Blog 14 – Mailbag/Bloopers

Originally posted 6.10.08

Back when Larry and I made the much-underappreciated “Commentary” episode, I decided to limit the number of episodes where we’d speak directly to the camera/viewers.  The idea was that Franks and Beans primarily derived its humor from interaction between Larry and me, and any derivation from that deviated from its core concept.  The self-imposed rule, then, was that I had to create at least five ‘regular’ episodes before going back to the well for one that featured some sort of audience interaction.

This was a difficult rule to follow, as it turned out, because I had the idea for the newly uploaded “Mailbag/Bloopers” stewing for a long time.  Now that I see it edited and on the screen, I’m really pleased with the end product.

You’ll notice that Larry’s hair is once again pulled back in a ponytail, his signature look for these ‘extra feature’ type episodes.  To be honest, I’m a big fan of Larry’s ponytail look.  It’s somewhat intimidating and makes him look like a professional wrestler, which for a bachelor are not bad things.  Since I didn’t plan ahead to grow a beard again (it worked on “Commentary” because I was preparing for the episode “Mustache”), my trusty Pirate hat made its second appearance, although now that I rewatch the film, it’s apparent that I don’t put my hat on straight when I wear it.  I’ll keep this in mind for future life events.

Our bookend scenes are rather boring to look at, even though they serve their purposes – it’s just the two of us sitting on stools.  If anyone really wants to know, I decided on the Ft. Wayne, Indiana location because I had just watched Planet of the Apes for maybe the tenth time, and as any fan of the original (not that terrible remake) knows, Taylor’s home city was none other than Ft. Wayne.  But if there are any viewers out there named Josh from the same general area, then hey, we chose it entirely because of you.  Isn’t that great?

The real action takes place in our so-called “blooper,” which turned out better than I originally imagined.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  When I envision skits or certain takes, I always imagine them with incredible effects and true-to-life visuals.  For instance, if I would write something where Larry would mysteriously fly across the room, I imagine him doing just that with cinematic realism.  Since we have a production budget of exactly zero (although sometimes Larry does make sandwiches), I try to keep the big special effect-type shot out of our show, but I hope you do understand what I’m trying to say when I claim pleasant surprise with this particular scene.

Not that anyone can’t figure this out by just watching the scene and applying common sense, but Larry and his prized Jeep are backing over one of those cement beams they have in most parking lots, not actually maiming me in some horrible fashion.  We shot this scene in a lot of one of the local colleges, and by this time the semester had ended so we were mostly unimpeded in our progress.  We did need to work on our timing, though, and on one take I did just manage to skip out of the way before Larry truly ran me over.  My hand on the back of the Jeep was a fortunate break for us, as it came at just the right time and got across the idea that I was being gruesomely mangled under the wheels of my best friend’s car.  Hilarity!

Also, when I am in supposed terrible pain and Larry is panicking in a ‘what have I done’ moment, you can hear Larry’s best impression of Kermit the Frog.  Way to go, Muppet Larry.

In retrospect, this might be my favorite episode of the whole bunch, which will make it even more difficult to follow my five-to-one rule.  I do also have to point out that both Larry and I seem to do a better job when at least one of our characters is angry at the other, which, again, I’m not sure what to make of something like that.  Maybe we would work better in real life if we punched each other every so often.  It’s worth a try.

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