Hello Interwebs! Read on for behind-the-scenes stories of “The Sampson Brown Show” sketch, and Close Up Episode 4. Plus other project updates.
Unfortunately none of our in-development pre-production projects moved forward this April. We were too busy on the production side of things…
Ryan and I began a new sub-series of our Close Up podcast called “Explains”. In these episodes, Ryan or I convince each other to watch movies, shows, or franchises we’ve never seen. So, for example, CU E4 features Ryan explaining Game of Thrones to me. I’ve never seen a single episode. Could he convince me to give it a try? Find out!
I’m annoyed as many audio purists might be at my voice’s quality on the last couple Close Ups. I haven’t had a single clean recording since we began this show! The closest I came was episode 3, and even that was stitched together ADR I performed entirely in post.
In E4 my computer recording failed to save properly, so I was only left with the Zoom audio… again. And I’m not 100% sure, but I feel like their suppression tools, or my internet connection impact the sound in my recording. Because I hear my clip randomly dip in and out of acceptable sound-quality.
Of course I’m also an idiot and don’t sit closely enough to the mic (and, no that’s not permission to insult me in the comments below)… I’ve learned my lesson. Beginning with EP 5, that mic will be right near my face. And I guarantee the audio quality will improve (’cause I’ve already heard the difference)!
Speaking of EP 5: Ryan and I also filmed that one. We’re big fans of superheroes, and superhero movies, so we wished to cover the genre’s history. Our first installment of this historical analysis covers the first superhero feature film up till X-Men in 2000. We’ll shoot follow-ups in the future till we’re caught up to present.
NOTE: I’m not sure if this episode will release before or after our Multiverse of Madness review. The later is more relevant, after all. Ryan and I will film that episode this Friday, after we watch the film Thursday evening.
Now let’s talk about The Sampson Brown Show! I’ll call it SBS from here on to save myself some typing… SBS was a long time coming! Justin and I have chipped away at a follow-up to The X. Files since before we’d finished Season 1, all the way back in 2017! I even wrote a complete second season. But nothing ever came to fruition.
Then Justin all but retired from acting, causing an even bigger hurdle. How do you continue The X. Files without Francis X. Files? I came up with two ideas, one of which turned into SBS. The other will release at a later date.
But why did I choose to bring back Sampson Brown now? Well– a few weeks back, when I looked through new sketch ideas to produce for April, SBS stood out to me. For I realized it was 5 years ago, in April, that The X. Files Episode 8 released. So I thought it’d be cool to bring back Sampson 5 years after he was last seen, to the month.
Then I looked down and noticed I wore my X. Files T-shirt. Another sign! I then looked up possible conspiracies to discuss, and noticed vaccine skepticism frequently mentioned (because of course it was). This solidified my decision. I thought: the world NEEDS Sampson Brown to return to YouTube and tear apart misinformation with deadpan condescension. All signs pointed to making this video this month.
I wrote SBS in a couple of days– the week I released the video. Bad of me, I know. I tend to procrastinate my monthly sketch work till the last week of the month. But this is the first time in months where I failed to ready a first draft by cram-time… I thought it turned out decently though.
It was especially tough to write because I wanted to make more than a comedy sketch. This was a pilot for a hopefully ongoing series. I wished there to be mystery enough to suck in anyone who hadn’t seen The X. Files. The comedy was important, but I cared more to set up a story which could unravel over maybe 8 episodes: whatever became of Francis, who was Sampson Brown, and how big a role did he have in the conspiracies which ultimately claimed his partner?
The shoot was one of the easiest I’ve ever done: set up a camera across a table and talk to the camera. The hardest part was shooting the title-sequence. And that was more time-consuming than difficult.
I slipped right back into character for this episode. Five years may have passed in real life, but Sampson’s personality is forever ingrained in my mind. I love that character! And my portrayal in this episode ranks among my favourite comedic performances I’ve ever done! I just think my line-delivery was on-point. But you can be the judge of that, I suppose.
I continually develop new techniques for my editing work, and refine old ones. I’m a lot quicker than I used to be. But Close Up in particular takes up lots of my time, because there’s so much of it to go around. Ryan and I ought to start capping these things at an hour a piece. That (based on the average 1.5 hr run-times of our first 4 episodes) would save me maybe 6 hours of editing time per episode!
Yeah– the more I write this, the more I’m inclined to make that hour-limit a “rule.”
Nothing to speak of here. Moving on…
The only thing of note is an update on my subtitle work: I’m faster at the process than ever, yet the Close Up ones take a ridiculously long time. I’m unable to give the (necessary) few dozen hours per week on that task. So, effective immediately, I will no longer subtitle episodes of Close Up.
YouTube’s auto-generated closed captions are not ideal, but they’ll have to do. I’ll still subtitle TPM’s sketches, and back-catalog. But I simply do not have the time for Close Up’s captions.
My work on that has caused the website to slip over the last month. And, seeing as that generates more traffic for our brand, I have to prioritize.
This has been TPM’s April news. If you have any questions about what I’ve written today, or have something you’d like to see addressed more in-depth in next month’s update, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any ideas for future articles, or any general questions, let me know that as well. Be sure to like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!
Till next time