Saturday, December 27, 2008

Writing Comedy #2: I dig your sense of space.

Aaron is on vacation in Zion, and I am digging his sense of space. His photos put people, and in this case livestock, in symmetrical relation to big spaces. Sometimes it can be very funny. First, here are two sledders:

Second, here's what might be a funny story judging by the snow tracks from the foreground to the bull:

There's something about where that bull stands that just makes it funny. As far as I can tell, this is punchline distance. Or, at least, that's what I'm going to start calling it.

Ryan and I have talked about this distance before. It isn't a close up, and it isn't a wide shot. It is kind of a medium-long...but a little more long than medium. It is hard to explain; you just kind of have to see it for yourself. Here's another example that we crack up at all the time:

I think this photo is so funny because it is supposed to be a picture of Ryan, but he's just far enough away from the camera that its useless. You get way more grass and tree than person. Then, there's the second, even funnier punchline: his goofy smile is smaller than the giant face on his T-shirt, making the photo twice as useless. There's also the silly asymmetry of the building behind him, which helps.

Maybe this distance is kind of a punchline because, in a way, you read the photograph, then you get to a point where things turn on you. The photo goes snow snow snow ... bull standing casually. Grass grass grass ... giant face tiny face.

And, of course, all roads lead back to Tati....

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