Episode 48 – The Rating Game

We’re all just looking for a little acceptance.

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Blog 49 – Green

Green screenshot 02

 

Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world where Franks and Beans posts updates

Take a look
And you’ll see
This is actually an update

What a day!  A nice day to come back to this damn website and act like I’m not ignoring it.  If it makes you feel any better, content-starved reader, I’ve also been ignoring my other website obligations over at teddyandtheyeti.blogspot.com.  Go ahead, click the link!  It’s the same as it’s been since October.  This probably does not make you feel any better.

Let’s not let that get us down, though.  Let’s talk about the psychedelic 47th episode of Franks and Beans, the barely named “Green”!  Why is it called “Green”?  That’s a mystery for another time, folks.

And that time is RIGHT NOW!  You may be saying, “but time hasn’t passed at all!”  To which I reply, the barely noticeable portion of existence that has moved inexorably forward counts as “another time”.  Also, I just remembered that the title actually had two meanings, one obvious and the other…slightly less obvious.

This episode of Franks and Beans marks the very first appearance of the official Franks and Beans green screen!  I am legitimately proud to have this item, even though I bought it from eBay and it’s basically just an oversized table cloth.  But it’s one of the few props we own and we’ve put it to good use in both this and subsequent episodes.  It currently sits in the Franks and Beans vault, folded neatly in an airtight container.

This episode also features a Larry who is very…green with envy (see what we did?  That’s called depth).  Why does he feel the pull of avarice?

Green screenshot 01

Because of another Franks and Beans prop…a big pile of money.  There is easily $500 here, enough to buy things like sound equipment or something, and most of it is thanks to Larry’s real and strange need to carry hundreds of dollars around on him at any given moment.  That’s right – if you see Larry out in public, rob him and gain access to hundreds of new (to you) dollars.  If you rob me…I will have less.

What follows next is an obvious take on the “angel on your shoulder” gag:

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We honestly learned a lot about what we could and probably shouldn’t do with the green screen from this sequence here.  Simply to fit on Larry’s shoulders, it might have been a good idea to shrink tiny Larry and tiny Jeff down a bit more, but at that point we started to lose character recognition.  It’s also a good thing that Larry has since cut off his Samson-like locks, as his ponytail phases through our tiny doppelgängers more than once.  Maybe next time we’ll use one of those tennis balls on a string or something.

Our goal for this episode was to devolve into weirder and weirder things as Larry’s fantasy went on, which started off with a lovely rendition of “Pure Imagination”, straight from the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as we explored the solar system (from a since-lost YouTube video) in the background.

Green screenshot 04

Our green screen worked overtime as Larry and I flew in the background of the scene.  We draped the screen over a stool and tried our best at planking, which I’m not even sure was a thing at the time we filmed it.  Sharp-eyed viewers will notice a tiny cameo in this sequence from Mitch Mitchell, who I think stopped over to take some pictures of baked beans or something.  He shows up again in a few episodes.

Green screenshot 05

The final freak-out sequence concludes with multiple versions of Jeff, all singing the same note, and wouldn’t that be something?  But alas, it was not to be, as one by one, as clones all straining to share the same life force, they started to fall.

This brings us to our big conclusion, in which we discover that Larry has a terrible medical condition that should probably be termed seizures, but for some reason I call a stroke.  In either case, we’re making fun of a serious condition, and I for one couldn’t be happier with the payoff.  All of the genuinely weird things that happen all come to a head in one tragic incident.

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Our “NO!” ending continues what I feel is a very ambitious episode as Larry, apparently, has been transported to a world where people only speak by foghorn.  The double foghorn at the end (which really sells the ending) is actually just another version of the “same note” joke that multiple Jeff performed earlier in the episode.  I don’t know why repeating the same sound on top of the original does something for me, but it does.

Well, we’ve got one more episode to go in our illustrious second season.  How long until we get to season three?  Um…2015.  Let’s go with that.

Blog 48 – Previously

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Ideas are funny things.  They inhabit a plane of existence outside the physical universe…the same universe that holds everything else, known or unknown, with the exception of these ideas.  When you think of something, and you picture it in your head, electrical signals are shooting around your body, but where does the idea itself exist?  Where is this image you’ve pictured in some ethereal capacity?  Nowhere, of course, but if that’s the case, how do we have those ideas?  How can something exist and at the same time not exist?

This is not to overmysticize the whole process and try to make it sound like something it’s not.  But the point of this all is WHERE DO WE COME UP WITH THESE GREAT IDEAS FOR FRANKS AND BEANS?  Another level of existence, that’s where.  And you can tell your friends this, because it’s true.  If they call you a liar, punch them right in the throat.

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This brings us to our 46th episode, “Previously”.  The idea for this episode sprung from two places: the unknowable nothingness that I just spoke of, and the desire to do a “backwards” episode, which is not a new concept but is probably attributed to Seinfeld more than anything else, at least as far as television and the like is concerned.  Now, you may be saying to yourself that this episode of Franks and Beans is not in fact filmed in reverse sequence, and you would be right.  Ideas, fleeting as they are, sometimes change in the process, and such is the case with “Previously”, where instead we ended up with lots and lots of fake buildup, only to have no real payout in the end (just like every other episode of Franks and Beans, amIright, fellas?).

Previously screen shot 03

Speaking of change, there’s an interesting easter egg-y moment happening in this episode, as for once we try to be subtle about something.  Larry and I wear the same shirts throughout the episode, swapping them at times for no other reason than to have a background joke tossed in.

The episode took some strange turns but I think it worked to its full effect, poking fun at the really long and expository recaps that some shows put at the beginning of new episodes.  The tension builds and builds and builds (“You, all right? I learned it from watching you!”), and we even manage to keep a fairly consistent continuity throughout the “previously on…” sequence, with the exception of the non sequitur of the two of us laughing for no apparent reason.  Larry’s mysterious letter is the driving force!  What could its contents reveal?

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Somewhere out there in the universe (but in our real universe, not the strange abscess of reality where ideas exist), there’s an extended clip of our penultimate scene, where the apparently non-long-for-this-earth Jeff takes us to the cliffhanger.  This deleted scene lasts about three times as long as the actual episode, and I go on and on about whatever I can think of.  I’m pretty sure we put it on the season two DVD.  Whatever.  Maybe Larry can dredge it up for you one day, blog readers.

Previously screen shot 05

The joke of this episode plays on all of our expectations, or more appropriately, the complete turn we take from everything that had come before.  Instead of answering any of the questions we post, either explicitly or implicitly throughout the episode, we end with us (in new shirts!) eating ravioli and spouting a “that’s what she said” line, which, let’s face it, is always sure to please (that’s what she said).

Previously screen shot 06

Not to let the backwards theme go, our “No!” ending features a backwards scene…of sorts.  It’s a stretch, but…it is what it is.  Such is the life of ideas.

Oh, and I finally (we knew it was coming) messed up with the sequence of these episodes, as I forgot we had a commentary episode lined up for “Why So Misleading?”.  We’re all probably surprised that it took this long for it to happen.  Please watch it, and listen to Larry sound like he’s happy that he’s throwing up.

Franks and Beans ad in Magic Bullet #8

I Hate the Moon Magic BulletThe Magic Bullet is a free, Washington, DC-based comic newspaper that publishes on a semi-annual basis.  Why, then, am I posting this to the Franks and Beans website?  That’s a great question.  Here are some answers:

1) Because I do what I want.
2) See #1.

Ha HAAA!!  Wow, what witty banter you can expect from the Franks and Beans website.  We’re basically out of control over here.  Seriously, you can ask anyone.

Magic Bullet 8

The eighth installment of the Magic Bullet came out a few months ago, and inside was a one-page comic that I wrote titled “I Hate the Moon”, for obvious reasons.  Also included is this Franks and Beans print ad:

Franks and Beans Magic Bullet adHey, look!  It’s the “Double Delivery” ad that we made a couple years ago for Comic-Con!  I think we’ll be submitting another episode to the Comic-Con Film Festival in 2015, if for no other reason than to create another print ad.

Magic Bullet card

One of the things I enjoy the most about advertising in the Magic Bullet is getting a thank you card in the mail addressed to Franks and Beans, like those are our names.  According to the printed names on the inside of the card, I am one of the creators thanking Franks and Beans.  Well, you’re welcome, Jeff McClelland.  I guess.

Magic Bullet card inside