It’s my first Magic Cinema in a while and I’m going to do more of a short than a single scene. Some of you will recognize the title and the poster and kinda guess where this is going, but I’m going to deviate from that a little bit. It’s said that in writing that one shouldn’t get too caught up in love with a single scene or line because that warps the whole writing; don’t let the whole work suffer because of one section.
But that’s different in parodies. You want to reference that one line or that one scene because that’s the whole point of the parody, to make fun of something while using another reference to do it. While there’s no official “laws” in comedy, I believe that there needs to be common reference points or there’s no joke. If someone doesn’t get what you’re referencing, they won’t find it funny.
That’s how a lot of stand-up comedians work: “You ever notice,” is a common start of a bit. Basically he/she is telling you “This is what I’m going to talk about. Remember it, get the reference.” Here’s a link to a short of Saturday Morning Watchmen on YouTube. If you’ve never read Watchmen or seen the movie, or know anything Alan Moore, you wouldn’t get the joke; there’s no frame of reference for you. While I won’t go into all of the jokes (there’s one in every frame) the fact that some people don’t find anything funny sometimes is because there’s nothing for them to compare it to.
So, why all this? Well, I’ve wanted to do more of a traditional Film Noir, the one with the voice over and the trench coat; typical Humphrey Bogart stuff. Trouble is, most people wouldn’t get that, so I picked the next closest thing I could find: a children’s film, something everyone should have seen. You’ll see a hybrid of “traditional” noir with Roger Rabbit thrown in. Plus, there’s a scene and a line in here (if you’ve watched the movie you’ll recognize it), that I want to parody. Really bad.
Who Framed Mark Rosewater?
EXT – INSTANT AND SORCERY CLUB – NIGHT
A guy walks down the dark ally between two brick buildings. He wears the traditional TRENCH COAT and FEDORA as any good, or cheesy, private eye would do. With his hands shoved in his pockets, he slowly makes his way to an old, beat up door.
Being a private eye has it’s perks; you can work the hours you want, the pay can be decent if you can find the work, and you’re helping somebody out. But this time, it was different. Someone needed my help on something so stupid I almost didn’t take it. ‘Course, nothing sounds stupid when they drop an incentive so great you can’t help but take it.
INT – ROBBY’S PRIVATE EYE’S OFFICE – NIGHT
It was just like any other private eye’s office: hardwood floor, window in the door, a desk and chair sitting under the large window on the wall opposite of the door. Sitting at his desk ROBBY is playing Magic: The Gathering Online on his computer. A soft knock on the glass and ROBBY doesn’t look up from his computer.
In walks a tall raven-haired woman and shuts the door behind her. Sitting down, she slides an MANILA ENVELOPE across the desk. ROBBY finally looks up and sees her.
How can I help you, Miss…
She takes out a cigarette from her purse and lights it, revealing her face for the first time.
Elspeth. You can call me Elspeth.