In the Style of a Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie...
(Note: We recorded a second Hallmark Christmas Movie, and that one will be published on 12/21 - Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don't miss it!)
In a World...Where some people have forgotten about the meaning of Christmas and just focus on their careers, material success, and money...one woman will travel to the town of Snowy Brook Falls to discover that the most important things in life are ones that can’t be bought.
This show features the improv games Movie Trailer, Last Letter First Letter, Best of Times Worst of Times, Theatrical Genres, and Cutting Room. Plus, somehow, a giant pulsating egg...
This episode pays homage to Hallmark Christmas movies like...er...every Hallmark Christmas movie. Avish is a fan, and Mike appreciates them for what they are. In this movie we get in most of the cliches common to the genre (and boy, there are a lot!) - and we have a ton of fun discussing those tropes. Come kick off the holidays with us with our production of “Near Miss Kiss”!
The Hallmark Channel’s Christmas Movie Page: https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/christmas
Info on Hallmarks’ “Countdown to Christmas” on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallmark_Channel#Countdown_to_Christmas
Segment 1 - Discussion the Genre Tropes: 06:11
Segment 2 - Creating the Movie Outline: 15:42
Segment 3 - Picking the Improv Comedy Games: 24:19
Start of show: 30:29
Improv Game - Movie Trailer: 31:17
Improv Game - Last Letter First Letter: 33:23
Improv Game - Best of Times Worst of Times: 38:47
Improv Game - Theatrical Genres: 49:57
Improv Game - Cutting Room: 59:16
End of show, info, announcements: 1:12:33
More Information About the Show, Mike, and Avish
Subscribe to the podcast: http://AvishAndMike.com/Subscribe/
Our Website: www.AvishAndMike.com
Our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/143183833647812
Avish’s site: www.AvishParashar.com
Mike’s site: www.MikeWorthMusic.com/
Transcription of the “Discussing the Genre Tropes” Segment (Unedited and Un-Cleaned up)
Avish Parashar: Discussing the genre tropes, so we are now going to spend five minutes talking about the tropes cliches and commonalities of the hallmark Christmas movie and oh boy, are they a lot of them.
Avish Parashar: And they're in all.
Avish Parashar: I got a five minute timer now.
Michael Worth: Yes, sir.
Avish Parashar: All right, well Mike you I did not feel the need to rewatch one I haven't gotten into hallmark spirit, you know.
Avish Parashar: Obviously, this is a Christmas movies, but we're still before thanksgiving one recording it's I haven't quite but i've seen so many of these over the years that I didn't feel like I needed to like watch one.
Avish Parashar: You just.
Avish Parashar: watched one why don't you tell us what are some of the things that.
Avish Parashar: jumped out at you.
Michael Worth: i'm surprised i'm not watch too many movies i've watched it three or four of them look everybody's watched one, but you know i'm not i'm not the aficionados you are so.
Michael Worth: The one I watched yesterday was you know come Christmas reunion, or whatever it's all the same thing Okay, this is not hard to figure out.
Michael Worth: The whole thing is the main character is on this kind of redemptive Arc to like learn about the spirit of Christmas and usually the person is a high powered.
Michael Worth: You know socialite banker businessman right they're not super high powered and they get put in a situation where they have to do the fish out of water, and they have to.
Avish Parashar: They always start out in the big city.
Avish Parashar: Fast paced lifestyle yep correct climber yep ambitious.
Michael Worth: Wanting for nothing material that's the big thing of wanting for nothing materially.
Avish Parashar: yeah they've got all the material things and they're on the cusp.
Avish Parashar: Often they're on the cusp of like the big deal that's going to make their career.
Michael Worth: The most of the promotion yeah right, and they have an everything looks great but, whoever they have for their wife or husband or fiance because it's never a wife or husband well give me.
Michael Worth: it's always eye candy and right, you know, and then the inciting incident happens that forces them to have to end up in a small town America.
Avish Parashar: All those little town.
Avish Parashar: yeah I will say that they're often they're, not always with someone they are sometimes they're single i'm sure if they're with someone then there with the wrong person.
Michael Worth: Definitely yeah because because there's that the contract was a giant love story.
Michael Worth: Yes, and you place yeah so you have to where they end up in fish out of water in this small town can be anywhere but it's just not the big city and some of the other troops, the.
Avish Parashar: To the usually are the small town.
Avish Parashar: they're often sent to the small town end of the small town to conduct business.
Avish Parashar: in a negative way like they want to buy they want to demolish like.
Avish Parashar: They want to tear down the town's Christmas tree that's been there for 100 years to make room for a shopping mall or you know they want to kind of they're there to kind of tear up the fabric of the town, but then they get sucked into the town, and then they realize, oh no.
Michael Worth: yeah and so there's trip number two the town is populated by eccentric but affably lovable characters that are just completely like charmingly eccentric and you know.
Michael Worth: The that kind of thing you've always got some worldly matronly figure who plays kind of like a female mentor kind of thing um.
Avish Parashar: Sometimes will say, I will say it's a it's a mentor figure sometimes it's a.
Avish Parashar: Kindly old man sometimes the time the old woman, I would say, as a kindly is either kindly old man or a kindly kind of sassy old woman.
Michael Worth: yeah, for example, yesterday, the one that I got was a andie macdowell played the SAS but she played the owner of the restaurant, the town restaurant.
Michael Worth: Part of wisdom to the girl who was the heroin for the so he looks great, by the way, just like what's her face and spider man homecoming as it may she's aging beautifully.
Avish Parashar: Oh yeah.
Michael Worth: Oh yeah i'm okay.
Avish Parashar: Well, so we should just call it, as it is the protagonist in these 98% of the times the female.
Michael Worth: yeah I don't really think like a barring something like a Nick cage one where he did ultra timeline, which is the fantasy one it's almost always a female protagonist.
Avish Parashar: yeah I mean there might be some that have male protagonists and sometimes it's set up and like two protagonists.
Avish Parashar: Because you know, sometimes it's both need to learn the lesson, but.
Avish Parashar: yeah a female is almost always like.
Michael Worth: So another trope when she meets the future love interest they don't hit it off.
Avish Parashar: And yes, they never hit it off.
Michael Worth: Right right, but they have to work together, because of whatever this person the female titus needs to do this guy's the obstacle, or he has to aid her or whatever, and of course he doesn't want it to do it, etc, etc.
Avish Parashar: And they often and they're gonna butt heads over the whole like small town life versus big city fast pace.
Michael Worth: it's like you saw yesterday is moving.
Michael Worth: You cannot put too many images to Christmas in this everything is you know anytime there's a cut you're hearing silent night and Jingle Bells you're getting frosty the snowman eggnog everywhere it's always snowing.
Avish Parashar: Oh there's oh there's often an event a Christmas event the Christmas pageant the Christmas parade the condo gingerbread contest or, though.
Michael Worth: Are you saying as a newcomer partakes in an old family or town Christmas tradition, yes that's good.
Michael Worth: Because that's how the drinking card I got.
Avish Parashar: yours.
Michael Worth: There has to be carolyn there's absolutely Kelly, which he literally got off the bus in the movie yesterday at small town, the town was called snowy falls.
Avish Parashar: Over the names, the names are always like.
Avish Parashar: they're always names.
Avish Parashar: Of like Christmas themes or yeah holly.
Michael Worth: Man crisper with caleb Chris.
Avish Parashar: Chris Chris yeah.
Michael Worth: yeah yeah.
Avish Parashar: that's our duck timer, but I find.
Avish Parashar: Any other other.
Avish Parashar: So the thing we were talking about this is getting the when we get the outline um.
Avish Parashar: You know there's that turning point where they need to decide, you know which way to go.
Avish Parashar: And she's so worn by the town that she kind of but oftentimes, although not always sometimes the writing is so lazy and I love it they don't even do like a great.
Avish Parashar: twist like how she gets out of like her corporate versus her you know, sometimes it's just like oh no we're just going to watch the deal and that's going to be worth it like oh okay.
Avish Parashar: All right, there's no way you manage to make it all work he does like okay well the screw over millions of dollars, with his business and the people are going to make the money.
Michael Worth: The spirit of Christmas is okay oh and that's your thing is is the woman.
Michael Worth: The protagonist is either is a bah humbug Scrooge or she's just too busy to care about Christmas but she's filled with the spirit of Christmas and the critical part of that in act three so.
Avish Parashar: Yes, yes, very good and the final the final thing i'll say about this.
Avish Parashar: Is the the antagonists are never fully bad they're often mismatched or misguided but they're never evil so at the end right, even the bad guys.
Avish Parashar: are positive, they even even if it's even if it's like a married woman who's dumping her family, the husband's like I understand.
Michael Worth: yeah yeah.
Michael Worth: spineless calories.
Avish Parashar: yeah but like even the corporate overlords want to buy out the small town yep.
Avish Parashar: You know, often they're like you're neutral sometimes they're positive or neutral but it's never like it's never like an evil person who's just trying to crush the town and the.
Avish Parashar: Western like.
Michael Worth: Yes, never blazing saddles where it's like you know the bad guy, by the way, two more things and we're gonna move on, I promise there's always reference to a dead relative always.
Michael Worth: protects always dead relative.
Michael Worth: And it always snows at the very end because it's always Christmas Eve or.
Avish Parashar: Even if it's like in Hawaii or California there's got to be so.
Avish Parashar: The romance angle there's also a.
Avish Parashar: Along the villain thing there's sometimes a competing love interest like another woman, but also she ends up not being bad like.
Michael Worth: You know.
Avish Parashar: the lot of the conflict is dropped misunderstandings like they think these two are flirting when in fact they're not but that even like when there's a rival female.
Avish Parashar: That that women might even be later like look like you know you guys are so right for each other, I don't want to get in the way it's all just so like Sacconi sweet positive even the conflict is like no.
Avish Parashar: Oh yeah.
Michael Worth: Oh yeah I I I deliberately didn't do this because it's going to be too much work for me to do this, but when we do this in post production i'm dropping in Jingle Bells and i'm dropping in Jingle Bells on the piano all over the place in our in our podcast because it's.
Avish Parashar: Everywhere right oh yeah oh yeah the theme.
Avish Parashar: Music theme that all right.
Avish Parashar: So yeah just real quick.
Avish Parashar: it's rare that we get a genre that is so obvious.
Avish Parashar: But this is not even joking so when we talk about the two types of movies at those four.
Avish Parashar: created a little matrix there's.
Avish Parashar: Some the vertical axes, if you have.
Avish Parashar: versus dramatic and then on the horizontal axis, you have supernatural or not supernatural.
Michael Worth: or every day right.
Avish Parashar: yeah so these like the four there's like the comedic ones where there's no supernatural element, you know, like a mix up or a small town or you know.
Avish Parashar: manner yeah and then there's comedic with supernatural drama like oh this person might be Santa Claus or this person access granted a wish and then you have the same two things, with dramatic where it's like.
Avish Parashar: it's got some comedy but really it's much more serious and romantic it's like more introspective but, again, sometimes you have.
Michael Worth: yeah might be a guy who like gave up on Christmas, because his family died and Christmas.
Michael Worth: us all back.
Michael Worth: Oh yeah yeah.
Avish Parashar: So supernatural versus not community, so we are going today is, we are going with comedic non supernatural right.
Avish Parashar: and
Avish Parashar: And you'll hear this episode a couple weeks, and if you are listening to this episode.
Avish Parashar: Well, on December 7, that is, when this was going live, so if you're listening this on the day it comes out I believe tonight on December 7 we are doing a live episode go to a visa MC comm check out our episodes list there or a blog post to get the Info.
Avish Parashar: But uh yeah so in any case alright that brings us now to.
Transcription of the “Creating the Outline” Segment (Unedited and Un-Cleaned up)
Avish Parashar: Creating the outline all right now we're going to spend about five minutes, creating a high level outline for our hallmark Christmas movie.
Avish Parashar: we're going to use a four X structure where we kind of have the setup the kind of.
Avish Parashar: reactive phase, the proactive phase, and then the resolution for our for act structure, and this is our starting point, we may veer from it, because it's improv comedy, but this is where we're going to use kind of as our guide so are five minutes starts now.
Avish Parashar: Alright, so we often start with either a prologue or movie trailer I in for a hallmark movie I can't even imagine how to do a prologue.
Avish Parashar: it's Tony.
Michael Worth: Who are doing the trailer absolutely yeah yeah like I said I was watching predator last week and i'm like, how can you do a prologue duck duck duck duck duck duck.
Avish Parashar: yeah exactly yeah so you watch to Christmas movies, in the last week, well done.
Michael Worth: yeah exactly all right so real.
Avish Parashar: Very predator Christmas.
Avish Parashar: Right so X one.
Avish Parashar: X one, we have to meet the the hero or heroine.
Michael Worth: If you know tiger female female female and establish your ordinary world.
Michael Worth: Where.
Avish Parashar: The city, the fast pace yeah.
Avish Parashar: establish the stakes like why.
Avish Parashar: there's almost always a promotion involves like oh.
Avish Parashar: yeah do this don't get the promotion or the big deal or, though.
Michael Worth: yeah yeah or the big deal or looking at the merger or whatever it's a big financial thing um and.
Avish Parashar: And I say she has to go to the she goes to a small town.
Michael Worth: yeah she she has to go to the small town um.
Michael Worth: yeah we'll figure out why look what she should do it proactively she's building.
Avish Parashar: Whether the stakes that her task is usually based around that like you had to go to a small town and convince the lodge owners to sell or you know you gotta you gotta go get rid of that dog shelter because it's in the way of our highway we're trying to build like whatever whatever.
Michael Worth: were to drop that hard man, you know yeah.
Avish Parashar: Exactly if she if she has because she will often have like a boyfriend that's not right right yeah, and so we got to meet that person yep.
Michael Worth: But, but he does not accompany her to the small town, because the whole point is, you have to have the APP to conflict way.
Avish Parashar: Exactly he'll come back for X three or four.
Avish Parashar: back for like the end of act three.
Michael Worth: um and she ends act one with pretty much getting to that town and that's the crossing the threshold she comes in, she goes off.
Avish Parashar: Maybe eating the love interest kind of meeting you have some to get to the town alright cool.
Michael Worth: Man it's like it's like you're reciting the.
Michael Worth: Book saw yesterday.
Avish Parashar: Outside is so simplistic the movies, are so simple I didn't check them out baby that's how you can check out like.
Avish Parashar: This is great like like 20 years amazing.
Michael Worth: Alright, so she gets an act to here's what happens she stymied to finish her job, for whatever reason.
Avish Parashar: If you think there's going to be easy, but then from like the moment one like.
Michael Worth: For yesterday's one the guy who she had to talk to the sign the documents was out of town for the week cuz he had done a walk about.
Michael Worth: As a way to to walk about on December 22 Okay, whatever so so she's forced to acclimate to the town that's what she meets the the trials all the cast and wacky characters that are.
Avish Parashar: Trying to run she has to stay she meets the cast.
Avish Parashar: Particularly the love interest the mentor.
Michael Worth: Now there is.
Michael Worth: This is where she gets pulled unwillingly into Christmas traditions of a lighter nature, because later she uses her real world expertise to help the small town with a potentially failed Christmas tradition that's.
Avish Parashar: that's what do we have Oh yes, they always uses her like Oh, I was a ballerina or my architecture skills.
Avish Parashar: To help us design the gingerbread house.
Michael Worth: Exactly, but in the beginning, she doesn't want anything to do with it so it's like come on we're gonna go ice skating we all escape, and then we all help build a snowman and she's gonna want to do it, you know kind of thing right.
Avish Parashar: And we need to see the initial friction, but also heat between the two main characters.
Michael Worth: But yes, because there's near miss kisses.
Avish Parashar: Oh yes, near miss kisses.
Michael Worth: She falls.
Avish Parashar: should be the title for a hallmark movie.
Michael Worth: You know what.
Avish Parashar: Maybe we use.
Avish Parashar: That may have to be.
Michael Worth: near miss kiss let's do.
Michael Worth: Our show near miss kitty.
Avish Parashar: yeah it's still improvise we just came up with it, but near miss kiss.
Avish Parashar: Oh, oh oh i'm sorry i'm sorry, they should come out of the improv.
Avish Parashar: main characters last name has to be kiss.
Avish Parashar: Oh, my God, yes, yes, near miss kiss it's a miss kiss but her next movies always have that double entendre.
Michael Worth: Our main character is is miss.
Avish Parashar: We gonna we give her whatever first name, we want, but her last name has to kiss yeah.
Michael Worth: near miss kisses the title.
Avish Parashar: I haven't had this much fun to my for outlines like.
Avish Parashar: we've done some of our favorite movies, I love to watch this is just.
Avish Parashar: This is just entertaining the hell, it is so she meets the characters she.
Avish Parashar: engaged in the tradition that she's not super good at or into has some friction almost kisses that we're romantic tension and it's something has to happen at the end of that attitude shifts are.
Avish Parashar: Usually there's like a moment light like the main character, the loving because of her are like on a walk and they have some interaction or some conversation which kind of starts to melt her a little bit.
Avish Parashar: yeah yeah then when she wakes up the next day she kind of jumps morning to the town's kind of feel.
Avish Parashar: So we get a moment is going to shift her perception of Christmas.
Michael Worth: Do we am I going into detail with this is there sometimes.
Michael Worth: A quiet duck with a warm too much fun.
Avish Parashar: Why do that was enough time or we're going to keep going.
Michael Worth: yeah yeah like the character that that might be in trouble, and she has to kind of step up to help for example yesterday there was a homeless guy and then, when the snowfall hit they had to go out and find him so he didn't freeze to death.
Avish Parashar: yeah there is often someone help does bonding oftentimes it's with a kid like a lot of times the main male character has children, and then the.
Avish Parashar: Female sort of bonds with them as like a motherly figure and that kind of that's kind of how the mail starts to see the woman there different way, you know she seemed all business but oh look she's really sweet um.
Avish Parashar: yeah you know or May, and then the girl can other the kid can kind of serve as like a catalyst, or a matchmaker a little bit so yeah there could be like a helping thing.
Avish Parashar: Now so yeah i'll just move on to act three.
Avish Parashar: we're only halfway through our outline where it's five minutes.
Michael Worth: So, but after is pretty easy.
Michael Worth: at three is where two things are happening, which is the town is getting ready for its big Christmas celebration and there's some MP impediments.
Michael Worth: And the girl is running out of time to close out what she needs to do for a company, and this is where the switch happens where the girl leverages her old knowledge by the old job new job as.
Avish Parashar: Possible yeah maybe 2.0 say.
Michael Worth: She she leverages her old knowledge to help with the new tradition, you know, for example, there was when I tell you it was a.
Michael Worth: raffle salad raffle so she leverages her ability to fundraise to get everyone to donate stuff um conversely, this is when the boyfriend or the fiance shows up to leverage pressure to close the deal.
Avish Parashar: Yes, the the original fiance or boyfriend comes back, and I would say in active The other thing happens is she helps the town and the town starts a warmer they start to trust her and they're almost ready to do what she's asking them to because they they.
Avish Parashar: built that connection, and then like the boyfriend comes in and makes it worse, reveals how bad and she probably doesn't even know like oh I didn't know you're going to destroy the animal shelter, I thought you were just going to you know build around it.
Avish Parashar: Right, and I would say that when there is a big Christmas tradition that in act three she's using her skills to help it, but I think the thing doesn't actually happen to like for.
Michael Worth: agree because he's supposed to supposed to have left.
Michael Worth: yeah he has a change of heart and that for.
Avish Parashar: At the end.
Avish Parashar: She does often leave at the end of act three or something something at the end of happens where everything falls apart or romance falls apart the town doesn't like her.
Avish Parashar: she's often going back to stay with the fiance yep yep.
Avish Parashar: Like she's like all right i'll go back with you yep.
Avish Parashar: she's an act, for she has a revelation she comes running back she does the big thing She Figures out the way of saving the town and her career, or just saving the town and saying screw the career, I want to be just a small town person.
Michael Worth: Exactly and she's rewarded, and she falls in love with the guy and it snows and there's an ugly sweaters and there's there's.
Avish Parashar: The Dolly fade out shot that you pull.
Michael Worth: Up oh God, yes, with the gorgeous lady good oh yeah.
Avish Parashar: Oh, the lighting I wish we could do the light in.
Michael Worth: Like we're so.oh.
Avish Parashar: Alright, well, we have a nice outline