why the canned laughter ?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by beckyw, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Cappsy

    Cappsy Second Technician Fan Club Team

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    After 30 years in television, I imagine he does know that, yes.

    It's really hard to pick what takes they used this episode, but I imagine moving laughs from one take to another is a fairly common practice. It would be madness to use an inferior take just because the audience reaction was better the first time round.
     
  2. Cappsy

    Cappsy Second Technician Fan Club Team

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    All model shots were done after the audience recordings, so no. What we saw was a sketch of the original concept, which was Trojan parked up in Red Dwarf's cargo bay, with one side facing out towards an open door.
     
  3. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Was that funny? :?
     
  4. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    ah i just can't help but watch that scene with kryten getting angry on the phone and wonder what the decision was to have him jump about and throw his legs around, was it improvised by robert and got such a good laugh that doug thought he would use that scene?

    it came across abit what i think rob and doug would have called years ago abit "pony" but i think it could still have been funny without the jumping and kicking 8)
     
  5. Cappsy

    Cappsy Second Technician Fan Club Team

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    That bit was a pre-record, but if I was to guess I'd say that was mostly Robert's work. I found that scene really funny, though. It was just the right side of stupid.
     
  6. blaggard

    blaggard First Technician

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    Ah, thanks. So adding in laughter for the model shot makes perfect sense in that context.
     
  7. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    That was my reaction too. It's interesting to see how many others disliked that scene though, associating it with the extremely reactive Kryten of Series VII.

    I find it quite amusing when Kryten goes a bit nuts, as long as it's only occasional. And I don't see it as a contradiction, of previous series, more a development of the character. He shows aspects of this quirky behaviour back in the earlier series, particularly in Quarantine.

    The whining in VII did get a bit much (although my reaction to it isn't always the same) and I'm one of those that really liked that series.
     
  8. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    But wasn't there as audience screening for the parts filmed later?

    Referring back to my first post in this thread - and I don't care what anyone says, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to use *canned laughter in Red Dwarf, especially for model shots.

    *Yes, it's canned laughter if used in other areas of the show.
     
  9. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    It's not, though. You can't just decide that a technical term used in the television industry means something different.
     
  10. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Hmm, interesting. Perhaps I don't know what that term means after all then..*shrugs*. I thought it simply meant to artificially insert laughter.

    Question: Was laughter taken from one area of the show and inserted into another scene or not? If so then I don't understand why you have a problem with my usage of that term.

    Would it be considered "canned laughter" or "a laugh track" if said laughter was used for a completely different show? Or are you saying that it's not "canned laughter" because it originates from an Live audience?

    I thought the first ever laugh track was recorded from a Live audience during a show by the stand up comic, Bob Burns, and inserted into a different show. Is that not what "canned laughter" is? And if so then how is this any different from using it for other areas of the same show? The end result is the same.

    At the end of the day if the scene doesn't generate genuine laughter, then surely one could understandable use such terminologies as "canned laughter". "A laugh track" Or "Laughter taken from somewhere else and artificially inserted somewhere else (bit of a mouthful that though!)". Where that laughter originates from is irrelevant surely? Otherwise it all seems a bit nitpicky to me.
     
  11. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    To quote from Wikipedia: "A laugh track (also canned laughter, laughter track, fake laughter) is a separate soundtrack with the artificial sound of audience laughter, made to be inserted into television programming of comedy shows." It's a specific practice of artificially generating laughter from a machine full of pre-recorded cuts.

    This is categorically NOT the same thing as "sweetening", cut-and-pasting, or any other technique that takes place when a show is actually recorded before a live audience (as RDX was). And which happens with ANY audience sitcom.

    My guess with the model shot gag, given that it directly precedes a (pre-recorded) sequence that WAS shown to the audience (and which drew a big laugh), is that the "showing them in their uniforms" scene was edited shorter, and the "spare" laughter from this was shifted forwards on to the model shot. After all, on the episode itself it does sound like one consistent take of laughter.

    You may not like this practice, you may think it's too artificial. Me, I think ensuring the laughter is consistent throughout the show helps with the atmosphere - the alternative is to have occasional moments where the audience aren't laughing (because they didn't see a particular, later-shot scene) and that, in my view, would snap the viewer out of the overall feel of the show. If you've chosen to have an audience (and I think most of us can agree, post-BTE, that Red Dwarf NEEDS an audience), then you have to commit to that. It means you have to do certain things to ensure the feel of the show is consistent.
     
  12. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Okay.

    Actually I've just come to the conclusion that I really couldn't care less either way. :lol:
     
  13. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    I can understand that if material with the cast has to be shot later. Not really for a model shot though as they are always moments where the audience aren`t laughing.

    Anyway, this is an interesting topic and yes the audience reaction was slightly off-putting.
     
  14. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    I could understand that if material with the cast had to be shot later. Not so much for model shots though as they are always moments when the audience aren`t laughing.

    Anyway, an interesting topic and I would agree that the audience reactions were slightly OTT.
     
  15. TouchT1701

    TouchT1701 Third Technician

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    Well, regardless, I don't need a laugh track(live or not) to guide my laughter. I think, however, it does add a element of engergy to the the "live" actors, whether or not that always leads to the best acting choices is debatable. Frankly, it did bother me first go round, but by my second view, it didn't matter.
    As an aside, I watched all the Smeg Up vids on youtube the other day~ and watching the gang screw up take after take must also add another element to the live tapings. What audience wouldn't titter evermore while watching a gag that's been flubbed over and over by the actors; there's added tension, comedic and otherwise! :lol:
    Heck, when the giggles get contagious on the set, I bet that adds even more as well~!
     
  16. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    At the recording I attended, I didn't clearly hear what one character said so missed the joke, but they did a retake and I heard it second time round, so at least one member of the audience provided genuine laughter on this take :-) Good job too as it was very funny!

    Slightly OT, but when M*A*S*H used to be on BBC2 back in the day, they run it without the canned laughter. I got all the funny bits without being prompted when to laugh, and to me it seemed all the more poignant without it. I've seen it since with the canned laughter but it isn't as good.
     
  17. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    As I mentioned in my instant response over on the episode 1 thread, I noticed a big difference between the levels of laughter during the episode that followed it (Camille). However, just before my third viewing of Trojan I watched Demons and Angels, and the laughter was actually quite loud and reasonably consistent throughout that one too.

    Therefore I can't help but wonder if some people would've complained about the laughter for that ep if it were part of this new series. Or indeed if any fans did complain about it at the time...I suspect not (but don't know for sure).
     
  18. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Yes. Very much so.

    And yes yes yes yes, I know it was a live audience, but that still doesn't take away from the fact that it sounds canned.

    I don't know if it's the levels or what, but the way the audience laughs in this series reminds me of someone listening to a joke, being slightly embarrassed and laughing out loud just before the punchline is delivered.
     
  19. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    Krytens mad moments are funny when they seem out of character. In s7 he's become many and it is bad. In any other series he's all "sir this and sir that" and appears to be the rational robot so it's funny when he unexpectedly blows his gasket
     
  20. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    Anyone who thinks the laughter sounds "canned" clearly has not actually ever heard actual "canned laughter".
     

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