Daveednyc asks what a "two-percenter" is.
It's a reference that, theoretically, only two percent of the audience will get. But they will really, really dig it. (That's why you put them in. Also to amuse other writers.) Hence the ref to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria in the previous post.
A well-crafted two-percenter isn't a story point -- you need 100% of the the audience to get those. It's just flavor. Ideally it's written so that they get the point even if they don't know the reference.
Writers are often fighting with network execs over two-percenters. Writers often think the audience is at least as smart as they are; execs often seem to think that the audience is much stupider than they are.
FRASIER somehow managed to be a hit in spite of being chock full of two-percenters, suggesting that perhaps some execs oughtta lighten up.
Labels: craft, glossary
Burn after Reading had a great "two-percenter": the purple triangular thing that George Clooney carried around in a few scenes. It was really more like a twenty-percenter in the audience where I saw it, but it was definitely a gag that was impossible to understand for the majority of the audience, but very funny to the portion who got it.
Quentin Tarantino is a master of the "two-percenter" the only problem is that "ninty-eight" percent of the people know it.
Ah, thanks... I got the Alexandria Library reference, but not the idea behind it. Go figure.
You know who does Two-Percenters well?
I always get their inside jokes.
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