Saturday, February 12, 2011

A note on writing:
According to David Niven’s book Bring on the Empty Horses, when screenwriter Charles MacArthur asked Charlie Chaplin for some advice, it went something like this:
“How, for example, could I make a fat lady, walking down Fifth Avenue, slip on a banana peel and still get a laugh?” he asked. “It’s been done a million times. …What’s the best way to get a laugh? Do I show first the banana peel, then the fat lady approaching, then she slips? Or do I show the fat lady first, then the banana peel, then she slips?”

“Neither,” Chaplin responded. “You show the fat lady approaching, then you show the banana peel, then you show the fat lady and the banana peel together. Then she steps over the banana peel and disappears down a manhole.”