Au Contraire

This weekend (ending today, August 29)  is the Au Contraire Science Fiction convention in Wellington.

Due to circumstances involving random generation of events, I ended up on a panel yesterday talking about amateur film making with Peter Friend and Norman Cates.

My contribution was minor, being but to go off on weird gibbering tangents to whatever was being said. But it was also good to watch some of the vids that Mr Friend and Mr Cates had. for some of Peter’s bits vids.

Also in attendance was costume designer Gemma as she had been at the previous panel on Cosplay and I was happy to show off a couple of her SAMBT costumes.

PLUS! I had burned about 15 dvds of all the episodes and I think I got rid of 14. So if you were one of the lucky attendees at that panel, you have a rare, numbered and signed special collectors edition. I think they went up to about number 44.

A lady came up to me afterwards and picked one of them up off the table. (I shan’t do her German accent) and she said in as friendly a way as you can say the following statement:

“This is free because it isn’t very good?”

I didn’t have the heart to disappoint her by saying, No baby, it’s free because it’s Frikkin Awesome!!! So we just smiled together. Then I stole her purse.

Nice con. I have been stricken bya virulent Man Flu and unable to see much but its like all the best cons –  loose, friendly and a crapton of events.  You gotta love fandom!!!

SAMBT script. Well, most of it.

Here is a link to a text file version of the full script for Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank.

Not everything in it appears in the finished product (bits calling for special effects, model work, high class acting, for example) and not everything in the finished product had a script.  (For instance, the flashback stuff with Cormac and me cutting the wires and injecting the flooby gooby stuff in episode 11 were pretty much ad libbed to pad out the time.)

Red or blue man, red or blue? I can't tell, the whole fucking flashback's in black and white.

For those who have downloaded Celtx (the link is amongst the other links I think), the Celtx-formated script is here.

We didn’t do a lot of adlibbing so most of it is all here. There is one bit that I added later and even shot, but forgot to put in, and it was after the Commander got hit by the Hoolie Doolie spear.

It turns out that as the result of a treaty settlement for the taking of minerals from their planet, their protest attacks were to only use non-lethal spears. “But they still hurt if they hit you in the nuts”, the Commander was to have said.

The other ad lib was during the flashback after the spear attack when Cormac does the hot teaspoon thing on Alex after talking about the rusty trombone. (By the way … about 18 takes because one of them laughed every time the words “rusty trombone” were said. Unbelievable). That came from a game Corm played with Paul Banks and Adrian Holland when they flatted together. I never got tired of watching them do that to each other.


Copywrite for the script is all mine, mine, mine, bwahahahahahahahaha. 



Bill O’Byrne  2010. 




Alas Mr Mutch …

Lindsay Mutch. Poet, writer, journo, clever bastard.

Lindsay Mutch, a great booster for Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank, died on Monday, June 28, at Wellington Hospital. I had dropped him off a couple of hours earlier after what he thought was a chest infection proved to be something much worse. He suffered a fatal heart attack in the hospital, though he was chatting to the nurses while he was being seen to. He always did like the ladies …

Anyway, Lindsay went out of his way to promote SAMBT. I think his critical faculties always got suspended for his mates, which was the sort of person he was.

He also helped out with some props, such as the one visible behind Alex and Cormac during the Rusty Trombone flashback.

This is the text that he did with the smaller story, Space Patrol investigates catering IQ shocker to make up the space. He banged it out in about five mintues. Lindsay was a funny, generous guy who was a great writer as well. His loss is so rottenly sad.

Space Patrol investigates catering IQ shocker.

Unnamed sources in Kiwi Space Patrol have revealed a secret probe into how a catering crew with “the combined IQ of a mentally-challenged brick” came to be in charge of one of its battle tanks.

“The worst thing is, they’re still out there,” the KSP official said.

It is believed one of the crew only passed his microwave oven operation test on the fifteenth attempt. The test involved the heating of a meat pie. Allegedly it was not until the sixth try that the trainee managed to get the oven’s door open.

“Oh yes, I remember him,” said cuisine tutor Dep Freud, “he kept pawing at the microwave like he’d never seen one before. It became less like trying to teach him to cook and more like trying to train a monkey.

“In fact, at one point, we called NASA officials to get some tips from their chimp handlers from the 1960s.

“On learning they had actually taught chimps to pilot spacecraft we seriously considered replacing this particular catering crew with apes. Sadly most of NASA’s apes had long died of old age, and those still alive demanded more money than we’re actually paying the crew in question.”

Rumours at the Farquiddity Base suggest one of the crew needs to be slapped on the back of the head just to get his brain operating enough to perform simple tasks.

The alleged investigation will endeavour to uncover how such incompetent simpletons managed to get into the corps in the first place.

No answers yet.

A Salute – to the Super Awesome All Whites

Next it is Paraguay, then Uruguay, then Youraguy and Imaguy and then who knows. 

Well done those men. In a non-exclusive or gender limiting way.

Finishing Touches

Ms Cossar singing SAMBT the Lament version.

This is how we do it on Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank … singing to a broomstick with the mike taped to it set against a silvery backdrop held up by duct tape.

It was a nice way to end the production … and it is available for free download from here. Suitable for singing along when under sustained heavy enemy fire, or when being dealt to my your own forces.

Oh, and The All Whites one-all with Italy. Wooo Hooo!!!!!

Final death battle

Last night [being the now-hallowed 10th of June] was the final night of what shall be rather grandly called principal photography.

It was a chance to unveil one of our hitherto secret weapons … the mighty, and mighty goddam hairy torso of Alex Tashkoff.  He wanted to go Bruce Lee on our arses, and I said that was acceptable, if rather tangental to the rest of the plot, if he would unleash the beast within. Actually, it is pretty well on the outside as well, as you can see here.

Afterwards the crew, sans Janet who was at some poncey deputy principals’ dinner, went to the General Practitioner’s to congratulate one another for another damn fine night’s work. Mr Tashkoff and Mr Cossar talked about metaphysics and things of a higher philosophical plane while Mr Qian and myself engaged in the conversation with bon mots as they were appropriate. Or something completely unlike that.

Episode 12 is out Monday, and Episode 13 a week after that.

I might have to cop this one sweet …

On the other hand, the synchronicity of the university can be a weird thing.

I was watching South Park before I went to work this morning, and it was the one where the boys set up the Super Awesome Talent Agency. I think Janet was just about to leave, and did that raised eyebrow thing.

No, I thought of it myself, I said.

But I know I have seen it before, mainly because it features Wing, and it WAS done in 2005, and since I only wrote the Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank screenplay 18 months ago …

On the other hand, I had the idea for a funny teenage werewolf movie in 1982. And fucking Teen Wolf came out in 1986. So it just goes to show.