Let's Make an Episode!

I suggest we write on (for now) assuming a standard SOL crew with Tom and Crow.

Building new bots would definitely fall under plan C. (or at least B and a half) and there’s lots of fiddly production level technical stuff we’d need to figure out before we started designing. Most importantly… what scale would the puppets be built at? (the smaller the puppet, the fewer articulated elements you can add, but the easier they are to wrangle) and what the ratio of puppet to puppet wranglers would be. (Would we want one person to be able to operate two puppets simultaneously? One puppet per operator? Or go full Fraggle Rock?)

I agree that anything beyond option B would basically be it’s own project run separately from the “hey, let’s get together and riff a movie!” project, which is what most of the people are here for.

Absolutely. All my own stuff is released Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA, and I’ve never had any legal issues.

As long as we keep it strictly non-commercial we’re probably safe from a legal standpoint, though you can still open yourself up for trouble if you do anything at all related to the project that involves asking people for money (i.e. a Kickstarter, Gofundme, or Patreon) that could be construed as “attempting to profit” or anything that exactly duplicates a registered trademark (like the MST3K moon logo). This is another reason why going all the way to option D is probably a foolhardy idea.

Mind you, video content has a whole slew of other issues to worry about, most notably YouTube and Vimeo’s “shoot first, ask questions never” content violation policy, which is pretty much designed to screw anybody who isn’t a major motion picture studio. Their automated copyright bots couldn’t give two :poop:'s whether your video is protected under fair use, parody, CC license, or anything else, and are notoriously bad when it comes to making attribution mistakes. And if somebody out there decides they want to file a copyright complaint, even if they have no legal grounds to do so, they’ll yank your content with no explanation whatsoever and it’ll take an act of God to get it back up again.

I’m friends with some of the guys over at Cinema Insomnia (I went to high school with their producer) and even though they primarily use public domain movies and are extremely diligent about working out copyright stuff with the original content owners, it is a constant battle trying to prevent their episodes from being taken down. (And in fact, they recently lost everything they had up on Vimeo, and due to their 3-strikes policy, it looks like it’s not coming back.) The content bots don’t know or care whether your video is the public domain version of a movie, or the slightly different cut that was licensed 20 years later, and will even trigger for stupid things like insisting you’re illegally showing a Tim Burton movie, because that film includes 30 seconds of archive footage from the public domain movie that you’re attempting to screen now. :confounded:

Before we attempted anything as complex as Option C, to cover our backsides, I’d say we would still want to reach out to Alternaversal and see just how comfortable they were with us using certain aspects of the show… especially any usage of the title Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the shadorama theater effect, which have been legally problematic in the past.


Again, I think we’re putting the cart before the horse here. Let’s worry about all this crap down the road. That may never come to fruition and you will have wasted a lot of time on something meaningless. Maybe after we get 3 or 4 movie riffs under our belts we can talk about making an MST impersonation but I just think it’s a waste of focus to go there now.

The more we talk about these grandiose visions, the more insurmountable it will seem for someone that wants to get involved now. It seems like we’re 40 steps ahead of where we actually are. If you want to talk production, please, I implore you, create your own thread in the riffing forum and talk about it all you want. Literally no one will stop you. But it’s just noise at this point of the process.


Is there another google doc for scripts or brainstorming the opening segment or mid movie skits? I see DeepHurting provided a whole storyboard but may have missed if there was a localized location other than this lengthening thread.

I had two kernels of ideas for segments but don’t know if there’s enough there to flesh out:
One where an increasing frustrated Jonah is trying to interview Cave Torgo through the hexfield who blankly stares at him.
The other is the bots asking Jonah for things like TVs and other toys, and Jonah keeps pulling scale models out from under the desk. The bots progressively ask for more and more ridiculous items and Jonah always provides.

This was proposed, but not created yet (I don’t think). You could get the ball rolling here by starting a new post in The Extended World of Riffing category:

Fanficisode: Host segment discussion

And you might also care for:

Fanficisode: Invention exchange discussion

We didn’t add host segments to the Google sheet simply because there is no need to track it on a timeline. And doing text editing in a spreadsheet for no reason is just painful. So maybe your idea of a Google doc is the way to go. Want to set one up?

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Topics created in the riffing forum.

Fanficisode: Best riff submission for Co-Directorship

Fanficisode: Shorts discussion

Fanficisode: Host segment discussion

Fanficisode: Invention exchange discussion

Fanficisode: Production discussion

And of course, the riffing discussion can be found here:

Fanficisode: Riffing on The Incredible Petrified World

Feel free to jump over there and join the discussion. NOTHING is finalized at the moment and we welcome any and all involvement from anyone that wants to join in on the fun.


I was definitely testing the waters for who may interested in the long game on these. If it’s just a script and we are having fun with that, fine by me.

I do know voice talent, who are fans. If we just have riffs with no segments, that’s fine too.

As for the invention exchange and host segments, I thought it would be a fun other project where anyone can set up an invention exchange from their outpost, where we don’t have to worry as much about matching the look of the show. They can just be inserts with you and your bots or solo, added material to break up the movie.

Short version, seems we all have interest in varying levels, and some people will be up for going a bit further, but nobody needs to feel obligated to any part they don’t want to do.

If we are using the public domain prints, and we get good at this, we can always suggest a fan section of the GizmoPlex. If they don’t go for it, i believe the term is “Keep circulating the tapes”.


FYI, I’ve gone radio silent because work’s been crazy busy. But, I haven’t forgotten about this. Still working slowly and methodically on my solution:


Looking forward to it whenever it’s ready! In the meantime we can keep working out other parts of the project. WHole lotta learning curve and whatnot going on.