Writers

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Writers

Postby andthisisthewonder » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:19 am

Hi from a forum newbie :D

Apologies if this has been covered before, but I couldn't see it anywhere, so...

I was just wondering what fans of the show's thoughts were on if/how the scripts differ in the episodes by guest writers? I've only recently realised that some of my favourite episodes were written by others; I doubt I would have recognised the names Damon Beesley and Iain Morris in the credits the first time I saw Unnatural Love, but re-watching it recently I was like, 'Wow, the guys who wrote the Inbetweeners wrote for FOTC!' :)
And I've just finished reading Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies - until I saw the inside cover I had no idea he wrote New Fans and A New Cup, which is pretty cool...

I'm sure writing the show was a collaborative process between all involved anyway; some of those throwaway-yet-hilarious lines seem as if they were spur of the moment improvisations. I would give anything to have been a fly on the wall when they were devising each episode :D
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Re: Writers

Postby nonchalant obsession » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:21 pm

Hello, andthisisthewonder! :wave: Welcome to the forum.

I too often wish I knew more about the creative process of the show or even the writing of the songs. No obvious differences in the episodes with various guest writers or even directors pop into my head, but I wasn't watching for any either. :hrm: Though I do recall noticing that the episodes Taika wrote for were both a bit New Zealand-centric. :) Did you spy anything specifically recognizable by the different writers?

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I love both of the episodes that Duncan Sarkies was involved in. I can see resemblances to his style in Two Little Boys when I think about it. Did you enjoy the book?
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Re: Writers

Postby LauraK » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:24 pm

Hi and welcome, andthisisthewonder! :welcome:

I knew of the different writers but never really caught anything that felt different, you know? But it may require some careful rewatching on my part...:geek:
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Re: Writers

Postby andthisisthewonder » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:51 am

Thanks! :)

I didn't notice any difference outright, but looking back it could be that the flow of the narrative and jokes in those episodes is a bit tighter - not at all dissing the others, but I guess it might be something that comes with practice in writing for a particular format or medium. Although, did Bret and Jemaine write the radio series?

I did enjoy Two Little Boys; it's obviously different to the sweet, gentle nature of FOTC (which is one of the things I loved about the HBO series when I first saw it - so much comedy, at least in the UK it seems, is overly cynical or offensive for the sake of it - I like black humour, but I can't stand stuff that relies on being 'shocking' - anyway!) but the farcial plot and kind of dim-witted dialogue exchanges were definitely familiar. The scene where Gav is persuaded to read out his secret writing especially reminded me of the series. I'm really looking forward to the film, assuming it'll be a general release...

Nonchalant Obsession, that's a great photo - I wish I could steal one of those sticky notes on the wall :D
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Re: Writers

Postby Nancy » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:31 am

Hello andthisisthewonder! If you haven't already done so, introduce yourself and tell us a few things about you here:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4&start=0
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Re: Writers

Postby mockingbird » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:08 am

andthisisthewonder wrote:Although, did Bret and Jemaine write the radio series?

I was going to say yes, but then I did a quick goolge search to be sure, and it says on Wikipedia that the radio series was also written by Rhys Darby and Joel Morris. I've never heard of Joel Morris before so maybe someone more learned than I will come by and enlighten us. I'm sure we won't have to wait long. ;)

I did enjoy Two Little Boys; it's obviously different to the sweet, gentle nature of FOTC (which is one of the things I loved about the HBO series when I first saw it...

Me too.
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Re: Writers

Postby Nancy » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:57 am

I knew the name from the BBC radio cd, but couldn't remember any more about him. He's not found on Wikipedia, but I did find this article about him and his writing partner:
http://www.writerscompany.co.uk/Jason-Hazeley.html
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Re: Writers

Postby nonchalant obsession » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:28 pm

That was brilliant. :lol: The writer that wrote that write up about the writers is quite the wit. Thanks, Nancy and mock. I didn't know that about the radio series.

andthisisthewonder wrote:I'm really looking forward to the film, assuming it'll be a general release...

I hope so, but we'll probably be left waiting for the dvd.

andthisisthewonder wrote:Nonchalant Obsession, that's a great photo - I wish I could steal one of those sticky notes on the wall :D

Many have tried to enlarge the photo...you can't read anything. :lol: Oh and call me nonch. I really hope you take a minute and do a proper introduction of yourself in the welcome thread so we can get to know a bit more about you. :) We won't ask too many embarrassing questions. We will want to know what to call you because "andthisisthewonder" is a lot to type. :) We generally avoid real life names, but your acronym is a bit dodgy...ATITW. :lol:

I know little about writing, but I can imagine the process the first season started with Bret and Jemaine's catalog of songs on note cards and they arranged them around obvious plot lines for the main story of the episode, then selecting another to inspire the "B" storyline. Second season they still had a few songs they could (and did) use but the ideas could flow a bit more free as the songs could be written to help advance or embellish the story. Sadly that is a LOT of writing and the Conchords not only wrote all of the songs (James helped on Carol Brown) but half of the episodes each season. I wonder at what point they would bring in the guest writers? After the story was outlined? Bring them in to add meat to the bones...plumping it out and working on the dialog? Then maybe the guys would look for inspiration for the songs...or maybe the guest writers would suggest something, for example Duncan Sarkies says; "Bret. Jemaine. I think a song about your man bulges would be perfect right here in the story." :lol: Jemaine; "I'm on it." :wink: Is is my imagination or are the more sexual episodes all written by guest writers? :hrm: If so, then thank you gentlemen for your efforts and for putting the guys into such stimulating situations for our viewing pleasure.

The other writers get full credit for the various episodes so perhaps they even prepared the treatment and outline for the epi's they wrote? :dunno: It would be helpful to know if the photo above has all of the shows from Season 1 framed out in sticky notes....or is that all work for one episode? :hrm:

Hmmmm, no credited female writers in the bunch. No doubt there was more than a bit of improvisational work done on set though by the various, hilarious ladies.

By the way, I applaud the way the show made use of guest stars and cameos. :clap: Though I had my problems with S2E8 "New Zealand Town", it's use of Lucy Lawless was brilliant! Though I still whine everytime at the credits when after all that teasing they play the melody of the Bus Driver's Song.
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Re: Writers

Postby Nancy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:35 pm

I wonder if they had ideas for stories, but had to wait until the guest stars were set before actually writing the story, thus tailoring it to the star. :dunno:
Indeed, more insight into the day-to-day process of writing the show would be an interesting read.
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Re: Writers

Postby mockingbird » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:38 am

nonchalant obsession wrote:The writer that wrote that write up about the writers is quite the wit.

:lol: Well said. :thumb:

nonchalant obsession wrote:
andthisisthewonder wrote:I'm really looking forward to the film, assuming it'll be a general release...

I hope so, but we'll probably be left waiting for the dvd.

You think so? Maybe they'll show it on HBO. Or maybe it'll get a limited art house release. Or they'll just put it up on YouTube, lol.

nonchalant obsession wrote:I know little about writing, but I can imagine the process the first season started with Bret and Jemaine's catalog of songs on note cards and they arranged them around obvious plot lines for the main story of the episode, then selecting another to inspire the "B" storyline.

They used the radio show as the basis for the first season though, so they already had some material to work with. It's interesting to imagine the evolution of it all. I wonder which came first... the funny songs, or the personas of two bumbling musicians. Maybe they developed simultaneously. :dunno: What was their first appearance as FOTC that we know about - probably Newtown Salad? And those were just songs, so I'm going with the songs came first.

nonchalant obsession wrote:...for example Duncan Sarkies says; "Bret. Jemaine. I think a song about your man bulges would be perfect right here in the story." :lol: Jemaine; "I'm on it." :wink:

:lol: I applaud Duncan's artistic vision. :clap:

nonchalant obsession wrote:It would be helpful to know if the photo above has all of the shows from Season 1 framed out in sticky notes....or is that all work for one episode? :hrm:

That's a good question. I always assumed it was for one episode. Maybe it's all phone messages and lunch orders and it has nothing to do with the show at all, lol.

Nancy wrote:I wonder if they had ideas for stories, but had to wait until the guest stars were set before actually writing the story, thus tailoring it to the star. :dunno:

I think I remember reading somewhere that they were afraid Art Garfunkel would be mad about the whole garfunkling thing... did someone from the show call him about it or did he just get wind of it somehow? I wonder if they would have gone ahead and done it anyway, if it turned out he was mad. I kind of got the impression at the time I was reading it that they would have, lol, but it was a while ago and I could be making that part up.
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Re: Writers

Postby Nancy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:34 am

Oh, I don't feel so bad about remembering! Quick, before our memories are stolen from us forever, let's reminisce about the writing of the shows some more! :worry:
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Re: Writers

Postby mockingbird » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:26 am

Nancy wrote:Quick, before our memories are stolen from us forever

Nancy, you're freaking me out. :lol: Who are these "memory stealers"? I bet they look like the Fruit of the Loom guys. *puts on tin foil hat*
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Re: Writers

Postby Amanda » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:45 am

mockingbird wrote: I wonder which came first... the funny songs, or the personas of two bumbling musicians. Maybe they developed simultaneously. :dunno: What was their first appearance as FOTC that we know about - probably Newtown Salad? And those were just songs, so I'm going with the songs came first.


This interview on NPR Radio gives you a little bit of insight on that.
But if you did I'd hold you tight / Into every single night
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Well, maybe I'm a dreamer / But maybe one day you'll see / That dreams are...
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Re: Writers

Postby Nancy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:20 am

What a nice trip down Memory Lane!
I loved the timeliness of Bret saying his favorites were the Muppets and Leonard Cohen.
Oh, fish-like Lady
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I don't think so Bro, she's a Lady, Lady, Lady, Lady
No, no, she's a fish that's just a little bit
La-dy-ish! Yeah!
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Re: Writers

Postby mockingbird » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:31 pm

Argh - I *still* haven't gotten a chance to listen to this interview! I've been waiting to reply until I listened to it but since I don't know when that will be, I figured I should say thanks Amanda for posting it. So thanks Amanda! :)
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