Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Idiot Box conflictions

So I mentioned in the Twitter announcement video that I was feeling rather conflicted with the GMod Idiot Box series as of late and of course, I didn't want to add several more minutes to a short announcement video explaining them, so the blog was the perfect place to do it. Without any further intro needed on that, let's get into it.

One big reason I've been conflicted about the series, is that it takes a hell of a long time and effort to make a skit based video, moreso than a lot of people would realize. The GMod Idiot Box, for the most part, is a mashup of improv with no writing or much planning. All I have to go on is a large list of ideas I have a good feeling about, and many of them have required custom made content from my resource guys. Again, with a lot of the series being improv, I can only inform my resource people of what I need from them at the last minute, which means many skits wind up being on hold until I get that custom content from them. It's not like Computer Quest or Update Day, where I had everything laid out and I could inform my resource guys what I needed before the video has even started production.

A smaller issue with the skit based series is trying to keep it at a varied tone. There have been previous episode where there were too many long skits in them, making a 10 minute episode seem shorter than it should have been and ever since then, I've been trying to vary the skit length and themes to balance it out. Trust me when I say, that's not easy. There have been times when I had a lot of fantastic TF2 skit ideas or a lot of skits that involved longer length to them, but knew I couldn't put too many TF2 skits back to back and had to have short burst chuckles in between the longer buildup skits. It's a weight that tends to put too much concern in a video series I started out just planning to have fun with, and a lot of skits turn out being unused as a result.

Earlier I mentioned it takes a long time to make these episodes, which I hoped to remedy by stepping outside the "box" mentality and releasing each individual skit as it's own video. This would allow me to bring forth much more frequent updates and they would be easier to make. However, there's always pros and cons to long videos and making shorts. Though the Idiot Box takes a LOT longer to make, each episode is a lot more watchable than individual shorts for two reasons. The first being, some skits may not be as funny, but then others will be, and repeat watches are still possible on that one video, where as an individual skit as it's own video may not be as funny at all, and repeat watching is less likely. The other reason is because, I can fit some short "jab" skits in that range from only 1 - 5 seconds long in between skits that are fun to do. I highly doubt a subscriber would appreciate seeing a 2 second video in their sub box, complete with infamous YouTube cutoff.

Finally, you guessed it ... audience pressure. It becomes pretty tiresome being asked daily when the next episode will be, both on YouTube or when I'm just playing a game. Many are patient about it's release, but others have gotten pretty mean spirited about it as well, which takes a lot of the fun out of making the episodes, which, again, I set out to have in the first place when making these.

When I thought about ending the series, aside from making individual shorts for more frequent updates, I thought about starting a sort of multi-part murder mystery sort of series, not only because I'm a sucker for a good murder mystery, but I hoped to possibly encourage other GMod Machinima makers to try their hand at something that was more thought provoking than random craziness. This of course, would take more effort than ever before and though it may not be happening in the near future, I'd certainly like to take a shot at it once I get good at 3D animation and texture work. However, to abandon the staple series that formed the very audience I'm writing this blog post to now, in order to dramatically shift the tone of my content sounds more and more like a dick move. Hell, some people are fortunate enough to even HAVE an audience on YouTube, so it feels stupid to suddenly turn your back on it. The continuation of the GMod Idiot Box series is still one to think about, but I thought the explanation had to be made on why I'm thinking about such a thing to begin with.


  1. Those do make for compelling and equally conflicting arguments for continuing the series. But minus the audience, you should be focusing much more on what's most important. And naturally that would be what YOU want to do with the series rather than being poked a prodded by fanatics.

    Thankfully I'm one of the more lax members of the audience who you haven't heard from before, therefore I've never made ill-spirited comments for you to keep pushing ahead with the Idiot Box. And this comment may receive some hate from those specific people, but I'm still going to say it. If you think it best, it still would not matter if you decided to wrap-up the series and eventually end it. Of course, you could probably release some new skit episodes should the motivation strike you one day. But I'm also interested in this murder mystery that you have planning out on the back burner.

    Make videos for yourself, not just to please the fans. If you do continue accruing subscribers, that's great! But that's because they're following you because of your amazing work in directing videos, not just because you can make slap-stick comedy for their amusement. You are who you choose to be!

  2. Cheers mate, I was lucky to find you and your series pretty early on. Watching your videos is a great way to relieve the stress of a hard day's work, somehow it seems like the characters in your videos are straight out of the customers I deal with on a daily basis.

    Best of luck with what ever you choose to run with, I know I'll stick around till they take you or me to the loony bin.
    -Random dude

  3. Hey, murders are good too! Well, erm, you know what I mean.

    It's sad to hear that people are putting so much pressure on you and are in fact mean spirited (can only guess about you were thinking when you wrote that). The fools that believe you make videos only for their pleasure, a pile of ignorant and dimwitted that surround us every day.

    Comes with being a star. You'll soon have stalkers follow you home and paparazzi on your doorstep.

    Whatever you decide, many of the followers would be right behind you (at least the sensible ones).


  4. Murder mystery..Hmm very good Idea. having a group of people in one room with odd people and then suddenly a Murder either it be Random stabbing, poison or my Fav Locked Room. Then make it so like End with The episode showing clues, talking to the people and then have a week wait before revealing the Killer. Or just make it all one go with a Sherlock Homes sorta deal some guy solving the case. xD

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  6. Your series are awesome! :D
    Seriously. You're a great director, operator and scenarist! I think if someone ask you to film a comedy - it will be EPIC FILM of ALL THE THIME! :DD

    I tried to film a video in garry's mod, but it's very hard, so this video is in my "Finish this later" list. He is 100% right, people. Don't be mad on him. He's a good boy (I guess) :DD

    (previous post was with some mistakes, so I deleted it, lol :DD)

  7. If someone else all ready said this, by all means, delete it.

    The thought of you stopping the Gmod Idiot Box series to start something that seems more fun and laid out, sounds great. My idea is, you SHOULD make your murder mystery and stop the Idiot Box series production for some time. Then, when people are getting tired of plain old Youtube again, BAM! You come out with an other Idiot Box. Just lay off the Idiot Box series for a while

  8. Also, why did Youtube block Idiot Box: Episode 2?

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  10. I hope you enjoy doing the series.
    If you do something you don't enjoy and others don't as well, your going to feel like an ass

  11. I think you answered your own questions of what to do.

    A scripted video. I could evolve into a series. I could be a stand alone. One of your very best vids was the Halloween Special. THAT took planning and I'm sure a deal of effort. But look at the result! Surely you are very proud of it. Improv does not allow you to spread your creative wings by much, at least not in videos. I make live action shorts with friends and it's a nightmare to film an idea that is both funny-throughout production time-and everyone can get behind.

    It's like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. I know. Do what is clearly calling you.

  12. Great post, thanks for giving us a look inside that crazy head of yours!
    I've watched each episode of the idiot box multiple times, I love that series. But I know (or at least half-know) what you mean when you say it's a lot of work. I do quite a bit of improv irl and that takes enough time! When I imagine trying to do improv but starting from complete scratch (no people, no costumes, no WORLD even) it gives me the shudders to think how long it would take!
    You have to do what YOU are happy doing. Yes I love the Idiot Box, it makes me laugh after a long day of work - BUT no matter what kind of video you make, I'll watch it. You're a talented director/producer/creator/other titles. Your murder mystery has peaked my interest, I also love a good puzzle to solve!

    Anyway, do want you want and the quality will speak for itself. You'll always do a better job on something you're happy to do than something you're dreading making...plus you'll be a much happier person while working on it I'm sure!
    Keep up the good work, I'm always PATIENTLY but excitedly waiting for your next video to pop up on my subscription list!

  13. Why not just drop everything and start on something absolutely new, and focus hard on it, finish it, then come back later to GIB and that Murder Mystery thing?

    That's what I usually do.

  14. As a writer myself (though I don't publish my stuff on the internet anymore and have since changed my information), I understand where you're coming from. With that said, you don't need to feel pressured to live up to your audiences expectations. The foiling of those expectations can be as much in your favor as to living up to them; this is the essence of comedy, after all. If you played with the same sort of comedy, the same setup and structure, then eventually enjoyment for your work would dwindle.

    If you are a harsh critic of your own work (and I am guessing that you are), then just do what feels right to you. If most of the good gags you can come up with are on or are alluding to Team Fortress, then that would be perfectly fine by me. So long as there is not much "traveling time" then your audience probably isn't going to get bored.

    As for your murder mystery idea... I'm all for suspense videos using Gmod after seeing that last Civil Protection video. "Murder mystery?" Maybe. They've just been made, remade, parodied, and reparodied so many times that it's a dead joke (no pun intended). But if you make a suspense, horror, and blend that with your same humor (as in the Trick of Treat video)? Then THAT I could definitely look forward to: a blend of the gambit between comedy and horror. But, then again, if you went full murder mystery drama or what-have-you, then that would just blend in with so much else.

  15. What you do is your choice. In know I'll be behind you, every step of the way. You've got Amazing Talent. The suggestions people are making are good. Finish Episode Ten, than take a break from the Gmod Idiot Box, and work on that Mystery series you want to start up. It'd be a change, and hopefully a good one. Than, after a while, work on The Gmod Idiot Box more until you want to switch back to the Murder series. Than just keep on switching. Good luck with everything, from videos... To life! See you soon!

  16. Maybe you can surprise people with more skit episodes down the road but "officially" retire the series? I agree with your points about why the longer episodes appeal to people. I do like the idea of getting more frequent video releases from you too. Basically, I am happy to get anything.

    And even if you DO decide to stop making Idiot Box, the dim-bulbs aren't just going to stop bugging you. I would place money on people continuing to send messages to you no matter what you say. People don't seem to like to read. Or pay attention. I can see the appeal of being able to say "never" when they ask "when?".

    Simply, I love your sense of humor. I love watching what you come up with. No matter what, I hope you keep putting something out when you have your ideas. Take it easy, Das Bo!

  17. As a long-time fan of the Box series, I would be rather saddened to see it go. However, what's ultimately important here is that you do what is enjoyable for you. I mean, really, I would hope you started creating the Box videos because it was fun for you, not because of hope of fame and nagging gamers with nothing better to do than harass you. The real fans will stick by you and wait patiently for a new episode; if one doesn't come along, oh well. We've got a ton of material already to re-watch... it's more than some creators ever offered up.

  18. I believe that the GMod Idiot Box is a great series, but I can definitely see what you mean with all of the roadblocks and honestly, I'm surprised that the series has lasted this longdue to the fact of all of the time it takes to make. I was honestly surprised when I saw GMod Idiot Box 9 be released not all too far after the 8th one because I usually give about 7-13 months per episode of it knowing how much time and effort you put into each episode. And about the people who harass you for new videos, my advice is don't listen to them. You have a hell of a lot more loyal fans out there then them and your loyal fans will stick with you and follow you if you do something different. A murder mystery is something fresh on YouTube and that is what YouTube needs. So go for what you want to do and your fans will support you fully!

  19. yeah i could see you doing a murder mystery just one thing i do not see how you could make a good mystery with gmod oh and if you realy like murder mysteries you should play and then there were none it is a very good mystery story

  20. Honestly, I think if it's not fun for you anymore or that it's having the fun sucked out of it stop it. It was a good run. I think you could try other things and make them just as "das bo schitty" like you always do :]

  21. Thanks for the posting.there is something very unique and enjoyable about.
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  22. Idiot box has had a nice long run. Come back to it when (if) you feel the "zany" muse strike. Don't feel guilty about "abandoning the audience". Film makers of all sorts (especially directors) change course in their careers all the time. Remember, most of us are subscribed to you because you impressed the hell out of us with the way your videos have increased in technical skill and storytelling. Okay, yes, you also made us laugh our asses off. But don't think that forms some sort of "contract" with the audience that you have to live up to. If Kitty0706 can try new stuff, why can't you?

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  24. If you do something that you are not interested to do, then don't do it. Most likely is that you will put in less effort and passion in that work. If others don't like it, that's their business because they are stuck in their stuck up and ignorant world. If you put effort and perseverance into something that you like, it will be most likely that we will like it too.

    GMOD Idiot Box was great, but surely you and I know that there are many other kinds of GMOD videos that can be made. Of course stuck up kids would go like "OMG YOU BETTER START MAKING GMOD IDIOT BOX OR I'LL UNSUBSCRIBE! AND I'LL ASK ALL MY FRIENDS TO UNSUBSCRIBE TOO!" but you shouldn't entertain them. This is your hobby, not your job so you do not have any obligations to do anything.

    If we are your loyal fans, then we will watch whatever you have in stall for us. Like a murder mystery, It's a great idea and I'll definitely watch it so go all out on whatever you want to do man!

    Who knows, you just might start a new trend of GMOD murder mystery videos on youtube!

  25. Well, I'm a bit late to reply, but I think you'll agree that doing the same thing over and over will get stale not just for you but for your audience. I mean, you wouldn't be the only person on youtube to end a well know series.
    Microwave this? and Backyard FX have or already have ended, but their fans (Their true fans) are still there. And they all say that they will return and do their old show every once in a while, but they have moved on to bigger and better things.
    I think it's time that you jump on the same boat their on. Because you have one hell of an idea, man.

  26. Just keep it easy... My only worry is this:

    Gmod Idiot Box episode 10!


    10 minutes later..... *tears running down face from laughter* 4 minutes later.... *dead face down on keyboard from lack of air with a huge smile on face*

    Thats my only TRUE worry. I know I had tears from watching a Gmod Idiot Box before, but I don't remember which... I have bad memory. :/


  28. Good day complete stranger, you know, two years ago I saw your Gmod Idiot Box video, while I was pirating Batman Beyond episodes, & thought to myself, "What am I doing with my life!?" Then I briefly thought, "Well this guy is pretty funny."
    Why am I telling you this? Because I felt like it. Sound familiar? That's because it was the question you asked yourself once you put up your first Gmod Idiot Box video onto YouTube.
    I know from experience that entertainment is not something that's mass produced like a Big Mac, & is half as nutritious.
    My point is that you made a funny Internet video & then you made 8 more. People took time away from getting high & bitching about "furry rights," to look up something funny & they found you funny.
    If those same people are going to come up to you & demand more, just leave it alone like a Left 4 Dead witch that you can't see.
    As I wise man once said, "Fans are clingy, complaining dipshits that will never, ever be grateful for any conception you make. The moment you drown out their shrill, tremulous voices, the happier you'll be for it."
    Good day, complete stranger & remember, I'm an expert

  29. hey your idiot box really nice and funny.
    continue your episodes, but take time no need rush for it. we waiting it

  30. I play ROBLOX! as BananaheadLabs in ROBLOX, a crazy online hangout

  31. This is pretty damn late to the party, but here goes.

    I cant say that I'm an expert, and I cant say that I know how you feel. I CAN however say that you do have many fans that want more, and if you've got the time, and the drive, then please, make us laugh. But if you need to do something else, then please, put the Idiot Box on ice until you can make it work. I for one want to see the best you have to offer. And if that doesn't manifest in the Idiot Box, than I'll just have say goodbye to it, and wait eagerly for whatever else you have to show us. Your eager audience, awaits your next move. Live long, and prosper, DasBoSchitt.

  32. Hi....,
    Very well explained. I would like to say that it is very interesting to read your blog.

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  34. I must say, good Sir, that I had a feeling that this was the situation you were in, even in earlier entries into the Idiot Box series. While I must say I have proved to be a procrastinator in subscribing to your channel and such, I have kept an eye on your productions and the general comments of people to them, so I am aware of your situation. One does not usually start up a project like this without a reasoning behind it, one usually being because it seems like a fun idea to play with, and be a general way to throw caution to the wind, one could say, and go crazy; to let one's imagination run free with no restrictions.

    I'm thankfully one of the more patient ones - after all, I'm all for waiting even a year for something new, as I've done so before and it not be a game, either - and personally think that promoting giving you your space and freedom of time will help you make your works more worthwhile, both for views to watch, and for you to feel proud with creating it in the first place. If you were to rush any of your projects, then the results would be sub-par, and I'm sure you wouldn't like the results and wish you spent more time on the project. To use a good example, research papers for a high school or college class: you wouldn't try to write a paper on a subject you knew nothing about, and if you're given a large sum of time, you would want to take advantage of it, do your research and learn, then spend the rest of that sum of time being articulate with your wording and knowledge, making the paper worth the time invested in it and an accurate reflection of your dedication to doing something with nothing less than your best effort. On the flip-side, one who puts the paper off until the last minute will hastily write up a paper with whatever information they can get their hands on, and feel bad when the turn in their paper, wishing they had spent more time on researching and writing the paper rather than putting it off.

    This is the same in a project like this, even if it's just for fun - you can have fun with it all you want, but if you aren't even enjoying the results you come up with, then you will feel like you merely wasted your time doing something that you could have done better. That's why, whether or not you do end this series, I won't think ill of you because of it - this is YOUR series, and YOU decide what you want to happen to it. This is your bucket of fun, after all, so you should be the one to decide when you should take a break or when you should set it aside for another day or archive it, to not continue it but still have it there to look back for any possible future ideas they can present.

    As a fan of mystery myself, this idea you're currently playing around with in your mind intrigues me greatly, and should you ever decide to go for it, I would gladly enjoy seeing the results. Even if you abandon the idea in the end, the fact that you're willing to show diversity and are not focusing on just one genre or field of entertainment (or in this case, fun) shows promise to your audience, and gives you yet more ideas to play around with.

    In the end, good Sir, I hope that whatever happens, you are happy with your decision and whatever your endeavors may be. This is your bucket of fun, not mine or another person's - don't forget that. If a few people want to throw a tantrum like a five-year-old not getting their way, then that is not your problem and you shouldn't cater to just them. If people want to bother you about 'when the next episode will be out' or anything similar to it, tell them to be patient and be on your way.
    After all, good things come to those who wait.

    With best wishes and considering this a triumph by making a note stating this a huge success,
    ~'Naru Itimagi' a.k.a. Alex Taylor

  35. I just finished watching 10 and I am so happy to see you will continue it in some capacity. Your humor and style in your videos is something I really enjoy.

    Thank you :)

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  37. 10 was fantastic! I know I said this further up but, DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE FANATICS! Do what you want. The vast majority of us do NOT think you "owe" us ANYTHING. The fact is, we are eternally grateful for all the time you put into these productions and if anyone "owes" anyone, it should be us to you.

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