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Comedy for Animators by Jonathan Lyons

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Chapter 7Context

Chaplin has his comedy “locations” down fine. It’s easy to be funny in a billiard room, or a bakery, he says; a bathroom is inherently humorous; one chuckles even at the thought of a taxidermist’s shop; a taxicab, facetiously nicknamed “the robber’s delight,” is potentially funny, but a ballroom and a horse and buggy are synonymous for sighs.

Grace Kingsley1

At the beginning of any movie or performance, the first question in the viewer’s mind is “Where am I?” When the theater curtain rises, the audience will immediately evaluate the scene before the actors can speak their lines. Movies almost always begin with an establishing shot, so the audience can orient itself. Just as people go to shows to watch characters that are larger ...

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