Married with Children – Around the World

Twenty-five years ago, the new Fox Network began airing their first prime time sitcom, Married… with Children. The show, about a dysfunctional working-class family in Chicago, ran for eleven seasons until 1997. The series went into syndication beginning in 1991 and reruns can still be seen.

But just because the series went out of production in 1997 in the United States doesn’t mean it’s passé. The concept, characters, and even scripts from the original Fox series have been remade in countries all over the world. Here are 12 productions from around the world.

Via Neatorama


The newest version is called Zheneni s deca v Balgaria, which translates to Married with Children in Bulgaria. You can watch the entire first episode at YouTube (and you’ll find other episodes if you can read the titles). The series debut last month inspired redditor sudurjalimonovsok to post a picture of the TV family. The resulting thread had redditors from all over the world showing us their countries’ versions of the show.

Neatorama | Read the Full Article

Exploding Photographers, Disappearing Clothes and the Development of Film

Roger Cicala journeys into the 19th century and weaves a tale of explosive cotten, synthetic fabrics and how it all culminates in the true purpose of photography – capturing images of scantily clad women.

The very first cameras, of course, were Daguerrotypes and the images they made were positives on silver plates coated with Iodine and developed using fumes from Mercury. You can probably already tell this had a few drawbacks. Positive images can’t be reproduced so one picture was one picture — if you wanted a copy for Aunt Bessie you had to take another picture. Silver is silver, so each picture was rather pricey (up to a month’s pay for a working man). I guess inhaling mercury fumes in the darkroom all day didn’t exactly lead to a lot of healthy old photographers walking around either.

Not long after that, the albumin process was developed. This let photographers make negative images on glass plates coated with albumen. Glass is a lot cheaper than silver, which helped make photographs affordable. Since the images were negatives you could make as many prints as you might like from a single photograph, so things like picture books came into being. Images on glass could be projected in ‘magic lanterns’ so risque images of ladies ankles and such could be projected at the gentleman’s clubs of the day. So the albumen process made it possible for photographers to achieve the same goals they have today: getting published in book form and getting pretty girls to pose partially undressed.

Albumin had it’s drawbacks, though. The process was difficult and time consuming, requiring the plates to be prepared fresh just before each photographic shot. Carrying around a few hundred glass plates got rather heavy, and glass breaks. And the major source of albumen, in case you don’t know, is from egg whites. Photography became so popular that it actually led to egg shortages. As many as 1,000,000 eggs a year were used for photography in England alone.

LensRental Blog | Read the Full Article

Trigger Your Camera with an iPhone

TriggerTrap Mobile is an ingenious app and dongle that connects your iPhone (or any iOS 5 device) and your camera allowing you trigger a photo in several interesting modes.

The Trigger Modes are:
Eased timelapse
Sound sensor
Shock & Vibration sensor
Metal & magnetism sensor
Facial recognition
HDR mode
HDR Timelapse mode
Distance-lapse mode
Motion detection mode
Cable Release mode
Star trail mode

Read more on TriggerTrap Mobile Here

Do Not Work For Free for Exposure (the Wrap)

People have gone to jail for too much exposure – John Hess explains why this is stupidest reason to work for free.

Episode 48

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3. Off Book – The Art of Film and TV Title Design

The credits are often the first thing we see when we watch a great film or TV show, but the complexity and artistry of title design is rarely discussed. Creators of title sequences are tasked to invent concepts that evoke the core story and themes of the production, and to create a powerful visual experience that pulls the viewer into the film’s world.

In this episode of PBS’s Web Series “Off Book” we hear the stories of some of the most inventive people working in the field, including the creators of the iconic Mad Men sequence, the hilarious Zombieland opening and “rules” sequences, and the stirring end credits from Blue Valentine.

2. The Essence of Comedy Writing

All comedy is built around the same principles. Laughter is the release when we are taken quite suddenly from one expectation to a completely unexpected one.
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1. Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

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The Essence of Comedy Writing

by John P. Hess

All comedy is built around the same principles. Laughter is the release when we are taken quite suddenly from one expectation to a completely unexpected one.

by HebeDesigns

The Setup – Why did the Chicken cross the Road?

The first joke everyone learns. This opening line sets up our expectations. Because of our experience with English we may be expecting a deeply thought out answer – a motivation that sheds light on the Chicken’s innate soul… This is also called a “build up” – we’re setting up the audience to think a certain way. What comes next is the punchline.

The Unexpected – To prove to the possum it could actually be done

I bet you were thinking “to get to the other side”. But that was to be expected… The punchline is something completely unexpected, a curveball, a new way of thinking that STILL makes sense. The disconnect between the buildup and the punchline is the essence of comedy – a set up that gets you to think a certain way and then we hit you (punch) with something you didn’t expect.

At the core, all comedy works in this way. From stand up to gross out, smart humor to the lowest of lows.

Now, let’s take a look at a comedy sketch I found this morning that I feel perfectly demonstrate comedic form in sketch writing:

Let’s break this down because there’s nothing like taking something fun and analyzing the hell out of it to make it boring.

The Setup starts with two women talking about a bake sale. The language (and performance) is overly bright and cheery. Even the small throwaway joke (“yum, yum AND YUM!”) fits into this fictional world of “sunshine and lollipops”.

And then we see the exception…

This is also example of the Rule of Three. There are three participants in the bake sale – the first baker sets up the tone of the scene. The second baker establishes the norm (yes, its normal to be cheery) and the third baker breaks the norm.

Now it could be any number of bakers at the table. It could be four or five. But three is the most economical number – one to establish, one to set a norm, one to break it. Any less would not have the impact and any more would just be repetitious.

“I made the nether-pastry of Al-Desh-Rah, the Donut that will End the World”

This is a huge leap from the cheerful rhetoric of the girls. The goth’s monologue is full of rich dark imagery.

“It’s dough is milled between the skulls of men executed for crimes that thieves and murderers alike forsake as ghastly and unforgivable.”

Even on a micro level we are seeing the essence here comedy here. These lines are about a donut – any life time experience reading cook books or visiting a bakery would lead you to believe that confectioneries are not spoken about in this proper gothic manner. Although this may not be the “Punch” of a punchline – the disconnect builds up the sketch in an amusing manner.

“It’s cooked in the boiling fat of animals that have feasted on their own young… It’s icing is a congealed mass of sorrow and despair made viscous with the saccharine discharge of sugar cane plants watered with the blood of the damned… it also has sprinkles”

Here the writer chose four items to list (Floured milled by skulls, cooked in fat, icing, sprinkles) each of these cooking processes described in long dark details to ultimately lead up to the short “Sprinkles” line. Instead of using the Rule of Three the writer goes with four and it works just fine as each of the three cooking stages has its own amusing lines and jokes written in. If the writer did wish to tighten the script here’s where a set of lines could be dropped… but as it is it works fine as an amusing set up to the final punchline.

The final punchline is a role reversal. The Goth, after all that build up, calls back to the “Yum, yum and YUM” joke earlier, dropping the dark nature.


What makes strong comedic writing is the rich layering of setups and unexpected twists. From a holistic view of an entire scene or sequence down to the individual lines themselves, good comedic writing is rich with these patterns of setups and twists.

When writing comedy be mindful of the comedic pattern and figure out how everything fits into the pattern that you want to establish. There are no hard fast rules of comedy but if you understand the mechanisms of what makes something funny, you hone your ear for what’s funny.

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