Episode 416 - Making cuts

Mar 4, 2019

The entire team is here this time, no one was cut… So we're chatting about CUTTING, as in cutting out scenes to make a story cleaner, leaner and less flabby, but also NOT cutting because in a webcomic you don't have to, and when you cut badly you end up with a “D movie” effect where story scenes don't follow, don't make sense and plots seem to go nowhere or happen for no reason.

Topics and Show Notes

In most stories you can cut out lots of bits and pieces and get a leaner, more streamlined result: the reason is that an audience will interpolate the missing information between two factors and create their own rationalisation for the events that lead from one to the other. Often this can get them a little more involved and invested in the story because of it. You can trick them into thinking it's a better, cleverer story than it is because they did some of the hard work themselves. Introductions and long establishing scenes can be cut, but also the “things” that happen between or lead up to something:
A murder for example. You don't need to show how it was done, just the intent to commit it and the discovery of the body the next day.

You have to be careful when you cut too much though because events and motivations will stop making meaningful sense and your story will turn to garbage as the structure begins to collapse. I'm sure we've all seen the DVD special features where scenes were cut to streamline the story and you realise WHY the finished product didn't quite make sense in its final form and that it would have been SO much better if they haven't cut that bit out…

Webcomics are a unique medium: they thrive on content. Commercial products have a lot of boundaries and rules they have to stick within, especially movies, so cutting content makes much more sense for them than it does for webcomics. But it's still an interesting thing to try, especially if you want to make your work more commercial in future, i.e. write it up as a screenplay, release it in 30 page printed issues, or even just go for a more cinematic feel.

Don't fall into the trap of pruning a story just for the sake of one element like “action” though, or because you want to rush from one scene to another. Stories benefit from having variation in the pacing. This is why action movies like Ronin and Diehard are so awesome: extreme action is beautifully contrasted and set up with slower scenes that let you take stock and rest (- https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/feb/22/the-action-non-action-ratio/ as in Tantz's newspost last week). The film Van Helsing was well made and entertaining but the breaks between the non-action parts were insufficient, meaning that the impact of the action suffered because of it.

You often hear on DVD commentaries “We cut this part because we thought it was diverting from the main plot” among other rationalisations… Well sometimes that works in film and sometimes it doesn't. Webcomics though often benefit from the freedom to explore side-plots so be careful what you choose to cut.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Aikornia! Double, triple, contrabass, octobass cello! The big guns are coming to play for you now, ushering in the footsteps of doom. It’s like the knight’s dance from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, but as if it were written for ents instead!

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
My Cute Wish - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/feb/26/featured-comic-my-cute-wish/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pit Face - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

Featured music:
Aikonia - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Aikonia/, by Aikonia, rated E.

Episode 309 - boring action scenes

Feb 6, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

What makes an action scene boring? Action scenes should be exciting and fun, but often it's just the opposite! In this Quackcast we discuss the topic of Tantz's newspost from the other day and tackle this hard question. These were Tantz's conclusions: - You don’t yet care enough for the characters involved in the action to worry about them; - If the action is introductory you don't get to understand what's happening enough to care; - The action is badly choreographed or ‘cut’ in a way that the audience can’t understand what is going on; - The action is too much too soon, and back to back; In this Quackcast we try to delve a little more into that :) The featured music this week by Gunwallace was for Starfox Adventures The Comic: Firing the main rockets and racing through space, laser pulses and bolts of plasma streak past in glowing lines of destruction as you smoothly barrel roll to avoid them.

Episode 194 - Adapted Adaptations

Nov 24, 2014

2 likes, 5 comments

This week the topic of our Quackcast was inspired buy my Friday newspost where I talked about how we relate to adaptions of created properties (fave comics or books turned into movies etc), and some of the challenges involved in creating adaptions. i.e. Hollywood will often try to create a sure fire hit by adapting an already successful property (like Lord Of The Rings) into a movie. That property has massive fame and name recognition plus a lot of fan love and popularity. The challenge is to try and create a vision that appeals to the fans while also translating the books into films in such a way that it will easily appeal to the wider population outside of those fans and it can be a tricky process. In this Drunk Duck community webcomic podcast Banes and I discuss some of the pitfalls, cases when it's been done right, wrong, and extra-special!

Episode 190 - The Halloweencast!

Oct 26, 2014

6 likes, 7 comments

For the Halloweencast Banes and I will be journeyed beyond the veil, down into the depths of webcomic HELL… There, we encountered the LOST and the DAMMED: the tormented souls of abandoned webcomics that were ended before their time. Deep underneath the black, soaring Gothic spires of DD HQ lie the labyrinthine catacombs, dry, dusty crypts, and ossuaries where the bones of old abandoned webcomics go to rest and moulder away, their lonely souls pining for the time when they could see the day and frolic in the sun, with viewers to keep them company. Watched over by the great demon Death Porn and harried by mischievous spriter sprites, the poor souls languish in their solitary torments, hoping to one day be reborn anew! For the Halloweencast, Banes and I asked for contributors to name some of their old lost faves so we could pay our respects to these tragic cases, give them a voice once more, and hopefully return them for a few brief moments to the sun again by sending some more viewers their way.

Episode 62 - The SUBSTITUTES or Assistant Editors Week

Jan 31, 2012

9 likes, 20 comments

Ozoneocean was called away for a quick unexpected trip to Bali. Ayesinback and Banes were quick to leap into the breach and take over... and run wild, smashing all the furniture, spray-painting the walls, and whizzing in the corner. Seriously though, I think they did a pretty good job and I hope you'll find it interesting to listen to the first QC with neither Skoolmunkee, NOR Ozoneocean popping up at any-stage. Featured in this QC is the DD Soap Omnibus edition (What Happened While I Was Away), Ayesinback and Banes discussing the upcoming new improved 2012 DD Radio Play (they need scripts!), and two great spoof comic features. No editing at all from Ozoneocean in this one.


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