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The Brand New Ask Jim Lewis Thread

dwayne1115

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I wanted to give people a little update on what I have been working on. I was looking the other day at ToughPigs.com and realized that they had a Forum. So I contated Ryan, to see if they would like to become a part of the Ask Jim Lewis Family. We are working out the details now, and soon we should have some fresh new blood asking questions. When Ryan gets back from his trip I will feel him in on the details as well.
For thouse that do not know there are times when I could not send Questions off to Jim, and Ryan AKA Prwancraker has helped me out a whole lot.
Now when and if this kicks off over at toughpigs, I will be spending a bit of my time there, and In my abstenst I would like for Ryan to be the "leader" on this end. We will work together combinging the questions from here and at the other froum, and then posting the answers on both this and at toughpigs. Now this is going to be up to Ryan, but I would like for someone to vollentere to be a backup for this end. If anyone is interessted PM me and I'll see what we can do.
This is going to be I hope a big step for us here at the Ask Jim thread, and I can't wait to see what will happen with all this. If anyone else has any other ideas on how to broden our reach of people please let me know. I was going to try and start a thread over at IMDB.com but you have to be a paying membere, and I just don't have that kind of money. So if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Dwayne
 

frogboy4

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You didn't know TP had a forum, or are you being facetious? :wink: Tough Pigs Forum has been around for quite a few years (at least seven or eight) now. They often have contact with industry folk as you have with Jim. It will be interesting to read what questions they will have. There's a lot of Muppet knowledge over there. A vast amount! :wisdom:
 

dwayne1115

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Well i did know they had a froum, I just was never a membere, or looked at it much. Your right though this should really bring some interesting questions to the table.
 

minor muppetz

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Well, I haven't been able to post in awhile, but now that I'm back, I have a few questions.

If you can remember, was Nigel the onyl name for the Muppets Tonight Nigel, or did his name have any extentions, like "Nigel the Director" (which is what fans often call him to disambiguate him from the conductor of the same name) or possibly a proper last name, or was he just called Nigel?

When writing something where the characters play roles, like Muppet Classic Theater (I know that you didn't write any of the movies where they portray characters), what names are given to them in the scritps? Do you list them by their real names (like Kermit or Gonzo), by their characters names (like Rumplestilskin or Shoemaker), or do you do something like "Miss Piggy/ Sandy Pig" or "Gonzo as Rumplestilskin"?
 

dwayne1115

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Wow that last one is a great question! to bad I don't have time now to send them. I will first thing when i get back from work. minor good to have you back!
 

Redsonga

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I'm sure this has been asked a million times before and I'm sure you're bored with answering it from little fraggle-y internet writers like me that just now happened to find this topic but *deep breath*

Is getting into the world of muppet writing especially hard? Do you need a degree in screenwriting? Or is it more of a 'write-for-other-types-of-films/shows- and- then- battle- gorgs- to- prove- your- worthiness' type of job now for newcomers?

*giftwarps her very common nothing special question and runs off*
 

Beauregard

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I have a question, and it may have been asked before...

Jim...er...Hawkins, or whoever ya be, have'st ye ever wanted or had'est the opportunity for to do and for to write for Sesame Street or any other Hensonian puppety project? And if you did'st have such an one opportunity, who, what, where would'st thou want to worke'st upon?

In other words, have you ever had the opportunity to write for any of the other Muppet worlds? And if you did, are there any you'd be excited to work on?
 

dwayne1115

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Alrighty everyone I have sent some questtions to Jim, and when i get and post them I will send you all a PM as before. Also Minor Muppets I sent your last question first just because I wanted to get the answer to that one first. I will send your frist one next batch around I promase!
 

dwayne1115

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Here ya go!


March 14 Questions for Jim Lewis




1.From Dwayne: We have heard Kermit, and you say that in the next Muppet Movie show or whatever that the Muppet should play themselves. The New Muppet Comics are going to be based on some classic storys like Robin Hood and so forth. Is this going to help the Muppets be able to play themselves on the Big or little screen, or do you think that after reading the Muppets take on Robin Hood that they would love to see it as a TV show/ Special or movie?

In the forthcoming comics, the Muppets do their take on those classic stories – but as always the characters are thinly disguised versions of themselves. (Just as the Marx Brothers always were themselves, regardless of whether the were at the opera, at the circus, at college…etc.) That said, I think this kind of approach is perfect for a comic book, where the story must be self-contained and the story self-sustaining. Will that translate to a movie/special? I honestly don’t know. It’s a possibility, which of course is another way of saying “I don’t know”. Regardless of where we find them or whoever they are supposed to be, we all want the Muppets to be themselves and the very best (funniest, inspiring, surprising) version of themselves.




2. From Minor Muppetz: When writing something where the characters play roles, like Muppet Classic Theater (I know that you didn't write any of the movies where they portray characters), what names are given to them in the scritps? Do you list them by their real names (like Kermit or Gonzo), by their characters names (like Rumplestilskin or Shoemaker), or do you do something like "Miss Piggy/ Sandy Pig" or "Gonzo as Rumplestilskin"?

Yes. Exactly. When the characters portray a role, I usually list them as their character as well as who is portraying that character. If, for instance, Miss Piggy appears as herself and as the character, then it is useful to differentiate with different names. It affects the way a performer will play scene. (Or at least I hope it will)





3. From Redsonga: I'm sure this has been asked a million times before and I'm sure you're bored with answering it from little fraggle-y internet writers like me that just now happened to find this topic but *deep breath*

Is getting into the world of muppet writing especially hard? Do you need a degree in screenwriting? Or is it more of a 'write-for-other-types-of-films/shows- and- then- battle- gorgs- to- prove- your- worthiness' type of job now for newcomers? 

*giftwarps her very common nothing special question and runs off*

I don’t know how I got here. The last thing I recall was being struck over the head with a large polo mallet, and the next thing – I’m writing for the Muppets. So, my advice is to get a polo mallet and….
No, sorry……The truth is that this is a very small niche (like any writing job in TV or movies). How I got here is not necessarily the way to go. I have a degree in journalism, was a newspaper and magazine writer for awhile, did some script writing during the very very early days of Nickelodeon, and was editor of Muppet Magazine where, in the mid 1980s I was one of the few people writing in the Muppet character voices. This was a great training ground. When Jim Henson was looking for someone to write for the characters in the budding field of home video, I was ready. And once I got in, they couldn’t get me out. All you can do is write. Not necessarily Muppets, but something where you can get published and/or considered for production. Even if it’s a self-made video, it’s practice. And then, you just cross your fingers and hope and….
Yeah, I know it’s not terribly useful advice, but there’s really no secret. Learn what you can. Practice as much as you can. And take any spot that will get you closer to the action you want to be a part of. Hey, if me and Ringo can make it, anyone can.


4. From Beauregard: Jim...er...Hawkins, or whoever ya be, have'st ye ever wanted or had'est the opportunity for to do and for to write for Sesame Street or any other Hensonian puppety project? And if you did'st have such an one opportunity, who, what, where would'st thou want to worke'st upon?

In other words, have you ever had the opportunity to write for any of the other Muppet worlds? And if you did, are there any you'd be excited to work on?

I have written small bits for Sesame-related productions, such as the arena shows and some punch-up on the last Elmo movie, but never have I been aboard the actual “Sesame Street” mothership. I bow and curtsy in their general direction, for what they do is endlessly amazing. As for othe Muppet-like projects – yes I’ve done non-Classic Muppet stuff whenever the need or opportunity arose (e.g. The Animal Show, Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola, Sid the Science Kid) but Kermit and company are my main squeeze.
 

antsamthompson9

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I have a question. Jim, I noticed that during the Muppets takeover of the Today Show, Steve Whitmire preformed Big Mean Carl and Joey Mazzarino did one of the rats. Were those segments pre-taped?
 
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