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    MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

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    MasterWGS

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    MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by MasterWGS on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:03 am

    Hi ParodyOX Forums goers! My screen name is MasterWGS, but lots of people call me Wuggles, and some people even call me by my real name, Grant. Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine, so long as it's clear you're talking to me.

    Anyway, I decided to make this thread to try and help you guys get better at what you're trying to do. I used to dabble quite a bit in the ol' Abridging arts, but work and hanging out with friends has made it a lot tougher to fit into my schedule. So, instead, I'm going to live vicariously through YOU, the people with the time to create stuff and make people laugh! How do I plan on doing that, you ask?

    Simple! While not directly helping you create your series, I want to act as a sort of guide. You show me some examples of your work, and I'll try to lead you in a direction I think will help you most. NOTE: This may include me telling you what you need to improve. Please understand that anything I say you did "incorrectly," merely means that I think you squandered potential laughs or didn't work with what you had to its fullest. Feel free to disagree all you want - it's my opinion, after all, I just want to help.

    It's also fair for you to know that I'm a bit of a stickler for quality. I strongly believe that improvement is accompanied with pointed criticisms. I'm not here to hurt your feelings, just to show you how I think you can be a better Abridger/MENTor/Parody maker. So again, some of my advice may come off as a tad harsh, but it will never be presented in a rude or angry way. If you're worried about me hurting your feelings, feel free to ignore this thread, or watch me work with others before taking the plunge.

    Lastly, as I mentioned before, my schedule can oftentimes be quite busy, so I might not always get to your videos right away. Please be patient, and I'll try my best to watch everything posted here, and give what little (and hopefully useful) advice I can offer.

    And with that, fire away. I'm ready to try and help.



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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by ZeroSigner on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:15 am

    do i post my work as link on this thread or send it though pm?


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    MasterWGS

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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by MasterWGS on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:18 am

    Ah, sorry, I didn't make that clear.

    Please post links to your work in this thread, specifically particular videos you want me to see. Linking me to just a channel will make things more difficult, so it'd be best to just link me to individual (or multiple) videos in your post.


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by Xcaliborg on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:27 am

    Hey WGS~ sorry about before but I had to make things clear.

    Thanks for giving these forums a go!


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by ZeroSigner on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:29 am





    theres are my current samples of my abridging work[


    Last edited by ZeroSigner on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:00 am; edited 2 times in total


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    MasterWGS

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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by MasterWGS on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:32 am

    No problem, and to be honest, I was being pretty sarcastic 'cause I thought I had caught you guys in a logic loop. No apologies necessary.

    Zero, I'll get to your stuff asap.


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by Admin-sensei on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:33 am


    If you click the video icon when posting and paste the video URL in there, you can embed the video. Just FYI~
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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by ZeroSigner on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:41 am

    Admin-sensei wrote:

    If you click the video icon when posting and paste the video URL in there, you can embed the video. Just FYI~
    aw man ur right sorry i just needed to show him my samples


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by Admin-sensei on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:43 am

    ZeroSigner wrote:
    Admin-sensei wrote:

    If you click the video icon when posting and paste the video URL in there, you can embed the video. Just FYI~
    aw man ur right sorry i just needed to show him my samples

    It's ok, I'm just here to help as well. Also, if you don't want to embed the videos in your forum post you can instead post them as a link using the appropriate button when posting. If you need any more help you may post in the "Help" section! ^^
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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by Jpace92 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:19 am

    I would really like a critique for my most recent Burst Angel Abridged episode which is a few months old. Thanks for the help man!
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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by Xcaliborg on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:26 am

    Sometimes I'm a little unaware of it all~

    No problem, enjoy the forums!


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by MasterWGS on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:02 pm

    Okay Zero, I went ahead and did Soul Eater for ya. This is from watching the video twice - once just straight through, and the second time taking notes to report back on how I thought you did.

    Soul Eater Abridged 3



    You start off with a bit of a rough scene. We have a focused shot on Lupin's feet, but the only sound effects we can really hear are Death's gunshots, which are slightly out of time. This is pretty jarring. Obviously in reality gunshots would be far louder than the sound of footsteps or human breathing, but in things like this, it's often better to exaggerate certain sounds and make sure every thing is mixed fairly evenly so it's all clear. Some louder footstep noises, or maybe more running sounds from Lupin would have helped, which brings us to our next issue.

    When dealing with voice acting it's incredibly important to PROJECT. Or, if the actor already is, make sure their lines can be heard clearly (ESPECIALLY when they're delivering a punchline). I replayed Lupin's second line that makes Death freak out multiple times, and I never quite caught what he was saying. The music was too loud, or his lines were too quiet. Regardless, proper mixing could've helped this whole situation. Sometimes it's helpful to have a third party come in and view a scene to make sure they can hear everything clearly. When you know the script, it's obvious what's being said, so sometimes getting an unbiased set of ears can point out mixing issues and difficult to understand lines.

    The previous problem becomes especially egregious when the exact OPPOSITE problem occurs with Death. His voice comes in super loud, and the difference in volume between the two characters is staggering. We also get a very awkward transition with a split second of silence an a freaked out Death face, to him banging on the ground (I think accompanied with sound effects? If that's what they were, they certainly didn't sync up with the impact of his fists) and yelling about the lines in his hair. The joke may have been funny, were I to ever understand Lupin's triggering line. Death's line also seemed very rushed and, though loud, not exactly... believable.

    We then see Lupin exit stage down with no sound effects. Maybe this was to make sure we heard his "Gets him every time" statement, but it made the whole scene seem awkward. Patty states that Lupin, in fact, went down that hole and giggles, which annoys Death. He compares her to the devil, who is worse than his dad. Not exactly a punchline, but maybe it'd be funnier if I watched the show (I'm aware Death the kid is the son of the Grim Reaper, so if that was the prerequisite of the joke... well, it's still not much of a joke, just a weird statement... which I guess is it's own form of comedy?).

    Opening sequence. It's a bit long (30 seconds of a < 5 minute video is a LONG time, relatively speaking). Remember, though you might want to make a sweet amv and mix it into your video, most people watch these things to laugh. Unless your opening sequence has jokes within, it's typically best to make it as short as possible. 10-15 seconds maximum in my opinion, but feel free to stick with whatever you're comfortable with. The goal is to both have fun AND entertain, and most will be disappointed in all the time you weren't making them laugh with your opening, and will frequently skip it on repeat viewings. Might as well be a pal to them and just make it as quick as possible.

    Back to the show! Death says they've done a "good" job, and should contact his father. Liz makes it clear to the audience that they have, in fact, not done a good job. Just stating this isn't really a joke. You need to sell it! Make it a laughable concept. Go a step beyond just informing your audience that Death is wrong in his self-evaluation, and take it to some exaggerated level. Also, Liz sounds super bored. Unless she's surrounded by lively characters, that kind of a voice just makes your audience bored! Have her be more upset that Death's so wrong, or maybe a bit more dramatic with it! Give your characters some sort of punchline with their statements. Just saying something doesn't cut - gives us a joke!

    Lord Death's (who shall henceforth be referred to as Grim) lines are nearly impossible to hear under the initial background music. It doesn't help that his speech style is difficult to understand in the first place. Some more volume and some clearer intonation and voice projection would do this character some good. We leave this scene with a really weak joke of "Where's that facebook page with all those hookers?"

    Sometimes ham-fisted lines work really well. Blatant, absurd statements can sometimes be hilarious if used properly. This just sounded lazily written. It felt like you just went "What would be a silly hijink for Death to inadvertantly catch his dad in? Prostitution is pretty funny, especially for a God of Death, right?" While the concept is absurd, it tries to hard to be the "OH YEAH, WE WENT THERE" joke, and just comes off as, again, lazy.

    We have the team arrive at the pyramid, and Liz complains that Death didn't have them take a bus. Death reveals he's broke, so the bus was't a possibility. Liz questions on if he used his money on comics, to which Death goes "Um, noooooooo?"

    Um No jokes have been done a million times, and are a pretty easy fallback. If you're going to rely on such a common gag, you gotta find a way to spice it up and make it yours. Put some character into it, and make it interesting for your viewer! Trust me, we want to laugh - we just don't want to laugh at jokes we've already heard. Make it something new and unique so you have us coming back for more!

    "I've seen bigger. In bed." Again with the ham-fistedness. You don't need to spell out the joke for us, that kills it. Let the audience make the connection, so it's that much funnier. Have you ever had someone explain a joke to you? It usually isn't very funny afterwards, right? That's kinda what the "In bed" did to this joke. Not that it was a real winner to begin with, but it only hurt it by adding in that little bit. Again, we've all heard penis-size-comparison jokes: Make them YOURS. Do something you've never heard anyone else do with them! Also, the sound mixing on the two girls was pretty rough. Try to even out their levels a bit more next time.

    Death makes a random statement about a visual novel. This isn't a joke, this is just an odd statement. There was no real punchline, or build up. If his sounds were supposed to be more concerned, supplying a more tense build-up perhaps, it's the actor's job to display that. In the end, this just felt like a grab for "Death reads visual novels. Do YOU read visual novels? The fact that you do as well makes this funny, huh?" which usually falls flat. It's not even observational humor, it's just "You've heard of this thing, so that's funny, huh?" And it, sadly, isn't.

    ACTING! The freakout from Liz for the mummy could've used some mixing, but she at least put some effort into the line. She peaked a couple times, though, which is rough on the ears. Make sure characters' lines are comfortable to hear. Also, the licking isn't really a joke - it clearly happened in the show. Liz's "I think I peed a little" was okay.

    Don't know what that deep sound was supposed to be. Think I missed the joke.

    Death calls his girls "hoes." Funny, huh? (again, sounds like you're trying too hard) We then bring back up the visual novels, and just make a direct shout out to a series. Again, this just feels like a "You've heard of this right? Isn't that so funny?" And, again, it unfortunately isn't.

    Think of it this way. You've more than likely heard of Mountain Dew. If I came up to you and said "Man, I like Mountain Dew!" would that be a joke? No. It's just me making a statement about something we mutually know, and I apparently like. These are the kind of "reference" jokes a lot of people get in a fit over. There's a way to properly do references (with subtlety or for an actual punchline), but things like this just come off as desperate grabs at people who've heard of the subject matter. Unless there's a deeper, inner joke to knowing both properties, this just comes off to me as a plea for someone to enjoy your video strictly because they've heard of the same things you have. Which is a bad thing.

    And, again, Grim comes in with a hamfisted "I like anime girls lol" line. Having a one-trick character is rough. Having that one-trick be something so basic and overused is even rougher. Give Grim some real personality and fun dialogue! Him just saying "I'm a pervert, tee hee" isn't a joke. It's just him displaying a character trait. You need to USE these kinds of traits, not just point at them and expect people to laugh.

    Anyway, Death is now back helping the girls, but OH NOEZ they're in a compromising position. Again, not really a joke, and even if it was, it's not really your joke. It just happened in the show. Death uses his sweet ninja moves and skateboards them to freedom. Having more fun with that line would've certainly helped. You have this issue of putting the plainest skeleton of a joke in your script, and it could be made so much better with just a bit of originality and personality. Make the joke YOURS.

    We had some sound issues during the "fight." Hearing the actor (Liz in this particular scene) take their breath before their line is a mistake more often than not. That should be edited out in the finished project and timed up with the footage better.

    A lack of background music or ambient noise makes this scene feel empty. Also, it makes it really really obvious that the person doing the Pharaoh's voice has some background static they need to have noise canceled.

    Death's freak-out wasn't really witty at all, it was him just yelling random profanity for profanity's sake. The idea's nice enough but, again, this type of thing has been done to death. Make. It. Your. Own.

    Grim's sudden voice change was a bit jarring, especially when it changed back for no reason. The Prom Dumpster baby line was, again, just a little too on the nose, and lacked any real wit or punchline. It was just a mean statement that, honestly, didn't really add anything. Then Grim's voice reverting to the original voice made it that much more... odd. Especially for that being the ending joke, a joke you should really try to hit home with to make sure your audience remembers you.

    I know I said it a lot in this little essay, but I mean it - your biggest issue seems to be using jokes that have been done, pardon the pun, to death, and not adding anything to them. You need to not only use these jokes, but workshop them so they're something NEW and ORIGINAL. The context and punchline can really stay relatively the same, it's just the spice you throw on top to make it yours! Obviously you can change those other parts, but just doing something to tweak these fairly common jokes you're using would make a world of difference.


    I'll do some more tomorrow night. This took longer than expected, so I'mma head to bed. Keep posting your stuff so I can try and help!


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by ZeroSigner on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:15 pm

    i got it all in a nutshell Very Happy thanks for the advice


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    Re: MasterWGS Tries to Help You Improve

    Post by concrete Building on Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:38 am

    I hope we get hit more with you than Truthordeal.


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