Lately I have seen a few movie trailers that include a scene where something awkward happens, and quickly moves to the next shot of an observing character saying “Awkward” in slightly sing song voice. “Rio” and “Hoodwinked Too” come to mind. It’s been done enough. I hope to never hear it again.

Real awkwardness, or perhaps I should say embarrassment resulting from an awkward situation, is heavily reliant on great acting. It’s more than just setting up an awkward situation. It generally requires a bit of time, several extra beats of silence, for the embarrassed character to show those subtle responses to being watched. Lengthy moments of silence with little going on is very rare in animation. Partly because of expense, but mostly because of pressure to keep things moving.

For an example of how awkwardness/embarrassment should look, here is youtube video posted by my friend John Towsen. He put it on his Physical Comedy Blog The awkward moment arrives just after Rowan Atkinson enters the stage. Beyond that, there is wealth of great physical comedy here.

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