Saturday, March 2, 2013

News: Arby 'n' the Chief - Season Seven: Second Half


Hey, folks.

So a brief teaser trailer for the second half of season seven of Arby 'n' the Chief went up today.  Catch it here:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07 Part 2: Teaser Trailer

I suck at cutting trailers together, so don't base too many of your expectations of the final episodes on it.  I believe that they still achieve a decent balance of drama and comedy, which the trailer doesn't sell very well.  If Machinima decides to air it next week or the week after, I'll be cutting together a meatier trailer to give people an improved idea of what to expect.

I've been told that the trailer has been censored at one point for featuring the word "cunt" -- you'll probably hear it bleeped out.  Try not to let it bother you as there's nothing I can really do about that.  It seems a bit silly to me since there's plenty of other episodes in the series that feature the uncensored use of "cunt" and "faggot" with no resistance from viewers, likely because whenever I use such terms I always make a point of making sure that they're used in the proper context -- that the person saying the words is the one made to look like an ignorant fool, or the usage is entirely benign and strictly for comedic purposes.

However, Machinima is growing steadily as a company, and I understand their need to clean up their content a bit in order to compete with other major media networks.  I should be grateful -- AMC only lets the writers of Breaking Bad use the word "fuck" once per season, and even then it's muted for airing on television.  Imagine if I operated under the same restriction.  The audio of episodes would merely consist of a ten-minute long bleep.

I am soon to be sent a complete list of "banned" words that need to be bleeped if they're used.  I'm hoping that it's not too extensive.

I realize many fans don't want to see the show end, but at this point I don't have any solid ideas that could support an entire eighth season of episodes, and I want to end the show on a high note.  Seven seasons also feels like an appropriate number to end on (given Bungie's obsession with the digit).  And -- I'm getting old.  It's about damn time that I put the toys away, and I'm sure many would agree.  Not trying to poke fun at the condition, but I'm concerned that keeping the show running into my late twenties and continuing to lie down on my stomach and bob action figures around while I film them might be considered symptomatic of some mild form of autism (not because I attach degradation to the term, but that I simply don't believe that it accurately describes me.  I just like to write, and I'm too lazy to assemble and direct a real crew, obtain and instruct actors and acquire locations and gear).

"Autistic" seems to be the hot insult of choice across the web lately, as it rubs extra salt into a wound due to the fact that the condition is often so misunderstood.  "Retarded" is so last year -- shit's tame now.

I wouldn't want to end up showcased on the likes of Dr. Phil as a model for infantilism.

The total number of episodes of season seven has been increased from sixteen to seventeen.  The script for "Broken", which was about thirty pages long, was written before I agreed with my production manager to keep episodes at a running time of approximately ten minutes.  That episode was consequently broken into two, the first of which has been named "Blast Radius" and will be the premiere of the season's second half.

Events pick up from exactly where they were left off at the end of "Two Point Zero".  "Blast Radius" opens on Penance where we last left Eugene, Tyler and Colin after Colin gunned down and banned an innocent player in order to demonstrate the ability of his personally-developed second iteration of the Fragban software patch.

Some of you may be aware that Machinima laid off ten percent of its staff during the airing hiatus.  Unfortunately, a couple of the folks who fell within that ten percent were voice actors in the show, who are now unable to reprise their roles.  You'll likely notice that the character Tyler and Brody's role-player friend Kyle will be voiced by different people.  I fear that it will be jarring to viewers, but what am I to do?  Art and industry don't always go hand-in-hand, but one can't exist without the other.  Not that I'm qualifying Arby 'n' the Chief as "art", certainly not high art, but you know what I mean.

Again, I'm sorry that I don't update my blog.  Every time I consider sitting down to post on it I feel as though there's a tornado of other tasks that I ought to be handling instead, whether it's writing or editing the show or doing school shit.

School, man.  Balancing it with work across the past couple of months has been a bitch, even without the strain of having to meet weekly air dates.  On top of being required to have enough show episodes written, produced and cut in time for airing back-to-back weekly starting from March 30th, my spring term at film school (lasting from January to April) is giving me a full course load to handle as well as positions on three major live action film shoots.  Weeks are spent developing and preparing each shoot, the shoots themselves are three back-to-back twelve hour days (the second of which I'm on as I write this), and preparation for the next shoot overlaps the post-production phase of the one prior.  It just doesn't stop.  Save for a single week-long reading break from school, since Christmas I've felt like I haven't been able to surface for a breath of air.

But I'm trying.  I'm determined to have the rest of the show not suck ass.  Compared to the seventh season's first half, things start getting more interesting now because I can start paying off what I've set up.

I'm confident that season seven will mark the end of the season-wide story arcs of the show, but it may not mark the end of the characters altogether.  I have a few ideas for more "Bytes" episodes with the pair just fucking around, like the good old days.  I'm also kicking around an idea of doing a parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey featuring the gang.  We'll see.

If those don't happen, I'm bound to be working on some new project.  I don't want to stop screenwriting, I enjoy it too much.

Thanks so much to all the fans of the show for your continued support and undying patience, and please stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jon