Kid tested, mustache approved! The UHF art and movie screening Kickstarter!

UHF FINAL KS CROP

Should I keep my different projects separate?  Should I keep the Franks and Beans blog un-despoiled by non F&B items?  Here’s an idea, faithful reader: why don’t you watch your stinkin’ mouth?

Ugh, that was harsh.  I’m sorry, guys.  This is an especially egregious error as I am trying to raise a little bit of money to show “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1989 cult classic film “UHF” at a local theater on May 31st of the year.  What was I thinking?  Please, forgive me.

Here’s the details: I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help offset the licensing and rental fees associated with the screening.  The film will screen at Latrobe 30 Theatre & Cafe, and it will take place the same day as Al’s Greensburg, PA “Mandatory Fun” tour date.  The theater is fewer than 10 miles from the concert venue, so I’m hoping that fans and those attending the concert will want to see the movie earlier in the day.

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter rewards

I’ve got a whole lot of rewards to offer up to anyone who pledges, from 11×17 prints, to pins, to shirts, to a gigantic, movie poster-sized print that is the official image of the campaign and screening:

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter movie poster

You can even get tickets to the show if you live in the area (or feel like a road trip), though you don’t have to attend the movie to get the other items!

I just announced that anyone who pledges at the $10 level or higher will get a Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies inspired sticker at no extra charge!

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter sticker

So if you enjoy Franks and Beans, you’re a fan of Weird Al, or if you’re just a nice person who would feel bad if this dang thing doesn’t succeed, I hope you’ll click the following link to read more about this UHF movie screening Kickstarter project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffmcclelland/uhf-movie-screening/

Even if you can’t pledge anything, I hope you’ll decide to share this project with people that you know.

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Franks and Beans Actor Spotlight #1: Matt Easton

Ratings Game screen shot 02

Who: Matt Easton
Episode: 48 – The Rating Game
Character: Sycophantic Thief

Matt Easton 01

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Profession: Actor/Producer
Wait, really?: Yes, why do you think I created this post if not to marvel at the fact that Franks and Beans convinced someone with actual acting credits to appear in an episode?
So you’re saying he’s acted in a legitimate capacity before, not just like in a high school play: Yes.  That is what I’m saying.
Does he have a listing on IMBD? Huh?: Yes.  He’s actually listed first among all of the Matt Eastons:

Matt Easton IMDB

Holy…is this seriously from IMDB?: Dammit!  Yes!  What don’t you trust me?  Here’s the damn link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2362279/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
I did not expect this.  I am honestly taken back.  This is pretty cool: I agree!  Is there a question in there?
What kind of stuff has he done?: He was one of the actors who played “LizardMan” in “LizardMan: The Terror of the Swamp”.
…is that a real thing?: Look, I’m not going to confirm every answer I give.  Believe it or don’t.
Okay, okay…I’m sorry: He’s also done some motion capture for a few video games:

Matt Easton 02

Oh man, that’s so cool!  I’ve always wanted to do that!: Yeah, it’s pretty neat.
You mentioned that he’s not just an actor, but also a producer: He even started his own company: Legacy Features, based out of Burbank, California.
So…how did you get him to be on an episode of Franks and Beans? He’s good friends with the guy who plays Replacement Larry.  And we got lucky.

Ratings Game screen shot 01

Do you think if he gets super famous, other people will watch the Franks and Beans episode?: I…really hope so.  Maybe they’ll watch it and think, “what the hell kind of deal with the devil did these guys make to get Matt Easton on their Internet show?”
If he gets super famous, will he…put you in a movie?: C’mon, man.

…I hope.
How many times did you have to film the “*#$@ you, Frankenberry” shot?: Ugh, too many times.  I thought someone was going to report us.  Matt was shouting the f-word in a crowded parking lot as confused onlookers walked by.

Ratings Game screen shot 03

What is he working on now that he’s moved away from his lucrative career as a Franks and Beans guest star?: Hey.  Don’t be mean.
But seriously, what is he working on?: He’s producing the film “The Summer I Died“, currently in pre-production.  He’s a production coordinator for the upcoming “Savage Mountain” film.  He has a role in the film “Darling Nikki“, due out in May 2015.
Think he might be interested in the FUBAR film rights?: Maybe he’ll Google his name, find this page, read up on FUBAR and immediately fall in love with it!
That’d be something!: Yeah, but, you know.
Do you have any pictures of him with a mustache?: Actually, I do:

Matt Easton 03

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

Blog 47 – Long Distance

Pittsburgh Comicon Spawn

The Pittsburgh Comicon used to be big time.  Back in the 1990s, when Larry wore South Park t-shirts and I wore hats for reasons other than to cover up hair loss, the yearly Pittsburgh Comicon was something to look forward to, especially as a way for young fans to meet up with professionals and other fans in a way that didn’t involve weird newsgroups that would inevitably devolve into searching for naked pictures of Pamela Anderson.   The Pittsburgh shows of the 1990s featured celebrities and big-time comic book creators whose work went all the way back to the Golden Age of comics in the 1930s and ’40s.  Heck, we even got our picture taken with Spawn, both some guy dressed in a costume and the actual Al Simmons, who I’m pretty sure got a booth and handed out stickers or something.

Jeff and Larry Action Comics 1The Pittsburgh Comicons of today just aren’t the same.  When the old Monroeville Convention Center closed down several of years ago, I remembering thinking, “thank goodness, now the show can move to a real location, like the state-of-the-art Pittsburgh Convention Center (located conveniently downtown)”.  But it turns out that the Comicon did not heed or receive my well-constructed thoughts, complete with parentheses, and to this day they remain in Monroeville, the least convenient location for an event that identifies itself by the adjective “Pittsburgh”.  These days, they don’t haul out copies of 1938’s Action Comics #1 anymore only to have a 16-year-old Larry almost knock it and millions of dollars worth of other comics off a shelf, no siree.

Pittsburgh Comicon Mart NodellAnd the Pittsburgh Comicon doesn’t seem to have guests like Mart Nodell, creator of Green Lantern, anymore.  One good reason for this is that Mr. Nodell has been dead for a few years.  Another is that…well, I’m not exactly sure why.  But when I think back to the heyday of the show and compare it to what it is now, well…there’s really no comparison, and this is a shame, because Pittsburgh deserves a nice mid-level comic book show.  It doesn’t have to be a media extravaganza like those in New York, Chicago or San Diego (or Toronto…or Seattle for that matter), but a comic-centered show with new talent and a better location are musts for the Pittsburgh Comicon to recapture its former glory.

Pittsburgh Comicon Chase Masterson

If the show ever regains some of its luster, perhaps I’ll wear a nice silver jumpsuit like our friend Chase Masterson, here.  As it is, Larry and I will settle for what we’re now able to do at the Pittsburgh Comicon, which is hastily film an episode of Franks and Beans while getting yelled at to not film an episode of Franks and Beans, namely our 45th episode, “Long Distance”.  I believe that at one point we were thinking of naming the episode “Comic-Con” or something of that nature, which would have been a bit of an overstatement, all things considered.

Long Distance screen shot 01Our episode begins with a collection of establishing shots, which is one of Larry’s editing signatures.  There are more exciting ways of introducing the necessary setting information, but with time constraints, this served well enough to get the point across: the episode apparently takes place at a convention with a disinterested Margot Kidder…

Long Distance screen shot 03…Scott McDaniel…

Long Distance screen shot 02

…some booths — WAIT, IS THAT THE WORLD FAMOUS WAGON WHEEL COMICS?  Publisher of Teddy and the Yeti?  Boy, what a coincidence to get that booth, empty in this shot for some reason, captured in a seemingly random sweep of the convention floor.

Long Distance screen shot 04 And also “Franks and Beans” star Jeff McClelland using a flip phone.  Oh, wait, this is part of the actual episode.

When I look back at this episode, I think that it’s got a decent joke that’s executed fairly well, but there’s always room for improvement.  I’ve often wrung my hands over the quality of the audio on this show.  Some times there’s nothing to be done about it, and this is the case with “Long Distance”.  In general, convention center employees don’t enjoy productions taking up floor space, and a boom mic (even if we had one) is a pretty big giveaway that you are doing more than just taking creepy videos of the person dressed as Black Cat.  Trying to keep a low profile dictated many of our shots and how quickly they were filmed this day…and in our first few shots, we get soft-talking Jeff, the bane of video editing Jeff’s existence.  But even so, it’s pretty clear as to what’s going on, and it serves as a pretty good setup for what’s to come next.

Long Distance screen shot 05 If I could change one thing about this episode (besides having Margot Kidder as an actual guest star), it’d be Larry’s first shot, where he talks on the phone and lies about his current whereabouts.  A medium shot reveals the same colored walls and what is obviously the same location.  Editor Jeff wants a tighter shot that doesn’t reveal the main joke quite as soon.

Even with this early giveaway, the main joke – where Larry and I still talk on the phone even after running into each other – is still a satisfying one, I think.  And the “head chest cold” line is a nice addition.

Most episodes of Franks and Beans are filmed over the course of a day.  Few span different days, and sometimes this is out of something other a very long shooting session.  This episode, though, was probably shot the fastest, because we literally had people telling us to leave as we were trying to get the last shots.  Someone even came over the intercom system to tell us to get out of there as they closed up shop.  It was a good exercise in getting the hell done really quickly.  And then we went and had some Mexican food.

Long Distance screen shot 06Our action-packed “NO!” ending for this episode features Larry’s worst nightmare.  An interesting thing to note is that unless Larry decided to jump out of his bedroom window, he was running toward the flames and not away from them.  I’m going to imagine that he was desperately trying to save some of his more unique Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia, and really, can any of us blame him?  Other than people who think that running into fires for material possessions is a shortsighted and irresponsible idea that might leave someone dead or horribly burned?

A few years after we filmed this episode, Wagon Wheel Comics got another booth at yet another installment of the Pittsburgh Comicon.  It is much the same as it was in this episode, except now they give out panels to people like me, who have no business running a panel.  If you’ve got an hour to kill, feel free to relive the magic, just like tens of others have on YouTube: