Saturday, June 29, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E19: "What Lies Beneath"

Hey all,

New episode is available here:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E19: "What Lies Beneath"

Not long to go now.  Hope you enjoy.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E18: "Take A Seat"

Hey guys,

Episode eighteen, "Take A Seat", is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E18: "Take A Seat"

Glad to see the latest episode is getting a better response so far than I expected.  I'm happy that people are enjoying the incorporation of Cortana.  There's a moment in the episode that's brief, but quite heavy in terms of subject matter and I actually felt slightly nauseous as I was cutting it together.  Really wasn't sure how viewers would react, was worried that I might've gone too far, but I was likely over-thinking it.  I think I went about it tastefully.  Today's net veterans have seen far worse, I'm sure.

Leave feedback if you have the time.  Also, follow me on Twitter for updates and horribly tasteless jokes that I come up with throughout the day.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Are rape jokes funny?

Are rape jokes funny?  Racist jokes?  Holocaust jokes?  Are they funny?  Should certain subjects be off-limits when it comes to comedy?

I've been encountering this debate numerous times lately.  There was a big stink raised when somebody demoing a video game on-stage during E3 made a rape joke to a competing female player on the stage with him.

Jokes about horrific subject matter can be funny.  However, the fact alone that they revolve around horrific subject matter does not automatically make them funny.

Here's the thing.  If somebody tells a skillfully-crafted rape joke and it gets a laugh, rape is not the target of the joke.  Rape is not the thing that's being laughed at.  There's obviously nothing funny about rape, in and of itself.  There's nothing funny about somebody being sexually assaulted and being robbed of all of his or her control.  The image is horrifying.  However, when that horrifying image is combined with an element of absurdity in a well-told joke, the joke has potential to be very funny.  It's the enormous contrast between whatever that absurd element you've introduced is and the undeniable horror of the subject that produces laughter.

I use my newly-created Twitter account to tell a lot of offensive jokes.  A couple of them involved rape.  Here's one:

"Jokes about rape disgust me, it's too strong a word for any comedic context.  That's why I only use it when I'm actually raping people."

People who follow me considered this funny.  What makes it funny?  Is it solely the fact that I've stated I rape people?  Of course not.  But that's juxtaposed with the false sense of security I establish in readers of the joke in the first sentence, which states my belief that rape should never be joked about.  It suggests that I would definitely have a problem when it comes to actually raping somebody, but the sentence that follows it takes it completely in the other direction.  Set-up, punch-line.  That's a joke.

Here's another one I wrote:

"Life can be a struggle for victims of sexual abuse.  That's why I murder them afterwards."

Why is this funny?  The fact that I've stated I murder people?  No.  The second sentence takes the idea placed in people's minds by the first sentence and turns it completely on its head.  It's the contrast that's funny.  A set-up alone isn't funny, and a punch-line alone isn't funny.  That's why a joke needs both.

If you ask me, the joke that was said on-stage at E3 wasn't funny, and it shouldn't have been said.  Why do I think that?  Because rape jokes aren't funny?  No, because there was no set-up to the punch-line.  All the guy had said was, "Just let it happen, it'll be over soon."  It suggests the idea of rape without contrasting it with anything, and it's the contrast that's key.

Jokes about offensive subject matter can be very funny.  But the contrast generated by the joke needs to be large and funny enough to warrant the incorporation of whatever the offensive subject is.  A joke should be able to be made about anything as long as the joke teller is skillful enough.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Take A Seat" Delay

Hey, guys.

So, I've been placed in an embarrassing position.  I was prepared to get "Take A Seat" done for this Saturday, which contains a scene critical to Colin's character and can't be moved to another episode appropriately due to the rigidness of the season's plot at this point.  Unfortunately, the character's voice actor Bruce Greene has his hands full with Machinima's live streaming coverage of E3, which will occupy his days fully until the week's end.  I'm faced with either pushing the episode's airing to the following Saturday, or re-writing the episode to side-step Bruce's absence; which would require the episode to be pushed anyway, so I may as well stick with the former option.

Though I wasn't expecting the delay myself, I apologize for not keeping my promise of weekly episodes free of interruption.  My term at school ended just a month ago, and only since then have I been able to give the show my full attention, and I have been.  I was naive; juggling school simultaneously ate up much more of my lead time than I had anticipated.  Hopefully after this delay I can get the remainder of the episodes out weekly.  The only instance this is likely to happen again is with the finale, which I'm debating asking for an extra week to work on in order to make it a double-length episode and hopefully more satisfying -- if Machinima would allow it.

To apologize, I'd like to spend a part of today throwing another data folder together and make it available for download here, containing music tracks used in the show that have yet to be released along with the scripts for a few episodes.  I'll put a link here shortly.  If there's a script, track, or other item in particular you'd like me to include, feel free to tweet me (@jcjgraham) and I'll see if I can do it.  Or you could just call me a thundercunt, it's up to you -- but I'd prefer if that was kept to a minimum.

Thanks for your support.


UPDATE: Here's a link to a .ZIP file I threw together, which contains the scripts for the past three episodes of the show and all of the music tracks used in the show so far; including both the ones I've uploaded previously, and seven new ones.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a horrendous music producer.  The tracks you'll find are extremely basic and repetitive, but were created to establish a tone in the show as an alternative to paying licensing fees for professionally-produced tracks.  Nonetheless, people have asked for them.  Sorry again for the delay.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E17: "Descent"


Next episode is now available.  Sorry for the delay.  I assume it was either some technical issues on Machinima's end or they're busy preparing for E3 coverage.  Here's the link:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E17: "Descent"

Now that "In Memoriam" has taken us to the online funeral crash depicted in the season's premiere episode, "Descent" opens with another flash-forward, this time to a pivotal moment in the season finale.  There's also something that happens at the very end which will change the toys' dynamic relationship significantly, I think in an interesting and funny way.

Please leave feedback!  People left some great feedback on "In Memoriam" and I'd like to see more.  I agree that, in hindsight, the conversation between Kyle and Brody lasted for far too long.  My thinking was that the pay-off would be more tense if I explored the logistics of their plan fully, but that sort of backfired, I think.  I also acknowledge that I'm a shit voice actor.  Believe it or not, the fact that I voice most of the characters isn't an ego thing.  I do it in order to save my casting director from doing more work, which probably isn't a good idea either since the work suffers for it.  Thankfully, "Descent" features a variety of voices.

Hope you enjoy.  Thanks for sticking around.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E16: "In Memoriam"


Here's the link to the latest episode:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E16: "In Memoriam"

This is a big episode, as it marks the end of the second act and the plot comes full-circle, tying back to the season's premiere.  Lots of exposition at the beginning, but it ends with a bang, so please stick with it.  Leave feedback if you can spare the time!