Wednesday, 14 March 2007

My co-writer, Mike! (Warning- Contains Pa(ren)thetic Bits)

Tee hee, what a trick! My co-writer is a mike-rophone! You thought I meant a person called Michael, what japes! This comedy business is as easy as a piece of easy cake pie, it's just telling lies with an excuse prepared for straight afterwards and using lots of exclamation marks!!!!

Do you remember, gentle reader (I know you won't, rough reader, so I'm not even bothering asking you- half the time you even skip the parentheses (and deserve a punch up the bracket for it)), some time ago I mentioned I thought comedy writing was really a game for two; like Motorway Chicken, Messy Divorce, That Cold War, Bloody Perudo and Comic Reincorporation of an Established Earlier Reference Point?!

Well, as I finalise the scripts (posh word for 'write the rest of') for No Tomatoes, I'm recording them too! This is a really good way to find the bits which work least well, are way too long or are pretty much impossible to say out loud!

You'd think you could tell this from a script, and mainly you can, but scripts are maps not landscapes and there's always some big pot hole or recent multi-vehicle pile up you don't catch using your AA Book of the Road, isn't there?
I find if I demo stuff to the level I want it (albeit just featuring my damned voice inexpertly recorded, over and over again) it produces a much better idea of the finished thing than the script alone does, and my previously mentioned critical voice finds it much easier to break it to my creative self when something is just "bleugh".

It should make the editing and sound design processes a little easier down the line too, because it means we'll have the multitrack templates ready to drop the studio re-recorded voices into for broadcast, which given how keen I am on getting a few interesting sound pictures is really useful!

It's the way I put the pilot together actually, and also works well for me, because I find script length can be a bit of a variable gauge of length of a finished piece- sometimes because my FX instructions turn into rather tediously exacting shopping lists, sometimes because I have characters who talk ten to the dozen and others who leave dangerous pauses between their utterances, and sometimes because 'floccinaucinihilipilification' counts as the same length as 'oh' in Microsoft Word's word count scheme of things.
This last one isn't strictly true- I'd never use the word 'floccinaucinihilipilification' in public, not even here! Tee hee, comedy really is just lying, isn't it!?!

Or is it actually telling a deeper truth as it were a lie (hi, Kathryn Williams (stop googling yourself- you're great, don't worry, okay?))?

No, it isn't! Tee hee! Cor, such larks!

Best go, I'm disappearing up my Ouroborous! Tee hee, that'd be as funny as funny version of 'Carry On Up the Jungle', wouldn't it?! Ooh, did I spoil the end (it's okay I reckon, they spoiled the rest of it!!!!!), and you know it'd only really spoil the end if you already knew the end or had just got a fairly good idea about it by reading the bit above or thought that Carry On films were essentially coherent narrative comedies rather than elaborate life support systems to support elderly and ailing jokes (apart from Screaming obviously which must be good because I like it).

Ian Potter is on holiday, or strong coffee, or something.


Stuart Douglas said...

God, I must get some of what you're on next time I'm working to a deadline :)

IZP said...

Ah,insomnia. It's quite legal and briefly invigorating, just like its close pal caffeine.

This stream of gibberish is of course the evil twin of the 'Where do you get your ideas from?' post.
It's 'Dear God, how can you make the ideas stop?'

Stuart Douglas said...

When I had insomnia a couple of weeks ago I posted to a mailing list complaining about it at 4.30 in the morning, only to have the boy Michalowski reply ten minutes later to say he was just in from some club.

He's a hard man to liek at times, that Mark :)

Mark Michalowski said...

Hard livin', hard lovin' and hard workin'. That's me. Only minus the last bit. At the moment, I'm going through one of those very weary, maungy, can't-be-arsed-to-do-anything phases. Which is not encouraging, especially with a Certain Deadline roaring towards me. I blame last weekend in Barcelona with too much red wine and too much dope. Oh yes, that'll be the hard livin' bit, won't it?


Stuart Douglas said...

Dope - that's a bit like a cigarette, isn't it?

God I miss ciggies...

Mark Michalowski said...

It's a bit like ciggies, yes, only it makes you bizarrely horny (OK, I'll own that statement...) and chops freaky slices out of your recent memory instead of freaky slices out of your life expectancy. Or both. What was I talking about again??


IZP said...

I enjoyed it in the '80s. I thought it helped me talk amusing cobblers. Then I realised it just helped other people stay in the room while I talked cobblers at them.

Thanks for sharing, Mark. I'll never sleep again now.

Surely at some point soon you'll have to come over all presidential and claim you never inhaled to avoid 'damaging the brand'?