"So what's amazing about this thing I'm going to show you," I said to the room full of students, hanging devotedly on my every word, "is that Genndy Tartakovsky manages to tell a full story, with a proper three-act structure, which is to say with a setup, confrontation and resolution, without using any dialogue at all."
I was quite proud of remembering this bit, because it's animation (I was talking to the Year One Digital Animation students), and they're supposed to be doing a thing on storyboarding, so I could show how to do both at the same time: how you can tell a story without any dialogue whatsoever, just using a series of moving images to tell a proper story.
"Remember," I said sternly, as I pressed the button on the YouTube player, "No dialogue at all".
Oh, if only I'd thought to actually have a quick watch beforehand, because then I might have realised that the whole 'no dialogue at all thing' was in fact only in my head, and I might not have had to listen to the sound of a roomful of students sniggering at me.
'Yes," I said. "Well', as I tried to turn the thing off, only for the long speech to continue. Eventually the lecture ended as every lecture should, with the lecturer flicking V's at the screen and calling Obi-Wan Kenobi a cock.
The next day I took what was supposed to be the other half of the class, but was in fact only four people, as most of them had snuck into the previous lesson so they could skive about on a Friday afternoon, which is fair enough.
I had learned from the previous day's MILD HICCUP, so didn't show a YouTube video of the Genndy Tartakovsky version of Clone Wars.
"Right," I said, "I'm going to illustrate three-act structure, by looking at the plot of Star Wars, the first one, which might not be the deepest film ever made, but does fit really nicely into the classic three-act thing. I'm assuming everyone is familiar with Star Wars?"
Fifty per cent of the class had not seen Star Wars. It took some time to persuade me they were not making this up. They had actually never seen Star Wars. Jake explained that in his case, it was because he had seen the new ones, and they were shit, so he'd never really felt like going back and checking out the old ones. And again, this is perfectly reasonable.
George Lucas, you are a cock.
The other high point:
ME: What's the name of that film with Macauly Culkin in, where he's a kid, and he's left home on his own? Alone? Can anyone remember?
STUDENT: (with heavy irony) 'Home Alone'?