets made fun, it being a parody of cop movies after all, but the characters take it completely seriously, and that's the beauty of it.

The late Leslie Nielsen didn't play off his character's romance as "Oh wow, look how wacky we are as a couple". He felt genuine sadness and anger and love. It's done in a hilarious manner, but you're convinced his character does feel those feelings, and that gets you invested in him.

With the action genre, many people seem to love pointing out how mindless they are.
"Oh, it's just to show big burly men punching and kicking each other."

Sure, out of all the three genres listed here, I can actually imagine stories being great without action.
But action has it's time and place too, especially because action is the place where both comedy and drama can come together perfectly.
Just look at fight scenes of Jackie Chan. It's not just about watching how amazing he is as a martial artist, it's also about showing that despite all the impressive stunts he does, he's still human.
He gets punched in the face and is visibly hurt. He intercepts someone's kick with his own and rubs his hurt shin afterwards. He gets stomped on his fingers as he's hanging on the edge and actually whimpers in pain after he lands safely.
The action makes him an awesome martial artist, but the comedy makes him likable.
Of course there has to be a REASON why the fighting was happening in the first place, which is where the drama comes from.
Drama is what gave the story the level of conflict in the first place.

Sometimes it's just a silly "Get him!" moment and Jackie is simply trying to escape.
But there are also times when the one Jackie is fighting is some guy who threatened his family's business, or someone who ruined his career, or someone who's a real threat to humanity.
It makes you invested and makes you root for Jackie in the first place.

Honestly, the worst action movies are where you don't care at all who's going to win because you're not invested in any of them in the first place.
In the end, without investment, all an action sequence is is a bunch of creative ways of hurting one another.
But with the investment and the context, it's suddenly an underdog story, or it's a heartbreaking story of two separated brothers, or it's an epic story involving the fate of the world.

As much of a forgone conclusion it is, a great story makes use of all the emotions that come from all those three genres.
And the funny thing is, many stories generally already HAVE all three of them.
Just because it's a slapstick comedy doesn't mean there's no drama in Tom and Jerry. Just look at the amount of times those two end up very sadly begging against one another or crying as the realize what their fates are about to be.
Just because Avengers is full of action doesn't mean it has no comedy. People don't make posts on tumblr about how likable the characters are because of how they fought the aliens, they make posts about their funny dialogue, how Tony and Steve had a whole pissing contest about Justice vs Pragmatism.
And just because Titanic is all about the relationship between Jack and Rose, doesn't mean there's no place for action. It's the Titanic sinking that made people truly root for Jack and Rose to survive, and it's the fact they've gone so far that it's so sad to see Jack die in the end.
I would say spoilers, but anyone knows about that, so whatever.

The point is, every story in it's most basic form generally has the ability for the viewer/reader to have those feelings.
It's all about utilizing those feelings to the fullest while still holding onto the vision and moral of your story.
  • Listening to: When Can I See You Again (by Owl City)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
One thing I always had trouble with when designing characters or environments was how symmetric they were.
If I modeled a corridor and one wall had a poster on it, the other wall has another poster.
If I created a 3D Model of a character from one side, all I did was use the symmetry function and it's pretty much done.

I have since found out the inherent problem with that mentality.

Something a lot of starting artists don't seem to realize is that art generally challenges the senses of the viewer.
And with that I mean that when someone looks at your art, they don't just see the whole picture and have it rendered in one go in their mind.
They scan. They see the big focus point of the picture, like a character's face, then they look around the focus point, like the character's whole body, and THEN they look at everything else, like the environment.
Of course, that can go the other way as well. In an establishing shot of an environment, usually you manipulate the viewer to look at the environment first, THEN the characters.
There's lots of composition tricks for that, but that's not what I'm going to talk about right now.

Either way, you're probably wondering what this has to do with asymmetry?
Well, that's the thing. A symmetrical looking environment or character doesn't CHALLENGE the senses of the viewer.
Okay, if the character has enough of a complex look, maybe, but even then it would feel like a bit of a cop-out if such a complex looking character ends up looking very symmetrical.

The point is, symmetry is boring.
And that's because having everything in total balance is boring.
That's the idea you have to have in mind, there's a balance or weight to the design of a character or environment.
Your eyes are generally more interested in something unbalanced than something that is.

Take for example a row of chairs.
If all the chairs are red and just stand there motionlessly, you wouldn't know what to focus on.
I mean, yeah, you could randomly pick chair number 4 as your focal point, but nothing special is happening anyway.
But have one of them be blue and about to fall over, that's what you're going to look at. That is unless you're somehow very fascinated by chair number 4 for some odd reason.

That is not to say everything HAS to be unbalanced.
But there should at the very least be something different.

Having two identical fighters on two sides of the ring is boring.
Having one fighter be a huge muscled figure and the other very skinny and weak is a bit more interesting, but it's very heavily on the muscled guy's side.
Having one fighter be a huge muscled figure and the other be a death robot, now THAT is interesting.

You don't need to design a character that for some odd reason equips everything on his left shoulder, but at the very least have something else on his right side.
If your character has a shoulder pad on his left shoulder, have him have a claw on his right hand.

This is not to say there's no place for characters that look completely symmetrical, but you do need to realize the implications with such a design.
Such a design gives a feeling of uniform, safe, a character that's not really threatening and generally has no personality to them.
That's the reason why Mario is so symmetrical, because in the end Mario games aren't about the character of Mario, but the environments and the great level design.

Having your character be asymmetrical gives more of an adventurous feeling, sometimes even threatening if done right.
And that's why Sonic has that smile on his cheek rather than in the middle.
Hell, that's the reason why Sonic as a character tends to tilt his head to the side, to add more asymmetry to his design.
The spikes on his head are very different from the round shape of the front of his face.

The difference can also be seen in the same franchise.
Take Megaman X and Zero. Megaman X is almost completely symmetrical. Zero on the other hand has that nifty hair of his that usually flows to one side, and as an extra touch from Megaman X3 on he has his Z-Saber stick out to one side. His left shoulder pad also has his symbol on it while the other side doesn't.
Now, guess which one of the two ended up being more popular :P

I rest my case.
  • Listening to: Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (by Nena & Kim Wilde)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Yeah, it's only been 2 days since my previous journal and already I'm writing another one.
You could say I've been really active these past few days, and I seem to have some kind of andrenaline rush to do as many creative things as possible.

So anyway, Action Comedy.
I've seen so many Action Movies that give you that awesome feeling of suspense and scenes where the characters end up doing death defying stunts and all that.
I've also seen many Comedies where you laugh your ass off due to a hilarious physical scene, like two poor chaps who try to get something heavy up the stairs.
And lastly I've also seen movies where you have both suspense and humour at the same time, like Jackie Chan movies.

Now notice how the previous two are very general, since for the Action Movies you can very easily picture either Mission Impossible, but you could just as easily picture James Bond or the Matrix. For the Comedy it could just as easily be Laurel and Hardy or Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin. But the third one I specifically say Jackie Chan.

That's because generally, nobody does the combination of the two genres as well as Jackie Chan. At least in my opinion.

Yes there are funny scenes in Action Movies, even within the actual Action Scenes. And yes, Comedies ARE able to get suspense from the subject manner of their Comedy, heck I'll quote Leo Rosten here: "Humour is the affectionate communication of insight". Comedy is a great way of demonstrating the tragedy or to put more context to the darker subject matters.

It's also again why "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is my favourite story of all time, and yes I WOULD have married that play since I love it so much. Sadly I don't think Tom Stoppard would have approved of that marriage. Mostly because he has no idea who I am.

But back to the point, why is it that Jackie Chan's mixture of Action Comedy just works so well for me?

Well personally, I think it's because he builds on both the strengths of Action and Comedy individually and made them work together so well.

Action and Comedy is all about build up. You bring the context into the scene as quick as possible and you keep building up from there, adding twists and turns along the way until it comes to an awesome climax.

In hindsight, the lack of the above seems to be a problem with current Action and Comedy movies nowadays since they tend to just stagnate in one place until it goes to the next scene, but that's for another time. It's not like there AREN'T current Action and Comedy movies that do that anymore, I'm just talking the majority here.

Anyway with Jackie Chan movies there's a very simple context, and it just builds up around that context. He has something the bad guys want, the bad guys want to get him, oh no, he's running away from them, crap a truck is in the way, oh don't worry, Jackie does a funny stunt to get away from that guy using the truck, oh wait the enemy now thought of something to do with the truck, etc. etc.

When writing action, it's not always about what kind of long Shakespearean Soliloquys you can put in a scene, sometimes it just works to have a simple concept and have the characters interact around it.

What makes Jackie Chan scenes work is that it's a two-way street. Yes, many fans simply look at Jackie as he does his stunts, but I personally constantly look at the bad guys. Just their expressions and their looks of surprise as they suddenly realize that Jackie expertly dodged something in a way they didn't expect. But the bad guys aren't stupid either, they constantly think on the fly too. They also pick up random stuff on the ground or in the room and try throwing it against Jackie.

There are people who seem to have this idea that serious action and comedic slapstick don't belong together. I disagree, I think just as much as Comedic Writing can help Dramatic Writing, so can Comedic Slapstick help Action Choreography. It humanizes the fighters. It makes us care about them and makes us root for their survival.

Sure you can't have literal Tom and Jerry Cartoon physics in the exact same scene where the characters suddenly have Hunger Games types of injury, but that is why new stories should be made specifically tailored to the right mixture of Slapstick and Action.

I mean think about it, it's not like a guy being hit with a hammer and walking dizzily is any less realistic than the kinds of action sequences you see nowadays where someone is shot and just walks it off as a flesh wound. At the very least the slapstick shows the character as being vulnerable, which is exactly what is missing from Action Movies nowadays to begin with.

Bottom line, just have a simple context for your scenes, add more and more complications to it that work for and against the main character, have it be a two-way street where the villains also think for themselves and just add some humanity to the characters by adding some vulnerability with the slapstick.

Oh, and maybe also have characters that are likable, that may help too.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Endless Possibilities (by Bowling For Soup)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my TV, my laptop screen is broken...
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks

Journal History

deviantID

XNinjaRed
Huy Minh Le
Artist | Student | Film & Animation
Netherlands
:iconapinkishblue::iconxninjared:

Favourite genre of music: Pop/Rock
Favourite photographer: My father?
Favourite style of art: Manga
Operating System: Windows XP
Favourite cartoon character: The Grim Reaper
Personal Quote: "It's not Survival of the Fittests, it's Survival of the ones who dare to cheat."
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:iconcrescotheeko:
CrescoTheEKO Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
:w00t: :party: Happy Birthday!! :party: :w00t:
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XNinjaRed Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thanks, buddy :D
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CrescoTheEKO Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
You're welcome! ;3
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64SuperNintendo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Happy birthday!
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jannoo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Hmm, it's a long time ago you uploaded something.... When will you upload something new? =D
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LanProwerKopaka Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
Hey, I've tagged you!
[link]
Hope that's okay. :D
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Simmszs Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank u much for the dA watch :dummy:
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Tsuki-SoraRuki Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:icongroupjoinplz: :iconcreation-inspiration:
we're so honored you join this group
here are a things you need to know about CI
more information is here
for the rest I wish you a great time at Creation-Inspiration
and feel free to upload your creations anytime ^-^
regards, Crew Of CI
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nekorandomnessqueen Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! :dummy:
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XNinjaRed Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Student Filmographer
Ah gee thanks, didn't think anyone on Deviant Art would notice.
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