Looneys drawn by Alyce

Dedicated Idiocy, A personal history of the Penn State Monty Python Society by Alyce Wilson

School Year 1991-1992

MPS Feature Segment on Trend State

(page 1 of 2)

This school year was when my video production classes really kicked in, and it's when I shot and edited the MPS feature segment. The MPS feature segment was for a 15-minute show called Trend State that I did as part of a class project. We had to make a series of them, and if they were good enough, they would air on a local cable access channel, CNET (no relation to the government channel of the same name).

The show was the brainchild of Greg Weinstein, who'd interned with MTV's House of Style, and whom I'm absolutely certain I saw on an episode of MTV's Real World, playing an advertising executive. I'm almost certain Greg would have continued his association with MTV, if possible, so it's likely it really was him.

Each show was to feature a Trends segment, on fashions and fads; Spotlight, an interview with an interesting person; and Subcultures, on a group of people and their way of bonding. The MPS segment was for the Subcultures portion of the show. We did have a later show aired on CNET, but not the one with the MPS segment.

I actually did some storyboards for the planned shots, although Greg also did a fantastic job capturing material on the fly at a meeting.

Storyboard - page 1 (Click to enlarge)    Storyboard - page 2 (Click to enlarge)    Storyboard - page 3 (Click to enlarge)

Here's my journal entry from one of our shooting days.

Friday, October 4, 1991

This afternoon Greg Weinstein and I shot the rest of the material for the MPS segment. We interviewed my brother, Ned Wilkins, Matt Pyson, Mark Sachs and Steve Gradess.

We also shot them performing a mall climb, doing silly walks, saying "My brain hurts" while dressed as Gumbies, and popping up from behind a wall as the Spanish Inquisition (I had Matt Pyson do that). We even had Mark and Andy do the Angry Old Men, who complain that "In my day, we (fill in blank with a ridiculous deprivation followed by extreme painful consequences)... and we loved it!"

Even with all the messing around and confusion, we got it done in LESS THAN TWO HOURS! Of course, I must admit that I was rather frazzled at one point. The MPS members who were helping me out didn't quite grasp the serious nature of the shoot, and they were carrying on as if it were a meeting, running about and making comments, not listening to me. But after I lost my cool once, they got the idea. They settled down then and did what I asked. Amazingly enough, it looks energetic and fresh on tape. I'm surprised that my sudden anger didn't kill that in them.

It's probably a good thing I never went into broadcasting as a profession.

Storyboard this, contents! ... so the ALT tag placed a classified ad... Broadcasters welcome What sort of TV program would you start? Much Ado About NothingMPS Segment on Trend State - page 2 e-mail: alycewilson@lycos.com