Latch-chroma-key kid. – Chapter 2, Strip 219

And that’s why B-movie directors like bad actors: if their actors were able to convey very specific emotions, you couldn’t redub and recylce the material half as easily. As it is, most B-movie actors are able to do “generic positive emotion” and “generic negative emotion”, and that leaves space for a lot of reinterpretation.

As far as mixing various techniques in the same shot goes, that’s really a theory I’ve seen advanced – allegedly, mixing different kinds of SFX would “throw the audience off”, and make the result more believable. I guess the logic behind that is, if every scene looks a bit off somehow, but not always in precisely the same way, the audience would just stop caring at some point…it probably works, too, although not necessarily always as intended. (I admit, though, that when planning this strip I had expected the effect in the final panel to come over a lot more jarring…as it turned out, despite mixing different media and screwing with the colour channels, it looks kinda odd, but not necessarily as bad as I had hoped.)

Forgetting actors on a stage isn’t a common occurence, fortunately, but there’s at least one documented example: During the shooting of “The Wolf Man” (1941), Lon Chaney Jr. held the female lead, Evelyn Ankers, in his arms in one scene, and was supposed to let her slide to the ground. According to Evelyn, he just let her drop like a bag of potatoes, instead, and she lost consciousness on hitting her head on the floor. This happened on a set depicting a forrest, the lower part of which was heavily shrouded in artificial fog, obviously hiding her from view. When she came to, still lying at the very same spot, the set was deserted, shooting for the day having wrapped – and apparently nobody had bothered to look for her… But Lee’s night in the rafters might even have been less comfortable than that…on the old Universal lot, Stage 28 is the so called “Phantom Stage”, constructed in the Twenties for “The Phantom of the Opera”, and constantly in use ever since. Originally created for a movie about a ‘ghost’ haunting a theatre, the stage has since itself attracted a (sub)urban rumour of being haunted – different versions of the rumour differ in who is doing the haunting, though. In one version, it’s a stagehand or stage electrician who died from a work accident, in another one, it’s none other than Lon Chaney sr. himself – the actor who played the original Phantom of the Phantom Stage.

So now we’ve seen the, somewhat anti-climactic, fight between Snuka and his substitute master – but what about the result? – More on Thursday. (Today’s new voting incentive is based on a classic video game – Duck Hunt.)

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