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Haven’t read any posts yet since the premiere (kudos to the team for condensing those down into fewer topics). Apology if I cover some of the same ground as those.

My main observation is something I bought up a while back. To wit:

I think this has been borne out. MST3K hasn’t looked this shoestring since the KTMA days. That’s not all bad, as a fair amount of the show’s charm comes from its homemade feel. And the extreme flatness of the sets do make it feel at times as though everyone is trapped in a Georges Méliès feature (a good thing).

The main criticisms I have of the greenscreen set at the moment are the occasional spots where the lighting of the cast doesn’t seem to match the set (most noticeable on Moon One) and the lack of a physical space for the crew to interact with and play in. I’m hoping both of these improve as the episodes go along and everyone gets used to the environment.

Less jarring but still noticeable were the weight loss by both Jonah and GPC. :wink: And how nice to see MJ on the base!

I was worried a bit at the start of the episode as there was a fair amount of air around the riffs, and the riffs that were fired off were very short. It was almost like a pendulum swing in the opposite direction from the riff-heavy early Jonah episodes. But happily by the second half it all fell into a comfortable rhythm.

One of the high points in the host segments was Mean Jonah Okerlund and Tom’s “Macho Man” voice. Great skit!

Anyway, for now I’m going to wait and see how the greenscreen environment shakes out. It helps that the theatre segments are, in the words of the Talking Heads, “same as it ever was”. Thank you for that!


I was thinking it make the production look like a 90s FMV game.


Maybe they can riff Night Trap.


I remember watching The Crawling Eye with my wife some time ago, and she commented that the show looked like a 90’s cable show (“As a matter of fact!”)
The Gizmoplex show really does have that “guerilla programming” feel that the show used to have. We got a little spoiled with the jump to SciFi and ESPECIALLY Netflix, but this does feel “back to roots”. It’s a bit jarring a d will take some timw to acclimate, but I’m happy overall.


Someone else kicked up a composite pass to address the lighting inconsistency.

I personally thought it made a big difference:

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Yes, the sound mixing definitely needs adjusting as well. Hopefully the finished cut of Santo will have a better match of movie and riffing volumes.

On a similar note, there was a slight tendency towards muttering by the riffers a few times in the episode. Nowhere as bad as the underspoken riffs in the BritTrax releases, but something to be avoided nonetheless.

Long-winded, multiple drafts discarded, message follows -

I loved the episode, I’m on my third rewatch… but I am seeing what some people seem to be describing/reacting to?

Something there is triggering people’s OCD visually, but I think everyone is describing the effect differently?

It’s odd, because I’m having almost the opposite feel from what you’re describing here?

It’s … too sharp? Too clean? It looks very high budget, but… it’s very … tight?

The increased use of green screen and virtual set pieces makes the environment feel much more flat, tight, small? There’s far less sense of the space around them (yes, pun intended). It’s all sharp edges? I believe that @timryder referred to it as “Flatimation” in another thread?

I think a lot of us in this community are extremely visual people? Look at the entire threads of pet/animal photos, food porn, bot builds, cosplays? The more visual a person is, the more likely they are to pick up on things that … just don’t look… right? Things that aren’t natural? That uncanny valley feel?

For me specifically, the green screen/virtual sets feel like I’m looking at the same shot, but in the past, it felt like it was through a 35mm lens, and now it feels like it’s through a 1000mm lens? It’s the same shot, but it all feels tighter? Almost claustrophobic? Through a paper towel tube? It’s not a “flames, flaming out of the sides of my face” OCD triggering thing, but I can completely understand how it can be exactly that jarring to some people?

Also… Virtual sets are hard? Even Fox Sports Race Hub doesn’t always … feel right? And, Fox has a Hell of a lot more physical space and a McLarge Huge budget to work with for that virtual set? There have been plenty of Race Hub episodes where I’ve thought to myself, “Can’t we just go back to the set from 2010?” That this MST3K S13 exists at all, and looks this good, is fraking amazing.

I think we all need to remember two things about all of this -

1: It could have been billions and billions and billions of times worse? We all need to remember that when the Kickstarter was going, the plan was for portable green screens and portable studio equipment to be sent to each cast member? (Correct me if I’m wrong, please) Everything would have been put together digitally after. This S13 is an order of magnitude better than what we were expecting to see a year and a half ago? We all really need to take a moment to appreciate that…

2: If the visual OCD people here are triggered by some of these things, imagine how aspects of this could bother all the very visual and creative minds who made it. Who worked day and night to make it right, to make it awesome? I’m positive that all of those amazing people have a very clear image of what they wanted this to look like, and the Covid world and budget and compromises required to deal with Covid and the reality of filming in the past year made that a huge challenge. But, they did it? They gave us what looks to be an amazing S13, an amazing cast, and a foundation to make and distribute more seasons in the future.

I expect that S14, S15, S16 , and beyond will have more and more physical set pieces again and bring back more of that sense of the space around the crew of the SoL and the Mads. And, the more they work with the virtual sets, the better they’ll make that look as well?

Each MST3K era has a style/feel to it, and everyone has a favorite that they love? For me, I love S0, S1 and S2 and the Live tour the most? But there are plenty of people who will always prefer the SciFi era, or the Netflix era over those? And, yes, ten years from now, there will be people who will very emotionally proclaim that this era, S13 and beyond, is their favorite, and that S13 Ep 1 is their favorite episode of S13? And, for them, they’ll be absolutely right. It’s just like there will always be people who love The SW Prequels more, or the recent sequels more? Everyone is going to find something to love deeply about these worlds.

Hell, I’m just excited for the rest of S13, especially seeing Emily’s episodes, and the Holiday Episode with all three hosts, and everything that comes after, S14, S15, S16, and beyond.



They do feel “boxed in” to me. I don’t know if their actual space is smaller, or if they are wary of colliding with assets that will later be digitally added. At least in the first episode they don’t seem quite as relaxed in the space as they might be in a real volume, but to be fair it is a new space to them, so some initial discomfort is to be expected.


Yeah like GPC and the rocket viewscreen are both composited in after… that said they did a pretty good job matching GPC with Jonah’s eye-line.


Wow, they really did. I thought GPC was on-set.