Laugh Track

Made by Toya Rosuello

Explore the effect that sound has on our emotions and responses.

Created: September 29th, 2016





I took the "Here's Johnny" scene from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" (1980) -- a very iconic horror movie scene -- and added the Seinfeld bass theme to the end. I wanted to take a scene that effectively built up suspense and a feeling of dread and turn the resolution of the suspense on its head. "Here's Johnny", is one of the climactic moments of "The Shining" and it's intended to represent the height of the main character's madness. 



This video was inspired partly by the "John Cena" and "Rick Roll" memes. These memes present something that many people are familiar with and go against audience expectations, resulting in humor and oftentimes annoyance. I wanted the two elements of the video and added audio to be easily recognizable to the audience so that they weren't distracted by trying to figure out what they were looking at. The Shining is associated with Kubrick and King, two people who take their respective arts very seriously and don't typically dabble in comedy, while the Seinfeld bass is associated with a stand-up comedian turned TV actor who starred in a sitcom named after himself.



At first, I intended to use a laugh track but dismissed the idea as too obvious. I was afraid that the cue to laugh would result in people refusing to laugh. I wanted the humor to come from turning the audience's expectation on its head. Additionally, since I had decided to use clips from a movie, which don't typically contain a laugh track, I thought that the audience questioning why a laugh track would be included in something that wasn't a sitcom would distract from the humor. 



I used videograbby to get a clip of this scene from YouTube, as well as the audio from the Seinfeld theme. Using Adobe Premiere, I cut the clip to be much shorter, while trying not to cut too much off and ruin the suspense. From the several minute long audio file of the Seinfeld theme, I only ended up using the first couple of seconds. The first couple of seconds of the Seinfeld theme are the most recognizable portion, since the sitcom played those notes the most often between scene transitions. Choosing at what point to start the bass was a bit tricky and I did end up having to zoom into the sequence timeline considerably to achieve just the right timing.



My main critique of my project is that it felt too low effort. I tried to compensate by making the final product as clean as I could, ensuring that the timing was just right and that the audio wasn't awkwardly cut. Additionally, I shared the video on both Tumblr and Facebook, trying to exploit the large amount of family members who are friends with me and my friends on Tumblr who have a large amount of followers. The feedback that I was given is largely positive, but I'm concerned that most people aren't willing to sit through the whole video or turn the sound on to watch it. People found it funny, but only those who were familiar with both source materials. Though The Shining and Seinfeld are well-known, they are also somewhat old so there are a number of people my age who wouldn't get the references. I'm concerned that, since my age group makes up a large amount of the contingent on social media, the humor may be lost on the majority of the internet.



I didn't learn too many technical skills from this project, since I've had previous experience with Adobe Premiere and this was a pretty simple project. I did learn that a project doesn't have to be complex in order to be effective and make an impact (something that my Beg-Borrow-Steal project suffered from).  



Cite and attribute any sources you used directly in your project. Document this carefully: be very clear about what media you worked with, where you found it and how/where it was incorporated. 

"Here's Johnny" Scene:

Seinfeld Theme



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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Explore the effect that sound has on our emotions and responses.