www.thedefendersofstan.com has been (poorly) redesigned for your "enjoyment." check it out!
On page 111 of the new Entertainment Weekly you’ll find The Defenders of Stan alongside Steve Martin, Miles Davis and The Beatles.
If we had known it would get this popular, we'd have put Hunter in tights years ago.
***as a side note, to anyone finding us because of EW, or not, channel102 (the website and screening where new "Stan"s compete every month) crashed, and theyve lost some data, including our episode 11. we're going to get all 11 episodes up on our own sites this week.***
Three Big Honkin’ Rules for Licensing Your Song to Network Television
Step 1: Write and record a song.
Step 2: Have the people in charge of the music for “Chuck” ask if they can use it.
Step 3: Double check to make sure the episode deals with salami.
Note: You can replay Meredith's song “My Absent Will” here. Select Episode 109 (Chuck vs. the Imported Hard Salami). If you want to skip right to the good part, it's played during the make-out scene (naturally) around the 5-minute mark, and again towards the very end of the episode when Chuck and Summer from the OC break up.
we, here at THE BiG HONKIN', are not good people. we're incredibly lazy, short-staffed, and refuse to shave on a regular basis. it's because of these things, particularly the last one, that we are oft prevented from doing what we promised.
so, here we have some production stills from THE DEFENDERS OF STAN, episode 11.
starting with the cover.
a lot of times, it's very apparent what the cover should be: we tend to pick some sort of climactic moment or, more importantly, a moment that could make a cover without ruining the element of surprise in the 1.9 seconds it's featured on the screen. and we were really stuck as to what the hell to draw for this one. so we just took a bunch of photos and i started sketching a bunch of crap before i gave up and just basically did what everyone probably knew was coming: Stan and Captain Ultra turning against one another in a fit of good ol' fashioned sibling rivalry. slap on a "witty" title, and you're good to go.
*it should be noted that once the covers are drawn, we deliberate for MINUTES as to what the title should be before dropping them into the intro project and hitting render.
thanks to technology, these pictures were taken DURING an actual take with the help of a flash-free camera.
Once our souls had been wrestled out of the camera, the photographer was banished into the control room.
in actuality, this episode was basically 3 takes (the intro between Stan and Ultra, the game show introduction, and the actual game) each done live-to-tape. then a few inserts were added ("Switch!", Team Galactus), and voila! An episode is shot in under five hours. it actually took longer to draw the comic book cover then it did to shoot the whole episode, which is incredibly new and scary for us.
what production photo blog update is complete without meredith behind a camera?
"woah. it's like you see it, and then you see it again...but smaller...and blown out."
the obvious tag line here is: "three INCREDIBLY attractive guys."
Stan looking suspicious.
Captain Ultra looking ugly/confused.
The Defenders of Stan, episode 11 took first place at the channel102 screening, narrowly missing the highest voter percentage. sometime soon, we'll have updates about our other goings-on, and we are thinking about talking about uploading the episodes to our youtube one day maybe.
the defenders of stan
the defenders of stan episode 11
the defenders of stan on myspace
the big honkin on myspace
It was brought to our attention that, even though we weren't specifically mentioned IN the actual article, Time Out NY put "The Defenders of Stan" as the face of channel 102 in their article outlining the 50 essential New York Secrets!
congrats to all of our 102 peers and, specifically, John and Curtis for their nod in the article.
here are some scans.
the page containing a frame from The Defenders Of Stan episode 10.
and with that, we'll have some news about some of our other projects, and some production stills and the cover from The Defenders Of Stan episode 11
ok, drum roll please. we're about to do something we've always been far too embarrassed to do: share storyboards. this is usually because we dont make storyboards often enough, or they look like prison tattoos. but regardless, here they are.
one of the things we'd always wanted to do was a marquee, showing that Ultra had claimed full ownership of Stan Kong. we ran out of production time to come up with a shot, and it's a good thing too, because it would have probably gotten cut from the final edit anyway for running time.
a character that has made two appearances throughout the run of our show was a character that we call "Flamer" --or "fire-guy" when we realize that "flamer" sounds offensive. to disclose a little insider info, we actually wrote episodes 9 and 10 as one, self-canceling script, and we wanted to bring back all of our favorite characters. so "flamer" was one of those guys we just love seeing and wanted to make sure he made a final appearance. needless to say, we chickened out of self-canceling (ego prevailed), and we split up the script in two, AND "flamer" actor, mike setti, was unavailable. but the idea of a man ablaze looking irritated at Stan as he exits is hilarious to me.
A lot of this page changed. originally we were going to have Kong take a swipe at Ultra, after breaking free from the chains. But once we realized just how much of this episode was green-screened, we started scrapping things that were just unnecessary. also, it's really hard to take a clean plate shot of a street during the day, so we ended up making the whole bit in which Stan drives away looks as if the camera was mounted to his car, and built the streets in the computer. it's not my favorite post work i've ever done, but i was really strapped for time. if only i had ONE more day...
Every time i come up with some ridiculous shot, we always have a back-up or an "oh shit, we're fucked" shot that is much simpler. above you'll notice "hunter's crazy ass shot" along with "hunter's oh shit shot" and "meredith's oh shit shot." we ended up scrapping all three to make room for Blue's observation of Kong climbing the wall.
here are some side-by-side comparisons.
In episode three, we had Stan watching the tv, with the back of his head visible like the above storyboard frame, and i've always loved the way it looks. i dont know how we did it back then, but we've never been able to frame it as well, and usually end up going for something like the above final product.
i love how i always draw myself much skinnier than i really am, as if ink on legal pads makes the hours and hours a day i spend sitting behind a computer and the toll that takes on my physique disappear.
in the previous post i mentioned the way the audience was only six people. in the above screen shot, you can see the fruits of their hours of clapping and gasping. this is another one of those "4 hours of work for 2 seconds of screen time" type things.
this was one of my favortie shot's to do. i'm not sure why. i love the fact that if you watch closely, i gave our spotlight operator the beginning stages of Parkinsons.
obviously, scale is something that i have problems with on paper.
this was one of the few shots with no post work. and therefore i love it, although i believe in the concept stage we were going to have a more military look about this set up. but this was shot on the saturday before 102 (which came on monday) so we were just happy to get it done.
it's at this point that i stop showing storyboards, because we started to be so short on time that they all started to look like (or worse than) this one. which, some may say, is a good thing, since if any rival company tried to steal our storyboards, they wouldnt have the slightest fucking clue what the hell we were actually shooting.
we don't have rivals. but it would make for better blog posts.
NEXT time: episode 11 stills!
alrighty, fellow bloggers...as promised, our good friend josh gross has sent me a few production stills from episode 10.
lets do this.
not many people know this--or if they do notice, they're kind enough to pretend not to--but we end up using the same people over and over and over again in each episode. it's because we don't have any friends. i love the fact that our cameraman is smoking. something about people in capes smoking and drinking i find hilarious.
here, meredith enjoys a snack between takes...or he's about to throw up.
here, 'blue,' with very UN blue hands, fights an invisible bear. this scene was cut from the final episode.
Ultra, Blue, Bat-Lass.
THE DEFENDERS OF STAN episode 10 came and went, and then we got swamped. but we took another first place for it, and for that we thank you.
some fun facts:
1. the whole thing was shot and posted in 12 days, thats TWO days less than episode 9.
2. the majority of us here at THE BiG HONKIN' camp were really sick.
3. last count, there were about 5 shots that didnt have some sort of crazy post-production in them.
So this is the cover for the episode, posted over a month late. it's mean to echo the previous one, as 9 and 10 were two parts of the same show. these are all pretty much hand-drawn, and since i'm really slow, take about a day each to do.
here are some production stills from the episode:
"Stan Kong" all pretty-like. truth be told, i think this was actually from episode 9, but until a friend forwards some pics he snapped, we'll all just have to pretend this is REALLY interesting.
austin was pretty miserable walking around as Kong. he stuffed his cheeks with cotton, wore fake teeth, had about 20 minutes of makeup to put on, and walking and hunching like an ape gave him pretty bad back pains. and we had two identical shirts for Stan and his ape-counterpart. One was austin's size, and the other was too small, although i'm not sure it reads on camera. it's all in the details, people. the details that no one but us pays attention to.
add all that to the fact that we were acting with vague ideas about where things be in the final product (60% of this thing was shot green-screen), and you have quite a full 12 days.
So the funny thing about this is that THIS was our whole audience. These six kind people drove an hour out of their way to sit around for hours in a mall comedy-club to make up an entire audience, even though about half of them hadn't even seen the show before.
Here you can see a horde of capes and wigs off in the distance that the actors would switch in and out of. we'd shoot each vertical column of people and then combine them in post. it's like cloning, only without the stem cells and crying.
NEXT, i will have some of our crappy storyboards to check out.