On October 29, 2016, I conducted my first interview for GamerGuy's Reviews. The person questioned was Jayme Schmitt, who heads a small production company called DreamScape Reality Productions. Currently, the studio is in production of an independent movie called Black Friday, as well as the web series The Insane Nerd's 101 in Movies, which is currently in its fourth season. In this interview, I discuss with Schmitt the status of the Black Friday film, plus delve into the IN101M web series, its history, and what can be expected to happen to the show after its fourth season. Joining Schmitt is his friend/producer or Edward Brown, who goes by the nickname Bishop. Without further ado, here is the interview.
1. What is "Black Friday?" What's the current status of it? When and how do you expect it to be released?
Answer: Black Friday is an upcoming 2017 horror film. This is our company's first full-length feature and we kind of got lucky on this one. We just got our IMDB page up which is actually an honor in of itself. The film is about an alien takeover and it's along the lines of Shaun of the Dead in that everybody is thinking of but the obvious. We are in post-production right now which means we're editing, doing sound, all of that really tedious, hard stuff that nobody has fun doing. We're also doing a little filming here and there and we have a couple of extra scenes to wrap up. We hope to have the film out in November and the plan is to show it theatrically, starting in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa at Mindframe Theaters; afterwards, we're hoping to take it out to Pennsylvania and have a couple of screenings in the U.K., and then submit it for a possible film festival and then release it to DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon Prime.
2. Right now, the Insane Nerd's 101 in Movies is currently in its fourth season, how many more can be expected?
Answer: As far as I'm concerned, it's one of those things I never thought I would take it far enough, I plan on doing seven or eight episodes total. Bishop and I have sat down and thought, "What if we kill off the Nerd at this point?" I want to use Youtube as a branching outlet similar to what Channel Awesome does. The other reason is because I've been trying to get one episode out per month, but after all of the planned episodes are produced, we will go from there and see what happens.
3. On the subject of IN101M, what led to the creation of that series?
Answer: It was pretty much the result of a lot of things. I had been interested in film-making since I was ten. I would record things and figure out the process, and then I found out about James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd), Channel Aswesome (Nostalgia Critic), and other reviewers of that nature. And I said to myself, "This is the kind of stuff I want to do." When I was a kid, I would write movie reviews in a journal, and thinking back to that, I realized it would be a lot easier to format if I were to get it out to the public via the internet.
4. What equipment did you initially start off with, and what do you currently use?
Answer: I had a Kodak 2005 digital camera that shot in 240p and I got by with it for about ten episodes. For the first twenty-four episodes, everything was edited on Windows Movie Maker and eventually I transferred over to an Avion DHVD, which allowed me to shoot in high-definition. Later on, I got Adobe Premier Elements, which I have been using for quite some time. In spite of the limitations, this set-up gets the job done. For anybody that's starting out, you're not going to have that perfect first episode, it's all about learning the ropes.
5. At what point in producing episodes of the show did things finally start to click for you personally?
Answer: Early on, I would constantly debate whether I wanted to do straight film reviews or form an actual story over what I do. The first episodes I did, they were just pure reviews and the views were quite low, but then I covered Rubber, which is the movie about the tire that runs around and chases everybody. So I got my friend Josh Morgan to bring a tire from the dump and we had a lot of fun messing around with it, but at the same time, it was one of those things that made people laugh, even if it may have been considered jumping the shark early on in the series. Then, it took a 360 turn and it became about who we could bring in, so when I covered Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger was involved. Therefore, the focus shifted to the situations, rather than trying to worry about a review. There's also the other aspect of how later on, given the situation I was in, the show also started to feature additional skits. Now, things have taken another 360 and I have to try and go back to doing pure film reiews.
6. Do you have any favorite episodes or moments?
Answer: Rubber is one of my favorite episodes, as is the Dracula video. During the filming of our 50th episode, which involved Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956) and is the only episode to have also been released theatrically, we were shooting at a local pool and during a take I hit my head on the concrete and was unconscious for about fifteen minutes until my producer came over to check on me and said, "Okay you're alive! Let's go do the church scene!" When we did the church scene, there was a body on the altar because we had finished filming right before a funeral was happening.
7. What's the process for writing out the script like (i.e. deciding on which movie to review, coming up with the storylines, jokes, etc.)?
Answer: Usually what happens is I pick a movie at random. Everybody thinks I have a list, but no, I literally look at my shelf and see what I have and what would be interesting to cover. "Hmm, the Nutty Professor (1995), well let's put it in, watch it, and see if here's anything relevant to make fun of." If I still want to review it I'll then write the script. Writing is also difficult because sometimes it's about finding that spark which gets me to start. After I write it, I give it to Bishop to see what he thinks can be improved, plus it helps that he's a stand-up comedian from Chicago.
8. It's interesting to see how the likes of Seasons 3 and 4 put more of an emphasis on story compared to prior seasons, what led to this choice?
Answer: It all boils down to the numbers, that is, the people watching, commenting. I realize that it's not just people from America watching, but everyone around the world, plus they can get bored, so its tricky finding a balance that will keep their interest spiked because if anything, it's not always about evolution, but also change. Yet, the changes may have to make you back to basics.
9. Is Season 4 going to be the last one, or will there be more?
Answer: Probably, because I want to try and work on other stuff, but if people ask to want him to come back, there's always a way to bring him back. The nice thing about doing these types of videos is that anything is possible; in other words, nothing lasts forever.
10. Who or what are your chief inspirations?
Answer: Besides James Rolfe and Doug Walker, I consider Chris Evans (Captain America) to be one because a couple of years ago I was in a tight spot and his Captain America character helped me through. Also, by watching IN101M, you can see other influences present throughout, such as Shawn Spencer from Psych, which is one of my favorite shows.
11. If someone gave you a million dollars, what are three things you would do with that money? Be creative.
Answer: Jayme: For this one, I'm going to bring in Bishop to help me answer this.
Bishop: I'm really into writing so I would get myself published as a writer and I'm huge into gaming so I would probably take one of my books and turn it into a game because I see many of my stories as being ones that could work as a game. The last one would be getting a building for his company.
Jayme: I would definitely get a building, that's a definite need, then I would deck the place with girls every single night, no, I'm just kidding.
William: But that's a great idea!
Jayme: Actually, you're right, hey Bishop, don't we have Candi on speed dial?
William: Hey, you don't want to lose sight of your true vision for DreamScape Reality Productions, don't follow the false one!
Jayme: Alright, seriously though, there are other things besides the building, though the strip club would be a good idea. With that being said, I would also use the company as an outlet to get my name out there and deck the whole place out with equipment.
Off the Record
1. Why do you like the Godzilla series, what do you find appealing about it?
Answer: Back in 2001 or 2002, my father took me to the video store and Godzilla 2000 was sitting on a shelf and we picked it up and he told me we will take this home and watch it, after seeing it I really enjoyed what I had witnessed, but I didn't realize that there were more movies besides this one. So it became one of those things were I was like, "Wow I've got to find out more about it, I've got to track them down, I've got to watch them, I've got to own them, and then I've got to make fun of them," joking about the last one, though. The 1998 Godzilla movie, the Roland Emmerich one, had its own website at the time and it had a link to information on the Toho films, and there also the Crestwood Monsters books at my library, which is also how I found out about other monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein, which led into horror films. It was because of Godzilla 2000 and King Kong (2005) that I wanted to be a film-maker. It's something I wish more people knew about but it has enough of a following that it does have some awareness surrounding it.
2. How big is your movie collection?
Answer: Although I did sell many of them off, as it stands now, it's about 684, and that includes DVD, VHS, and even LaserDisc and Beta, who the heck even owns those?
3. What's your deal with the 1980's "The Blob" remake?
Answer: I found out about the Blob through the Crestwood books and at the time my family had Dish Network and access to the Starz Network package. I was about five or six at the time, and the 1980's Blog was on one of the channels that night and I didn't realize that it was the '88 film, I thought it was the '58 one with Steve McQueen. So I'm begging my father to watch it, even though he tells me its stupid, unaware that the movie is rated R and I may have nightmares becaus eof watching it. So I watch it and I'm scared s**tless, a movie where a guy gets pulled down a kitchen sink headfirst scared me so much that I slept on the couch for the next few years.
William: But you used that to shape the Insane Nerd character, similar to James Rolfe and E.T. (Atari 2600)
Jayme: Looking back at it years later, I realize that its a movie with the'80's written all over it and its fine, but the joke of it is that the Nerd looks back to his childhood at that one movie which scared him all those years ago. In fact, I wrote a script centered around it that would have been an IN101M movie but we got involved with Black Friday. There was going to be a joke in which the Nerd thinks it's so great because it scared him so bad that nothing else could come along and top it.
4. Who do you prefer, Marvel or DC?
Answer: Marvel, hands down.
Jayme: First of all, it's because I grew up wit Marvel Comics around the house, if it was DC, I would have been an avid fan of them. That doesn't mean I dislike them. I like Batman and his rogues' gallery of villains, plus Superman and the Flash, but Marvel struck a nerve with me in what they did with their Cinematic Universe. I feel like every time I buy one of their movies I feel like I'm buying an actual comic book.
5. If you had access to a time machine, would you prefer to travel to the past or the future?
Answer: I'd rather not bother with the future because if I knew what it looked like then I worry I would screw it up even more. With that said, I'd rather go back into the past.
William: Why the future?
Bishop: The past doesn't really interest me that much and I would rather go into the future because I would like to see what happens with technology and what not. No one wants to go back to the past.
Jayme: You're not concerned about what your future will look like?
William: What if something bad happens to you in the future and you want to avoid it?
Bishop: The only thing I need to worry about it whether or not I'm Batman in the future.
For more information on DreamScape Reality Productions, here's a link to their website: