I have an idol. Without a doubt, Alan Shore, the fictional character from The Practice and Boston Legal created by David E. Kelley (married to Michelle Pfeiffer) represents everything I dig. I have been without an idol for a while. It all started last year on the way to Poland when the flight had Video on Demand. I watched THE DEPARTED and then gave an episode of BOSTON LEGAL a shot. I haven’t watched a David E. Kelley show since the first year or two of Ally McBeal. I loved that quirky sense of humor set in a law firm. Knowing that James Spader started this character on the drama THE PRACTICE, I didn’t really give this much of a chance.
When I saw this episode on the plane, I got very interested. It was the perfect blend of comedy and drama. It was reminiscent of the first thing David E. Kelley did which was a feature film FROM THE HIP with Judd Nelson in the 1980’s. I have since rented every season of BOSTON LEGAL on DVD, plus I recently acquired the entire last season of THE PRACTICE to see how this show was spun off from a purely dramatic premise.
I love James Spader’s performance. He plays off his 80’s John Hughes/Brat Pack acting of a kind of ass, but adding the heart of gold. The politics of the character also plays pretty much into my belief structure with precision. Combine that a character with a level of self loathing, arrogance, and a penchant for pissing off people with little to no effort, and let’s just say I relate to the character. All I need is a law degree and a Harvard education, and this might even be me. Also, I’d need my life scripted by David E. Kelley, but basically that’s it.
LOST this year has been consistently paying off. They may not have started with a plan (I highly doubt it), but they have mapped out the rest of the series. So far, I am very happy to see that they are going to stick to a plan. I prefer a storyline to fads. They used to react to fan discussions on their official website. How ridiculous!
Now we’re crewed up and ready to roll for the documentary shoot. I finished the non-fiction autobiography and we’ll be prepared for this. My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™ has all the ducks in a row, and I hired a cinematographer. We’re driving since SkyBus went out of business. I got my refund already, but that sucked.
Here’s something that happens a lot with online movies that are supposed to be “funny”. I’ve had some experience, albeit not as much as some, but more than others, so my opinion, not really an “expert” opinion is that shorter is better when it comes to funny videos on the Internet.
The empirical data clearly demonstrates this to be true. The videos that get the most views are the short ones. Generally under 2 minutes, rarely ever over 5 minute long clips get any kind of real play. The audience online has the shortest attention span in pop culture history.
What I see a lot of are either 20 minute epics that either aren’t funny, nor well made, and a ton of multi-part series that equate to about 30-40 minutes of material that would have been funny if it was 3-4 minutes of the only funny bits. Everyone thinks they are clever or funny, but only a handful really are. Those are the ones that are famous one way or another. I’m not one of those yet, but maybe I will be some day. I need to keep practicing and getting better.
I’m treading a fine line with my Uncle Pete series. Luckily, they are very short, as in under 2 minutes each or so. Total will be under 20 minutes, and I’m even considering dropping one of them entirely because it might be too similar to one that I already put out there. So far, I am disappointed in the numbers. I had well over 200,000 views for the TELEMARKETERS shorts, and I think the Uncle Pete series is vastly superior in a lot of ways. I may have already said this, but my hope will be that in time, these will catch on in a big way. I just don’t have the time I used to have to market and promote.
Well, another Uncle Pete will be coming out soon. I just have to edit it. I’m going to compile the outtakes into a “making of” and put that out too. In some ways, I’m looking most forward to. I’m still so busy with work. Commercials, industrial videos, documentaries, and other miscellaneous production work has me swamped. Luckily, I took the entire weekend off. I haven’t had a day off in a while. I’m rested and ready to tackle the week.
Peter John Ross
Hall of Fame