Production Diary, Episode V: Odds and Ends

The time for talking was over. Doing became the number one priority.

The last few weeks before Episode I of The Scope was to be recorded were filled with just about every pre-production task imaginable. The studio space was reorganized and refurnished, individual bumpers, bits, and sound effects had to be polished (and started, in many cases), and the blueprint for the first show needed to be locked down. It was (and is) a busy but productive time.

Directly in the middle of this Super Storm of comedic activity, Adam and his supremely funny friend, Jess, took the The Scope out of the studio for the first “on-location” recording session. Armed only with wit, a microphone, and a list of questionable questions, these two brave souls traveled to a local Sci-Fi convention to find out what made the attendees tick. Without giving anything away, the results of this session will be revealed in the very first podcast. You’ve been warned.

And so ends the Production Diary. There’s just not that much more to say about the process. Now, like it or not, all that’s left is to is record that first show. Expect a bit of funny, a bit of experimentation, and a smidge of complete terror. These guys aren’t professionals. Hell, they’re barely amateurs. But that’s what makes it fun. Like watching a car crash fun.

To our listener: The first episode of The Scope will be available April 10, 2006.

We now return to our regularly-scheduled postings.

Category: Production Diary  |  Time: 10:42 pm (CST)  |  Comments Off on Production Diary, Episode V: Odds and Ends  |  

Production Diary, Episode IV: The End of the Beginning

Things were finally starting to come together. The guys were cataloging Scope idea at a rapid pace. The basic framework of the show was being established, and the three hosts even made some time to practice on real mics in the subterranean studio that would be Scope Central. Yes, things were coming together…except for one thing. The Scope needed The Voice.

Everyone knows that all awesome talk shows have an announcer. Someone to anchor the production, to give it weight and respectability. A great announcer helps bind a show together and brings continuity. Unfortunately, The Scope was lacking that continuity…until Tony entered the picture.

Flashback to a year prior to The Scope…Shane’s fantastic and utterly beautiful wife would often come home after a hard day’s work and tell stories of one particular employee. She said this employee would talk about some of his previous jobs…jobs like professional opera singer, actor, radio show host, and voiceover artist. He always had a story to tell and those stories were more often than not quite interesting. Oh, and his name was Tony.

Tony.

Shane immediately thought this guy might be the perfect fit for the open announcer position. He had the skills, he had the stories, and he had the reputation. To make a long story slightly shorter, Tony accepted the invitation to become The Voice.

A few days later, Tony visited the studio to record a few lines- mostly for The Scope show introduction. Needless to say, the whole experience was a complete success. Tony nailed the lines, made them his own, and really impressed the Dawg Pound (thanks, Randy Jackson!)

With The Voice on board, The Scope was even closer to being a reality. Really, the more people involved in a project like this, the harder it is to quit without looking like a total idiot. So Adam, Jared, and Shane pressed on. However, there were many things left to to do in pre-production: bits had to be recorded, ideas needed to be solidified, and more practice time should be scheduled. Could this laundry list of tasks be crossed off before the scheduled taping of the first show arrived?

Find out in The Scope Production Diary Episode V: Odds and Ends…

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Production Diary, Part III: Bit by Bit by Bit

All great podcasts have one thing in common: content. When a podcast has something interesting to say, it can be as entertaining as the most professional-sounding radio show. If a podcast doesn’t have much to say, it usually sounds like a bunch of anime nerds giggling into a fifteen dollar microphone.

Needless to say, Adam, Jared and Shane didn’t want to follow the latter path.

The first order of business for this new power-trio was to set up a message board as a common place to communicate, list bit ideas, and to berate each other. Over a matter of weeks, these three geniuses posted tens and tens of show segment possibilities. There were at least enough ideas to fill one or two shows. The next fifty shows or so after that shouldn’t be a problem to fill, right? Right?

Another pressing matter for Adam, Jared, and Shane was to develop both a name and an overall concept for the show. Really, the concept part wasn’t all that difficult. They all agreed that the show content should be what they know: pop and nerd culture, their day-to-day lives, and a touch of sarcastic humor (Okay, in Adam’s case, more than a touch. We might as well include Shane, too.) The show also had to sound great and decidedly non-amateurish. The guys might not have any radio experience, but the podcast shouldn’t sound like it.

From there, it was a matter of hammering out a basic show structure, filling in the blanks, and most important of all, naming the entire operation. While it seemed simple, the trio found that there was a lot of work to do. Each show bit had hours of work connected to it. A daunting challenge, but they were up for it. And don’t forget about that show name. A number of ideas bounced around, but in the end, The Scope stuck. The guys thought The Scope best represented the goal of the show: to examine everything from Akira to Emo to Scarlett Johansson. Nothing would escape their all-seeing gaze, and they’d mock, compliment, and ridicule it with all the self-importance they could muster.

Still, everything wasn’t butterflies and rainbows. Could The Scope crew actually create comedy that eclipsed material found on the great Jay Leno’s late night show? Speaking of late night talk shows, if guys like Carson and Letterman had announcers, shouldn’t The Scope have one too? And why does Michael Rapaport keeping getting work? (if you call “The War At Home” work…)

Find out in The Scope Production Diary Episode IV: The End of the Beginning…

Category: Production Diary  |  Time: 12:49 pm (CST)  |  Comments: 2  |  

Production Diary, Part II: Up and Adam…

Contrary to popular belief, getting the third part of the triumvirate that would soon form The Scope wasn’t really all that difficult. Some would say it was a matter of workplace serendipity…

At his place of employment, Shane often talked to fellow covert nerd, Adam. Okay, not so covert- they both were the only guys in the office with toys covering every square inch of available desk space. However, they liked to think that people didn’t notice…but they did. It goes without saying those people laughed at Adam and Shane and they probably still do. (tear)

Most days they would pass the time exchanging sarcastic remarks about TV shows, the latest movie releases, comics, and all the various internet videos that probably weren’t all that work-appropriate. Over time, they became decent enough office friends that Shane invited Adam to the Birthday Spectacular of 2005® (Adam wore a fantastic Gallagher costume- don’t ask!) and kept him filled in on other stuff- including upcoming events such as Baby Palmersheim’s doctor appointments (Adam was thrilled) and other endeavors like the podcast.

After a few weeks of bothering Adam with podcast detail after podcast detail, it seemed obvious that Adam might make a decent addition to the show. He had the wit, he had the sarcasm, and he had the abs. Never mind the fact the show consisted of nothing more than a few stupid comedy ideas and immensely lofty expectations. Still, Shane asked Adam if he was interested in joining the crew (Adam was down with it) and he asked Jared if it was okay to invite some guy he’d met once before into the mix (Jared, in a moment of temporary weakness, agreed…sucker!)

After the contracts were signed and the lawyers approved, The Scope had its three hosts. However, the easy part was over. Now these brave warriors had to craft the show framework, figure out the technology, and just try to meet in the same place at the same time. It wouldn’t be easy, but nothing good ever is…

The Story Continues in Production Diary, Part III: Bit by Bit by Bit…

Category: Production Diary  |  Time: 10:32 pm (CST)  |  Comments Off on Production Diary, Part II: Up and Adam…  |  

Production Diary, Part I: The Beginning of the Beginning

One would think that an influential and hilarious podcast such as The Scope would sprout from the mind of the world’s greatest comedian (possibly Louie Anderson or Bobcat Goldthwaith) with the singular intention to construct and broadcast comedy that would literally change the face of civilization.

One would think.

Truth be told, The Scope has much humbler origins. In fact, this podcast-to-be started as an off-handed comment in a conversation that followed a birthday party.

In the summer of 2005, Shane, along with his wife, Carrie, hosted an elaborate birthday gathering. While the seedy events of this party shall remain undocumented until a future date (and a future episode of The Scope), it can be revealed that Jared and Shane created an interactive trivia-type game for all the partygoers. Needless to say, the game was an unqualified success. The guests seemed to enjoy the competition and the guys basked in the afterglow of a job well done.

Shortly after the party, Jared and Shane talked about how they could duplicate the creative magic. The reality was unless they traveled from party to party like some sort of nerdy circus train, it was unlikely anything would come of it. In the end, the idea was shelved. Tears were shed. The dream was over. Or was it?

A few months passed. Even though the birthday party was a distant memory, both never stopped thinking about working together…in some way. While the next sequence of events are hazy, let’s just say “Guy 1” IMed “Guy 2” asking if he would want to try and create something cool – maybe like a podcast. “Guy 2” said “Yes,” “Guy 1” said “Cool,” and the plans were set in motion. It didn’t really matter who said what. The bottom line is this: the show was on the way…and it would be awesome.

Jared and Shane felt undefeatable. They were going to beat everyone to the podcasting punch. Get ahead of the technology curve. Because, let’s face it, no one was doing podcasts. Clearly, these guys were blazing trails.

Ahem.

At any rate, it seemed like a great idea at the time. Even so, serious questions remained. What exactly would Jared and Shane talk about? Why would anyone want to listen to a couple of nerds? (Well-adjusted nerds, but nerds nonetheless.) And could the show be done with only two hosts?

All of these questions and more would be answered when the new guy, Adam, entered the picture…

The story continues in Production Diary, Part II: Up and Adam…

Category: Production Diary  |  Time: 10:58 pm (CST)  |  Comments Off on Production Diary, Part I: The Beginning of the Beginning  |