Thursday, 17 April 2008

A psychological breakdown

Something which I've been thinking about is adding other characters alongside 'Ron'. I want to take the 'random' element from the protagonist and distill it into a supporting cast. My reasoning for this is the 'random' in the original concept is potentially a powerful surreal comedy tool but in one character, myself and those I've discussed the subject with believe that the personality would be absorbed and lost. So, break it into several, discernable chunks.
What I've observed in shows like 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force!' and 'Ren & Stimpy' is that a contrast of personalities makes for a watchable cast, with a character like Frylock or Stimpy who are either logical or optimistic enough to get us through each episode intact. We might want to subvert this like they do occasionally but for now, I'm going to stick with the basics that I'm starting to pick up.

I'm thinking at the moment of having 'Ron' as a happy-go-lucky character with his sock puppet as an overly agressive contrast, so we get just in those two characters already a flexible range of possibilities and reactions to events.

To contrast with those two strong personalities, I'm thinking of incorporating a meek, nervous character who operates close by, maybe a neighbour who suffers from a nervous disposition and is frequently disturbed by the actions of the main cast. I'm not certain about this paticular personality as of now, because I don't want the setup to turn into a kooky, "Normanmeyer's being frightened by the 'un-normality' of the Adam's family" situation so, I need to watch that this character isn't very dull or cheesy.

(If you don't understand that last point, the Normanmeyer's were a run-of-the-mill American family who were used as a direct contrast to the Adams family in the cartoon show which was very cheesy. Not the contrast itself, but the mood of the cartoon in general. I would post a picture of them up here but honestly, I've had some trouble locating one. I'll put one up if I gets one)

I could also use a mysterious silent character as an ice-breaker or punch line-deliver-er in the main cast. This sounds a bit complicated so, I'll mention Silent Bob. His character usually stands by the sideline whilst the rest of the cast do all the talking, simply miming agreements or confusion or other light expressions until critical points in the narrative when his intervention can influence unexpected inciting moments or conclusions, e.g. when he comes out with a pearl of wisdom just as no one else can call anything to mind or by acting almost on intuition to a dangerous situation and saving all of his friends. This character is a leveller, a creator of equilibrium and a proverbial kick in the arse for plot lines.

Maybe some kind of rudimentary animal could suit this position, like anthropomorphic Brian from 'Family Guy' only, with less personality. Ironically here I think I would specifically want this character to have little of what we would normally call character. Well, if I intended to make him or her mysterious that is. I suppose Silent Bob has character, and he's very expressive, but I have this idea currently for having a very intimidatingly silent and mysterious version of this archetype and for that, I'd need what was outwardly a very 'blank slate'.

As for anymore characters... Maybe some kind of observer over the whole thing or a narrator? Not sure if it's necessary really, doesn't feel like it at the moment but it wouldn't hurt to have another character who can either explain what is going on or maybe just another way of introducing plot lines. Like 'Ron's no. #1 fan stalking him everywhere and thus being able to tell us exactly what he's been up to or something similar.

No comments: