Sunday, August 31, 2014

Writing the Micro-Sitcom

It's been interesting trying to sustain Life with Jess over the course of ten episodes. The simplicity of the Plotagon platform makes it easy to turn dialogue into animated scenes. But the limitations are challenging. Only two characters can appear at a time. There are very few animated actions available, and no ability to move the characters around a scene, other than jump-cutting to a small number of preset locations.

The main puzzle has been figuring out how to bring in plot points that can't be visualized. The solution so far has been exposition, which is not ideal, but has proven to be an opportunity to add humor, as Jess describes her plans and exploits while Samir plays the naive straight man.

Although there's been a number of running jokes, like "that bitch Lizzie," these two videos are my first attempt to sustain a major narrative through two episodes. Although some of the jokes depend upon having viewed prior episodes, they hopefully stand up okay on their own. These are edited versions of the raw video from Plotagon.

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