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Episodes 10 and 11

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I wanted to get this blog up before the finale on Tuesday so I can have a dedicated post next week about the season as a whole. And WHOAH has it been a whole season! 🙂 I simply can’t believe that the finale is Tuesday!
EPISODE 10: FESTIVAL OF THE SEA

So, this season I set out to scale back a LOT.  Last season we went outdoors waay too often, had waaay too many actors, and it was really hard to accomplish on the budget.  So THIS season I tried to only let me crazy imagination out with the idea that we’d throw a huge party at Cheesybeards.  Generally, I didn’t REALLY accomplish that, haha, but living through this shoot, I was very happy that I kept my mind at least a WEE BIT under control.

This episode had SO MANY EXTRAS!  Thank you each and every person for coming out at 5:30am and joining us in making this episode a possibility.  I really hope everyone had a good time filming in that tiny room.  The production design and acting are just all soooo amazing, it’s my favorite of the season for sure.  SO MUCH IS GOING ON and it’s still under 8 minutes.  Really proud of that.

Because I had to learn the ukelele for it, Ollie’s song is really the highlight for me personally.  I did a rough draft of the lyrics, but I couldn’t really write it myself because I’m not really a composor, so I enlisted @paulandstorm, the dynamic nerd comedy duo, to help me with the final product.  They knocked it out of the park, and took all my gross ideas and made them 10x grosser!  We only hear a fraction of the lyrics in the show, but go over to their website, and for the small price of $1.00 you can download “The Pirate’s Feast” and hear the glory of pirate cannibalism go on and on and on.  SO GOOD!

Acting-wise, I love Fawkes’ comeuppance (we hired a real stunt guy for that throw!) and the way @wilw played it was just note-perfect:  Codex really didn’t know how to deal with the touch of sincerity he was showing her.  A special thanks to the other Axis members and @micheleboyd (Riley) for coming out to do their cameos.  I wanted to use them more, but it’s web video and there wasn’t room.  Next time!

Also, if you enjoyed the plot twist, we have the 8-bit Baby tee that Clara and Tink were selling over at our Jinx store with many other Guild styles, so check it out!

EPISODE 11: HOSTILE TAKEOVERS

While episode 10 was MY favorite, I’ve heard that the cast likes THIS episode the best. NOW I think it’s really really strong, but after I finished the script some of the funniest stuff wasn’t on the page, we came up with it later on the set and in editing, so the fact that it is a great episode has a lot to do with the performers and the actors and the collaboration of filmmaking in general.  Which is, of course, why the art form is so fun: It’s not all on the writer’s shoulders.  Most, but not all 🙂

I guess when I finished the script, I felt like episode 10 really would eclipse the story in this one, because it’s really a transitional one that ramps up into episode 12.  But the acting, especially Vork’s: His agony about the wedding, his insistence on going through with it, and the immense pride about the Guild Hall…Jeff Lewis was really running the gamut for this 6 minutes and he SOLD it.  Also, I forgot how funny it was going to be to physically see an in-game wedding from OUT of the wedding.  It really turned out as weird and dysfunctional as I thought it would be. 🙂

My favorite gag in the episode is Bladezz showing up with that crazy tan!  Several days before shooting I had just seen something about Jersey Shore (yes, I live under a nerd rock) and I was so appalled that people think those people are cool that I turned to the makeup woman, Jen, and said, “Can you use your airbrush to make Vince have a horrible tan? We need him douchier.”  Luckily she was totally into it.  And I really loved how, on the day, Sean and I had a deep discussion whether Vince’s hands/eyes should be tan.  I gave into Sean, left them untanned, which is actually funnier.  Bladezz is SUCH A DOUCHEBAG when he enters, Vince really nailed it, as he has done all season.

My favorite line of the episode is one of Zaboo’s:  “…I’m gonna replace my organs with clockwork and sell myself to a Steampunk museum!”  A lot of people said I should cut it out, but I insisted on keeping it, despite probably other people being right, and Sean, the director, totally sold it by making Zaboo wear that watch and try to gnaw on it.  That’s HIS watch BTW, so…real dedication there, haha.

And then the cliffhanger…wow.  It’s always the joke with me and Sean, “Hey!  What’s the VFX for this season’s script?”  Well, I decided EARLY on we’d see into the game, and stupidly I had NO TECHNICAL IDEA how that would happen.  So…thank you @gregaronowitz for building a 12 foot miniature for us that we could pull out and see…THAT.  There will be a special extra on the DVD about how that all happened, and I’ll talk more about it next week 🙂  Suffice it to say that no web series in history has had a professional artist create something like that.  We are truly the most blessed web series online.

OH another thing!  We have the ‘Team Cawkes” poster for sale over at Think Geek now!  It’s a big, glossy poster and proceeds go to Child’s Play charity, so nab one while you can!  If it says “backordered” that just means a few days delay, they’ve sold a ton more than they expected and just need to roll and box them!

Upcoming Appearances!

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