AVGN: Episode 110 – Coming Soon

James / March 6th, 2013

110_Ikari-Warriors

 

 

I laughed myself to tears while editing the latest AVGN episode. It was that kind of laugh when you feel your guts tense up and you topple over in pain. That’s how it was. I literally collapsed in front of the computer, wiping tears from my face.

 

I’d forgotten that a week before, I was sitting in that same place, trying to come up with a script. I was scratching my head, staring at a blank screen. Nothing was coming to mind, other than the same generic game rant. “Look at that?” “I’m stuck in the wall!” “Fuck!” “What were they thinking?” The verbal inspiration was gone.

 

The game itself was one I’ve been wanting to do ever since 2006 when the Nerd first became a regular series. The Nerd’s initial hit list included games like Top Gun, Ghostbusters, Fester’s Quest, Dick Tracy, Super Pitfall, Ghosts N’ Goblins, and Ikari Warriors. All NES games that I’ve played when I was a child, that frustrated the hell out of me. Over the years, I’ve been completing that list.

 

Now that I’ve finally gotten around to Ikari Warriors, I had trouble writing something that was fresh. Had I reviewed this game earlier, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But now, the formula was wearing old, and knowing that so many people are going to be watching, makes it even tougher. If only I could make it feel original again, and go back to the past…

 

So I called an old friend, none other than the Nerd’s “guitar guy”. I wrote Kyle into the script. The script still sucked, but I had good faith that he would be able to ad-lib and improve on my mediocrity. Also, with Mike in the room filming and suggesting ideas, it helped fuel the creative process. The songs Kyle sang were improvised entirely without any rehearsing. It was so spontaneous that doing another take only resulted in a different song. That’s why you see me laughing. There’s no other takes to use. It was probably the most improvisational AVGN video since Spiderman.

 

Meanwhile, the AVGN Movie went on halt. Anytime I work on something different, people are waiting on me for instructions. I can’t do two things at once, especially when both require so much focus. That’s why I had to finish this episode as quickly as possible. It felt just like the old days when I had deadlines. Since this video was so improvisational, it was a lot harder to edit. I’d have to watch through hours of footage, just to figure out how to assemble it all, and give it a nice flow. While editing, I saw the sun rise many times. Smoothing out the audio transitions, fixing the color, making revisions. It was the same old process that I’m so familiar with. My wrists hurt, my eyeballs felt like they were burning out of my skull. That’s the feeling all us editors, filmmakers, web producers and anyone with an “abnormal” job all must feel.

 

That’s when the laughter kicked in. Full force! Maybe the exhaustion made me delirious. I asked myself, did we lose our minds? What kind of video did we just make? But that’s no different from when I started the Nerd. I didn’t stop and think about what I was doing. I just did it.Β Is it funny? That’s up for the internet to decide. We all thought so, and we hope anyone can at least get a laugh out of it, and feel like you’re in the room hanging out with us. Enjoy it, because now I need to go back into hibernation and work on the AVGN Movie. (That doesn’t mean not to expect another episode. More will come.)

 

Comments

  • March 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    You’re the best James! Even your shittiest turds will be gold! Rock on man!

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      By the way… Death By Dialogue… an amazing terrible movie that I’m POSITIVE you and mike would thoroughly enjoy! Just throwing that out there. The only actor mentioned is Ken Sagoes from Nightmare on Elm Street 3. And it LITERALLY says that on the cover, it’s magical! ha!

    • March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I agree 100% with your statement.

  • diegowar

    March 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for your dedication, James. It always shows one way or another when hard work has been put into something, or when people enjoyed making it. That’s why you produce some of the best content the internet has ever had. Thanks for all.

  • Wien

    March 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Improving off a script is one of the funnest things in the world. But man, editing an off the cuff product is much tougher (for me) than editing something tightly scripted.

    BTW James, here’s Mark Borchardt’s latest endeavor, and it looks like he’s doing music for this too. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1770961594/help-frankie-latina-produce-his-second-film-snap-s

  • Icespider

    March 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    NO matter what I’m down like a clown charly brown!!!! like a wise man once said…” It’s on like Donkey Kong!!!”

  • 00bam

    March 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    reading this sounds like its going to be a good episode

  • Topper Harley

    March 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    James, this post is just awesome. It shows again, why i am such a big fan of your show and your person aswell. Keep your awesomeness, can’t wait for the movie and the next episode (which will be great!)

    Greetings from Germany πŸ™‚

  • March 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I’m glad to see experimentation. Remember that the old formula is good to see too, from time to time. Knocking out quick little episodes like Dragon’s Lair occasionally will keep the people happy in the meantime.

  • Allen Lucas

    March 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the update. Being a fan of yours since early 2007, I always appreciate the hard work you always put in your videos. This new episode is sure to be a fun ride!

  • Goatrider

    March 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I never get tired of ‘What were they thinking?!’, seriously…

  • Skeletor

    March 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    woah but Ikari Warriors is an awesome game! Many fun times playing that co-op back in the day! But i’m sure you’ll make something funny about it, because it is a pain in the ass playing without using the lifecode! Can’t waith James! Cheers from Sweden!

  • Red

    March 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    This is one of the best out of all 110 so far. When you don’t try, and it just flows, that’s when you know it’s good.

    A perfect pre-hibernation episode, really. Personally, I’ve been very okay with no eps/videos for a while, as long as you’re steadily working on the movie. Instances like this video – somewhat easier breaks – are good as a respite from the longer projects.

  • March 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    throughout the episode i felt the rushed completion feeling, but the episode was totally relatable in the two player aspect, just like the other episodes featuring justin. the improv singing got a little old, but i can tell you guys were having fun. the way you brought justin back to life was fucking hilarious. little things like that are what i enjoy most. when you guys busted out the OG theme song, i clapped.

  • Joker83

    March 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    James. You are the MAN! Keep it up and thank you!

  • March 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    glad you were able to finally review akari warriors. i think you succeeded as I found it hilarious at times and entertaining to watch. Thanks for putting so much work into making a nerd video while you are working on the movie.

  • tiffany rogers

    March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    You guys never fail to get a laugh out of me. All the hard work payed off. Awesome ep! thanks!! focus on the movie!

  • March 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    It really was one of the most fucking funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. You rock James. Good luck with that baby on the way!

  • Magnum66

    March 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Congrats on all your hard work James. Don’t think for a second we don’t all appreciate it, because we do. Maybe more than you think. I’m glad it all came together in the end to make this fucking hilarious episode. This one stands out a TON for me for some reason, I’m sure it will be a memorable one for quite some time. Keep it up.

  • March 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Such randomness XD
    It was a good epsiode in the end =) Not the best of the best, but still good. Some of the ideas in it were brilliantly done, like using the code for the revival outside of the game. Clever thinking on that part.
    It is also nice to see the intro again, especially since you used some of the images from the verry early episodes, that in itself takes us back to the past =)

    A huge thank you to the three of you =D

  • stoney_1

    March 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Gotta save this for tomorrow during my 4:20 session of the day! I’m Always excited to watch a new AVGN show!! Game on!

  • Carson Shover

    March 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    James, you are one of the reasons I continue to make films. I always wanted to do so but never had the equipment. I never had a camera nor any form of editing. This forced the filmaker in me to stay hidden away inside. When I finally got a camera I knew I wanted to make movies but never knew where to start. Then one day I came across your AVGN review on Nightmare on Elm Street. I thought it was so inspiring and great and ever since then I’ve been making movies. Now I’m completing my first short film and have done some nice youtube videos. I’ve seen most of your videos and have all the AVGN dvds. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • uberrainman

    March 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Your dedication to your craft is well appreciated. I can only imagine how much work goes into these episodes, but this one turned out really great.

    On behalf of the internets, thank you.

  • March 7, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Great episode, James. I know how you can be feeling about the formula of your videos getting old. But what you are still putting out is great stuff!

  • KaiservonDoom

    March 7, 2013 at 1:25 am

    So happy that the the theme song is back. I don’t mind waiting for another episode, I enjoy everything that you or Mike post. It’s such a nostalgia trip because I was into pretty much everything the both of you were growing up. It’s almost like this website is my comfort food from the internet lol and for that I thank you so much for everything you’ve done.

  • Lukas Sprehn

    March 7, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Sometimes the old formulas are the best ones! But maybe it’s not because it’s wearing out. Maybe you’ve just matured, and you find other things funny? I don’t know what it is, but I do have faith that you will come back, full-force, with a shitload of original ideas again, soon. Don’t worry πŸ˜€

    I have an idea though. Try and keep a dreaming journal, so every time you wake up and you remember a dream or a nightmare, write it down! Use the dreams as inspiration then. It’s a great tool for creative minds like you πŸ™‚

    Stay creative.

  • Ben_from_G-town

    March 7, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for that behind the scenes story. I always like hearing those. Yeah, sometimes when you are that tired, staying up doing something, you just laugh from the pure exhaustion! But, I thought the episode was different and genuinely funny!

  • March 7, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Fear not, I just watched it and this one was really really fresh. It’s unlike any other episode you’ve done, an yet in the spirit of the earliest, most classic ones. Thank you Cinemassacre crew, conglaturation, you have proven the justice of our culture!!

  • elcalvo

    March 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    James, you don’t even know your own formula. Here is how it works:
    1)You work on something else until you are really tired, and don’t care about the game.
    2)You sit in front of the camera. Don’t move the camera.
    3)Record footage from the game.
    4)Say your lines in a monotone way. If you really have something creative to say you do it. And maybe you could even move the camera. Short takes. The swearing will come naturally, don’t force the tipical “what were they thinking” and such.
    5)If you have some special character or story in the review, then you do more creative stuff, but as something that comes from the review.
    6)Editing. This is your thing. It’s the “rhythm” of the cuts and hiding the fact that you and your friends are not actors. Some of your videos could be used to learn filmmaking in this regard.

    • Lukas Sprehn

      March 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Don’t you think the first paragraph of your comment is a little unnecessary? Actually, the whole thing is, sort of. I mean, it’s not like James don’t know all in your list already. Just saying, no hard feelings πŸ™‚ And, also, he is allowed to step out of the box and break some rules if he want to. After all, filmmaking is about taking chances a lot of the time πŸ™‚

      • elcalvo

        March 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

        Trust me on this one. Also, I would add to film the acting maybe at that time when the sun is rising and the editing job of the movie is kind of done for the day (night?…). You know, he would not be in a hurry to say silly things about a video game, it would be a time to relax, but it just happens that he would be playing a shitty game. That worked pretty good before, ahem… James!… πŸ˜€

    • March 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure James has been doing this long enough that he doesn’t really need someone else to tell him how to do AVGN. Just saying.

  • March 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Take your time with finishing the movie we’re in no hurry for it’s completion. We fans are all looking forward to seeing the film once it is done.

  • March 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Great eppisode. It was so good to see Kyle back. And James, I’m sure if you took a vote, most of us would vote that you SHOULD absolutely start using “The Song” all the time in the intros. Your episodes have been great without them, but having them just added that “something”, like “OH shit, get ready”.

    I think some of your fanbase is just going to have to ask themselves what they want. Whether they want you to finally be able to finish your film so we can all see it? Or if we want you to continuously put it on hold so you can keep giving us cool videos on a regular basis.

    Me personally, of course I want both, but given a choice, I’d say take your time and finish the movie man. For all we know, if you hadn’t taken the time to do Monster Madness last year, and all these other videos you’ve done, you might’ve been just about finished already. I’m glad we DID get MM and all the rest. Just saying, I can see it from your point of view, and I want you to finish that movie, because I’ve known since you first talked about it that it was going be amazing, and I’m only glad that I could help out a little financially to make it happen.

    Do what you gotta do man, we all know we’ve got years more entertainment from you to look forward to. Cheers!

  • culwin

    March 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    The absurdity of Kyle’s songs made me laugh.

  • justinabsentia

    March 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

    just thanks. you made a sad soul happy.

  • March 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    James, you are an inspiration to us all. I’ve never chimed in before, but I’ve been an avid follower since the early days, and while I’ve always been impressed with your productions, what you’re revealing in this note speaks to the heart of what a dedicated artist you are.

    Can’t wait to see the vid–sounds like you really tapped into something special.

    Cheers!

  • NeiFirst

    March 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I laughed my ass off man. It had a bit of classic scripted nerd mixed with the intimacy and candor of the “James and Mike play” series. Lots of fun, buddy. Keep up the good work.

  • J

    March 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Been a fan since the beginning and love every episode, but this episode was definitely one of my favorites and a breath of fresh air! Great job man. How you keep pumping out episodes after so long is beyond me.

  • karel1

    March 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    It might’ve been rushed, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Looking forward to the movie!

  • Dr. Breakfastmachine

    March 9, 2013 at 11:08 am

    The improv and creative process definitely worked. This is without a doubt the funniest AVGN episode in years, and that’s not to say the others haven’t all been funny too. I lost it at the Hammer Dracula-style scene where Kyle’s skeleton is reanimated.

  • CardiacNutsack

    March 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Some of my best ideas have come after a period of writer’s block. You try to force it and nothing works and you feel uninspired as fuck. Then, you just have to loosen up a bit and just trust it. You have to trust the process. Let it flow and magical things can happen.

  • Roadie

    March 10, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Thanks, brother. Hope all is well with the baby – he’s going to have a great father.

  • Jcr3ws

    March 10, 2013 at 12:22 am

    You are correct, it’s hilarious, random humor is the best. I use to work 90hr weeks and most episodes I had time to watch would have me laugh uncontrollably, to where I couldn’t speak. Kind of reminds me of being bored and drawing random crap on peoples faces in magazines, then next day or so I forget and open it up and bam! funny faces haha Good luck on the movie

  • March 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Oh james, it absolutely was hilarious! You need to include more Kyle in your episodes!! He just adds a certain level of…randomness!! I laughed so hard with my brother, my sides hurt, I was gasping for air, I couldn’t even breathe! It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed at a nerd episode like that. I’m not saying you aren’t funny, and that I don’t thing your show is funny, or that I don’t enjoy your show. It’s just that it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had laughter like that. Keep up the great work! I can’t wait for the film!

  • xeoneex

    March 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    At first I didn’t like this one cuase it felt very rushed and not edited enough. But after reading this I get why it felt taht way. It was unique in that it was improv and it felt that way. I do hope with all my heart you aren’t running out of juice for the AVGN. Like how I miss the Nostalgia Critic I pray that you have many years of hilarity left in your bones. Keep up the good work James.

    Kyle, you are funny as hell. You and Mike add to the AVGN when he needs it. I have yet to not enjoy a performance from either of you creative genius’s. Mike you should think about becoming a voice actor or an actor in general you have alot of talent.

  • anticlimatic

    March 16, 2013 at 1:10 am

    The improvised song is actually pretty melodious, and therefore quite lovely in form. Surprisingly so. Combine that with the fact that its content is utterly absurd and you’ve got a cocktail of irony worth more than a little maniacal laughter.

    IMO

  • FrancisHatesYou

    March 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I don’t mind the repetitiveness! I like all the Nerd episodes, even the ones with more or less the same script.

  • bleed0range

    May 13, 2013 at 2:04 am

    πŸ˜€

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