The script for this had existed for a while, but it wasn’t funny. A last-minute rewrite on my part made it more portentous. A last-minute rewrite by Dana essentially replaced all the portent in the middle with silliness. I was far too exhausted from mono to argue with her, and her changes turned out to be well-received.
I was still sick to the point of being bedridden, but it made no difference. I had a deadline, and you can’t ask an audience for a day off. I was determined to end the season without anyone ever knowing how close we’d come to not finishing it.
Due to peculiarities of the ways we rented equipment, we could only film on weekends. So the weekend before the deadline, we crammed in a load of shoots. We shot all day both days, even with me swaying uncertainly on my weak legs under the weight of my very silly chainmail. And we still weren’t done–the puppet scene still needed to be finished.
Now, there was a policy that said you could rent to shoot on a Wednesday, but it was first-come-first-served. If some student decided they wanted our HVX on a whim on Wednesday, we would not have had a season finale.
I work nights, so when I got home from work (still sick) at 9pm on a Wednesday, that was when our final shoot started. Here, you had a shoot where the composer and DP played with puppets while the director held up a blue sheet behind them and an actor hit Play on the camera. The mantra of Echo Chamber has always been, if it needs to be done, do it.
And it needed to be done. Now we had all the footage we needed, and two days to edit it.
Justin, our composer, stayed with me that week to score and re-score each scene as the way they were edited changed. I worked all day (sick) and came home to keep working (sick) until 4 in the morning. We all worked 80 hours a week to get that damn thing done.
And it had special effects, which we’d never had to deal with before. Zack developed a newfound hatred for mattes, which he used to composite Zack and Mr. Administrator into the same wide white space, when in fact they were standing on a single white sheet, with another one behind them, blasted with light.
We attempted to have our sound worked on in post-production, but we gave our post guy so little time at the end that we may as well not have done that at all.
I stayed up late, alone, in the cluster the night we went live. Export after export failed; upload after upload failed. Until finally, we were done. The season was out. I could breathe free again.
And then this episode, which had eclipsed all the others in terms of how much it took out of me, eclipsed all the rest in how well it was received, too. People were intrigued by Mr. Administrator. They wanted to see more.
There was an assumption after that, on both my part and Eddie’s, that the series would be renewed. It was never even brought up, just taken as assumed. Instead, I got asked questions like, “When will you be starting again?” and “How long will you need?”
Our goal with this episode was not just to entertain, but to allude to who Mr. Administrator was. We intended to answer some questions, raise many more, and create a need in people to continue watching. We attempted all of these same things with the Season 2 fin–xjsda;;
MR. PIKE HAS HAD HIS EDITORIAL PRIVILEGES REVOKED. HE IS IN OUR CUSTODY. IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF HIM, EVER AGAIN, YOU WILL WATCH OUR SECOND SEASON. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.