DO YOU KNOW WHY I’VE BROUGHT YOU HERE? TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO.
I came home from work today to discover that Jer had sent me a nice little write up about the genesis of this video, so rather than try to explain myself, I’ll just let him do it! (It’s Quizbomb tonight [which you should totally come to if you live in Victoria] so I’m a little pressed for time anyhow).
The idea for this video is one I had had kicking around my brain for a couple weeks before we started talking about Halloween specials. We had tried shooting “Blair Witch”-style videos before—pre-loadingreadyrun—but they always sort of devolved into a bunch of us walking around a park trying to think of what to film. My thought was that, by pairing this with Hustle, we could make it character-based, and give it some direction.
When I first mentioned this in a meeting, the idea was basically “While the crew is shooting a video, something bad happens and they are trapped in a scary situation.” From the brainstorming we did, we got that Matt was the jaded bad guy (but why?), and that there would be multiplying creepy dolls to freak Graham out. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to write this myself, but volunteered after Graham said he’d work on another forthcoming episode of Hustle.
This was hard to write, as it needed to cover a lot of bases. It needed to explain how the crew would actually become fully trapped, in a situation where they wouldn’t be able to just break a window or call for help. It also needed to explain every cut in the context of the video. That, in addition to story exposition left very little space for actual dialogue. I like fake-outs, so I wanted the video to look like a remake, before pleasantly surprising the viewer with Hustle. As is typical for Hustle, all of us display hammed-up versions our absolute worst traits, especially as called out by the forums.
To quickly answer a few questions:
The fact that the footage was found on a memory card is mostly a Blair Witch reference, but is partially an artifact from an earlier version of the script. In the original version, the entire thing was shot on iPhones, and the video ended with the camera/iPhone being dropped—in reference to previous Hustles. The original lead-in text had the footage found at a Genius Bar, on a damaged iPhone.
The basement is obviously not a Faraday cage at the beginning of the video, but becomes one later on. Presumably Matt set up some sort of antenna rig to block phone calls to-and-from the basement—something far beyond Hustle-Matt’s technical abilities. I didn’t have a stinger written for the video, but the concept I had involved Paul admitting that he had created some such a setup.
Finally, as should be obvious, the video feels like Hustle because it was written as Hustle. We decided not to name it Hustle to preserve the fake-out for folks looking at the website, and omitted the intro sequence as it seemed to break the flow. There are some other reasons, but they have to do with things you don’t know about yet. In any case, it uses the Hustle characters in a Hustle-like situation, and probably falls somewhere in Hustle continuity.
Unskippable this week is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Check it out here, if you dare.