Friday, June 29, 2007

We Now Welcome You Back to the Gripping Finale of the 'We Need Girlfriends' Interview Series

As you've probably guessed, today's finale is with no other than Brian Amyot, a man who wears so many (figurative) hats with We Need Girlfriends, that it's amazing his hair stays so great. Brian was one of the first friends I met in college, so it's either symbolic, or coincidental that he's the last person I interview. I haven't decided yet.

Because I Should Have Picked A Shorter Name For This Blog Didn't Want to Go To Grad School Interviews:

Brian Amyot!

Note: The font size is being screwy. Thanks, Blogger

Fun Facts: Like I said, Brian was one of my first friends, we met working at Hofstra's Athletic Communication's office, doing stats and press for all the sports games. Brian, too, lived in the attic of a Sorority house. Brian's directorial debut is called "The Next Day". I own it on VHS and will eBay it to the highest bidder. I've never been in a car driven by Brian. "Blazin' Movie Night" is one of the best collegiate programs ever organized by a human being and Brian was a big part of it. We had a semi-homicidal co-worker. Brian lived in the same exact dorm room for all 4 years of college. The man makes the most delicious party punch of all time. He's like Rachel Ray only if Rachel Ray were tall, blonde, a dude, not annoying, and the only ingredient she used was Devil's Spring 160 Proof Vodka.

The Interview!

What's your typical role in an episode from beginning to end?

Brian: I am basically on the phone the whole time. I am the liaison to the cast. I always find out when the cast is available to shoot and work closely with Angel on scheduling the best date. I keep the cast up to date on what is going on, what our plans are, and try to deal with any concerns they have. I am also heavily involved in the auditioning/casting of any new actors. I also have the job of finding and securing the locations for every episode. Much of the show takes place in the guy's apartment, which is my apartment. But we make a conscious effort to get them out and at new locations in every episode. We like to put them "on location" to give the show a much more "real" feel. This usually involves calls, but also involves a lot of foot work. If we are looking for a restaurant, bar, or supermarket, I'll walk around town knocking on doors pitching the shoot to people until I can talk someone into letting us shoot at their establishment, apartment, etc. Then I have to convince them to let us do it for free.

I have, so far, directed 6 episodes. On the episodes I direct my duties extend to the typical directorial tasks. Working with the actors on set, determining the shots with the cinematographer, etc. Whoever is directing will be the person in charge of making the main creative decisions.

How our post-production typically works is one of the three of us will take the lead on editing the episode and due the majority of the cutting. After we have a rough cut, everyone will join in with there opinions and suggestions and we will work it down to a fine cut. When we are satisfied, I will do the sound mix. The three of us will then get together after the mix and take our "last looks" and decide if there are any changes to be made at the last minute.

Jeff: What's the biggest fire you've put out in a WNG production?

Brian: I guess I don't really have one good specific story, but honestly, every episode is kind of a fire to put out. We have a set deadline, the 1 st of the month, we have to have a new episode ready. We don't get paid, we all work full time jobs, and no actors, crew, or locations get paid. So just to put it all together and be ready each month for a new episode, coordinating schedules, getting locations, finding time to edit, it's like a fire every month.

Webisodes are all the rage. Would you like to work more in this medium. What about TV or Film?

I have always loved feature films, and I wanted to work in that realm exclusively. However, the industry is changing and my opinions have changed with it. I think webseries are great. They are very good method to tell a story and have the ability for millions of people to easily access it. And you get to tell a story in small parts, making it easy for people to download and watch anywhere at anytime. Even a few years ago, this concept was not something that was even on my radar, but now someone can walk around with a whole season of my show on an iPod in their pocket. That is a very exciting possibility. Since doing a webseries, I have definitely become more interested in working in episodic television, it has been an enjoyable experience and would love the chance to expand upon it.

Jeff: Say I get fired from my job for "accidentally" writing "Go fuck yourself, Boston" in a script. What are the odds of me getting cast in WNG?

Brian: I'd say not bad. More than anything else, we look for characters, and you sir, are certainly a character. Plus, one of our strengths is writing for who we know.

Jeff: You guys might move to LA. Who would be who if you were in Entourage?

I think there is no question about it, I would be Eric. He's the glue that holds it all together, and he's smart, street smart and people smart. He is a bit of a pushover though; I wouldn't be such a pushover. Dare to dream…

Angel and Steve sometimes mix like oil and water. How do you keep them in check?

Brian: I definitely have to play the moderator or mediator. They will kill me for saying this, but they are like an old married couple. They fight and argue all the time, but its usually out of love. They have almost completely different opinions on everything, but they both know how to make our show good, so its just about getting through the battle and finding what makes the show the best. One thing about me is, it takes a lot to get me truly mad, and it takes even more to make me yell. Steve and Angel are both pretty volatile, they are both probably somewhere right now yelling at each other. I'm very calm, and work hard being able to calm them both down, because in the end we all the want the same thing. Plus, because I know them so well, I find them very funny. I like to laugh, and I can just laugh about it, my life is like watching an episode of the show.

Have you had any crazy fan interactions yet?

I hear that the actors get recognized on the street quite often, it has sort of happened to me once. However, running the MySpace pages gets pretty crazy. I run the Tom page, as well as, help keep the WNG main page up to date. What I find very funny is there are people who think the characters are real, and ask them for dating advice, but if you've seen the show, clearly the guys are not the experts. I love the fans!

Jeff: Do you have a dream guest star?

There really are so many. I'd love to have Jason Bateman on as Tom or Henry's fun Uncle. I'd also love to have Jeff Bridges as Tom's father. The list of blondes that I would like to have on the show as love interests for the guys is too long to type.

Jeff: Where do you see the guys in 10 years

Brian: Strangely enough, I see Rod as being married. I know what you might be thinking, "wouldn't he be the last get married?" He plays like he'll be the perennial bachelor, but I think he's gonna get himself in a situation where he has to marry a girl or she'll stop having sex with him, he'll choose marriage thinking its "till death" and he'll outlive everyone anyways.

Parting Words

So friends, I hope you've enjoyed your foray into the world of my blog and, more importantly, the world of We Need Girlfriends. Team Ragtag has been so generous to me. Short story, they got me a Super Troopers poster signed by every member of Broken Lizard even though I wasn't able to attend this signing. This was the first (and debatably only) thing my girlfriend liked about me. So, I'm forever indebted to Brian, Angel and Steve (or at least until Katelyn dumps me).

WNG is definitely going places and we should all be stoked that we are in on the ground floor and can watch this thing grow. We'll be like the people who saw U2 at their first US show at the Paradise in Boston, only not pretentious douchebags.

We Need Girlfriends: Episode 9, premieres on July 1st at 12:01AM EST. You can watch it on their website, MySpace, YouTube, iTunes. Fuck, they show this thing everywhere. Remember to be at the side of some random warehouse in Astoria at 12:01 where they'll project the latest episode of WNG. All jokes aside, watch it, laugh, come back here to talk about it and thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The We Need Girlfriends Interview Series Part 2!

You may remember yesterday I brought you an exclusive interview with We Need Girlfriends writer Steve Tsapelas. Well, tonight, I have an equally amazing interview with none other than WNG Editor, Cinematographer, mortal enemy to Steve and inspiration behind Rod:

Angel Acevedo!

Fun Facts: Angel is definitely the partier of the three. I'd say in roughly 58% of the drunken photos of me in college, Angel is next to me. The other 42% were taken by Angel. The most Delta thing Angel ever did involved a party in a Hofstra Tower and a select few Polaroid photographs. Angel lived in a Sorority house. Power Hour snack of choice: Wavy Lays. Angel somehow found the weird song playing in Super Troopers when the German couple is pulled over on Limewire. I played it way too often. The man's love for Michael Bay has in no way ever been exagerrated.

The Interview!

Jeff: You've done a bunch with WNG. What behind the scenes job do you enjoy the most?
Editors Note: Since Angel is Big Budget all the way, he answered this twice

Angel: 1) Throughout this season I've been the lead director of photography (DP) and editor. I guess my favorite has been DP'ing. Being on set is a rush, it's constant moving around, being creative, working with actors, experimenting, it's a lot of fun. I love looking through the lens and setting up shots. But I also love the flip side of editing. With editing it's just you, working alone in a room, it's all quiet and peaceful, there's no rush. I really enjoy that too. So fuck, I love 'em both.

2)My favorite behind the scenes job is eating lunch. I LOVE it. Every day it's different. Sometime we get Chinese, sometimes it's pizza (Dominos or Papa John's), other times it can be Subway. And since most of our budget goes to lunch, we go all out. If we get pizza, then we'll load up on 3 large pizzas, PLUS the extra goodies like buffalo wings, kickers, breadsticks, cheesesticks (my fav!), and a couple of times, sweet treats. Seriously, it's my favorite job to lunch.

Jeff: Loyal readers of my blog (read: my Mom) know that I have challenged the band Bang Camaro to their own song in Guitar Hero 2. I'd like to take the oppotunity to challenge both you and Rod (Evan Bass) to a GoldenEye battle. Proximity Mines, the Complex, 10 deaths. You game?

I hope you have your casket picked out because YOU ARE DEAD. Team Rod will dominate your ass.

Jeff: You guys might move to LA. Who would be who if you were in Entourage?

Angel: Brian and Steve say I would be Johnny "Drama" and I think I agree with them for once. I love Johnny "Drama." I like how passionate he is about things, like his cooking, his hating of Malibu, and having things big budget. He's definitely in his own world at times, and I can say that I am too.

Jeff: Have you had any cool fan interactions?

Angel: Not really. Well, we were spotted on the streets once while we were filming episode 10. A lady across the street yelled to us "I love you guys! You're the We Need Girlfriend guys right?" So that was cool. What I like most though is hearing about the actors getting spotted and their reactions. That's fun. I like to stay behind the scenes. Smooth.

What's been the toughest part of making WNG?

Angel: I can write a 20 page dissertation here, but I'll keep it brief. I think the number one thing for me has been the mess. After a weekend shoot our apartment becomes a fuckin' dump. Pizza boxes, leftover food, equipment, drinks, everything. Our room is ripped apart. Our apartment is small, so when cram in three actors, a crew of 5 - 6 plus lights, equipment, shit gets messy. It's not fun. Also semi-related is my room. It's a constant diaster. I have 2 desks, with 3 computers, with 4 monitors. One of the computers is our Avid editing system, so since I have the biggest room, we have it in there, as well as all of our equipment. We need an office!

Jeff: Where do you see Tom, Rod and Henry in 10 years?

Angel: In 10 years the guys will be in their early 30's and probably settling down with some fine ladies. Tom will probably be married first, followed by Henry, and Rod will have a girlfriend and be rich after co-writing a book about "squirrel scamming" with Dennis and selling the film rights to National Lampoon's with Shia Lebouf set to star.

Jeff: I know you love action movies. Everyone knows this. What is the craziest action scenario you can dream up for the boys of We Need Girlfriends?

Angel: The craziest action scenario would involve Rod being the lead action junkie of course. There would be a damsel in distress, but he would also need to save Tom and Henry. There would be lots of slo-motion and high octane stunts. I already see a scene with a silohoutted Rod walking slowly through a billow smoke (a la Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). Maybe even a rooftop battle against some Brooklynites. It would be badass and I would want Michael Bay to direct it.

By Process Of Elimination

For all of you slower (read: Canadian [just kidding, Canada, I love you]) We Need Girlfriends fans, tomorrow's interview finale will be with none other than Brian Amyot. Fear not, friends, for last is not least. Stay tuned for an answer to 2 of the following three questions:

  1. What really goes on with the characters' MySpace pages?

  2. How do you difuse Steve and Angel?

  3. What is Tom's exit strategy in Iraq?


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Official 'We Need Girlfriends' Interview Series!

I've been on Team We Need Girlfriends since day 1. In fact, here's the proof. Back in November, no one could've predicted the magnitude of WNG's success, but I was banking on the boys from Ragtag. Why? I knew that they always rock it. How do I know? Well, it just so happens that Team Ragtag, otherwise known as Angel Acevedo, Brian Amyot and Steve Tsapelas, happen to be three of my best friends from college.

Some of my fondest memories (or hazy flashbacks) of academia involve these three guys. First time I saw Super Troopers? In Brian and Angel's room on a VHS promotional copy that Steve bought. My greatest movie sneak-in of all time? Not Another Teen Movie->Ocean's 11->Vanilla Sky at the United Artists in Westbury with Team Ragtag. The countless Diner runs, the killer parties and, my favorite collegiate story ever, the aforementioned (aforlinked? Think about it, Oxford English Dictionary) Halloween Blackout of '02 all involve these dudes.

Naturally, I know a lot of things about Brian, Angel and Steve. I know that Steve hates Michael Ian Black, Brian was once flipped off by Kirsten Dunst and Angel partly fulfilled a lifelong dream by working as a counselor at a summer camp (I say partially because there were no slashers abound). Why does this matter? Well, there are now thousands of We Need Girlfriend fans who don't know stupid shit like that. Here's your opportunity to find out.

Without further limited amounts of adieu, I present to you, the We Need Girlfriends Interview Series!

For the next three days I'll be posting an exclusive interview with a We Need Girlfriends mastermind, leading up to the premiere of Episode 9 on the 1st, so remember to check back here!

First up:
WNG Writer Steve Tsapelas!

Fun Facts:
Steve was always the writer and is always writing. We bonded over our love for Weezer. Steve and I co-wrote the greatest 30 second long movie in the history of time. It's called "Wuss Fight Club" and is about exactly what it sounds like. Every time I talk to Steve we think of a new script idea, among them "Israel's 11" and "Quantum Drunk". They both exist in my dreams. I never wrote Steve up when I was an RA in his building. That could be related to the fact that he introduced me to 'Scott Tenorman Must Die'. The man has great Away Messages.

The Interview!

Jeff: OK, so it's no secret that Tom, Rod and Henry are loosely based on You, Brian and Angel. What percentage of WNG happenings would you say actually occurred to you three?

Steve: Much of what happens on the show is based on our real lives, in some form or another. To cite specific incidents – I went to a blue party. I spent a weekend watching a “Three’s Company” marathon and lost all touch with reality. I received a letter from my 8th grade self in the mail, which asked me about The X-Files and Star Trek: Voyager. We overuse the term “squirrel.”
We have very intense, competitive game nights and so on and so forth. Of course, things are dramatized and changed. But I’d say the most realistic aspect, for me, is the dynamic between the characters and the way they interact with each other. I lift a lot of bits of dialogue from real life. For instance, Angel once said, “I’m the bomb at Jenga.”

Jeff: Take us through your writing process.

Steve: By now, each character kind of has their own storyline, so it’s a matter of naturally progressing their storylines. Sometimes, as in the episode “Game Night,” we said, “We should do an episode where they have a game night” and I worked that into the Rod/Tom Squirrel War. So, after the initial idea I’ll write an incredibly rough draft, then send it off to Brian and Angel. They’ll send me back their comments, and I’ll work through the draft again.
This happens many, many times. I’ll write about 3 or 4 drafts, then send it off to the actors for their opinions. Evan Bass is great because he has somehow inhabited the character of Rod for the past year and after he reads a draft he’ll ask me things like, “Do you think Rod would say this?” All of the feedback is incredibly helpful in determining what works and what doesn’t work. And even on set sometimes, we’ll play with a scene and rework some of the dialogue to make it sound more natural.

Jeff: Writer to (News)writer, I'm looking for a better way to write "Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze"? I'm really sick of writing that. Any ideas?

Steve: “Hasselhoff starts fire.”

Jeff: Tom, Rod and Henry obviously met in college. Are we going to see some of their college days, flashback style? Additionally, how much do I have to pay to get myself personified in WNG?

Gosh, I would love nothing more than to show a college flashback. That was one of the earliest ideas we discussed. I’m also kind of toying with the idea of having an episode where Tom helps his sister move into college, which gives Rod and Henry the idea that they should crash a college party. And believe me, Hef Israel needs to make an appearance.

Where do you see the guys in the 10 years?

Steve: I’m still kind of working towards that. The characters are obviously reflections of ourselves, so as we grow, I think the characters will grow. We did, however, set up that in three years Rod has made something of himself. I hope we can make it that long.

We know from your L.A. blogs that the L.A. trip was successful. If a Hollywood move is imminent, who plays who in Entourage amongst You, Brian and Angel?

Steve: Apparently, I’m Turtle by default. This is according to Brian. You see Angel, with his inflated sense of self-worth and problems distinguishing fantasy from reality is Johnny Drama. Brian, with his level-headed-ness, is Eric. And me, with my short, stocky stature and constant give and take with Angel am Turtle. I guess that makes one of our actors Vincent Chase.

Jeff: In your wildest dreams, who would you like to write for?

Steve: My two favorite shows right now are “The Office” and “30 Rock.” Getting a chance to work on either of those would be beyond great. And, of course like any kid who grows up a comedy fan, writing for “Saturday Night Live” or “The Simpsons” would be something else. Ultimately though, I’d love to get “We Need Girlfriends” on television.

Jeff: What will we NOT be seeing in an episode of WNG?

Steve: You will NOT see the characters succeed without great amounts of incredible failure first.


  • Check back tomorrow (Friday the 29th) for another exclusive interview.

  • Comments are always appreciated. Ask a question, who knows, maybe Brian Steve or Angel will answer that, OR maybe I'll answer it for them!

  • Check out all things WNG on their website
Promises Promises...

I know I promised more original content and didn't really come through (par for the course).

But, I have some very exciting news, that will start blowing minds on Thursday, June 28th. I've scored three pretty exclusive interviews, and they will be "dropped" right here on " blah blah blah Grad School blah blah Blogspot" consecutively on the 28th, 29th and 30th.

Stay tuned.

It will be awesome, I promise.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Worst Movies Ever: Fucking Amazing

Sunday, June 17, 2007

While We're On The Subject Of Music....

I wrote a review of Girl Talk's album Night Ripper. It only came out 13 months ago, so clearly, I'm on top of my game. You can read it here

Many people (read:3) have been asking me about the Bang Camaro Guitar Hero challenge. As fas as I know, it's still going down. No one knows when, though. I have some other juicy tidbits I'd like to divulge about the challenge but I've been sworn to secrecy. They're not that juicy anyway. In fact there's a 100% 78% chance I made the last two sentences up completely. Nice.

Oh, and still no practice. I'm working a double today. It might be Wednesday night before I pick up my digital axe again. Again, I'm so fucked. Also, it's amazing I have a girlfriend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Day Off Progress

Over the course of my two days off I managed to play ZERO Guitar Hero. It wasn't as if I was consumed by any other obligations. I squeezed in time to beat a few levels on Super Paper Mario, caught Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 (quick recap: swordfight, double-cross, double-cross, double-cross, weird hallucination, double-cross, swordfight, final double-cross, denoument) and go to the gym.

I really need a Guitar Hero trainer. We're in talks to get Joe Perry, which would be great. By the way, "in talks" means, me, Josh and Kevin are talking like, "Hey, it would be kickass to get Joe Perry as my Guitar Hero trainer". I think Joe Perry has better things to do, though he did appear on the American Idol finale. Who knows?

I feel like Push Push (Lady Lightning) could ruin my social life if I practice as much as I should, but I must soldier on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First Attempt

So I got 76% of Push Push (Lady Lightning) on Hard mode, with a total of around 85k points. I was hoarding my star power for the end.

Basically, I'm so fucked.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bring It On, Bang Camaro

Greetings faithful readers and welcome back to the new and improved Because I Should've Picked A Shorter Name For This Blog Didn't Want To Go To Grad School blog. Tonight, I'd like to announce a very special feature, and hopefully welcome a whole new batch of readers.

Last week, while moonlighting with my MyMusicBoston cohorts, I did something I've wanted to do for weeks. You see, a few weeks ago, Bang Camaro came onto our morning show to play Push Push (Lady Lightning), which you can watch right here .
As they rocked our entire studio I thought, 'Hey, I know this song from somewhere.' Turns out it's a hidden track on Guitar Hero 2. Ever since then I've cursed myself and the MMB team for not doing something crazy. How awesome would it be if I challenged Bang Camaro to their own song on Guitar Hero all as cameras rolled? To the best of my knowledge, it's never been done before. Oh well, we lost our shot, right? Wrong.

At last week's WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll, the opportunity presented itself and fueled by bravado and Budweiser I went through with it. You can see the live challenge halfway through this video.

As you can tell I was nervous. So nervous that I botched the challenge. It's Guitar Hero 2, not Guitar Hero 1. Whoops.

I'm nervous for a reason. Push Push (Lady Lightning) is hard on 'Hard' mode. Really fucking hard. This will be interesting, kids.

To Bang Camaro's credit, they accepted on their Myspace page.

Remember to check back here for constant updates on my Push Push progress, training reports, hopefully thoughts from the band and others and much much more.
Much Like Michael Scott, I'm Back

You've heard read it before, but this time I mean it.

The blog's coming back, in a big way. And by big, I mean, I have like 3 or 4 planned posts.

Check back tonight for the biggest announcment I've ever made. Ever.

Here's what we in the news business call a tease: