Monday, January 25, 2010

Vlog Star - Last of the Sister Outtakes

There is really way too much stuff from the sister arc, but here is one more long, awkward piece of seduction, along with a few other brief outtakes.

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Where Thoughts Should Go

As the other participants in the 2004-era blogaround have abandoned their blogs entirely, I've been content to let this become yet another place to post my videos. Eventually one tires of the burden of writing a whole post on everything one thinks about every movie or TV show one watches or thing that one does. One realizes that 140 characters will suffice for most sentiments in life, because honestly, who has the time?

That said, I think I might need to start writing on this blog again, at least occasionally, because lately I have been bothering friends with very long-winded treatises on such subjects as How Vegans Are Like Christians and I fear this points to a suppressed need to pontificate on nonsense at great length. Since I have been limiting myself to the brevity of tweets and status updates, my indulgent ramblings have taken the unfortunate form of Facebook messages, making me look like an unbearable pest and proving that I have inherited my parents' strategy of winning arguments by exhausting one's opponent past the point of caring.

Anyway, my point is that sometimes I really enjoy belaboring a point with a series of long sentences, and social networking and microblogs aren't so conducive to that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vlog Star - Kent

The best sight gag of the episode, and maybe the season, Alexa carrying Nate for a long time while Kent chats her up, almost didn't happen. In the script the whole first half of the episode was to take place with everyone already riding in the car. However, it turned out that Bryan ("Todd") didn't have a car to drive, and I didn't want to force someone else to let him drive while we were all trying to film a scene. So at the last minute we had to retool the scene so that it happened before they got into the car. Having Alexa and Kent carry me was the first option, and might have looked pretty funny due to their height difference, but could also have been pretty difficult to do for the same reason.

So Chase volunteered to carry me on her own, confident that she could do it. And she did, for four or five full takes, with only the aid of sturdy wires holding me up that we erased in post! It worked out great, and the spectacle of her struggling to carry me while two much larger guys, including the one hitting on her, totally ignore her plight is pretty hilarious. Much better than the car scene would have been, and easier too. It also inspired the earlier counterpoint gag (shot later) in "The Plan" where Nate tries to lift Alexa and collapses immediately.

So thank goodness for happy accidents and strong co-stars.

Vlog Star Outtakes

Some more outtakes and alternate improvised bits that didn't fit in the episodes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nominate Vlog Star for a Streamy!

There's not much time left, but you can nominate Vlog Star for a Streamy Award. You've probably never heard of them but I assure you they're very prestigious.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vlog Star: Break-In

In season 3, I think we've been successful in making the show funnier, yet somehow in doing so we ended up spending a lot of the season back on the couch, which we'd tried to get away from in season 2. Go figure. Anyway, one of the reasons we allowed ourselves to do a bunch of couch episodes was that we had this story coming up, which we considered to be the big eventful arc, at least for this first half of the season.

This episode was conceived after I visited Romie's sister's house, where Romie was staying last year, and realized that access to such a gorgeous location was something we had to take advantage of. From there we ended up with Nate breaking into Todd's house, but we were still in the midst of season two at that point, so actually doing the episode was a long way off. During the intervening months, Romie moved out of the house and his sister put the home on the market, so getting the shoot done became more urgent.

To make it worth Romie's while, we threw in a cameo where he would get to kiss a dude. You're welcome, Romie.

This episode also makes use of fake blood for the second time this season. Watching it, I wish we had used more. I just finished watching season 5 of Lost, and every time someone gets punched on that show, their face is completely covered in blood a moment later. That's what this should have looked like, especially the way Nate gets beaten into the ground. But when we were in the location, even what we had seemed risky. Shooting in someone else's spotlessly clean and expensive house, full of white carpet and white furniture, made us constantly fearful of staining anything, since anything I touched would have turned red. I think we made it out without ruining anything, though. It's ironic that we planned our messiest scene for our cleanest, most untouchable location.

Editing this episode, I began to wonder whether we were leaning too hard on punching Nate for comedy, but two comments have gushed over the hilarious violence in this episode. That's two more than we usually get, so fortunately, our audience agrees with me that people getting punched is funny.

I've been bleeping the F-bombs in the show since season 2, since I think it is funnier, the way the bleeped expletives were funny on Arrested Development -- you know what they are anyway, yet it's somehow more acceptable. But Bryan Burgess, who plays a violent wild man better than anyone, will take any expletives you have in the script and multiply them exponentially, so I figured it was futile here. He swears funnier than I do anyway. I always feel like my swears sound too self-conscious. This episode also features Ken Peterson as another manager, Kent. As the name suggests, the part was written with him in mind, and his performance proves he was the right choice. He doesn't get much more here than some understated reactions and a handful of straight lines, but he nails every one of them and manages to be hilarious while seemingly doing nothing.

There's so much going on in this one, the joke of Nate tearing Alexa's shirt off to bandage his hand is almost lost in the shuffle. Don't forget to notice it!