Do you use a boom pole for sound or do you hide a mini clip-on mic somewhere? How do you get such good sound in your video series?
A mix of both, and thank you! “Emma” was primarily lavs because we’re so far away from camera, but stuff like episode 5 was all boomed. Our sound guys were like drummers and we ended up using a lot of them but they were all great dudes. Max Futterman, Dave Bluvband, Matt Cook and Spencer Moore.
“Laughter itself is more often than not a vital abreaction to the disgust we feel for the monstrous mixing and promiscuity that confront us. But for all that we may gag on the absence of differentiation, it still fascinates us. We love to mix everything up, even if it simultaneously repels us. The reaction whereby the organism seeks to preserve it’s symbolic integrity is a vital one, even if the price paid is life itself (as in the rejection of a transplanted heart). Why would bodies not resist the arbitrary swapping of organs and cells? Also: why do cells, in cancer, refuse to carry out their assigned functions?”—Jean Baudrillard The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomenon (via comedyisntfunny)
How do you manage your crew on your shoots? Are they friends? If they aren't available doesn't that impact your productivity? How do you deal with that?
It always varies, and I work with a lot of different people. I’d say our camera crew is generally provided by/recommended by whichever DP I have and I always just trust them to make the right decisions crew-wise. So far Joe Spit, TJ Misny, Jack Turits, and Jon Mahoney have not served me wrong. The only thing that kind of grates me, and this happens rarely, is when someone gives an actor a “suggestion” (see: direction) without clearing that (see: whispering in my ear) first. I just want everything to be as easy as possible for the actors and don’t really find a lot of voices on set to be in step with that philosophy. I, of course, want to hear everyone’s ideas, I just don’t like them to jump in when decisions about performance lie with me ultimately. I find things usually work better if someone comes up to me and says “Morgan, wouldn’t it be cool if…” in private, instead of telling the person in front of the camera this. It’s unprofessional. That being said, this is really only for stuff like my shorts or series’ (~~**sErIouS**~~ stuff). When it’s sketch or funtimes USA it’s a different story and everything’s really loose. If my crew isn’t available it doesn’t really impact my productivity because I consider lots of things to be productive outside of shooting. It just stalls production a bit, but that’s fine. I’d rather wait for someone awesome than get someone shitty so we could shoot this Tuesday for example. I’d rather wait until Friday with a coooool dude or whatever. I think a lot of people on my crew are friends and it is definitely not a problem at all. They’re pros.
With the series we had like 12 different directors, and a lot of them hadn’t directed stuff before, so It was important to me that the crew would just kind of do whatever they said instead of like “suggesting” things because I didn’t want first-time directors to think like “oh yeah, that’s a better idea” and lose their own because someone more experienced said something. I hope that worked and I hope my directors feel like their episodes are “in their voice” but I think the fact that we shot 15 episodes in 12 days kind of forced us to give them less time to do their episodes than they would have liked (in a few cases). That being said, I am happy with every single episode. None of the directors have complained to me directly so I’m going to assume everyone is jazzed.
Also, I try not to let anyone get into arguments about “Tree of Life” but it seems to keep happening.
Your parents must be super attractive because you and Pj are two sexy mother fuckers.
I saw in one of tanners flip cam videos some footage of you shooting with them all out in the desert and some guy in a helmet had a staple gun to caseys head, is that video viewable on the internet?
how long does it usually take you to write your work?
It varies. I always outline, so that’s the bulk of the work. I wrote my most recent feature in one night (3pm to 5am) without getting up except to smoke cigarettes and take food into my face, but I had like a 40 page outline I was going off of and that took a few days. So technically I wrote it in one night based on when I hit 100 pages or whatever. But that was back in January and so far I’ve done probably 18+ drafts so you can do the math. I, in general, can write movies a lot faster than tv pilots, because I know movies very well and television is kind of elusive. I’ve been working on one pilot for fucking ever. If someone says, “hey, Morgan! Write this.” I can do it no problem because then it’s work. I think the problem arrives when I try to get artsy about shit. It’s never going to be a problem to write a movie about a dog who goes to space, but if I’m trying to, for example, adapt my webseries to television, theres a lot of stuff to consider and, frankly, it’s more preferable to get drunk and write that dog movie.
Well this is gonna be fun: The wonderful Ellie Kemper (of Bridesmaids, The Office and more good stuff) will be manning our Tumblr’s Ask box tonight! Submit your questions and she’ll answer ‘em right here.