I do try to keep these short, honest! This might be a long one. It concerns The Drugs Don't Work, and it'll be long because this took a lot of explaining to people. It became a big worry of an episode. One we had to keep belief in when a few people around us had no belief in it.
Here's the film if you've not seen it.
The starting point for this was to write an episode crammed with stuff, a different spin on the slacker/ stoner buddy comedy, a look at the cliches of people having fun, ghosts, drug dealers. Hopefully there's more in there. Me and Rhys discussed it loads, especially one think I tried to do was to fill this episode with subtext, hopefully it's bursting with it. We talked about how the two main characters are living in the past, they dress a bit retro and it's like they're trying to re enact someone elses' version of fun, maybe what their older brothers did, or what they've seen in films, but they do it all wrong.
I wanted to have many twists in there, well not too many, but a satisfying amount, and I wanted it to be funny. An episode I wrote for series 2 was meant to be funny but didn't work, and I'm not sure I've nailed comedy, especially directing it.
We had problems with this before the filming. Mainly, people just weren't clicking with the script, and we didn't know why. There was a line of dialogue I'd left to subtext that was crucial to be in there, which Hannah George spotted when she read it for me. That was sorted, and still people weren't going for it. Me and Rhys thought it could be that they were used to the Seth Rogen or Kevin Smith style stoners, where these two characters were more bumbling idiots. They are not cool, hopefully their relationship is quite sweet instead. It became so bad that in the end I had to direct it with lots of help from Gordon Mitchell, the director of Payback.
On set we called this our epic, we had four cast members, that's double our usual. And cramped in a small living with our three crew members, it got hot, and over the long shoot it got deranged. There was plenty of laughter on this one. Especially during the scene where Mad Mary appears to suck out the soul from Sexgun Phil (which is only the beginning of strange character names in Twisted Showcase). It got ridiculous on the set having to shout 'NOW SUCK'
Unfortunately I couldn't make the end of the shoot and had to leave early, this left the outdoor scene to be shot without me, and can you believe it, it went completely wrong. If you watch the film again you'll see the characters discuss bermuda shorts, but why as the mid shot only covers the characters top halves. Oh dear. It was probably the only scene of the day that no coverage was got, as I said it was a long and deranged shoot, and hopefully we get away with it.
And it was all made up for by some stunning special effects, so good we had to show them off in the trailer. Hope you like them too, they lift the series up by looking so impressive I think. They seem expensive.
There's plenty more stories from this one, but I don't want to make this too long and boring, so any questions you have leave them in the comments and I'll answer them for you. And come back next week for my thoughts on episode 4, Confession.