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Interesting Report from Blobfest

Alert regular Kenneth has sent us a report from this year’s Blobfest in Phoenixville, Pa.

This past Saturday, Matt McGinnis made an appearance at Blobfest in Phoenixville, PA. [Editor’s note: McGinnis is an associate producer and writer on the relaunch, but most fans may know him as “Matt Claude Van Damme,” the purple-jumpsuited fellow shown briefly in episode 1112- CARNIVAL MAGIC. Blobfest, held every year in Phoenixville, is a celebration of the original “Blob” movie, much of which was shot in and around that small village, especially at the now-lovingly-restored Colonial Theater there.]

He talked about how he got involved with the Relaunch, including a pretty good impression of Joel. When asked about Season 12, he couldn’t say very much beyond that it was now in post and that he thought it turned out very well. He also deflected a question re: the Purple Jumpsuit. One question he did address was about the riffing in Season 11. Specifically, it was about how there were a large number of jokes in the early episodes, with the amount easing back as the season went on. He said the reason for this was simply that the writers were worn out from writing such a large bunch of riffs for the early shows and had to cut back. Regarding the six-episode season, Matt didn’t dismiss the idea that this might mean a shorter wait for a 13th Season, though it was also said that the upcoming comic book and the live tour might make up for the lower number of shows.

After that, Matt sold autographed copies of his “Famous Blobs Throughout History” artwork, as well as “ashcan” preview copies of the first issue of the MST3K comic book. The latter only included the first few pages of the first issue, but there was enough there to show that it looks great and they handled the riffing well.

Later on, Matt was going to host a spook show, including a showing of “Daughter of Horror,” the movie that was supposedly showing at the Colonial in “The Blob.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to that showing, but maybe somebody else can report on it. I did get to see that afternoon’s double feature of “The Blob” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” the latter in old-fashioned 3-D. And there was some audience riffing of “The Blob,” like in the scene where one of the “teenagers” tries to warn a bartender about the monster:

BARTENDER: Anyway, we don’t serve kids here.
RIFF: But I’m 35!

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this.

Thanks Kenneth!

25 Replies to “Interesting Report from Blobfest”

  1. jay says:

    Cool report. I had never heard of the Blobfest. Of course, I had never heard of a purple jumpsuit either.

       4 likes

  2. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    I’d heard of Blobfest but never paid it much attention. Thanks for the report, interesting!

       4 likes

  3. Jason says:

    My Video Movie Guide 1999 describes Daughter of Horror as “The longest sixty minutes of your life.”

    FWIW

       3 likes

  4. Megalon says:

    Darn. I was really hoping this was going to be about someone else taking over the role of Tom Servo for Season 12.

       5 likes

  5. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Thanks for posting this! I appreciate it!

       1 likes

  6. Colossus Prime says:

    Megalon: Darn. I was really hoping this was going to be about someone else taking over the role of Tom Servo for Season 12.

    You were really hoping someone lost their job? Harsh.

       10 likes

  7. H says:

    Colossus Prime: You were really hoping someone lost their job?Harsh.

    More likely he wants to fire up the dot-matrix printer for another round of ‘I HATE TOM SERVO’S NEW VOICE!’

       13 likes

  8. “He said the reason for [cutting back on the fast paced riffing] was simply that the writers were worn out from writing such a large bunch of riffs for the early shows and had to cut back.”

    It wasn’t because they recognized that that too many lines spoiled the end product, just that they were suffering from sleep deprivation and couldn’t think of anything else to fill up every quiet moment. But in the future, with only a six show season, we presumably can count on everyone stepping on the movie and each other’s lines at an even more blistering pace!

    Woo!

       12 likes

  9. Dan in WI says:

    So he was wearing a purple jumpsuit. I never did a freeze frame or anything but the quick glimpse we saw in 1112 looked red to me. Shows how observant I was.

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    “He said the reason for [cutting back on the fast paced riffing] was simply that the writers were worn out from writing such a large bunch of riffs for the early shows and had to cut back.”

    It has been a running theory of mine that compressed writing schedule of the Netflix era might be having an effect on many things. Binge watching is one thing but binge writing, binge shooting, binge post production, etc… has to take a toll on quality. It certainly is different than the six day production cycle per episode of old. I guess this is cost of streaming progress.

       7 likes

  10. clonus says:

    Most of the Netflix shows that release in batches produce all the episodes at once – the fact that they only did six with no additional order is not encouraging. (Although the fact that the better riffing was due to exhaustion and not a creative decision is, well…)

       5 likes

  11. Colossus Prime: You were really hoping someone lost their job?Harsh.

    If MST3K was the only game in town for this new cast, I’d agree, but it’s not.

       3 likes

  12. Johnny Drama says:

    Haters gonna hate

       1 likes

  13. Kenneth Morgan says:

    clonus:
    Most of the Netflix shows that release in batches produce all the episodes at once – the fact that they only did six with no additional order is not encouraging. (Although the fact that the better riffing was due to exhaustion and not a creative decision is, well…)

    Unless I’m very much mistaken, this is not like Season 7. The decision to go with a six episodes was made by Joel and the production team, not Netflix.

       2 likes

  14. Dan in WI:
    It has been a running theory of mine that compressed writing schedule of the Netflix era might be having an effect on many things. Binge watching is one thing but binge writing, binge shooting, binge post production, etc… has to take a toll on quality. It certainly is different than the six day production cycle per episode of old. I guess this is cost of streaming progress.

    Not really, Amazon and HuluPlus have managed to release weekly episodes of their big series–
    Just a matter of whether producing entire bulk seasons or half-seasons at once because “It’s Netflix, everyone binges!” was Reed “Netflix-Killer” Hastings’ idea, or Joel’s trying too hard to live up to That Netflix The Young People Are Watching Now That We Don’t Have Cable Anymore.

    The strain of 14-episode “binge-writing” definitely showed on the end of S11, to the point I’m asking whether we can get At the Earth’s Core and Christmas That Almost Wasn’t done over again with real riffing this time.

       3 likes

  15. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    The thing with that Blob scene that always stood out to me was that giant “AIR CONDITIONED” sign. WHOOP DE DO!

    It’s weird he totally deflected the cameo because he said to me on Twitter simply that it was the appearance and things like Gypsy’s payloads that are hush hush but will someday be revealed. Maybe it was a way to shut down the question without being rude, I don’t know. But he’s a hell of a nice guy anyways. Another guy in a purple jumpsuit.

       0 likes

  16. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    clonus:
    Most of the Netflix shows that release in batches produce all the episodes at once – the fact that they only did six with no additional order is not encouraging. (Although the fact that the better riffing was due to exhaustion and not a creative decision is, well…)

    Joel’s call to do it. Less production lull in between etc etc I believe,

       0 likes

  17. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    The Original EricJ: Not really, Amazon and HuluPlus have managed to release weekly episodes of their big series–
    Just a matter of whether producing entire bulk seasons or half-seasons at once because “It’s Netflix, everyone binges!” was Reed “Netflix-Killer” Hastings’ idea, or Joel’s trying too hard to live up to That Netflix The Young People Are Watching Now That We Don’t Have Cable Anymore.

    The strain of 14-episode “binge-writing” definitely showed on the end of S11, to the point I’m asking whether we can get At the Earth’s Core and Christmas That Almost Wasn’t done over again with real riffing this time.

    Hey isn’t that why Joel’s doing 6 episodes at a time now? So they don’t wear out? Because I myself was having MST wear from binging.

       0 likes

  18. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    Megalon:
    Darn. I was really hoping this was going to be about someone else taking over the role of Tom Servo for Season 12.

    Awww come on man, give him some love. He’s probably grown more into it now. Matter of fact I was watching Village of The Giants on PlutoTV’s MST3K Channel last night. (I never thought I would be able to say I was watching an MST3k channel! On top of that, a Rifftrax channel! (Thank you dystopian internet tethered society!)
    I really could not believe how awkward Mike was in this early episode of his. Even his posture in the theater looks weird, like he sat on a pile of LEGOs. His voice was low almost like he was too shy. To the point when he was supposed to yell it sounded like someone was asleep in the room and he didn’t want to wake them. And the SOL deck was still 100 percent Joel. Now seeing the SOL midseason 6 to Sci-FI era with Mike is still kinda odd.

       1 likes

  19. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs!:
    The thing with that Blob scene that always stood out to me was that giant “AIR CONDITIONED” sign. WHOOP DE DO!

    It’s weird he totally deflected the cameo because he said to me on Twitter simply that it was the appearance and things like Gypsy’s payloads that are hush hush but will someday be revealed. Maybe it was a way to shut down the question without being rude, I don’t know. But he’s a hell of a nice guy anyways. Another guy in a purple jumpsuit.

    By “deflected”, I meant that he was asked and replied that he really couldn’t discuss it. There was nothing harsh about it; he was gracious throughout.
    And, believe me, when it’s sunny and around 90 degrees, that AIR-CONDITIONED sign is most welcome.

       1 likes

  20. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    Kenneth Morgan: By “deflected”, I meant that he was asked and replied that he really couldn’t discuss it.There was nothing harsh about it; he was gracious throughout.
    And, believe me, when it’s sunny and around 90 degrees, that AIR-CONDITIONED sign is most welcome.

    Oh I totally didn’t mean it was harsh, just thought he could have said “all in due time possibly” or something.

       0 likes

  21. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Kenneth Morgan: Unless I’m very much mistaken, this is not like Season 7.The decision to go with a six episodes was made by Joel and the production team, not Netflix.

    Could you provide a source for that? Because I’ve seen it a lot around online, but I’ve read and re-read Joel’s Kickstarter updates, and nowhere does he say it was his decision to make six episodes. There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of a shorter season, and a statement that “Netflix hasn’t forced us to change anything about MST3K, or make creative concessions”, but there’s no statement that the six episode season was Joel’s idea, or that Netflix ordered more than six episodes but that’s all MST3K wanted to make.

       0 likes

  22. Kenneth Morgan says:

    MonkeyPretzel: Could you provide a source for that? Because I’ve seen it a lot around online, but I’ve read and re-read Joel’s Kickstarter updates, and nowhere does he say it was his decision to make six episodes. There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of a shorter season, and a statement that “Netflix hasn’t forced us to change anything about MST3K, or make creative concessions”, but there’s no statement that the six episode season was Joel’s idea, or that Netflix ordered more than six episodes but that’s all MST3K wanted to make.

    Here’s part of the Kickstarter update from June 1st:
    The next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be SIX EPISODES long, and written to encourage binge viewing!

    And you know, the other nice thing about this plan is that, by focusing on just six episodes this time around, we’re able to get them written, shot and edited a lot faster! That hopefully also means we’ll be able to show them to you a lot sooner, so that you don’t have to wait as long for your next “fix” of Mystery Science Theater.

    On a creative level, it’s a much more fun way to work. And I hope that shows in the new season. Truth be told, as much as I loved making 14 feature-length episodes of MST3K, it’s hard sometimes to get your arms around that much content all at once. So, this season allowed us to focus more, and have a better sense of the whole picture.
    The full update may be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/bringbackmst3k/posts/2202923

    I’d say the tone of this release shows that the decision was made by the production team, and not forced on them by Netflix. If anyone can find a further quote re: this, please post it.

       0 likes

  23. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Kenneth Morgan: Here’s part of the Kickstarter update from June 1st:
    The next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be SIX EPISODES long, and written to encourage binge viewing!


    And you know, the other nice thing about this plan is that, by focusing on just six episodes this time around, we’re able to get them written, shot and edited a lot faster! That hopefully also means we’ll be able to show them to you a lot sooner, so that you don’t have to wait as long for your next “fix” of Mystery Science Theater.

    On a creative level, it’s a much more fun way to work. And I hope that shows in the new season. Truth be told, as much as I loved making 14 feature-length episodes of MST3K, it’s hard sometimes to get your arms around that much content all at once. So, this season allowed us to focus more, and have a better sense of the whole picture.
    The full update may be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/bringbackmst3k/posts/2202923

    I’d say the tone of this release shows that the decision was made by the production team, and not forced on them by Netflix.If anyone can find a further quote re: this, please post it.

    So you skipped the part where I said I already read the updates and Joel doesn’t actually say he made the decision to have six episodes himself?

    Because he doesn’t.

    I’ll grant you that the spin, er, tone of this update and the others implies the conclusion you and other fans have reached, but it’s not proof.

       1 likes

  24. Kenneth Morgan says:

    MonkeyPretzel: So you skipped the part where I said I already read the updates and Joel doesn’t actually say he made the decision to have six episodes himself?

    Because he doesn’t.

    I’ll grant you that the spin, er, tone of this update and the others implies the conclusion you and other fans have reached, but it’s not proof.

    I’m not out to cause any fights. I’m just calling it as I see it. If you know something different, I’m more than wiling to listen. And I always allow for the possibility that I’m incorrect.

       0 likes

  25. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    BARTENDER: Anyway, we don’t serve kids here.
    RIFF: But I’m 35!

    riff: No, he means as menu items.

       1 likes

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