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Guild Episodes 6 and 7

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I just read a really interesting blog entry by venerable tech guru Leo Laporte on his frustration with Google Buzz, and essentially how he discovered that all his effort and internet sharing were starting to live primarily with services like Twitter and Facebook, Buzz etc, where he didn’t actually OWN access to his data. It really hit home reading how he realized that he should be concentrating on sharing in places HE owns, so one day his life record doesn’t get erased because the company went out of business or chose to do things with his data he didn’t agree with. I feel like it’s a good reminder for all of us to have a place to store our thoughts that is permanent, thus my renewed effort to share more on this blog. Ok deep thought out, now to this week’s episode!

EPISODE 6: WEIRD RESPAWN

We are smack in the middle of the season, and I’m very pleased that we’ve encountered a plot twist: Zaboo’s mom! My goal this season, if I haven’t said it before, was to be much less linear than season 3, and take more turns with plot and character throughout. Web series seasons are a weird hybrid of TV shows and movies, so it’s really anyone’s definition of the “best” way to do it. I just decided to try something different this time, and I’m pretty pleased with the result.

I always intended to bring Viji back as Zaboo’s mom, but I was very paranoid about rehashing the same storyline of “oppressive mother trying to get her son back” so I struggled a while to figure out how best to portray her differently from Season 1.Β  I was kinda inspired by an encounter with someone who was a HUGE jerk to me years ago, but out of the blue approached me to apologize (I think it was an AA thing, but whatever, lol), and I was so conflicted about how to feel about it that I decided that something similar might be an interesting character approach for Avinashi: Why is she there? And Why is she so nice?! :). Also I have to say, the button for the episode is soooooo funny to me, only because Fawkes showing up at the dinner was such a great surprise (and his “kissy face” line the most quoted of the ep, such a great delivery!), I really tried to work hard at misdirecting everyone that the Fawkes/Codex relationship was over, so hopefully at least it was a bit of a jarring moment to end on!

Another favorite thing of mine in this episode is the Ollie/dog video montage. Sean Becker put that together without my knowing about it beforehand, and all the little videos in the window are actually dogs from friends of the Guild! We all sent him videos of our dogs being cute and they made the cut (hope we had them sign release forms, haha.)

EPISODE 7: AWKWARD BIRTHDAY!

Oh Episode 7, you were so difficult to write. I have to say, this episode literally went through 8 rewrites, no joke. At one point, it was JUST Codex and Avinashi and Vork, another draft only had Zaboo and Avinashi and Codex, and another had no Codex entirely! What?! It was really because I couldn’t make up my mind how to resolve the Fawkes storyline for draft after draft, but when my producer Kim Evey gave me a single valuable note: “Fawkes has to be at the dinner”, I went, “AHA!” and strangely enough that helped solidify how I rewrote the whole Codex/Fawkes arc and found something I was really happy with. So, moral is, good notes=VERY VALUABLE!

I love how Sandeep played his discomfort during the scene, there’s just so much unspoken about how he wants to like his mom, but simply can’t trust her, and how mortified he is when she brings these awful things from his past up. The dynamic is really delightful, and I love the running gag that director Sean Becker added with Vork and the bread in the suitcase, it just never gets old!

In addition, the button to this episode is my favorite of the season (Episode 10 I think is my favorite OF the season, but we aren’t there yet πŸ˜‰ ). The order of the episode was actually different from what we shot, the intention was actually to end on Vork and Avinashi’s beat of being nice to each other. The scene with Fawkes and Codex was BEFORE that, but it didn’t seem to work in the edit, grr.Β  Luckily I think I got the idea to flip them around, and we were able to end with that crazy fan shot that I didn’t even think we’d use in the end because it was too wacky for the middle of the episode, and is now my favorite thing ever!Β  ALSO, not to pat my own back, but I did that last line as an improv line. YES, I can do funny adlibs SOMETIMES (although it’s usually Zaboo getting the credit for that, rightly so πŸ™‚ ).

  • Loved episode seven. I agree with the fan shot, was my favorite part. Your improve line was priceless and definitely solicited a laugh and a tad bit of admiration. Thanks for making something so pure and great!

  • David R

    I was expecting the return of Zaboo’s mom to be another boss fight, but this is more interesting. Thanks for not writing what I expected πŸ™‚

    And I really loved the way episode 7 ended with Fawkes and Codex and the breeze, that might be my favorite bit of s4 so far!

    It would be cool to put the dog videos as bonus features on the season 4 DVD. Just an idea πŸ™‚

    One technical note on this blog entry: It might just be a glitch in my browser (Firefox on mac) but I’m seeing the entry date displayed as “08.24.10”, which can’t be right since you’re referring to ep 7 which was released on 8/31. And no one has commented before today 9/2.

  • Dustin

    The season has been great so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of it. Also, thanks for the free Cheesy Beards shirt πŸ™‚

  • Technically the writer can’t adlib. It’s just called a last minute re-write πŸ˜‰

    Great episode. Thanks for making Tuesday my favourite day of the week for a few months.

  • Sean Becker put that together without my knowing about it beforehand, and all the little videos in the window are actually dogs from friends of the Guild!
    hervΓ© lΓ©ger

  • I really loved these episodes! They’re probably my favourites of the season so far, some stuff is just laugh out loud funny. Like the fan line, pretty much anything Fawkes says (seriously, his character is such an ass and yet he’s still quite.. sexy? Maybe that’s just me haha) and the way Vork puts his coat etc on at lightning speed once he realises Zaboo’s mum is paying. So funny!

    (sorry if this posted twice, didn’t see it show up the first time)

  • carlos

    Great episode. I must admit i havent got at the time the slightest idea of how is this season going to end, and i usually guess correctly the ending of movies 9 out of 10 times. Youve got us running in loops.

    • Markus

      The dynamics of Season 4 have been superb. I love the new Cheesybeards characters, Ollie (gaaaarrrrrr!) and Jeanette. They are stunning actors πŸ™‚

      Episode 7 was spot on IMHO. The restaurant scene was hilarious from Vork continually swiping the bread to Fawkes’ face lighting up with each new embarrassing Zaboo fact πŸ™‚

      Also loving these blogs as you get a small idea of how much is genius improv along with the brilliant writing and editing. Plus I think I’m picking up media lingo? Button = final scene/punchline?

      Cant believe we’re up to Episode 8 next week! We’re fast-approaching that void between seasons again! But there’s always help in the form of the excellent podcasts and companion casts http://knightsoftheguild.podbean.com/ to fill the gaps /shamelessplug

      Cheers Felicia. Brilliant stuff πŸ™‚

  • kuon

    I loved the Fawkes ‘.. deluxe’ line … really sticking to Vork.

    I can’t help but see some sort of terrible co-dependant relationship developing between Vork and Zaboo’s mom .. with her trying to replace Zaboo with Vork and Vork needing her for her financial nous πŸ™‚

    So much to look forward too.

  • Seriously Felicia, the Guild just keeps getting better and better but I don’t want my comments to be endless repetitions on that theme. I just love what you’ve done with the characters and their stories. It’s refreshingly original, never jarring and always thoroughly entertaining. The writing also demonstrates a tremendous emotional intelligence on your part that makes the characters both real and delightfully nuts at the same time.

    As far as favourites amongst the characters go, I’m afraid top billing goes to both Sandeep’s Zaboo and Jeff’s Vork. I can’t get enough of those two, they’re brilliant!

    And Ollie, now there’s a stroke of genius. The combination of your writing and his acting are hard to beat. He has the requisite mad-glint-in-the-eye that brings the character to life. Let’s face it, who can resist funny dog you tube videos? We’re only human.

    Your efforts in episode 7 stand out, even before I knew how many re-writes it took. I think 7 is the best yet…until the next one no doubt πŸ™‚

  • Neil Myers

    It is so interesting to hear your perspective. It’s quite surprising to learn you struggled on Ep. 7 because I think it’s perhaps the most classic episode yet. There are so many good lines it’s not even worth trying to list them or pick a favorite. (Not to mention Sandeep’s performance!) It’s encouraging to hear your experience supports all the “don’t fear bad first drafts” advice we get from the writing texts. Thanks for sharing authentically.

    (FWIW – I only edited this comment twice.)

  • Dani

    Fan shot and your improv line were awesome! As you said, it’s wacky, but works great to close the episode.

    All the dinner dynamic was soooo good! There’s so much going on and you all added so much to the scene, it’s hard to pick a favorite thing about it, but I think I gotta say Sandeep’s reactions and the whole recap that Zaboo did about his life!

    Tink and Clara’s discussion about the name of their company was great too, and I’m glad I finally know what that guild cast and crew shirt means, haha!

    BUT… with all that said, my favorite part of episode 7 has to be Dena. She rocked it. ROCKED IT! Tara just makes me laugh. Every time Dena is on scene, I’m laughing uncontrollably… it’s just something about her. Particularly loved the “PATHETIC!” line.

    Anyway, already wrote too much… and didn’t even said anything about episode 6, but I loved it too.

    Oh… and WTH is Webishades??? I’m curious!!

  • These two episodes were totally squee-worthy — in fact, I think I literally made that sound at the end of episode 6 when Fawkes showed up. I’m adoring this season. The whole not-a-relationship relationship between Fawkes and Codex is just too fun. I can’t wait for Episode 8!

    • len

      When CNN is talking about you casually while covering Dragon-Con as they were this morning, I’d say you’ve earned your cert as a ‘cultural force’.

      Now you can count silence silently. Don’t forget to breathe. πŸ˜‰

  • Now I can watch my web series wherever I go…Thanks, Webishades!

    Ha, ha, ha.

    Oh, The Guild πŸ™‚

  • Kathleen

    I just wanted to say that this season is really really great. Very fun & super enjoyable! I hope you are really proud of it. πŸ™‚

  • The dynamic is really delightful, and I love the running gag that director Sean Becker added with Vork and the bread in the suitcase, it just never gets old!

  • Neil

    It’s so interesting to hear your perspective. I find it hard to imagine you struggled with Ep. 7 because it’s one of the most classic so far. So many great lines it’s not worth trying to list them or pick a favorite. (Not to mention Sandeep’s performance.) It seems to support all that “don’t fear bad first drafts” advice we read in the writing texts.

    (FWIW – I only edited this post three times.)

  • Anabel
  • Anabel
  • Ben

    Hey,
    Just wanted to say zomg these shows are so awesome, you do a great job and they are sooo well written, performed etc.
    Keep up the great work they are hilarious even to people who don’t game. Can’t wait to see the next episodes in the season!
    xDDDDD

  • Sarah Goulden

    I just wanted to compliment you on the whole series. You wrote something really enjoyable.
    And I am thankful. Love the Fawkes and Codex Interaction btw and hope to see more.
    Just stay as awesome as you are….and have a nice day,luv!

  • I love reading your notes on the episodes. Nice to hear comments directly from the creator. πŸ™‚

  • len

    I know I’m hooked when with all the noise in the world today I keep coming back here looking for the lighter side of life. In times like these, comedy rules.

    Not to drip on the carpets but I’m a believer in destiny: there is a reason for FD and crew being where they are right now doing this show. It doesn’t matter what age we are; life hurts. This show is like pure gold: it always fits in, it never changes character, and it never loses value.

    It’s Friday. The days have been real long and I’m bloody tired. Thanks for the laughs.

  • David

    While I love The Guild, I actually want to comment on your musings about owning the data you blog, post, share, et. al. The Diaspora project is supposedly nearing an alpha release, and I’m hoping that you will be an early adopter. Assuming it doesn’t suck, and you tweeted your opinions of it, i can’t think of a better way to start the mass exodus from FaceBook that this world desperately needs.

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud at least once a week.

    PS: Just watched June. I assume all the violin work was you. Amazing. Why don’t you perform more?

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