Fanficisode: Best riff submission for Co-Directorship

As @ansible suggested, this thread is for the group to decide who the Co-Directors will be. These people will be the ones that make the decisions on what stays and what goes. I’d like to find a way we can work @mywy 's medal system into this as well, but I do think some people should be charged with breaking ties and such. So, let’s discuss on the outline for how this will look and submit your best riff on the nightmare fueled world of The Incredible Petrified World.


The two riffs I’m most proud of at the moment come from segment 2b (and while I’m mainly picturing Jonah as host, these both totally feel like Mike lines to me):

In the cave, as they’re eating fish, Lauri says: “When we leave here, what do we eat then?
and Crow responds: Paul, you’ve got a pretty open schedule this afternoon.

And when Wilson is trying to convince Wyman and the Captain of what he saw on the radar screen, he says: “I saw two of the same masses move practically the same as they did before.” and Tom responds (as Wilson): I believe one of them was the Celebration of the Eucharist and the other was the Blessing of the Faithful, sir!


I don’t know what my best riff is, and am still catching up on writing them. I’ve been avoiding looking at others until I finish a section, then going back and reading everyones in general, see where we were all on the same page, where it was different, so on. Honestly I think if we’re looking at this as a collaboration we should all at least scan some of them.

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Yeah, no worries. I don’t think there is currently a time limit on this first one. I also don’t think we should drag it out either as that will cause some to lose interest as well. At some point, someone needs to take charge and start setting deadlines to get submissions in for the various aspects of the final product.

My thoughts:

  • No one should be able to start riffing the movie after July 31.
  • Riffing on the movie should be closed by Aug 14
  • Submission for co-directorship should be submitted by Aug 21
  • I think there should be 3 co-director spots and they should encompass a wide range of comedic ability including absurdist, observational, and obscure humor amongst others.
  • I think everyone should take the month of September and rate the riffs in the tiered system @MyWy suggested
  • Things the co-Directors should be responsible for:
    Riff selection tie-breakers
    Selecting the invention exchange
    Selecting the host segments that most align with the movie
    Selecting the stinger
    *I think all this should be wrapped up by the end of October…any longer than that and I fear you may have a lot of waning interest. This one doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be done as a POC and to get our feet wet with the process.

I’m down with everything you just said.

I do like that people can submit for the co-directorship, but maybe as a whole. Then voters can look over their overall submissions when considering voting. Someone could pick one great gag of theirs that’s perfect in tone, then all of their other gags could be way off the mark (mean, inappropriate, whatever). I haven’t seen that yet, but we’re still writing.

While riffing closes on the 14th, maybe that’s when people begin submitting ideas for a second movie, week of voting, set up a riff doc or test any new programs, etc. Then once this first one is done, there’s some ground work already in place. Plus it gives those not in the post positions a chance to keep doing the part they’re on board for, since not everyone want to dive in as deep.

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I was going to review “riff density” on Friday and suggest something, but Aug. 14 works. I wouldn’t want it to go much longer.

That’s a long time, but it’s cool if we are also rating riffs simultaneously.

Sure. I don’t think this position is that important, as they should just be distilling the votes into a semi-final script. Their judgement will be needed for sticky questions (like a long gold-medal comment competing with two silver-medal comments that cover more ground), and dealing with running gags (which may only work if all segments are included).

I nominate @Ansible (obviously) and @DeepHurting (who I trust to keep the MST 3000 tone).

The month of Sept.? That seems too long to me. How about cut off after Monday, Sept. 6? That’s three weekends.

As a separate step, we might also need a team to produce a SRT from the script.

No reason why not. We should review the process and plan for next movie. We played it super loose this time, but I think a clear timeline from the onset would be better for everyone involved.

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While I appreciate the nod, I don’t think I should get “automatic status” just because I came up with the idea. It should be a meritocracy. That’s why in my original idea, I imagined there’d be one “Executive Producer” that’s in charge of the whole thing, and a “Writer’s Room” of an even number of Writers. The writers “should” be able to come up with a majority decision most of the time, but if they can’t for some reason, then and only then would the “Executive Producer” step in and make the deciding vote. At least, that’s how I envisioned it working, and how my software will eventually work (when I get around to finishing it).

But, this is your project for now, I’m kinda busy so I can’t steer this ship. Y’all decide how you want to do it. If you want to include me in it, I’ll be happy to help, but only if I’m “voted in” via democratic vote.


I forgot to say I’ll “nominate” myself, basically willing to put in the work on a fun project at any stage needed. But if I’m not voted in I can work on some of the production elements for recoding this. Unless there are any objections, I know I can get a team together to produce this for the grand price of a few beers and being able to do this. One even suggested our Baltimore team be designated Deep 42, if again no objections. We have all of the AV gear, green screen, insulated recording space, etc. But that’s a month or so off.


I think this works good as an overall schedule, but we can overlap a couple of the steps to keep things flowing and give us an extra week or two on the back end to polish our draft script. I’d suggest the following:

July 31 - Cut off for new riffers being given access to the spreadsheet.

August 14th - Cut-off for riff writing. The spreadsheet will revert to view-only for those that have the link.

August 15th - Cut-off for submitting your example riffs for co-directorship. (since you can’t write new riffs after the 14th, we might as well bump this forward to the next day, since by that point you’ve either written something you feel is worthy of consideration or you haven’t)

August 16th - August 21st - selection of co-directors (as we only have a handful of writers, I suspect this won’t take too long, and it can run concurrently with riff voting)

August 21st - September 4th - Open voting to rate the riffs using @MyWy’s tier system. (Note: This can actually begin as early as August 16th depending on how quickly it takes to get the spreadsheet formatted and set up for voting.) I’d recommend we aim for approximately 2 weeks of voting since it shouldn’t take anywhere near as long to read through the script as it did to write it, and if you give people too much time they may push it off and then forget about it. Obviously, if it looks like we aren’t getting enough people voting, we can always extend the voting period.

September 4th…ish - September 18th…ish - Riff voting closes down, and our newly elected co-directors take care of co-direction stuff, deciding what riffs, host segments, invention exchanges, etc. are going to make the cut and release a rough draft of the “script.” This script is basically just a read-only version of @MyWy’s spreadsheet with all the “keeper” riffs consolidated into columns based on who they’re assigned to (Tom, Crow, Host, and All) with the text merged into cells by approximately how long we think they’ll need to be up on screen. In-between these, depending on the riff density, the co-directors may choose to mark out new “free” brackets of time, where it feels like additional riffs need to be dropped in.

September 18th…ish to September 30th…ish – Draft script polish and fill. Once the co-directors release the draft script, they’ll ask for feedback and suggestions from the group on areas of the script that they feel need to be shored up. This may include some work on refining sketches, but I suspect it will mostly involve trying to brainstorm material that can fit those pesky little pockets of dead air where we don’t have a solid riff.
I don’t think we’d need to open up the spreadsheet again for freestyle editing, just have the co-directors post directly in the group saying “hey guys, these are the timecodes where we haven’t been able to come up with anything funny to say, and we’re looking for suggestions for things we can potentially make jokes about, that can be said in the space of about 3 seconds.” I’m hoping that even if every single one of our writers initially blanked on something funny to say during this bit, someone else might have an observation that jump-starts a joke none of us thought to make (ex: Hey, did anybody realize that Wilson, the sonar operator guy is also the same actor who played Heathcliff in Wild World of Batwoman, and that the actress who plays Dale is best known for playing Lois Lane in the 1950’s Superman series? Can we run with that?)

No time at all. In fact, I am assuming a switch from “editor” mode to “commenter” mode so I only have to do it once, which effectively opens the riffs for voting immediately. So, midnight EDT on Aug. 14?

Let’s call it the Olympic medal voting method. More universal appeal.

You changed the spreadhseet column width and font size, but for everyone else those were set to approximate the length of the riff, when combined with wrap and cell merge. Of course, the co-directors will want to do a read-through to check.

No! Well, not me. Is it his voice, too? LOL

Yes, at least a couple people. I didn’t manage to work it into the riffs, though, I felt it was too obscure, and couldn’t come up with a riff (yet) that also worked without that knowledge.

I’ll throw my hat in with this:
At 1:01:06. As Jim offers Paul coffee after he passed out mid dive from lack of air.

Riff: “By this time, my lungs were aching for Starbucks.”

It’s a callback to the Lloyd Bridges Sealab line “By this time, my lungs were aching for air,” used in multiple MST3K episodes, with variations ("…aching for booze" was used, for example, in Angels Revenge).


Is that what DeepHurting is recommending? So the poll page will have the name and the riff, and people can vote on the riff if they want?

I guess so, anyway, from this:

It would be just as easy to add a poll with every writer listed and ask that we pick three. I want to force @Ansible into the role, democratically, of course. :wink:


I have been going with the premise that Ingol is a huge Lois Lane fan. Not so much a fan of Phyllis Coates. He likes her because she played Lois, but she is not his favorite Lois Lane. Also a bit of a reference to Invasion USA that had two actresses who played Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates and Noel Neill).

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I also put in a sequence during the montage that could very well be something that was already done on the show and I just don’t remember.

Shoot, wasn’t paying attention to which thread this is. Should of posted in the main riffing one.

The old
@griff17matt brought up a good point. For the medal voting system, I was originally thinking of no vote = default = no medal. But this assumes that every voter votes on every riff.

:1st_place_medal: :1st_place_medal: is better than :1st_place_medal:

The New
Griff17matt mentioned that bronze = meh. That wasn’t my intent, but I think that’s got to be the way we do it, if the voting is going to be resilient enough to handle voters covering only part of the riffs.

In this method, :1st_place_medal::1st_place_medal: is the same as :1st_place_medal: (though preference would probably be given to the one with more votes.)

The above example needs to change to: :1st_place_medal::1st_place_medal: is better than :1st_place_medal::3rd_place_medal: (no “default” vote, only explicit voting)

Or, we add a no-medal option (X) for riffs we find distasteful, confusing, or offensive. A down-vote for negative emotions.

:1st_place_medal: is better than :1st_place_medal::x:

But these are not going to be secret. Or we make it secret - each person makes their own copy of the sheet before voting, then returns it to the co-director team.

Which methods are acceptable to you?

  • Gold, silver, and bronze (public vote)
  • Gold, silver, and bronze (private vote)
  • Gold, silver, bronze, and no medal (public vote)
  • Gold, silver, bronze, and no medal (private vote)

0 voters

My opinion is that if anybody reviewing the riffs comes across a joke that they actually find OFFENSIVE, they should feel free to report it in private to the Co-Director(s). It shouldn’t require any sort of vote, especially if the voting is going to be public.

I don’t think we really need a down-vote. If something isn’t funny, or is a reference that you didn’t get, just leave that one blank and move on to the next joke. The lack of positive votes will speak for themselves.

I prefer having the Gold/Silver/Bronze and no medal, but there should probably be some sort of key up at the top that clearly states what they mean, whatever we end up doing.

Gold = Great joke! Pure laugh out loud comedy gold! Worthy of MST3K at it’s best!

Silver = Good joke. Made me chuckle and feels like something that would belong on the show.

Bronze = A serviceable joke. Made me smile. Good enough to fill time.

Blank = No reaction. Moving on…


Well said. So forget the downvote :x: and stick with the no medal :neutral_face: As long as it’s an explicit no medal, and not implied by no vote, it’ll keep the voting easy and resilient.

Too bad these don’t go into Google sheets: :neutral_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :joy:

Is there, or should there, be a way to denote that we think the joke has legs but could use some work? Like, there may be several bronze medal riffs that could be gold medal riffs if worked through a bit more. Could there be a way to note that? I don’t know enough about what we can or can’t put into the Google sheets doc.

For sure. Since the vote is a comment on a spreadsheet cell, you can add whatever notes you want for the Co-directorship. I’m not sure if you saw my example in the sheet, but here is how it looks currently:

I absolutely intend on adding my comments if I think it can be improved!

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