In a previous article “Why is such a comedy design easy to become outdated”, we explored why jokes are easy to become outdated, in addition to jokes, we found that some variety shows, movies and TV series in bridges, also have this phenomenon of obsolescence. For example, we often say:
“Why is such an old terrier still in use?”
When a comedy meme has been frequently used or even rotten on the street, if you use it again, the audience will feel bored. So, why are comedy memes like this prone to becoming outdated? How can you create fresh memes?
First, the timeliness of the terrier
Twisting the singer’s singing in different ways, this is the way many comedy performers have used, for example, making strange movements to imitate Yang Kun singing, imitating Tenger singing. If you put it in a few years ago, it would have amused, but now it is not as funny as it used to be, because many people have used it unless you can play a new trick.
For the joke, if you see it for the third time, you will generally think that it is not so funny, but the meme is different, the repeatability of the meme is much stronger than the paragraph, you see, many actors are using the same comedy meme, but they can make people laugh. This is because many memes have a certain structure, and when it has a certain structure, it is repeatable, and the more complete the structure, the stronger the repeatability. But this does not mean that the meme is not timely, the terrier also has a certain timeliness, when the audience sees the same terrier more than a certain number, the audience’s freshness of it will gradually disappear.
However, the same meme, even if it appears many times on TV, but some people still find it very funny, why?
Second, information gap and sensitivity
A few years ago, when smartphones and WeChat were just emerging, young people were having fun in first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. But when you go into third- and fourth-tier cities, you find that very few people use WeChat, and in rural areas, there are almost no people who use WeChat to communicate. If at that time, go back to the countryside to visit relatives, meet friends, some friends of the same age in the countryside, see your smart phone and the application inside, will praise a lot, but at the same time he will say that this kind of mobile phone is useless, he himself is a worker, there is no time to play with the mobile phone, his mobile phone is only used to make and receive calls, can receive calls and text messages is enough.
But this year, you will find that it is precisely those rural friends who said that they could not use smart phones, and they used WeChat to use it happily, built n WeChat groups, sent WeChat voice chats every day, and grabbed red envelopes every day. But what he is passionate about has been very common in these first-tier cities a few years ago.
We can say that people in first-tier cities, third- and fourth-tier cities, as well as in towns and villages, have information gaps, and it is this imbalance in economic development between regions that causes them to have this information gap.
Not only because of the difference in geography, but also because of the difference in information in many ways. For example, the difference in one’s profession will cause a big gap in their understanding and acceptance of the same thing or knowledge.
For cultural products, different hobbies, different occupations, different regional cultures, will have different feelings for the same product, and it is this difference that creates the information gap between them, and it is this information difference that causes them to have completely different views on the same cultural product.
If a person is a fan of Korean dramas, she loves to watch Korean romance dramas the most, she has watched a lot of Korean dramas and can call out the names of many Korean stars. Then she has a poor information gap with people who can’t watch a few episodes of TV series a year. For the same domestic romance drama, this person who doesn’t watch much TV series, after watching the show, may be moved to tears.
But for this Korean drama fan, she may not feel it at all, not only has no feeling, he even feels that this drama is simply made up and full of loopholes. Also for this drama, Korean drama fans may scold it as, and people who don’t watch TV dramas much may praise her as a flower. Because there is a gap in information between the two of them, they will have completely different feelings and opinions about the same drama.
The same is true for comedies. If a person has the habit of watching movies and television works or is a fan of dramas, then he is familiar with various memes, and for these audiences, you still use old terriers, then they will feel bored. Although they don’t pay for it, for those viewers who don’t watch much film and television works, they will be amused by you when they see your works created with old terriers, and they give a thumbs up excitedly: Who wrote this? This person is so talented!
This phenomenon can be seen everywhere, such as some comedy movies released in 2015, some people applauded, were amused in the theater laughing, and some people watched it halfway, thought the movie was too bad, and left angrily. Some comedy movies are obviously dry, vulgar and low-grade, but some audiences just think it’s good-looking.
The fundamental reason is that there is a great information gap between different people. And it is precisely because there is a difference in information between different people that their sensitivity to the same meme is different.
If you are still using a meme that others have used many times a few years ago, or has used a rotten meme, then most viewers are no longer sensitive to such memes and will not be amused. And at this time, if you still want to make the audience laugh with old terriers, then you can only go to remote villages without electricity and television.
3. How to create fresh terriers
We say that a good work is to give the audience a “sense of strangeness”, that is, when the audience sees this thing, he will feel fresh, he will feel that he has never seen it before. When we watch a program like “Good Chinese Songs,” we have this expectation. When we see a singer singing very tender and lyrical songs, we can’t wait to fast forward because there are so many such styles. When we see a singer, wearing a sheep’s headscarf, beating a drum, singing in a dialect, we feel very fresh, we feel excited and willing to watch.
How to create a fresh meme?
The best suggestion is, of course, an original meme, but such a suggestion has little practical significance. Because it is precisely because many people cannot create fresh terriers, so they use other people’s terriers, so they frequently use old terriers. Continuously improving one’s original ability is what every creator must always pursue, but no one will have strong original ability all of a sudden. Therefore, it is more necessary to learn to use different skills at different stages of original ability.
Of course, no matter how weak the original ability is, it can not be copied, let alone take foreigners’ things and change them to say that they are their own original, nor can they be beautified as “localized”, plagiarism is plagiarism, if the original ability is weak, you can create a work of average level, if the original ability is strong, you can create a high-quality work, and if the original ability is not reached, you will continue to practice, then you can’t plagiarize, otherwise what is the difference with the pickpocket in the subway?
1. Adapted terriers
When a meme is used by many people, then you can no longer use this meme, then the quickest way is to adapt the meme.
There are many ways to change, such as situation displacement, grafting, changing characters, and enriching details.
For example, the example of imitating Yang Kun singing and imitating Tenger singing mentioned earlier, there can be many kinds of adaptations. You can sing Tengger’s song with Yang Kun’s voice, you can sing Yang Kun’s song with Tengger’s voice, and you can also sing the song of a singer with the exact opposite of their characteristics in the voice of the two of them. You can make up a new lyric and sing it in Yang Kun’s voice, and you can also sing Yang Kun’s song in the form of an allegro. Of course, the best thing to do is not to imitate the two of them, because there are too many people who imitate them.
For the bridge, if this bridge has been used by many people, and you can’t think of a better solution for a while, then either change the situation of this bridge, or enrich a lot of details in this bridge, in short, make this bridge look at least a little different.
Pickpocketing terrier is not about copying this terrier, but about ripping open this terrier, looking at the structure of this terrier, and looking at the principle of this terrier. Then apply the principle of this terrier and remake a terrier. In the previous article “Destroying Three Views: Teaching You How to Plagiarize Stories”, a detailed analysis of this problem was made, and friends who are interested in this problem can take another look at the article.
“Crazy Stone” picks up the meme of “Two Big Smoking Guns”, “Private Customization” follows the meme of “Party A and Party B”, and “My God” follows the meme of “Three Silly Bollywood”.
Whether it is a terrier with a large story structure or a terrier with a small bridge, open the surface of this terrier and find the inner principle of this terrier, then we can use this meme to recreate a story or a story.
“There is simply no 100% originality in this world”, this phrase is completely true, but more often it is used as a defense for plagiarists.
If you want to make your terriers fresher and higher quality, the best way is of course to create them yourself. We say that terriers also have a certain timeliness, but some high-quality terriers, you will still find it funny if you watch it many times, why? How can I make my terriers more quality?
(1) Return to the characters themselves
Think back to the very funny bridges you have seen, the bridges that you have never been tired of watching repeatedly, why is its quality so high? Because the characters in it are very unique and the details of the characters are rich. When the character is more unique, your meme quality will be higher. The design of comedy, ostensibly the design of events, fundamentally, the starting point is actually the characters themselves, only by studying the diversity of people, can we find more diggable points for designing events.
Therefore, whether it is a comedy or other type of drama, everything has to return to the characters themselves. The diversity of characters and the richness of characters are the root of all contradictions and the initiation point of event design.
In the previous article “How to Design a Comedy Bridge”, we mentioned the concept of chemical comedy, that is, when this comedy bridge, funny and at the same time hit the weakness of human nature, it can stimulate people’s resonance, and the audience has a chemical reaction in the heart, we can call it chemical comedy. And high-quality comedy has this chemistry. If you want to write this kind of chemistry, you need to delve into the weaknesses of human nature. You see, everything must return to the characters themselves, the diversity of characters, the richness of characters, the strengths of human nature, and the weaknesses of human nature.
(2) Insight into the laws of comedy
Whether it is the aforementioned adaptation of other people’s terriers or pickpocketing other people’s terriers, it is actually the next policy.
If we really want to master a better craft, we must have insight into the laws behind creation, the laws of comedy, and when we master this law, let this law be used for ourselves, then our original ability will be stronger.
It can be said that mastering the law is the Tao, and staying in the event design itself is the technique, with the Tao there will be a variety of techniques, and only studying the technique, it is likely to stay only in the technique.
In the Internet age, the speed of information transmission is very fast, the arrival rate of information is very high, in such an era, relying on performing jokes on the Internet to make people laugh, has been completely ineffective; Trying to make people laugh with a terrier that has already been used many times may not necessarily work. The sketch of Mr. Feng Gong at the 2016 CCTV Spring Festival Gala and the box office hit Xingye’s movie “Mermaid” have all proved it.
The speed of information change is so fast, if you want to retain more audiences, you can only make more original works, and if you want to make more original works, you must return to the characters themselves. Characters are the source of everything.
Author: Screenwriter Gang columnist Liu Kaijian