magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
[personal profile] magibrain
Random question, but I need it for reasons research.

If you had to sell me on two characters – gen or ship – and you only had 500 words or a 30-second video clip to convince me that they were the best no seriously really... what clips or works or excerpts of works would you point me toward?

I am going to think on this and see what I can come up with... after I sleep for a while.

(Context is that I'm playing with a story-in-the-background-of-a-story in one of the things I'm working on, and I want to pick apart some mechanics of what makes for minimum effective doses of getting people engaged with characters.)

Date: 2013-12-04 06:00 pm (UTC)
ivorygates: TEXT ICON: "cultural wormhole" (5. GEN: cultural wormhole)
From: [personal profile] ivorygates
What fandom? Or do you just want results from any fandom? Or from all of space and time? Because...

In Casablanca, in the "Marseillaise" scene at Rick's, the reaction shot, where he nods, which is maybe two seconds, sells the character.

Or in Star Wars:ANH, where Han says: "Sorry about the mess."

Stargate (two unrelated moments, obvs):
Jack: "We'll find her."
Daniel: "We get paid for this, right?"

Terminator 2: "I came back in time for you, Sarah."

My favorite of all, of course is Leslie Howard's "Captain of Murderers" speech at the end of Pimpernel Smith. It's the romantic in me.

Date: 2013-12-04 07:58 pm (UTC)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
From: [personal profile] sholio
You know, this is remarkably difficult. I'm realizing as I think about it that characters, and character relationships in particular, tend to grow on me slowly, and the scenes that really stick with me, or the scenes that made me go from being "meh" to "OMG MORE PLZ" about a character, are ones that rely on a long build-up for effectiveness; they don't really work out of context.

Context-free, possibly the best thing along these lines that I can think of is the opening scene of Good Omens with Aziraphale and Crowley/Crawly talking in the Garden of Eden. There is a ton of characterization packed into that exchange, about who they are (Aziraphale giving his flaming sword to the exiled humans because they looked cold!) and the way they relate to each other.

Date: 2013-12-04 08:13 pm (UTC)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
From: [personal profile] sholio
As an addendum to the above comment (and the Good Omens part in particular) -- now that I'm thinking about a variety of characters who've had me at "hello", or at least within a few chapters of "hello", I think one of the big things that sells me on a character is a certain element of incongruity for their place, time, or social standing. They're kind when they should be cruel, or dressed down when everyone else is dressed up; they laugh where anyone else would have cried, or they're hurt and angered at something that makes everyone around them laugh. They're just a little bit unexpected. You think you know how the story is going to go and then it veers that tiny bit off its tracks.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:07 am (UTC)
antonomasia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antonomasia
This is a minute and a half long, but there aren't really any shorter clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-tqX8wVqSY (Hal and Annie from Being Human).



There's also this excerpt from an NCIS fanfic by sequitur. Context- Tony is recovering from the Plague.


They set up Oregon Trail, arguing all the while—Pete wants their character to be a banker, because money solves all problems, and Tony wants him to be a doctor, so fewer people will die. Pete looks again at Tony’s cherry-colored lips and still alive expression, and decides that he might have a soft spot for doctors, and anyway, the salaries are close. They wriggle embarrassing confessions out of each other as they dart the mouse back and forth between their respective seats, naming their wagon team and collecting their pounds of flour and bacon. Pete used to play Africa Trail. Tony gets depressed with the oxen die. Neither of them have ever used the cheat codes.

The weather is warm. Their pace is fast.

“Carmen Sandiego, next,” Pete says. “World, not USA.”

Tony shakes his head. “You Don’t Know Jack,” he says.

“That’s so rude.”

At the first river, they both decline to ford the river (“Death trap,” Tony sing-songs, and they bump fists) but then get into an argument over whether to hire a ferry or to caulk the wagon and float it. Pete votes for the ferry—Tony claims that it’s a waste of money, Pete claims that it wouldn’t have been a problem if they’d been bankers, Tony claims that Pete whines too much, Pete retaliates by suggesting that Tony shut up before Pete starts killing off the oxen just to be vindictive, and after that it gets kind of ugly.

“Give me one good reason not to caulk the wagon and float it,” Tony says.

“Water moccasins.”

Tony stared at him. “I’m sorry, what?”

They pause the game to Google water moccasins. Enough pictures of snakes lounging in water convince Tony to never, ever ford the river.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:09 am (UTC)
antonomasia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antonomasia
And this excerpt from an Avengers fanfic:

“Your cat,” says Jasper very, very calmly, which means that he’s either very, very pissed or very, very amused.

Phil raises an eyebrow as acknowledgement. “Your cat just terrorised an entire office of junior agents today.”

Phil finally looks up, and lets out an ungainly snort. Clint is perched on the top of Jasper’s bald head, happily flicking his tail back and forth. Jasper is somehow ignoring him, which gives him many points in Phil’s book. “An entire office?” He prompts.

“There they are, chipping away at their paperwork, or at least pretending to, when there is a hollow thunk that resonates around the room,” says Jasper, deadpan. He’s very good at storytelling.

“Followed by a loud hiss, there’s this horrible crunch and then a very smug ‘miaow’ that roils across the room. Guns were drawn.”

Phil considers the story for a moment and hazards a guess. “The ventilation shafts?”

“The ventilation shafts,” confirms Jasper as Clint leaps off his head, limps around the computer monitor in his casts and proudly deposits a mostly intact mouse on Phil’s mousepad.

The overriding thought running through Phil’s mind right now is that Jasper’s just had a dead mouse on his head for at least five minutes. He’s taking it very well.

“Good boy,” he tells Clint quite seriously, and tries to remember which form he needs to requisition a bottle of disinfectant.

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