Christmas Mass 2009 - NOTES

0:00 - Need a bigger entrance. Feel like I've see the whole "walking in a line from the back while singing" thing a million times.

1:32 - Cantor is a little pitchy. Please adjust in the mix.

2:42 - Priest skews older. This isn't CBS. Maybe Taylor Lautner instead?

11:14 - I'm not even sure what's been happening for the past few minutes here. A lot of redundant sitting and standing. Can we cut it down to one kneel and one stand?

19:31 - At the "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" can we specify WHEN Christ will come again with some tune-in info? Good promo opportunity.

25:33 - This homily can be cut waaaaay down. What is he even talking about here? Jesus died for our sins? That's Easter. Need to keep this focused on Christmas -- get in and get out.

41:55 - "Let Us Proclaim The Mystery of Faith" - Can we make sure he says this, not sings it? Too expensive to license.

44:01 - Blood of Christ? Think people will be creeped out by this. Can't we just call it a nice pinot?

57:32 - Get out here. Think Communion is the strongest ending. No need to drag it on with the last scene about "going in peace", etc. Maybe as a credit bed instead?

In the 'How NOT to get a job department'...

A young woman, about 26, came in to interview with a seasoned EP (20 years in the business) and a SP (with 11 years on the network and production company side). The young woman was more than qualified for the AP position she was meeting on. She should have been a shoe-in. We're a small team on this new series and personality was important. Her interview was painful. It went a little like this:

She answered each question 'yes' or 'no.' She had experience in both field and story and when asked, 'which do you prefer?' she answered, "both." When asked, 'what are you passionate about, what gets you out of bed in the morning?" Answer: my job. Question: "Do you know how to shoot?" Answer: "Yes." And so on. It was disappointing.

She called me first thing in the morning the next day to ask if she had gotten the job and I said, "we haven't made a final decision yet but would you mind if I gave you some constructive criticism?" She said okay and I said, in a nice tone of voice (three people were siting in my office at the time) "you are more than qualified for this position but you didn't show any enthusiasm or passion for the job. And you answered everything yes or no so it seemed like you didn't want to work for us. You didn't sell yourself" She answered, "I don't need to sell myself. I work for the same people every time and I do my job and that's that." "Okay," said I. "I'll let you know by the end of the week." But for her, it was far from over as I received the following email the next day. This is a small business, people, and we all know everyone. Why on Earth would you burn a bridge like this? And for such a young girl. Poor thing. Parents, teach your children well.


I would like to withdraw myself from any consideration on this project. I have to say, I was quite perplexed by your statement that I did not "sell myself at all" during the interview. Your version of "constructive criticism" was neither constructive, nor appropriate. Your comments honestly make me think you must be confusing me with another person because they were completely inaccurate and not to mention completely incongruous with the "supervising producer" role that I have known for all my years in this business. Your lack of professionalism and obvious lack of experience greatly overshadow your rank. For future reference, when looking to hire a highly overqualified individual for a position like this and offering a pay cut as well as a title cut, you may want to reconsider offering uncouth advice.


EP 312 S&P/Legal Notes

We have reviewed episode 312 and have the following S&P/Legal notes:

Do we have a release for the host?

3:47 - "Compton carwash" and "upsidedown top hat" -- don't know what this means but sounds dirty. Please bleep.

5:09 - In "Turrets" sketch, bleep ASSFUCK, MOTHERFUCKING, ASS, FUCKING, and COCKSUCKING in "I'm gonna assfuck you in your motherfucking gaping ass you fucking cocksucking whiny dick." Also, is DICK referring to character being a detective? Doesn't seem to be wearing trench coat or solving crimes. If not, please bleep DICK.

13:51 - Bleep JESUS CHRIST in "Jesus Christ! We need to kill Mohammed. That would really show the Muslims."

16:19 - Please add disclaimer to "Second Coming" bit to indicate "Not real Jesus. Religious figure depicted by actor."

20:14 - In "Shove it up your asshole, asshole!" bleep first ASSHOLE because it refers to body part.

27:44 - In the "Bikini Baby Serial Killer" sketch, when girl is stabbing baby in the eye we see a little bit too much cleavage. Please blur girl's entire torso just to be safe. Also, do we have release for the baby?

JOB POSTING: New Reality TV series looking for ONLY THE BEST Story Producers! Strong story sense is a plus.

You must be available to begin Monday, however, production might not start for another 2, 3, or even 4 weeks from now. Just keep your schedule clear and be ready when we call you. If, after the interview, you don’t hear from us, that means that you may or may not have gotten the job. If you call us wondering if you got the job, we will not return your call until the day we need you. If you are lucky enough to get the job, you’ll sign a contract granting us the right to sue you if you quit, and the right to fire you without notice.

The budget for this show is really small, so don’t expect to get the same rate you’re accustomed to getting on other Reality shows. They may have told you the same thing when you took those shows, but we’re serious, our budget is really, really small. But, it’s a long gig, and it’s a big, high-concept show for one of the big-three networks, with millions and millions of dollars already sunk into promotion. So, if it doesn’t get cancelled after the first week, it’ll be great to have on your resume.

There are currently 10 executive producers, all taking a handsome share off the top for themselves, and a few more may get a piece before we go into production. So there’s not much money left right now, and we need to spread it really thin. The Network has also promised the Line Producer a percentage of whatever is left over if he brings it in under budget. So if you find that you need a pick-up scene, or a late-night camera operator, you should know right now that the Line Producer will consider that an attempt on your part to take his money.

You’ll be in the field for the shoot, then in post where you’ll do your own string-outs. These are one-hour episodes, but may become 90-minute or 2-hour episodes, depending on how long the strike continues. Regardless, you’ll have 5 days to finish the rough-cut. For each episode the creative executive of the company will give you a round of notes before it goes to the executive of the company we’ve partnered with. Then you’ll do a round of notes from the show creator and his wife, before the Network gives their notes. Just don’t contradict any Network notes, because ultimately their notes are the only ones that matter.

Email your resume ASAP.

It's like all anyone sees me as is some sort of...assistant.


If I have to do one more fucking audio pass, I'm seriously gonna shoot someone. It's like all anyone sees me as is some sort of...assistant.

I mean if it's not an audio pass, it's a graphics pass. Or finding some stupid sound effect. Or digitizing a tape.

I've gotta tell you, when I first got here, it was one thing. I was new, this was my first shot at being an assistant editor. I could see why they'd expect me to do this stuff. But I've been here for six months now and my career doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I want to be an editor, not an AE forever!

My editors are real dicks. At first, I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn't realize that they were being too demanding. But then I tried to give them the hint. I started sighing loudly, responding sarcastically, and sometimes, not even doing what they asked me to do in the first place. You'd think that would have made it clear that I don't expect to be treated like an assistant!!

But they never stop. Every day, it's some new task. I gotta tell you, if they keep acting like this, I'm not sure if I even want to be associated with editors. I may just skip it and go straight to show running.

I'm Just Doing Reality TV To Get Into Features


I can't fucking stand reality TV. But it's cool because I'm just doing this to get into features.

I can be realistic. You don't just walk out of USC film school and onto the set of a feature. Unless you're that asshole John Chu. God I hate that lucky fucking prick. But that sort of thing isn't about talent, it's just hype.

Anyway, the rest of us obviously have to get jobs to pay the bills before we get our big break. Personally, I think it's better to get some life experience before you start directing features. I wouldn't want to be Jon Chu even if someone did offer me a chance to direct right out of school. I would rather be working in reality TV than directing fucking Step Up 2: The Streets. I mean seriously, what kind of life experience does that guy bring to his films when he went right from school to directing?

Whatever, that's not the point. The point is that most people end up getting some lame job doing script coverage or even selling insurance or something while they try to "make it". But I decided to do something that will actually benefit me when I'm directing major feature films. Editing reality TV.

I know a lot of people like to act like reality isn't "real" storytelling, but the reality is that it's actually a lot harder to be an editor for reality TV than anything else (including features). As an editor, I'm basically creating the story from scratch. I can make it seem like anything I want is happening. I'm shaping the story, just like a feature director.

To be honest, I just feel sorry for some of the people that I work with because they're going to be stuck doing this for the rest of their lives. I, on the other hand, am just going to do this for another year or so to make some money to do my short film, and then I am out of here. See ya later suckers!!!

I was originally going to do my short this summer, but with my new BMW and condo, money has been a little tight. The new plan is to just edit until April of next year (June or July max) and then do my short film. The only thing I really have left to do is write the script. It's just hard to find the time to write right now because I'm really busy editing this show about people competing to be the best dog groomer in America.

Anyway, I guess I should just try and appreciate what it's like to still have a somewhat normal life while I have it. Once I start directing features next year, everything's going to get a whole lot crazier, that's for sure. I need to enjoy hanging out with my friends while I've still got the time!

You know, I really should work on that script tonight. And I have to string out the sizzle reel for the show I'm pitching about America's best guitar maker. And start prepping a Comedy Central show I'm working on that makes fun of reality shows. But first I need to finish cutting this challenge with the dog psychic.

Sometimes I'm amazed by how many irons I have in the fire at once. I'd like to see Jon Chu be able to do that.

It's perfect, we just have a few thoughts


***108 Locked Cut Notes***

Great work on the Locked Cut. We really think all of the changes that we talked about helped solidify this episode. Thanks for doing such a great job with all our notes. It's perfect.

A few thoughts...

Overall, we're now worried that the story is a little depressing. I showed my wife the cut last night and she said she felt sad for the guy because he's in a wheelchair. I know we originally talked about the wheelchair angle, but now thinking it might be too much of a downer. Any way to cut around it? (we still have the black guy episode so we're covered from a diversity standpoint) Maybe closeups or low angle shots. Take a look. (we can still play him as paralyzed later obviously, I think it's just the wheelchair itself that's such a bummer to see)

Also, any way to mine for better comedy moments? Thinking maybe a laugh here or there would really go a long way. Go back and take another look at the raw footage and see if there's anything we're missing. While you're looking, just keep an eye out for any other great moments we might have missed in general. We always like as many great moments as possible!!!

About 8 minutes in Tim says "I can't wait to show it to you guys." Doesn't seem like something he'd say. Does he ever say "ya'll"? Would be nice to give it more southern flavor -- really play the cowboy angle -- since he lives in Texas.

Also I know we asked for more country flavor with the music, but personally country music just kills me and I now HATE the music in this episode. Any way to still give it a country feel without using actual country music?

BTW, had a marketing meeting this morning and feeling on our end is that Joe Sixpack in Kansas might react negatively to the fact that Tim is divorced with kids. Any way to cheat his new girlfiend as his wife? Maybe you can frankenbite something and just lower-third her as his wife. She doesn't have to be in there a lot, but just enough so we get that he's a family guy.

Love the new build up to the skydiving, but any way to amp the danger up a bit more? The safety briefing scene almost makes it seem too squared away. Does anyone ever mention how a parachute hasn't opened before or how he has a greater risk of dying because of being paralyzed? Obviously we don't want him to get hurt in the end, but always nice to add a sense of risk. If we don't have that, can we just ADR it?

Our tech people need the show by Monday in order to prep it for air Wednesday. How long will these changes take? Would love if you could online/FedEx tomorrow.

Feel free to call with questions. I will be skiing this weekend, but my assistant can help you with anything you need. I think we're getting really close...