In which we answer your questions. And I think it'll be Thursdays. Want to give Waid a whole day of posting to himself.
Let's see what's in the mailbag ...
Red Dawn: I tried to watch the production videos but it requires a windows PC. Any chance TNT will make your show more accessible to mac users?
Working on it. I have to admit, they must be pretty sick of my geekery by now. There is, however, now a YouTube Channel for the show now. As a matter of fact, the next sneak peek is up ...
... hmm, a bit more serious than our usual sneaks. More clown killing, less baptisms! I hope more will be up there soon.
Joshua James: If you've told us already, my apologies, but can you make Leverage scripts (those shot and shown) available for readers?
Working on it. People get tetchy about copyright and stuff.
Matt: Good episode, but I've got to ask: was there any hesitation about using the "stall number switch" so soon after the "container number fakeout" in the last episode? While the mechanics of the scam were a little different, they both rely on people's tendency to not quite remember physical locations if they're given a numerical identifier.
There was a lot of hesitation -- which is why a.) this episode was originally scheduled to be broadcast five eps after The Homecoming Job, and b.) that's not how the original scam worked.
Welcome to the realities of physical production of television. The original scam involved a much more complicated bit of business utilizing the outside of the stables/stalls. Once we got to production, we wound up getting our locations for a very limited amount of time, and therefore had to use the interiors, and adapt the scam to that reality.
That episode? We were on the track for precisely one day. There are 116 green screen set replacement shots.
Even funkier, this one was written and shot before Homecoming, so I was essentially raiding our own kitchen when I used a similar gag in that episode. Now, what's weird is, in the scripts the numbering doesn't seem to be a big deal at all, it's a pretty minor part of the scam. But when you hear numbers spoken aloud, and they're the focus of the shot, they resonate.
All to say we were nodding and saying: "Yeah, they kind of overlap, but it's not like they'll be broadcast right next to each other."
It's also a lesson we learned along the way -- the final scam is the one everybody remembers. In Homecoming, we had a.) a three-person pickpocketing gag and b.) voice-controlled lock gag after which we c.) conned the opponents into hating each other by d.) stealing a bill on the floor of Congress on the way to e.) revealing a money-laundering scam which we ended by f.) not stealing most of the money using a number/location trick and g.) framing the contractor and Congressman with their own security devices on the way to h.) delivering a truck full of money that appears empty.
This is why television is the most fun. Evolves as you shoot in ways a self-contained story just can't.
Commish: One question concerning Ep 2... I understand now the process of thought that led to using a private hospital for this gi-normous anonymous donation, but wouldn't it still seem fishy since they're housing a vet who was "accidentally" shot by the contractors who just publicly revealed that they were trying to launder billions?
DON'T STOP THE FUN TRAIN!
(NOTE: Tongue is firmly in cheek here. That's an inside joke in the writers' room.)
Yes, and the best way to deal with a ganster mache who took your father's printing company probably isn't to run a complicated Big Store con involving race cars, King Tut and a death curse. But we ain't in the reality business. For that, you can always tune in Law and Order SVU, where you can watch somebody be sodomized with a violin bow.
We sodomize you with FUN!
Wait. That didn't come out right ... Let's just move on.
Jim Kakalios: And I love Sterling. I am already looking forward to the season finale, as I know that there will be a huge triple con that will deal with the crisis du jour, and finally resolve the Sterling issue simultaneously.
You don't resolve Mark Sheppard. Can you resolve the wind?
What I'm trying to say is, I seem to be stuck with the bastard until Javi writes another show and takes him off my hands.
adc1966: I hope you will make a recurring thing out of Parker's bizarre childhood memory flashbacks. All while holding that big stuffed bunny. And more Parker+Sophie. That scene last week with the zip-line in the stairwell was adorable. :-)
There's more Young Parker kicking around. And Mr. Bunny is still out there. Waiting.
Parker and Sophie do have tons o'fun coming up, although they tend to be working in different locations in the scam because of their different skillsets. That said: Hey, look Ma, we pass the Bechdel test!
Mary Sue: Rogers! When can those of us with no desire to hook up to the cable TV cash drain get to watch the show?! I'm chomping at the bit over here!
Available on Amazon the day after, and iTunes a week after that.
Joe Helfrich: Got to admit, this was my least favorite episode so far. It just felt like it tried to cram too much--horse racing information, character backstory, and a complicated con--into 44 minutes. Plus, until the tag, Badger (he will always be Badger) didn't seem the sort to have a long term plan. Before that, he just seemed like a petty guy who wanted to screw with his old co-worker. Did you write the tag, Rogers? Because it was a completely different feel.
Runtime's actually 42:30, sport. Welcome to the new age of television. And yes, sadly, there's a bit more Sterling plotting going on in the original script ... somewhere in the other ten pages that were cut. We definitely took a big chunk of the year figuring out how to pace these things. The kids wrote the tag, if I remember correctly.
someBrad: Did you film THJ in an actual hospital? What was the process to decide what medical equipment to use, if it wasn't just "We're in the hospital so we use what they have"?
That's a real hospital in Long Beach, in a real rehab room, with real vets in rehab. Jake's the only one in the scene who's not actually in rehab.
Keith: Gina Bellman does a perfect southern accent, too. That's not easy. Being from the South, I can pick out a fake yokel accent a mile away and hers was so good, I wanted to ask her what church her family went to.**If you're from GA, you get this. If not, well. it's not that important.
Weirdly this was the one where Gina was worried. Chris was around for some pointers, and we soon discovered the linguistic links between Southern and British accents ... as usual, she worried for no reason. Even got the Mandarin down, too.
Ugh, post-production calls. Thanks for the questions. I'm on vacation for a few days, so bug Waid and Mike, and I'll see you next Tuesday.