“Having been a listener of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, I always wondered if the fan letters he read at the live shows were real or not. Some seemed so funny I assumed he was writing them himself. I sent the letter in hopes he would find it funny enough to use and to have confirmation that the letters are really real.
Animation done by Craig Knitt.
March 4, 2014
Your Big Sister’s resident impersonator Pete Handelman is at it again and this time — he’s gone
FULL McCONAUGHEY –
And when he does CHRISTIAN BALE & BRADLEY COOPER, it’s like you’re looking at the real thing –
Love everything you’re about PETE HANDELMAN, keep them comin’
December 17, 2013
I had been hired to write and produce an educational video that taught the incoming students that the police on campus were real police officers and not just security guards. Side note: That particular went onto win the best video award at ITVA and has yet to play at the school. It’s too long of a story to explain why that happened. Maybe at a later date.
So, we had put together a small group to shoot my video. We were working on it all summer. As we were in the midst of putting together the video, my cinematographer said he had seen a contest come up on MTV that dealt with submitting your take on Madonna’s, then new song, True Blue.
We all thought it would be fun to just slap something together quickly and submit it. Not once did we feel we had a shot. So the core group, five of us, thought we would ge together one weekend and put the video together. Got the cast, the locations, props, post production place, etc, all in a matter of days. The video was shot in one long weekend.
There were five in the group. Everyone pitched in ideas and had specific responsibilities. Uh? Let me take that back. All but one of us pitched in. There was one guy that just did one thing then bitched the entire time on the set. He sat behind the monitor and basically shouted stuff like, “this sucks!” and “What a piece of shit! We’ll never win!” Etc. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
That little fact becomes important at the end. Okay, so each person had a job. My job, or should I say jobs, were acting coach, location coordinator, props management… and, like all the others, directing ideas.
I found the old 50s style diner to shoot in. I got costumes and props from my university. And, most importantly, I immediately saw on the set that the lead guy had a tendency to act weird when he knew he was on camera. I told the crew to only shoot him when he thought they were rehearsing. Most of what you’ll see on the video are takes when he thought he wasn’t on camera.
As a matter of fact there is one key moment that is due to my quick thinking. We had a scene where he was supposed to look up from some books and see the girl for the first time. Every time he did it a weird expression came over his face. It wasn’t working. I told the crew to not say anything and I had him duck back down. I quickly got into the chair where the girl had been sitting and took her place. We called action and he looked up. When he saw me he smiled. That’s the take we used and that’s what you’ll see on the video.
As I’ve explained, it was a hectic shoot with lots going on and very little time to do it. The griping guy, that only did one thing, did his job on the second day. He had built a homemade Steadicam contraption that worked pretty well. His only contribution to the video was shooting the long take through the dancers arms… you’ll see that in the video. After that was done he sat around and griped. He never lifted a hand to move a prop or get anything. He acted as if he were a big time director and had drinks brought to him. Your standard asshole.
So it gets done. Some shady dealings were made to get a editing room that had some quality at the local TV station. My cinematographer did the editing. As that was being done I continued to work on the project I had been assigned at the school.
We got the Madonna video done on time and it was submitted… by my cinematographer. We didn’t sit around and wait. No one in the group thought we would get anything out of it. It was merely a fun exercise in producing a video quickly.
Suddenly the news comes in. We were in the top ten videos to be selected and MTV could not decide who would be the winner. MTV stated that they would play all ten videos all day long and at night people would call in votes. They did just that.
We were at one guy’s house when the call came in. We were the winners. What the fuck!!! We got something like 20,000 votes and the second place got around 10,000. The grand prize was $10,000, a year’s worth of Twix bars and the video would play on MTV.
Suddenly calls came in from MTV and Good Morning America. We were going to be interviewed on GMA and be seen on MTV getting the check right from Madonna. HOLY SHIT!!
And then the True Lies came in: The two guys, cinematographer and asshole griper, explained that they submitted the video with their names only. We were out. They screwed three of us out of the money and fame… and all I wanted was the Twix bars.
We had to see these schmucks on MTV get the prize then be interviewed by GMA. It was a very dark moment. Well, so dark that I told my cinematographer’s father that his son was to never step foot back at my studio… AGAIN! I said I would kill him and I meant it. His father tried to give me a reason why it had happened, but I knew the truth. That guy had always had a swelled head and I knew he had done it on purpose..
I never saw him again or the griper. They ended up shooting a real shitty low-budget horror flick that went nowhere. What’s funny is I had offered to help rewrite the story when we were all a group so it might have gotten a better touch up. Oh, well.
So for about a year I had to see that stupid, fucking video night after night on MTV. It was usually in the top ten or twenty of MTV videos. It was actually better received than the video Madonna later made herself for that song.
I see that video here and there because it will play every once and awhile. I also hear the song play on the air. It still makes me wince..
And now enjoy that mother-fucking,-god-damn-shit-eating-stolen-twix-asshole video! Not that I’m bitter!
September 13, 2013
Hey Your Big Sister fans!
Your Big Sister is going on a road trip next week (actually flying to Upstate NY, then driving all around NY, PA, NJ & CT) to shoot a documentary about the TV show she created in college at SUNY New Paltz, called ‘Laughtears.’
It’s been 25 years since the 4 episode series was on the on-campus station WNPC but it still remains the only drama show ever produced and aired on the campus.
Your Big Sister was super proud of her time spent making ‘Laughtears’ and you can watch the episodes yourself, right here at the WNPC 88to93 Youtube Channel here.
Since Your Big Sister whole-heartedly believes in finishing what you’ve started, no matter how long ago it was, she’s now going to go back and interviewing all the cast and crew members who help to make ‘Laughtears’ from 1990-1992.
And you can help Your Big Sister out by pledging to the Kickstarter campaign with donations as low as $1.00 here:
Then Your Big Sister will back in October, with a SECOND ANNIVERSARY tribute and new articles, mixed tape stories and videos for the Your Big Sister fan club.
And, thanks for always listening to — Your Big Sister.
April 5, 2013
I’m not ashamed of liking magic. Especially since Your Big Sister’s best friend is one.
Here’s Master Magician Shoot Ogawa in ‘The Magic of Coke’ by Greg Arce.
Now that’s magic!