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Thursday, February 11, 2010

FUN FACTS on the LONGER, UN-CUT VERSION of "iSaved Your Life" !!!

by Dan Schneider
iCarly Executive Producer/Creator


These are the UPDATED Fun Facts for iSaved Your Life.  The new Fun Facts will be in THIS BLUE COLOR.  The Fun Facts I posted for the original, shorter episode will remain in black text.

This new, extended version of iSaved Your Life airs again tonight, Saturday, February 13th on Nick!

If you haven't yet seen iSaved Your Life, you may want to watch the episode before you read on, because these Fun Facts contain some spoilers.

If you've already seen the episode, then read on!

Here we go...

When you're done reading all this, please tell any of your friends who like iCarly about these Fun Facts, and that they can come here to read them.  Thanks!

*** iSaved Your Life ***

This episode, which aired on Monday night, January 18th, was the most-watched iCarly episode in the history of the series.  That record was previously held by iQuit iCarly – which aired in December of 2009 and got 8.8 million viewers.

iSaved Your Life got 11.2 million viewers, smashing our old record, and making it it the most watched live action telecast on Nickelodeon, ever.

There are a few reasons why I wanted to air this extended "Producer's Cut" version of the episode.  The reasons are:

---> I wanted to do it for the fans of iCarly.  They turned out in such huge numbers to support the original airing of the episode, I wanted to give them something more.  It's not a new idea to show deleted scenes from a movie, but it's a little unusual for a TV show.  Also, I really like the fact that the fans don't have to BUY this longer version of the show – it's FREE on TV!

---> There was a lot of extra footage to put back in.  The original editor's cut of iSaved Your Life was nearly SEVEN minutes long.  Most episodes come in at only 1 or 2 minutes over.  So, a lot had to be cut out for the original version.  If I'd had to cut only 1 or 2 minutes, I wouldn't have been too interested in making an extended version.  But SEVEN MINUTES is almost a THIRD of an episode.  And lots of it was great stuff that I was sad to have cut the first time.

---> This longer version is just a better show (than the original, shorter version).  The pace is more relaxed.  To me, it just feels more "pleasant" to watch, if that makes sense.

---> Many people who contact me online are interested in how television works and how it's made.  Lots of them hope to work in TV some day.  They ask me all kinds of questions about the process of making a TV show.  I bet most of them don't know that almost all TV episodes start off too long, and then must be cut down to get "to time".  Well, seeing this extended version of iSave Your Life will let the viewers see exactly how we take a TV episode that's too long, and creatively make cuts ("lifts") in order to shorten the running time. 

Why was the episode so long?  Various reasons.  The script was too long to begin with.  And I often add lots of things on stage while we film the show.  So, when we start with a long script, and then I happen to add a lot of new jokes and bits during filming, we end up with a show that's way too long.

By the way, this extended episode may not be for everyone.  Some people really enjoy watching a movie or TV show they've already seen with new, extra scenes, but some people don't.  If you're the type who doesn't really care, then this extended version of iSaved Your Life probably isn't for you.

And now, the Fun Facts about the extended version of iSaved Your Life...

The first bonus you'll get with this new version is that it's being broadcast in wide screen even on older style TV sets.  If you have an older TV set, it will be letterboxed (the original version was not letterboxed).  If you have a newer high-def TV, it will fill the whole screen (as iCarly episodes always do).  If possible, do try to watch the show on a high-def TV because the show looks really great that way.

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins in the iCarly studio – Carly and Sam are listening to another ghost story from George, the bra.  Quite a lot of material has been added back into this scene!

---> Another fun appearance by George, the bra who tells ghost stories.  "He" is very popular with the iCarly audience.  He's voiced by actor Andrew Hill Newman, who's also written on many of my shows (The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, iCarly, and others).

---> There's some new dialogue from George the bra.  Not much, but a little.

---> For those interested in iCarly trivia, according to our costumer, Kris, George is size 34C.

---> The green toys that Carly and Sam are sitting on are called "Inch Worms" – I remember them from my own childhood, which is why I asked the prop department to see if they could get them.  I was surprised and happy that they still make them!  CLICK HERE to see.

---> This is the first scene where we see the Blow-Tubes.  Nickelodeon prefers that we avoid the use of any types of guns, even paint ball guns.  So, I had the idea to create something you blow into (as opposed to pulling a trigger).  I chatted about it with our amazing assistant art director, Tristan, and described what I wanted the Blow-Tubes to look like.  He then created them.  I think they ended up looking fantastic.  Many fans have been asking me where they can buy them.  But unfortunately, the don't exist in any stores.  (But can you guess who snagged them after the episode was filmed?  Yep, me!  All Blow-Tubes used in the episode are now safely locked away in a secret, undisclosed location.)

---> Once again, a mention of "Socko" – Spencer's best friend.  We've never met Socko on the show, and I haven't decided yet if we will.  Sometimes it's fun to just imagine what a character is like.  By the way, as I've mentioned before, there's a real Socko in my life – he and his brothers are terrific guys who make beautiful hand-made furniture.

---> I think that Freddie saying "Sure" is new (before he plays back the video of him being shot by Sam's paint ball).

---> When Freddie is shot in the chest with the orange paint ball, he's wearing a chest-protector under his shirt, because paint balls can really sting when they hit you.  If you look really closely, you can kind of see that he's wearing the protector under his shirt.

---> I put back a long section where Carly and Sam take challenges from fans who call into iCarly to video chat, live.  One of these video calls (the second one) will explain why Carly is wearing a bunny suit in the next scene.  Both video calls were fun, but they were not necessary to make the story work.  And when you're 7 minutes too long, you have to target everything that isn't necessary to the story.

*** Main Titles ***

---> Look at the browser page when the main titles begin.  Hardcore iCarly fans will notice a change in the websites that are listed under the address bar.  Can you identify the change?  It relates to my new show Victorious which premieres on March 27th, right after the Kids' Choice Awards.

*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins with Carly in a pink bunny suit, walking downstairs.

---> Now we know why Carly walks downstairs in the pink bunny suit.  In the shorter version, it was okay to explain it later in this scene (which Carly does).  But in this extended version, you now know (when this scene begins) why Carly is in the bunny suit.

---> A new Penny-Tee on Spencer!  I really like that this one says Chest Words.  By the way, get excited, because I think Penny-Tees are going to be for sale at a great store, near you, soon!  More info to come on that as I get it.

---> Carly now says "Spencer" in a scolding way, just before Spencer says, "I thought you were gonna be Sam!"

---> After Carly says, "You stand up!" – I love the shot of Spencer popping up from behind the kitchen counter.  I may use that shot in the next main titles.  The expression on Jerry's face kills me.

---> More random Spanish from Freddie.  Did you catch it?  It makes no sense.  And WHY does Freddie speak random Spanish?!?  Will we find out one day?  Maybeeeeee. ;)

---> When the green paint ball strikes the fridge, how hilarious is Spencer's reaction?  I vote: VERY.

---> The whole "Carly-frisking-Sam" sequence at the end of this scene is longer.  Carly now finds two of the smaller blow-tubes on Sam.  In the original episode, she only found one of the smaller tubes.

*** Scene 3 ***
Scene begins with Spencer getting a pizza out of the oven.  There are only some very minor tweaks to this scene.   You won't even notice them.

---> In the outline for this script, we had planned to shoot the scene where Freddie pushed Carly out of the way of the taco truck.  But we dropped that scene because the episode would have been too long, and the story worked fine without seeing that scene.  But it would have been fun to shoot and cool to have in the show, had this been a one-hour episode.

---> For all the fans who love the Sam-Freddie relationship, please notice that Sam was quite upset about the fact that Freddie got injured.  Know what I'm sayin'?

*** Scene 4 ***
This scene begins in Freddie's room, with Mrs. Benson adjusting Freddie's bedding.  Big additions to this scene!  Lots!

---> This scene begins with LOTS more interaction between Freddie and his mom, Mrs. Benson.  We learn what she's spraying Freddie with, and where she got the spray.  And we hear Mrs. Benson explain her theory about teen girls, hormones, and R&B music. :)   If you're a fan of Mrs. Benson, there's a lot more of her in this extended version of iSaved Your Life.

---> A ton of thought went into deciding what Freddie's room should look like.  There are many details and nuances, lots of which are references to past episode.

---> VERY Fun Fact: You see Freddie's Galaxy Wars sheets?  Well, Galaxy Wars (the fictional movie) was first mentioned on Drake & Josh, in an episode where Drake and Josh wanted to go to a friends birthday party.  And guess who was in that episode?  A much younger NATHAN KRESS.  I ended up cutting Nathan out of that D&J episode because, when I was editing it, that was just around the time I cast Nathan as "Freddie Benson" in iCarly.  I wanted to save his debut for iCarly.  But if you watch that episode of Drake & Josh very closely, you can still see Nathan in some of the wide shots.  And, interesting, he was playing a boy who was flirting heavily with "Megan" played by Miranda Cosgrove.  Does that make your head explode or what? ;)

---> I absolutely LOVE the bit where Mrs. Benson punches in the door-unlock code and it goes on forever.  I laugh every time I see it.  And... I know exactly how many digits she punches in (because we had to add a beep sound-effect for each one.  Do you know how many digits she presses?  See if you can guess!  And after you guess, just highlight the two red X's below to see the answer!
    X  Forty-six!  X

---> We learn that Mrs. Benson insists on people leaving their shoes and sock in the hallway -- and that Spencer isn't wearing socks – and that Mrs. Benson leaves a basket of fresh socks in the front hallway for her guests.

---> I enjoy the way Spencer wears his Blow-Tube on his belt – very "Han Solo" style.

---> There's a hilarious run between Mrs. Benson and Spencer about a nursery rhyme that deals with Posies.  It's seriously funny.  I was so sad I had to delete this run from the original episode.  But now you get to see & hear it.  I love the nursery rhyme!  Mrs. Benson is just insane.

---> When Mrs. Benson leaves to go soak the flowers in bleach, she stops to say to Carly (in a creepy way), "It should have been you."  She does this later in the episode, too.  But in the original version, that line was cut from this scene.  Now it's back in.

---> This is a small thing, but Spencer now says, "Speaking of business..." (to Freddie) – those words were not in the original episode.

*** Scene 5 ***
Scene begins in school with Gibby approaching Sam at the lockers.  Only minor changes to this scene.

---> I think I added more to the very beginning of this scene.  Now, you see Sam walk in to school, looking around nervously for Spencer (before she's approached by Gibby).

---> "I'm just a Gibby!" is many people's favorite line from the episode.  Another very popular line is, "I didn't know – I don't have cable!"

---> Sam saying, "But whatever tickles your peach" also makes me laugh pretty hard.  I like when we (the writers) make up phrases that don't really exist in real life.

---> Personally, I think that the ending of this scene between Sam and Gibby is an iCarly CLASSIC moment.  Gibby: "How my hair look, Sam?"

*** Scene 6 ***
Scene begins in Freddie's room – Mrs. Benson and Carly walk in.  Definitely some new material added back to this scene.

---> Carly brings in a tray of cupcakes.  In real life, Miranda is obsessed with cupcakes, so I often work cupcakes into the scripts.  Remember a few episodes back – Carly's red velvet cupcakes (from Cupcake Jake's) that Sam sucked all the cream filling out of? 

---> Now, before Freddie falls, Carly opens Freddie's closet door and finds a surprise inside.

---> For obvious reasons, the network freaked out a little at the idea of Carly going to help Freddie after he fell in the shower.  But I assured them that Carly would never "see anything" – which we (the writers) accomplished by having Carly "blindfold" herself by wearing a swim mask which she stuffs with socks.  I even made sure to put in the line, "I can't see anything".

---> In this version, Carly trips and falls flat on her face on her way to Freddie's shower, because she's blindfolded and can't see the step.  In the original (shorter) version, Carly did not trip and fall.  I had to cut it for time.  And notice... no pads on the floor.  She actually hit the floor, face down!  That's commitment. :)

---> I think there's a little bit of extra dialogue between Carly and Freddie, as they're talking, before the kiss happens.

---> And... the kiss.  Sweet, huh?  We did a lot of takes.  Neither Nathan or Miranda seemed to mind at all. :)

---> The kiss at the end of this scene now lasts about 2 or 3 seconds longer.  Can you tell?  It does.


*** Scene 7 ***
Scene begins in Freddie's room, with Carly and Freddie still kissing.  Lots more new material in this scene.

---> There's lots more talking and interaction (and more kissing) between Carly and Freddie at the beginning of this scene (before Mrs. Benson enters and catches them kissing).

---> We get to see a Galaxy Wars stun blazer in action.  Enjoy watching Freddie getting blasted.

---> Mrs. Benson's line, "What the yuck?!" was not scripted.  In the script, she says "What the jack?!"  We got a few takes with "jack" – but then I thought of "What the yuck?!" which I thought was funnier, so I had her say that on the last few takes.

---> The whole bit where Mrs. Benson beats Carly with Freddie's underwear was not in the script.  I came up with that idea as we were filming the scene.  In the first few takes, Carly just ran out.  Then we added the underwear-beating sequence in later takes.  I'm particularly fond of Carly's line, "She's beating me with your underwear!"

---> This is a different take of Carly being beaten with underwear by Mrs. Benson (a different than the take I used in the shorter version).  I like this take a little better because, as you'll see, Carly cutely swats back at Mrs. Benson (in a very girly way) just before she runs out.

*** Scene 8 ***
Scene begins in the hallway with Carly all freaked out, running out of Freddie's apartment then leaning back against the door.  I added back an entire ending to this scene which was cut from the shorter version that aired.

---> In the original version of this episode that you say, this scene ended with Carly saying, "I kissed Freddie!"  But now you'll see a whole new ending where Sam questions Carly about the kiss.  I always liked this latter part of the scene, but it had to be cut (originally) for time.

---> Sam's line, "Have I ever hit you?" (said to Carly) may seem like just a cute little line, but it actually means a lot.  To me, it highlights a very important part of the Carly-Sam relationship.  We all know that when Sam gets angry, she's likely to get violent, too (i.e. TV sitcom "violent").  BUT... Sam would never get violent with Carly – because Sam has too much respect for Carly.  In fact, if you think about it, Carly is really the only person that can control Sam – the only person that can make Sam back down.  I think that's kind of a cool part of the show.

*** Scene 9 *** 
Scene begins in the school hallway with Carly and Freddie (on crutches).  Tons of new stuff in this scene.  In fact, the whole first minute-and-a-half is footage you've never seen before.

---> There are two new things we get out of the first minute-and-a-half of this scene.  We see Carly being very into Freddie, in a girlfriend-y way, and being protective of him.  We also see that the news of Freddie's life-saving act has upped his celebrity factor at school.  There's a very real thing.  Girls tend to swoon over injured boys. :)  Anyway, I liked both these aspects of the scene.  They were only cut from the original version because of time – the show "worked" without these things.

---> The Batman exchange makes me chuckle.  It's an example of how stories spread and facts often get distorted.  And I also like Freddie's response, "Uh, sure... spread that rumor."

--->  It's interesting to watch Carly get possessive of Freddie when the other girl is showing interest in him.  Is it a bit immature of Carly?  Yes.  It is.  But I like making Carly less than perfect.  It's good to occasionally let her exhibit behavior that may not be ideal, but is real in terms of how many 15-year-old girls behave sometimes.  Characters who are always perfect can get boring (and even annoying) fast.

---> More kissing.  So, if you don't like seeing Carly and Freddie kiss, this scene would be the perfect time for you to change the channel, or take a nice bike ride around your neighborhood.  Always wear a helmet! :)

---> If you think it's "bad" or "wrong" for me to tell viewers to not watch if they don't like to see Carly and Freddie kiss, then I urge you to teach me a harsh lesson by never watching iCarly, ever again.  Please!  LOL! :)

---> Once Sam enters this scene, I think the rest is the same as it was in the original version.

---> We (the writers) spent a lot of time considering what attitude Sam would/should have about Carly and Freddie kissing and acting all boyfriendy-girlfriendy.  There were many ways to go, all of which could make sense.  In the end, we decided that Sam (at this point in the the series) wouldn't be all upset with Carly for kissing Freddie and liking him.  We made Sam almost amused by it... in a bit of a mocking way ("Well, good morning Mr. and Mrs. Benson!").  So, why doesn't Sam take it more seriously?  Maybe because Sam is fairly confident the relationship wouldn't last – and she was right.  Maybe Sam figures that Carly is just temporarily enamored of Freddie because he saved her life.  Sam convinces Freddie of this, and later, Freddie convinces Carly.  Some friends of mine who watch the show think that Sam was jealous, and sabotaged the relationship by planting doubt in Freddie's mind.  When Sam and Freddie talked about the "foreign bacon" metaphor, was Sam being insightful and helpful to Freddie?  Or was it all a very clever (devious) manipulation?  Sam freely admits that the idea of Carly and Freddie as a couple makes her "want to puke up blood."  Why?  Interesting stuff to think about. ;)

---> Sam's line, "Go to class, crutchie" was not in the script.  I added that line as we were filming the scene.

---> When Sam opens her locker to find Spencer inside, he yells "Here's Spencie!"  That's a nod to the movie The Shining when Jack Nicholson, playing the role of a psychotic killer, yells "Here's Johnny!" right before he's about to attack a woman – which was a nod to how Ed McMahon introduced Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show for many years.  Yep – a reference to a reference.

*** Scene 10 ***
Scene begins with Spencer doing dishes at the sink, when the doorbell rings.  There are some fun new surprises in this scene.

---> I love when Spencer yells (in his old lady voice), "I'm very old, and not Spencer."

---> There are some subtle additions (little lines of dialogue) between Spencer and the delivery man at the door.

---> The first big new thing happens right after the delivery guy shows Spencer the large lollipop.  It involves Spencer with an umbrella and it will make you laugh out loud.  I love the bit, and it made me really sad to cut it out of the original episode.  But now, here it is for your viewing enjoyment!

---> Okay, admit it – you thought Sam was in the box.  Didn't you?  Admit it! :)

---> Right after Spencer is nailed in the forehead by the paint ball, I slightly re-ordered (shifted around) a couple of shots during the slow-motion sequence.  No big deal, but I think it plays a little bit better.  I doubt you'd even notice the change I made.

---> I added back an ending to this scene between the delivery guy and Spencer.

*** Scene 11 ***
Scene begins with Carly playing Violin Hero in the iCarly studio.  There are a few new pieces in this scene now.

---> We have a bit more of Carly playing Violin God in the beginning.  Including "Bow power!"

---> In the original version, there was a minor mistake in the Violin God game on the screen.  You could see notes being hit after Carly had stopped playing the game.  We fixed that.

---> There's a few more lines of dialogue between Carly and Freddie, here and there, during this whole scene.  Not big changes – just little stuff, mostly.  Can you catch the new lines? ;)

---> Carly refers to herself and Freddie as an "item" – I'm not sure, but I don't think that was in the original shorter version.  But I could be wrong about that.

---> Freddie tells Carly he likes her "way better than most soups".  MOST?!?  Does this mean that there are some soups he likes better than Carly?  If so, WHAT SOUPS?!? :)

---> This is the first ever mention of Freddie's icky Cousin Amanda.  Maybe we'll meet her in a future episode.

---> I really like the character development of Freddie in this scene.  Everyone knows how much he wants Carly, or at least how much he thinks he does.  And maybe he really does.  Yet, Freddie doesn't take advantage of Carly when (he feels) she's not thinking straight.  That's a gentleman.  Freddie is a great role model for young kids without ever being preachy.  Nathan Kress brings a lot of his own personal class to the character.

---> Definitely a new exchange between Carly and Freddie about the foreign bacon – a call-back to something Sam said earlier, at school.

---> I think the final kiss on the cheek that Carly gives Freddie in the elevator is a really sweet, real moment.

---> A nice new final, funny line from Freddie at the very end. :)


And that wraps up the Fun Facts and behind-the-scenes info for the extended version of iSaved Your Life.  Thank you to all the wonderful, loyal fans of iCarly who made this episode so wildly successful.  As long as you guys keep loving the show, we'll keep making it.

–Dan :)

P.S.  My new show Victorious is coming soon!  It stars Victoria Justice, and it will premier on March 27th, right after The Kids' Choice Awards!

P.P.S. Remember: If you know of any iCarly fans you think might enjoy reading these fun behind-the-scenes faces, please send them this URL: www.DanWarp.com

P.P.P.S. Please tell your friends who like iCarly (or don't know about it yet) to follow me on Twitter: @DanWarp