THE MUPPET MOVIE Network Rough Cut 2 Notes Pass
Hello! Thanks for addressing our notes on the earlier cut. Progress has definitely been made but we are still a long way's off from getting this right. Unfortunately, clarity is still a really big issue. Many scenes are pretty chaotic and therefore not funny. Remember: scenes are only funny when we carefully explain everything to the audience. Also, the characters' motivations are rather murky. Why is Kermit going to Hollywood? Why would Fozzie join him? What is Janice doing? A very strong and deliberate bite pass is in order; let's get into the head of every frog, pig, drummer, human and 70's comedy star we have. Once this bite pass happens, then we can give you some time coded notes. Please see below.
The start of the film has two older people saying arriving at a movie studio saying they are going to see THE MUPPET MOVIE? This self-referential stuff is rather confusing. Do we have any intro bites with Statler and Waldorf? Why are they going to a screening of a movie if they don't seem too happy about it?If we are setting them up to be a Wendy Pepper/Johnny Bananas/Richard Hatch-type of villain, that's fine. If not, then they are already coming across as unlikable. In reality, characters are either big villains or extremely likable; they can't be anywhere in the middle. (Except on competition shows that get nominated for Emmys)
We start with Kermit singing but the video is just a big wide shot of the swamp. How do we know if it's Kermit singing unless we actually see him? Let's recut this to show b-roll of the swamp, then a shot of Kermit singing on the log. Man, Kermit is singing and singing and we don't have a SINGLE bite from him. No no no. Let's build an intro package with a bite like "Hi, I'm Kermit the Frog. I live in a big swamp and I love playing the banjo!" (Doesn't have to be exact)
Let's get some more information about the swamp. Where is it? What it's like? Is there a pawn shop full of colorful-yet-completely non-threatening people? Dig through your footage and let us know.
When the agent gives his card to Kermit, we really need to hear a bite from Kermit about how his offer about the audition at World Wide Studios is quite enticing. Sure, we can get the idea of this based on Kermit's sound ups and reactions, but we really need to sell this. If it's not completely obvious to us, it won't be to our viewers!
By the way, do we ever hear the answer about why there ARE so many songs about rainbows? If we don't, let's cut it; too confusing.
KERMIT ON THE BICYCLE
Any bites from Kermit when he sees the Doc Hopper Frog Legs signs? If he's not happy about it, we definitely need to hear about it. Since Doc is the villain, he needs a much stronger, more pungent set up. A big montage of him frying frog's legs? Bites from him about how much he doesn't like frogs? Bites from Kermit about Doc's reputation? Let's mine the interviews and b-roll and think outside the box here, guys.
Good Schwinn bicycle product integration.
EL SLEAZO CAFE
Fozzie Bear needs a better introduction. He comes out with a bunch of props; is Carrot Top a big influence? Let's do a big intro of him, his love of comedy, etc. Let's discuss!
When Doc Hopper plays his fast food frog leg commercial for our hero, Kermit is completely revolted. What's his motivation? It's either the fact that he doesn't like the idea of him shilling a restaurant that would be genocide for his people or that he wants to focus on going to Hollywood. Now, in scripted, characters can have multiple motivations. In reality, however, a character has ONE motivation per episode and that's it. Any more confuses us and the audience. Let's pick one and be consistent.
The car accident that brings Gonzo and Kermit together lacks the proper impact because we don't know who Gonzo is. Let's do a full intro package with him; where he's from, how long he and Camilla The Chicken have been together, how long he's been a plumbing artiste, etc. Also, is there another take where they meet? Right now it just seems a little too convenient that they run into each other and they all want to be movie stars. Let's flesh the scene out first with some header, some fluff and then go into the story stuff. Right now, the scene is just rather fakey and unfunny.
MEETING MISS PIGGY
Miss Piggy is really popping on camera. She has a definite Nene Leaks appeal, so let's set her up for success. Give her a big intro package with as much sassy bites as possible. Is she on Twitter? I bet she's hilarious.
Piggy's intro scene is a beauty pageant; any fun backstage moments? OTF's with the other contestants? Let's see what other people have to say about our porcine powerhouse.
KERMIT & PIGGY'S DATE
Why are they out on a date again? Let's restate the intent of this scene right from the top. Why is Piggy on this date? And then she leaves; what does Kermit think about this? Let's get his feelings out on the table with a good choice bite. Otherwise, we're left to just observing Kermit looking sad and depressed and that's just not enough.
Any good bites from Steve Martin the waiter? He has some great comedic potential.
Let's add an earlier pick up scene where Piggy practices martial arts; otherwise her use of karate to save Kermit from his kidnappers comes out of the blue and is therefore not funny. Humor comes from very predictable behavior, NOT from random chaotic moments.
Everyone is stranded in the desert and I've completely forgotten what's going on. Let's restate Kermit's why for his trek. Sure, he talks to himself and says everything in scene, but a great bite from him would work wonders.
Any fun tidbits about the ghost town Kermit ends up in? How about some backstory from Dr. Bunsen Honeydew? More context here would really help. When Floyd asks about the Insta-Grow pills, Beaker says "Mee mee MEE mee mee." Does he have a take where he says "Mee mee mee MEE MEE?" Please double check your footage.
WORLD WIDE STUDIOS
When Lou's secretary has an allergy attack from all of the animal dander, this could be a great opportunity for a Claritin product integration. Let's look into that.
Any bites on what a Standard Rich & Famous Contract is? Clarity here would be very helpful.
Please finish these tonight with notes responses. Thanks!