bring back the audience/canned laughter

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by phoenixbrighton, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. SoundableObject

    SoundableObject Catering Officer

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    Well, in 'Bodyswap' and Series VII they did record laughter which was possibly then stored in a can before being applied to the episode :lol:
     
  2. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    It was still the laughter of actual people watching the footage though. Not just any laugh track edited in for the sake of it.
     
  3. SoundableObject

    SoundableObject Catering Officer

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    I was just joking, I do understand the difference between the two!
     
  4. Weevil

    Weevil Deck Sergeant

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    Spot on
     
  5. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    why is having laughter so important? are we laughing at the cast or the laughter?
     
  6. Cruel Slayer

    Cruel Slayer Console Officer

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    We're a social species, and whether we like it we respond to the laughter of those around us. Each member of an audience would be laughing not merely at the show, but also as part of a 'chain reaction' with other members of the audience. We can share in that, partly, by having a genuine audience reaction on the show, whether from a live audience or a recorded one watching the show after it was filmed. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    However, my other half got Gavin and Stacey series 1 and 2 for her birthday yesterday, and we've been giggling like school kids watching it in spite of the lack of laughter on the show.:lol:
     
  7. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    I'm one of those who thought that BTE was great. Not as great as some of the old stuff, but still entertaining. Unfortunately the lack of laughter did seem to make the show less accessible, and I felt a bit detached from it - I guess it felt like I was watching a movie. Lots of special effects, lots of locations (compared to the old series) but no interactivity from the audience.

    So in the new series there really should be an audience to bridge those gaps. Some of the initial lines in BTE were quite funny, but they would have been made even more so if only there were laughs going on in the background.

    RAGE
     
  8. Smegerama

    Smegerama Supply Officer

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    The one problem with a live audience: The stories will be on the internet in a flash long before they come out.

    And yes, I agree with Rage; the phrase canned laughter in the same sentence as the phrase Red Dwarf infuriates me beyond any reasonable means.
     
  9. Baxters_Hooch

    Baxters_Hooch Supply Officer

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    That was me...
     
  10. Smegerama

    Smegerama Supply Officer

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    Sorry, I was looking at the wrong page!
     
  11. KennyW

    KennyW Skutter

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    Infinitely better with laughter. Me and my friends were really disappointed when series 7 tapes came out and there was no laughter. I only saw back to earth once, did it not have laughter? I did think it was a little lacking, maybe thats what it was
     
  12. SoundableObject

    SoundableObject Catering Officer

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    Only one of the Series VII tapes had no laghter on it, that was the special xtended release. Every episode was released with laughter on three other tapes.
     
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    Indeed. (Though Australia is an exception here, they had an 'Xtended' tape which included - with laughter - Stoke Me a Clipper, and a second tape entitled 'The Rest'. So for them, on VHS three of the eight eps had no laugh track.)

    For those uncertain, the Series VII DVD includes both version of each of the three Xtended (laugh-track-free) shows.
     
  14. KennyW

    KennyW Skutter

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    Thats got nothing to do with what im saying tho has it, Im simply saying that it was infinitely better with the laughter.
     
  15. backtoreality

    backtoreality Supply Officer

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    just watched BTE again and it does miss the laughter after the jokes not as a prompt to make me laugh myself but it was like a stale atmosphere in the room with them. I was love to see audiences back in i was listening to the commentary on the Bluray disk and the cast themselves were saying in a section of it that if there would have been an audience in it would have been smoking!
    Personally i would love to be in an audience as iv just read Robert Llewellyns book The man in the rubber mask about his journey as kryten up to 1993 and the way he describes the audience adding to the performances of the cast and buzzing them up for hours after i think (from a producing company's point of view) this can only add to the overall product.
    obviously the Dave series 9 was a feeler and now that they have analysed it and hopefully adding more time and money to the project the new series will feature audience laughter :-)
     
  16. pretender

    pretender Skutter

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    This is exactly why I think BTE failed. The canned laugher, or live audience whatever. Even if in the old seasons it was Live or canned, it doesn't matter, however they did it, was perfect, was red dwarf.

    It makes it easy watching, when a joke happens it makes the whole scene run so much more smoothly. without it i found the humour dry and sometimes cringe (e.g. when they are driving in the bug car). If that scene had a MASS amount of laughing it would of been the funniest moment.

    I THINK, someone should get hold of the canned laughter files and copy and paste them over season 9 and re-release it. Im not gonna promote copyright so maybe Dave needs to be the ones that release it. Maybe an option on the dvd which can be turned on. I dont know. cant wait for season 10 ;-) hope they put the laughing back on
     
  17. ori-STUDFARM

    ori-STUDFARM Supply Officer

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    I've watched a version of BtE that had a laughter track added to it. It was a very well done job that is pretty indistinguishable from a genuine studio audience laughter track....and trust me, it doesn't actually make that much difference. I think it was the pacing that was slightly off for BtE, causing it to not quite "feel" right. I blame this pacing issue on the fact that BtE was essentially written as a two parter that then got extended to a three parter when the "unplugged" episode was dropped. It works when viewed as a single entity on the DVD....but not the way it was split into three. And I genuinely believe that most people have picked up on the pacing issue and wrongly assumed it to be the lack of a laughter track that is the cause.

    Personally, I would love there to be a studio audience for any future Dwarf....but thats because I can then dream about actually being sat in it. The laughter track itself doesn't bother me. With it or with out, I'll enjoy it the same (I hope) :-D
     
  18. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I think pacing was very much an issue in episode one. I noticed, particularly in the early scene where the three crewmembers are discussing the squid. While there was some amusing stuff there, there seemed a lot of pausing between each line, and I really noticed the lack of laugh track. At the time I wondered if the guys were unthinkingly waiting for laughter or were having trouble getting into the swing of things. However since a) they had been in other stuff since they were last on Dwarf which didn't require this and b) from their point of view, this wasn't the first scene in BtE they had done, although it was chronologically earlu for us viewers (scenes are often shot out of order) this couldn't be the case.

    By the time I got to episode 2 though, I stopped noticing the laugh track. And when I watched the Director's Cut 'connected' version of BtE, the first scene I mentioned above, flowed much better. Not because the episodes were 'stuck together' so to speak, but I think the scene had actually been edited to deal with the pacing.

    As for the scene with the car... I don't think a laugh track would have helped that. I liked the car as a gag, liked to see it driving down the motorway, but I felt the piloting stuff where they pulled up in Coronation street, speaking as if they were landing a space shuttle, kind of fell a bit flat. I wasn't too sure if it was supposed to show the culture clash with future guys and present day Earth (i.e they're used to shuttle craft and so relate to a 20th century car as such) or if they were mucking about. (The characters I mean, not the actors.) I plumped for the latter as cars and other ground based vehicles are hardly alien to them, their version of Earth not being so different from our own in that respect. It wasn't dreadful, it just wasn't all that funny to me. The laugh track might have picked things up a bit* but it only goes so far.

    It should be noted, these things are subjective though. I think there were plenty that were delighted by this scene. There was another particular scene that cracked me up, - the 'Lister dealing with 21s century toilet's' incident, in case you're wondering- and I came here (or G&T) afterwards to find other people criticising it!

    Don't get me wrong, I think that an audience for future shows is a good idea in that the cast work better off of it. And providing the audience are honest in their laughter** it can provide a useful tool for the creators in working out what works best, effectively making the show funnier. I think the laugh track is more important in this way than in affecting the mood of the home viewers later.

    *I know people against the idea of a laugh track often state again and again "I don't need a laugh track to tell me when to laugh, blah blah". While that's true, (I've laughed at plenty of very funny stuff without a laugh track. I was really laughing out loud watching In Bruges yesterday for example) laughter is infectious and generally you will feel more inclined if you hear it.

    ** By this, I'm referring to the fact that people in an audience situation will often laugh at stuff they wouldn't when alone. Partly it's the joy of being together on the set of a show they love, part of the party atmosphere I guess. Sometimes it's just cos they feel 'duty bound' or amped up to laugh, strange as it sounds.

    Also, in some audiences (and from what I've read here from Andrew, I don't think this is the case with Red Dwarf) the audience are actually told when to laugh, so sometimes they're actually faking it! When I went on holiday to LA some years back, I was in an audience for a US sitcom in Hollywood, and the comedian who entertained us between takes did just this when he thought we wasn't responding enough. "We need more laughter for this scene guys, come on." or words to that effect. To his credit he was very funny himself. He was the highlight of the evening... the show itself... not so much. I can't remember the name.
     
  19. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    Wow. That turned into a bit of an essay, didn't it?
     
  20. Dysson

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    I agree. The laugh track needs to be in the new episodes.

    I have two great reasons:

    1. Red Dwarf has used a laugh track from the start. When watching an Back To Earth, it feels strange that the only laughter you hear is you own. However, with a show that has never had a laugh track, you don't even think about it. It isn't even in the back of your mind.

    You have these people who say, "I don't need a laugh track. I'll decide for myself what is funny." While I agree with them on that point, I disagree that suddenly taking out a laugh track will not affect the enjoyment of Red Dwarf.

    Imagine going to the cinema to see a comedy. If you are the only one in the entire place that is laughing, the film is still funny to you. However, you cannot escape the fact that you are the only person that is laughing. A self-confident person should be able to move past that and enjoy the film, but we all have to admit that it would still feel pretty odd.

    2. Sometime it alerts you to jokes that you might have missed. There was this one episode of a sitcom where they told a joke that I did not catch at first. The live audience laughed, but I didn't get why it was funny. The line he said was, "Yeah, it's big of me". After hearing the laughter, I rewound and listened again. He actually said, "Yeah, it's bigamy". Had I not heard the laughter, I would not have picked up on the joke.

    Anyways...that's just my lowly opinion.

    Denny
     

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