The high winds knocked out our satellite TV, so I’ve been watching previous episodes of FX’s animated series Archer instead.
If you haven’t seen Archer, it should be added to your list immediately.
Archer does a strange thing I haven’t seen often: the final line of a scene serves as the first line of the next scene.
It’s not a true pre-lap, in which you hear a line of the next scene’s dialogue before the cut. Rather, the same line serves as both the button of the current scene and the (unspoken) opener of the next.
In most cases, the scenes aren’t related at all:
So, uh, yes, the bottom line is that I was unfaithful to you...two, well, three times I guess if a dry-humpy choker counts. And if you can’t see it in your heart to forgive me, I will forgive you, because that’s what love is, Lana. It’s...forgivey, which is not a word – come on, Figgis!
REVEAL he’s standing outside the Von Zeppelin suite, talking to himself.
All right, here we go.
He KNOCKS. Lana opens the door in bra and panties. Back by the bed, Singh rubs himself with oil.
So that’s your idea of a break, huh?
He storms off.
Oh, Cyril! It’s not what it looks like!
INT. FIRST CLASS CABIN – DAY
Well then, what is it?
REVEAL Cheryl, naked except for a bra, lying face-down on the bed.
So...Cyril got in over his head...
Jesus! God, did he kill her?
No no no -- he ran from her, to go confess to Lana, but so then this one starts freakin’ out and long story short, I kinda had to drown her in the tub.
So you killed her?
Cheryl stirs, then COUGHS WATER onto the bed. She passes out again.
Apparently not. So...good news.
(I don’t have the actual script, so I adapted this from a transcript.)
It’s a fun technique that fits an animated show well. I think it would be hard to pull off in live-action, in part because it greatly limits your editing ability — you’re locked in on both sides of the cut.
Because of how it’s made, animation can be exactly as tight as you need it.
And because you’ll ask, this parenthetical without dialogue –
– is totally legit in animation. Any vocal sound an actor would make gets a dialogue block when writing for animation. Coming from live-action, it looks weird, but it makes a lot of sense when you’re recording voices separately.