Posts tagged funny

Failproof Ways to Troll a Whovian

This is absolutely glorious.

Have any Whovian trolling ideas of your own?

Posted by beanzerz on Reddit

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Review: Tucker & Dale VS Evil (2010)

It has been YEARS since I laughed hysterically during a movie with horror elements. Tucker & Dale VS Evil has put the “laughter” back in “manslaughter”.

Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are two best friends that take a weekend to fix up a dilapidated mountain house that Tucker pinched pennies to purchase. They are then mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, over-privileged college kids that chose an area nearby to pitch tents and camp.

During a skinny-dipping session one of the college kids, Alison (Katrina Bowden), is injured. Tucker and Dale attempt to lend a hand and notify her friends that they’ve saved her. Instead, the friends think that she has been abducted. With the cajoling of one in the group they decide that they have a time limit to saving their friend. They go to the house to rescue her.

Then someone dies. The misunderstanding between the two parties becomes seemingly unsurmountable.

As the body count increased, my laughter raised in decibels. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine have INSANE chemistry as redneck buddies. Their sometimes slow-witted thinking is equally balanced with a keen intellect and a genuine care for themselves and the things around them.

The gore and crazy ways people end up dying are amazing. I hope that some of them were pulled from the Darwin awards.

Have you ever laughed so hard at someone’s reaction to something that you thought you were going to pee your pants? No? … … … Me neither…

Tucker and Dale is definitely worth checking out. It is on limited release this month and I hope that it gets the viewers it needs to open nationwide.

However!

If you just can’t wait to see Wash and Sock from two of the greatest TV shows cut from their prime dressed in flannel and wielding a chainsaw you need not fear. If you have digital cable, it is available On Demand. It’s a few dollars more than they normally are, but it is worth every cent.

Carebear Doctor

A Robot, A Ninja, and A Gay Guy! Part Deux!

6.      How long does it take for you to complete an episode, from the idea to the finished product?

Trav- We have a pretty quick turnaround on episodes.  First, Eric Loya and I will discuss episode ideas.  That can be a long discussion, like for the Season Finale, or a very short blurb, like “The guys play some board games.”  Then Eric will go and write a first draft of an episode.  Sometimes I’ll give notes for him to do re-writes (“First Halloween” is the only episode where I made him rewrite the entire thing), and then we get together with Director Rob Wood and Eric’s wife Catherine (who is responsible for the amazing set photos), and we go through the script and refine.

After that, it’s a matter of finding the time when everyone can get together to shoot.  The earlier episodes took a lot longer, but when we got into the groove, we were pumping out 3 episodes in a shoot.  I usually take a day or two to edit.  The Halloween episode was shot on the Sunday before it was released, and it was out on Monday night, I think, so we’re capable of a pretty fast turnaround.  I’d trade a little bit of that time to have a professional editor who knew how to color correct.

7.      What is your favorite episode?

Trav- It’s Sophie’s Choice!  There are so many great episodes already, and some of them are so different it makes it hard to compare them.  I love “First Halloween” because we had very little time to put it all together.  The performances in that episode are great.  “Game Night” is just so different and silly, I find something to laugh about every time.  And I can’t leave out “Mr. Furper,” obviously because of Nicholas Brendon, but also because it’s just so smart, taking moments from previous episodes and weaving this new character into our world’s past.  Those are my top 3, and I think that’s the best you’ll get from me on that.

8.      What kind of equipment do you use?

Trav- For Season One, we used the Canon HF200, a brilliant little camera for the price.  Our boom mic is an Azden SGM-1X, the cheapest available again, but performed admirably.  We purchased a GlideCam HD1000 between episodes 3 & 4, and it’s probably the best investment we made.  It allows us to have nice, smooth handheld shots without a lot of jitter, and gives the camera “breath,” which gives life to the scene.  Our lights are cheap Target lights with 5 arms each, and we use 100 watt-equivalent CFLs, which give off a strong, even light.  This is maybe the point where we could make the biggest improvements with a better light kit and a couple extra crew positions.  Lighting is so important, and we just couldn’t afford to do that right.  I edit on Final Cut Pro, on the cheapest iMac we could get last year.

For Season 2, we’ve already picked up our new camera, the Canon T2i, a DSLR that does HD video very well.  It’s under $1,000, but it gives us access to 35mm lenses, which is something indie filmmakers have never had at that price.  I’ve used it to record some vlogs, and it’s wonderful.  I’d like to get a better boom mic, and maybe a lav mic set, as well as a lighting budget to either buy or rent lights.  And because my computer really lags with all that HD footage, I’d love to upgrade to something with a little more power.  The new high-end iMacs are gorgeous and really fast while still being relatively affordable.

9.      How does it feel to have the kind of following you guys have?

Trav- Our fans are amazing.  Not only are they incredibly supportive, but they’ve been going out of their way to share the show.  Every so often we’ll get a piece of fan art that will blow me away (which we love, send more!).  It just boggles my mind sometimes that people are creating artwork based on something I made!

At VidCon this year, I was approached by people I’d never met who were so excited to hug me and get a picture with me, my heart was just bursting.

Of course, we’d like more fans.  We want to share our work with as many people as we can, because that’s why we do it.  But in fact, we need more fans.  In order to be sustainable as a production, I figure we’ll need at least 60,000 regular viewers.  That’s just an imaginary number; just an estimate on my part, but the logic is like this:  It costs us a certain amount to keep producing each year.  Say that’s $60,000 (another estimate).  Well, if we make $10 off of a t-shirt or a DVD sale, that’s 6,000 sales we need.  I’m guessing that only 1/10 people will actually buy something each year (which might be optimistic), which brings us back to 60,000 viewers.

We need help to get there, so every fan that tells a friend about “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy” (or writes a blog about it that reaches much more than that) gets us a little closer to our goal.  And we all appreciate that very, very much.

10.      (And because I’m curious) Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Trav- Jeez, do I even have one these days?  I used to love Robert Pattinson, before he did “Twilight.”  When he was just Cedric Diggory, he was gorgeous.  I still have the hots for Ian Somerhalder, though I haven’t seen a single episode of “Vampire Diaries.”  (Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires!)  Oh!  I know!  Hayden Christiansen.  Even though the Star Wars prequels killed my childhood, I don’t blame him at all.  He’s been really good in other things, and he’s always yummy.  Also, the new guys in “Glee.”  You know, the blond and Kurt’s new boyfriend?  Yeah, you know.

Here are some helpful links including a button *points* to push if you want to help these guys out. Also a message from Travis asking for your donations. (He’s adorable, you know you want to help)

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A Robot, A Ninja and A Gay Guy Need Your Help! Pt. 1

Last week our creator ShinySwoots came to me from on high [Editor’s Note: Not THAT on high ;-)] and offered me a journey. I accepted and was led down a path of righteousness and awesome….

Anyway, Swoots asked me to do a post about http://www.robotninjagayguy.com/RNGG/HOME.html otherwise known as Robot, Ninja, and Gay Guy. They have finished their first season and are currently raising money to fund a second season. I had never heard of this great webseries before and I am grateful to Swoots for introducing me to it. I sent the creator Travis Richey some questions, and I will be posting those and his answers in two parts.

(They even got Nicholas Brendon on! You know, the guy who played Xander on Buffy!)

1.      How did the three of you meet originally?

Trav- Well, Gay Guy was living with his boyfriend Chad, who was a big superficial jerk who always did things like eat the last of the chicken marsala without saying anything.  Out of the blue, Chad left, so Gay Guy had to find someone to replace him in the apartment, so he put an ad on Craigslist and the only ones who responded were a ninja and a rob—It occurs to me now that you may have meant the actors.  Did you mean the actors?  I met Brian Giovanni and Ryan Churchill at the ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood, where we all perform.  Brian does improv there, Ryan is on the sketch side, and I do both.  I really love ACME and try to use ACME performers for almost all my videos.

2.      Who’s idea was “Robot, Ninja, and A Gay Guy?” And how did they come up with the idea?

Trav- The original concept for the show was from another ACME friend Curtiss Frisle. A few years back Xbox was having a contest for new web series.  I was doing “Musecast” at the time, and I got a few of my friends from ACME together to brainstorm some ideas.  Curtiss came with the concept for “Ninja, Robot & Gay Guy” about three random, weird roommates.  He didn’t have much more than that, and our initial concept for the show was much more wacky than it ended up being.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the resources or equipment to produce anything, so we kind of just sat on the idea for a while.  Then I moved into a new place with my boyfriend Rob Wood, and we knew we wanted to produce something together.  Curtiss was busy working on some other projects, so I emailed my friend Eric Loya and asked if he wanted to be the head writer of this web series “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy.”  He said sure, and I said ok and went back to moving.

A month or so later I got 4 scripts in my inbox from Eric, who had just taken it upon himself to create the current tone of the show.  He made it a point to say he wasn’t attached to anything (and in fact that’s the only reason he didn’t name the characters originally), but I loved them so much I decided to go into production the following month.  It was a really frenetic period getting ready for that because I didn’t have anything I needed to make the show, like a camera for instance.

3.      What do you plan to do with the money you raise from the current Season 2 fundraising effort?

Trav- First, we have a detailed budget that is available for any potential investors.

It’s important to note that everything we did for Season 1 came out of my pocket, to the tune of close to $10,000.  That’s cameras, lights, sound equipment, hard drives, food, costumes, makeup supplies, etc.  People don’t often realize that there’s a lot that goes into making any sort of scripted entertainment.  I also want to say that I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to do for that little.  Think about it this way: Season One had about an hour and a half of content in total (not including the Truth or Fail game show), which is the same as a full-length feature film.  And you never hear about anything being made for that little.  Even “Paranormal Activity,” which was famously inexpensive, cost $16,000 (But the sequel?  $3 million).

For the second season of “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy,” we really just want to take the show to the next step, as a professional-looking web series.  For that we have a chunk of the budget set aside for equipment upgrades in video, audio, lighting and editing.  Besides that, the per-episode budget is for some pay for cast and crew, which includes a few crew positions that we didn’t have in the first season (for example, I’d love for the director to not have to also operate the camera), food for those people on set, and a few other miscellaneous supplies.

Everyone worked for free in Season One, and that’s a hard thing for people to do when they’re also struggling to survive in Los Angeles.  I want very much to be able to offer a little bit to people for helping to make this great show, and in some cases we need to in order to move forward at all.

4.      How did you get Nicholas Brendon to appear in one of your episodes? (I am insanely jealous about that btw)

Trav- This goes back to the Musecast, as well.  Helenna Santos was in Year 2, and for her final vlog, she interviewed Nicholas, whom she’d met at her work and become friends with.  Then, a few months later, RNGG head writer Eric Loya was invited to go to a play that Nicky was in.  Eric is a huge “Buffy” fan, so it was a particular treat for him.  By this time, we were through Episode 8 of RNGG, and Eric just mentioned it to Nicky who was tickled by the concept.  When it came time to find our Mr. Furper, we managed to get in touch with him, sent a script his way, and based on that, he said yes.  It was tremendously exciting.  It was also very flattering that he agreed to shoot with us for free, based completely on his love of the script.

Whether he’ll be back is completely up to him.  Last I heard, he wants to, and we want him to, and Mr. Furper has potential storylines in Season 2, but with Nicholas being a relatively successful actor, it’s always hard to say how those things will turn out, especially when we still don’t have a proper budget.

5.      What are your hopes for this webseries?

Trav- I think “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy” is a wonderful show that could go on for at least a few years.  I feel really proud that I can watch episodes over and over (even after seeig them dozens of times in the production process) and still laugh out loud at moments.  I do think it’s important to have a budget, though.  I’ve been demanding some great work from the people who’ve been involved in the first season, but I haven’t been able to give them a cent for their time and effort.  Me included.  But assuming we can achieve some sort of sustainability, I’ll do “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy” until it’s not funny anymore.

On a grander scale, I could definitely see us on TV.  I think cable channels like Comedy Central, TBS, Logo, or HBO would be perfect homes for “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy.”  We’re entering a few festivals this year with the goal of getting noticed by some industry folks.

We’ve also got a plan for sustainability.  Ideally, we’d like to not have to ask for donations after this first run.  RNGG is extremely quotable, and I would love for our revenue to come from merchandise like T-shirts and DVDs.  If we can manage that, it would open the door for us to do so much more than we’ve already been able to accomplish.

More to come tomorrow!

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Check Out Blueprints While the Foreman Resolves It

I absolutely love Hijinks Ensue. Trust that there will be a review from me one of these days. Until then, get into it with a little teaser.

TSIMU: Wil Wheaton and Ali’s Excellent Adventure

TSIMU = True Story I Made Up
This is a work of absolute fiction. But it totally happened in my brain.
Wil Wheaton** and I were walking down the street one day talking about how unfair a gelatinous cube could be when he stopped dead in his tracks and his mouth fell agape.
I glanced at him quizzically. He pointed and stuttered a few times before choking out “TARDIS*. replica. right. there.” He pointed to my right and I did a double take.
Sure enough, a large blue Police box perched on the corner, a silhouette of a head illuminated through the windows.
“Someone’s in it,” I said. “We should probably keep walking.”
The doors opened and a tall lanky man walked out with floppy black hair.
“Neil Gaiman?!?!” both Wil and I exclaimed.
“You two need to hurry,” he replied. “I’ve been waiting for you. You have a competition to win.”
“Wait, what?” I couldn’t help it. I was flabbergasted. One of my favorite authors stepped out of the blue effing box and told us he was waiting for us.
I looked to Wil to confirm that Neil had indeed gone crazy and felt my blood pressure drop. Wil was wiping tears from his face.
“It’s… real?” he uttered.
“Of course it’s real. Now get in.”
“Where are we headed?” Wil said as he grabbed my wrist and led me into the contraption.
“The eighties.” Neil stepped in behind me.
“Okay,” I said with a sigh. “Um… I know what the TARDIS looks like, but I don’t know what it does. Isn’t it just a prop?”
“How would I have gotten it here?” Neil questioned.
“So you’re telling me that the TARDIS that they use on Dr. Who…” Wil began.
“… is real.” Neil finished.
“How did you get this?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to know the answer.
“I’ve been writing for Dr. Who,” Neil replied.
“You nicked the TARDIS from set?” I slapped both of my hands to my face and took a deep breath. Telling myself to calm down wasn’t working. I was on the edge of a panic attack.
“Hence the need to leave quickly,” he said as he fiddled with something on the interior of the cabin. “I’m sure there are some security measures they have taken to locate the box once it appears.”
My mouth went dry as this demonic whirring noise starting sounding around me, followed by a sound I can only write down as “pkew pkew”.
“Calm down,” Wil said, patting at his messenger bag. “A good GM never leaves anywhere without his bag of holding. If it’s the eighties we’re headed to, we’re talking Basic Set D&D. 2nd or 3rd edition. We’ll be fine.”
“This isn’t a Dungeons and Dragons competition,” Neil said, a long smile on his face. He handed me a faded newspaper article and I glanced at the headline.
“But… but… but…” I couldn’t help but stutter.
“What is it?” Wil said as I handed him the article.
“I don’t know how to breakdance.”
This concludes Part 1 of Wil and Ali’s Excellent Adventure. Will Wil (heh. that’s fun to write) and Ali prevail? What is on that article? What is in Wil’s bag of holding? Does Ali have a panic attack? Can she master a Pencil Spin? WTF IS a Pencil Spin?
Set your RSS reader to stun, because you will be. Oh, you will be.
* TARDIS is a registered trademark of the BBC. I own no rights to it. Nor do Wil Wheaton and Neil Gaiman, but I’m sure they’d both like one.

** I also own no rights to Wil Wheaton or Neil Gaiman. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy each of their bodies of work. This is a true story that I made up… in this dimension at least.

*** I have also never seen Dr. Who. That’s pretty much the only truth in this little escapade. That, and Wil Wheaton has a bag of holding.
If Wil or Neil happens to catch wind of this, uh… hi guys. It was a writing challenge that I inadvertently gave to myself. If you want me to remove it, I’d happily do so.

Saturday Simplicity

I wrote this over on my personal blog today, but I think people who read this will really get a kick out of it (once we get past the “Jules is ill” bit). I have bloody amazing children!

—-

I’m ill. I’m ill to the status of turning into a “sucky baby”. I don’t complain unless it is really bad. My Lupus is really trying to kick my ass, showing me no mercy. I haven’t had a flare last for this long in a very long time. Even so I always live with a good amount of pain, I had forgotten just how bad bad can be. I’ve been running a fever since I awoke yesterday. Today, I woke up with mouth ulcers. I’m grumpy. I’m irritable. I’m liable to lash out at any poor unsuspecting soul. But thank Bob for my children. At least they can keep me laughing through all of this.

It started this morning. I got up feeling like shit and as if someone beat the crap out of me in my sleep, yet again. I put on my glasses and hobbled down to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee. I sat down in front of my computer to check my email and Twitter while I waited for the blessed coffee to brew. Because I’m ill, my vision is also being affected and every thing was blurry and as if it had a white film across it. That is when the following conversation took place:

Me: Where are my glasses?

Kid2: What?

Me: I can’t find my glass. Help me find them. (Starts searching). Wait. Never mind. They are on my face.

Kid2: BWAHAHAHA! OMG! I thought that only happens in movies! Too funny. Mom, that was pro. You are so fail today! Way too funny, mom.

Shortly afterward, his dad picked him up to do some clothes shopping. Upon his return, I hear the following:

Kid2: Mom, look at this! I picked it out all on my own. You want it, don’t you? You’re jealous aren’t you? You’d wear this to your next convention, wouldn’t you?

Me: OMG! DUDE! That is so awesome! YES! I do want it! Man, you’re awesome!

Kid2: *giggles* I knew it!

And just now, the following conversation occurred while I was outside getting some fresh air as I’m burning up.

(After Kid2 and his friend rounded the corner into the backyard)

Kid2’s friend: I hear that you can walk on your hands.

Me: Yes, I can.

Kid2: She can also lick her elbows! I don’t know how she does it. It is freaky but still cool. Mom, show her!

Me: Honey, I’m not feeling well. My body really hurts right now. Otherwise, I’d love to show my freaky skills.

(Kid2 and Kid2’s friend try to lick their elbows while conversing over how they don’t understand how it is possible.)

Me: Fine! I’ll do it! (licks elbow).

Kid2’s friend: WOW!

Kid2: SEE! Told you! They say it isn’t possible to lick your elbows, but my mom can!

Me: Well, what “they” say is false. It isn’t impossible, it is just rare.

Kid2 to his friend: She makes a good point. My mom is a rare breed of person. It is one of the things that makes her so awesome. She’s rare and weird but in a really good way. (To Me) She also doesn’t believe that you squee’d when I showed you my Mario shirt.

Me: Yes, I did squee.

Kid2’s friend: Then you’d squee over my brother’s shirt as he has the same one.

Me: I probably would.

Kid2: Okay, mom. I have to go into the back forest now. I left my winter coat back there.

Me: Why is your winter coat back there?

Kid2: Because I needed it to sing The Mountain Climber song while climbing trees.

Despite feeling like death waiting to happen, at least I can look forward to a day filled with laughter.

———-

One of the things I really am appreciative of is that my children are both geeks. I wouldn’t say they are nerds but they are definitely geeks. I’ve never done anything to groom them as such. It is just how they have turned out (which is pretty damn awesome!). But what makes me appreciate all of this more, is that they are growing up in an age where it is accepted among their peers. Or maybe it is just accepted among their peers in my neck of the woods. They have never been teased for it or have been made to feel as if they are “weird” because of it. Or maybe they are but do not notice it because I’ve raised them to be very self-assured individuals. Most likely, it is a combo of both.

I also think it is rather fab that they have people in the media, outside of myself, who are nerds/geeks which they can look up to. I think I am a damn fine role model but it really is comforting to know they have some outside of me, something I did not really have growing up.

I think that is all I have to say about that. If I don’t stop vomiting out my thoughts now, this blog post would never end.

EDIT: Now that I actually think about it, Kid1 is a nerd and Kid2 is a geek.

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