Powered by Schneider's Bakery, Inc.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

FUN FACTS: Victorious - "Jade Dumps Beck" !!!

by Dan Schneider
Victorious Executive Producer/Creator


Here's all the cool behind-the-scenes scoop about Jade Dumps Beck, which premieres tonight, Sunday, May 2nd!!!

(I know I owe you guys Fun Facts for some iCarly episodes AND other Victorious episodes.  I'm trying, I promise.  It takes me like 3 hours do to Fun Facts for one episode.  So, please be patient with me!)

If you're a Victorious super-fan, you'll probably enjoy reading this stuff.  But if you're a casual fan, you might find it boring.  But even more important...


Remember: You can wait and read these Fun Facts after you watch the episode.  And please feel free to DISCUSS the episode here below, in the comments.  I'll do my best to respond to your comments and/or questions.  Okay, here we go....

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

*** Jade Dumps Beck ***

I'm 99.999% sure you're gonna love this new episode of Victorious.  There are two really fun stories that happen.  Obviously, Jade dumps Beck – you probably figured that out from the title. ;)

There's also a hilarious story that involves Trina doing a one-woman show.  And I can promise you, her show is horribleso horrible that you will not be able to stop yourself from laughing (don't even try).

You're going to see lot of emotional rage from Jade, played by the insanely talented Elizabeth Gillies.  We'll see that she's not always the fully-in-control "mean girl" that people might think she is.  You'll see her reach out to Tori in a way you'd never expect.

For a half-hour of television, this episode has A LOT happening in it.  Hollywood Arts' hottest couple, Beck and Jade, breaks up.  Beck starts hanging out with a famous, hot celebrity.  Trina sings (a lot), which is something no human should ever have to endure.  Jade has an emotional breakdown.  Trina gets violent with Robbie.  We get to see the ultra-cool place where Beck lives.  And Tori is caught in the middle of all this, trying to make everything okay.  Victoria Justice is fantastic in this episode! :)

Okay, here we go with the scene by scene Fun Facts...

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins outside in the "Asphalt Cafe" where the Hollywood Arts kids eat lunch.

• In the opening shot – the first few seconds of the show – you'll see two girls rollerskating.  If you look above them, way off in the distance, you'll see the real HOLLYWOOD sign.  That's the real deal.  And get this: Every time we show that sign in an episode of Victorious, we have to pay the city of Los Angeles a fee.  Not kidding.

• Parked in the parking lot, you'll see a red Mini Cooper with a white top.  That car belongs to Harry, the production designer for Victorious (and iCarly, and previously Zoey 101).  Harry is the guy who designs all the sets for my shows.  Dude's a genius.  We all love Harry!

• Notice the table when Andre sits down with Beck.  You'll see the very SHORT bottles of ketchup and mustard.  Do you wanna know why they're so short?  Well, when we were filming the first 2 or 3 episodes of Victorious, we had a problem with the ketchup and mustard bottles (in some shots) blocking the actors' faces, and we had to keep adjusting their positions.  Finally, we got tried of worrying about it, so we had our prop department shorten them.  Haha.

• Notice the brand of bottled water that Andre offers Beck.  It's called "Crystal Waters" – that  name will be used in a future episode of Victorious. ;)

• Warning: If you like drinking bottled water, you may want to cover your ears during this scene.  Beck reveals some unpleasant information about bottled water that comes from mountain streams.

• A new website is mentioned for the first time: BuzzFinger.com.  On Victorious, this is sort of our version of TMZ.

• When Trina is talking into her microphone, and the guy yells "Hey!  Shut up!" – that makes me laugh every time.

• Since I mentioned Harry, our production designer, I gotta say "Amazing job on this Asphalt Cafe set!"  I love the whole look of it, from the graffiti on the walls, to the platform Trina is standing on, etc.  You don't generally see sets this big and cool on a sitcom.

• As in all scenes on this Asphalt Cafe set, that's the REAL Sunset Boulevard in the background.  I think it's cool that the people driving those cars have no idea they're on a TV show. :)

• If you really like the theme song (sung by Victoria herself), you can download the FULL SONG from iTunes!  Just CLICK HERE!

*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins in school (Hollywood Arts) with an angry Jade following Beck down the stairs.

• As you'll see, the writing credit on this episode goes to Matt Fleckenstein.  We call him "Fleck" – which is where I got the name for the "Fleck" character in an episode of iCarly (Fleck and Dave).  The real Fleck is a great guy and a very funny writer.  He used to work as a writers assistant on "Family Guy".  Sadly, Fleck has 5 children – all under the age of 5.  Okay, that's not really "sad" – but Fleck often looks very tired in the mornings.

• I'm curious: Do you think Jade is right to be upset that Alyssa Vaughn is text messaging Beck seven times a day?  Or is Jade over-reacting?  Should she be cool with it?  What do you think?  (Comment below)

• I freakin' LOVE that big green fish painted on the lockers behind Beck.  You can't look at that big green fish and not be happy!

• Avan ("Beck") and Liz ("Jade") are fantastic in this scene.  Their dialogue reminds me of some arguments I used to have with girlfriends when I was in my late teens and 20's.  Luckily, I'm now married to Hungry Girl who never yells at me!  Yay!

• Victoria does a great job in this scene.  If you've ever been in a situation where an arguing couple tries to drag you into the middle of their fight, you'll know how Tori feels in this scene.  Victoria plays that frustration perfectly here.  And how cute is her red and black striped shirt?  Kris Dangl, you've done it again!  (Kris is our costume designer and one of my favorite people ever.)

• It was not scripted for Jade to crumple up Trina's flyer and stuff it down her shirt.  We came up with that on stage, while we were filming.  In the script it said that Jade rips the flyer in half and drops it onto the floor.  But we all felt that stuffing the crumpled flyer down Trina's shirt was funnier.

• Watch when Jade exits.  You see the green brick wall with all the names written on it?  Those are actually real names of our staff and crew, which they wrote themselves.

*** Scene 3 ***
Scene begins with Andre walking into a classroom to talk to Robbie.

• Watch closely whenever Rex talks.  Often, you can't even see Robbie's lips move AT ALL.  How cool is that?  Could you do it?  I can't!

• I think this is the first time that TheSlap.com is officially mentioned on Victorious.  Big shout-out to Jana, Clayton, Sean, and Kristal – they're the people who actually make The Slap website for Victorious.  You need to go to TheSlap.com!  It's a really cool site that has tons of extra Victorious content that you won't see on the show.  Start by watching the video profiles.  Very funny stuff.

• Leon ("Andre") cracks me up when he says "Say cheese, Fat-Head!"

• Pretty cool how we see Robbie and Rex on Andre's Pear Phone in this scene, huh?  Excellent visual effects works by the Schneider's Bakery post team, as always. :)

*** Scene 4 ***
Scene begins with Trina singing "Chicago!" on stage.

• I'm sorry to say... I wrote the song Trina is singing.  Yep.  Fleck and I were writing the script at my house, and we got to this part where we needed a song for Trina to sing in her one-woman show.  So, I thought for a few minutes, then sang this terrible song into my iPhone.  Then I emailed the audio file to our awesome composer, Michael Corcoran, and he created the music.  I guess this makes me a songwriter.  A really, really bad songwriter. :)

• If I remember correctly, Flecke helped me write my favorite terrible lyric to Trina's song, which is "There's a lake they call Lake Michigan, I think I'm really fitting in" – which is wonderfully awful.

• Matt Bennett's ("Robbie's") pained reactions to Trina's performance are hilarious.

• I love how off-key Trina is when she sings "cup of teeeaaaaa".

• Okay, here's a MAJOR challenge for you.  When Trina is in the hospital bed with the neck brace, her dialogue is mocking another semi-famous performance.  If you can guess what she's mocking, I'll be very, very impressed.  I bet nobody can guess!

*** Scene 5 ***
Scene begins outside (in the Asphalt Cafe) with Jade, upset and angry, having lunch alone.

• When Tori sits down, she says "You look a little like a lady who could use some lunch buddies."  Funny story about that line.  It was originally this shorter version:  "You look like a lady who could use some lunch buddies."  That's a bit of a tongue-twister, and Victoria was having a hard time saying it.  She asked us (the writers and me) to rewrite the line to make it easier to say.  So, because we're all silly jerks who love messin' with Victoria, we decided to make the line MORE difficult to say by adding the words "a little" to it.  But then, Victoria showed us!  She said the line perfectly.  That means:  Vic = 1.  Writers = 0.  Haha. :)  By the way, trying saying this line yourself (3 times fast): "You look a little like a lady who could use some lunch buddies."  Good luck!

• See the yellow car in this scene?  No less that 70 people in our cast, staff, and crew asked if they could drive it around the parking lot.  The answer: NOPE.

• It's not often in a sitcom that you get to see someone squeeze a burrito to death.  Watch Jade's hands closely.

• When Liz ("Jade") dropped her burrito, it ACCIDENTALLY splattered both Victoria and Leon.  Watch closely, and you'll see some burrito goo lands in Vic's hair, and some on Leon's jacket.  But they both stayed in character and played it.  'Cuz they're PROS, baby.

• We get to see a new side of Trina in this scene with Robbie.  We learn that when Trina wants something, and she's denied, she can get quite scary. :)

• No one planned for Robbie's glasses to fall off in this scene.  But when they did, and they ended up in his soup bowl, sticking up, I thought it was so funny I left it in the show.

• I love that, at the end of this scene, Robbie actually blows a mushroom out of his nose.

*** Scene 6 ***
Scene begins with Tori and Trina playing video tennis at their house.

• Don't you love Tori and Trina's house?  I kinda want to live there.  It was designed, of course, by Harry, our production designer.  He also designed the sets for iCarly and Zoey 101 (and even assisted on Drake & Josh).

• When we see the TV screen, look on the back wall of the virtual tennis court.  DanWarp  :)

• Victoria did her own stunt in this scene (when Trina whacks her in the head, knocking her down).  And we did several takes.  I think Vic hit the floor at least 5 times.  She's game for anything.

• When you hear the score from the TV set "Fifteen love" – that's my voice.  Yes.  Thank you.

• Get ready to see a side of Jade you probably never thought you'd see (at least not this early in Victorious).  Her character is always so tough, sarcastic, and in control.  But not here.  When we were writing this Tori-Jade scene, I thought, "Hmmm... I wonder how Liz will handle this?"  I've seen her do a lot of acting, but not like she does in this scene with Vic.  This was a very new, unexplored area for Jade, and Liz NAILED it!  Watch and see.  It's just great.

• One thing I like about this scene (in terms of the writing), is that the broken kite is a metaphor for Jade herself, who feels "broken" and needs to "be fixed" by someone.

• When Jade says "Will you forget about the stupid kite?!" – it was not scripted for Jade to then KICK the kite, which she does.  What happened was, the kite string got caught around her foot, so she kicked it away because Liz knew she had to turn and walk away right after that moment.

• I'm curious: Why do you think Jade chose Tori to go to for help?

• Tori's line, "Okay, maybe you should... wait, are we friends?  We're not even friends!" – that line was not in the script.  I added it on stage while we were filming.  I love how Vic delivered it.  So real.

• It was not scripted for Tori to pet Jade's head when she's crying.  I added that on stage while we were filming this scene.

• Jade's crying line "Do it soon" (said into the pillow) was not in the script.  I added that on stage while we were filming this scene.  The way Jade says it always makes me laugh.

• Tori's very last line in this scene will probably make you laugh out loud.


*** Scene 7 ***
Scene begins at night.  We're seeing a vintage, silver recreational vehicle (where Beck lives).

• On the silver RV, you'll see a red neon sign that says "The Silver Streak".  When the art department asked me if I wanted Beck to have a name for his RV, I looked at it, and for some reason I thought of an old movie that I'd seen when I was 9 years old.  It was called "Silver Streak" and it starred two genius comedic actors: Gene Wilder and Richard Prior.  I loved that movie when I was a little kid.  So, I named Beck's home "The Silver Streak" as a nod to that movie.

• You'll see that Beck has a homemade address on his RV.  The address is 143.  That's a nod to a dear friend of mine who passed away about 3 years ago at the age of 89.  Her name was Dorothy – she was a nanny to me from the time I was born to the time she retired when I was 17.  I remained good friends with Dorothy until she passed away .  When we talked on the phone (she lived in Memphis, my hometown), we'd always say "One four three" as code for "I love you".  In fact, "One four three" was the final thing we said to each other when I saw her, for the last time, in her hospital bed.  Now and forever, "143" will always make me think of my dear friend Dorothy who helped raise me, made the best fried chicken ever, and was one of the funniest, sweetest people I've ever met.  (Now I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes.)  One four three, Dorothy.

• For some reason, I decided to make Beck's housekeeper an Asian lady who speaks Spanish.  I'm a weird dude.

• You might find this cool.  The first section of this scene is shot outside, when Tori arrives at Beck's RV and rings the bell.  The second section of this scene happens inside the RV.  These two sections were shot over a month apart.

• Inside Beck's RV, there's a sign that says "Beck's Rules".  Just before we shot this scene, I ran onto the set and wrote WEAR PANTS OFTEN on that sign.  That's my handwriting.

• Mounted on the wall of Beck's RV, you'll see a red dashboard from an old car.  It's from a 1966 Mustang (or, it could be from a 1965 Mustang, if it was the GT version).  Yeah, I know a little too much about old cars.

• We did a lot of takes of this scene.  If I remember correctly, Avan ("Beck") took bites of over 17 apples.  I remember someone from the prop department yelling out "Only two apples left."

*** Scene 8 ***
Scene begins with Tori and Jade talking by the lockers.

• Liz's ("Jade's") deliver of her line "Walk away" (to Sinjin) makes me laugh every time.  I think it's the way she turns her head (as she says it) that makes it so funny.

• Tori obviously must love Katy Perry.  Look inside her locker.

• Look closely and you'll see a very small locker right under Robbie's locker.  That's REX'S little locker.  How's that for attention to detail?

• Trina's line "Don't look at my shirt!" was not in the script.  I added that line on stage while we were filming this scene.

• I love the randomness of Robbie's sweater being "Canadian".  It makes no sense – it's just randomly funny.

• Notice that Robbie's shirt says Dyn-O-Mite.  That was a popular catch phrase from a 1970's TV sitcom.  Can you guess the name of that sitcom, and the character who was famous for saying it?

• When we were rehearsing this scene (earlier in the week before we shot this episode), I felt this scene with Robbie and Andre was good, but could use something extra.  So, I suggested to Matt Bennett ("Robbie") that when his character gets very upset and frustrated, he drops to the floor and rolls around, flailing his legs as he talks.  Matt liked the idea and tried it.  It made us all laugh a lot.  So, as you can see, it's in the show.

*** Scene 9 ***
This scene begins with Jade pulling Tori into the dark janitor's closet.

• Again, Liz ("Jade") does an amazing job of playing a girl on the verge of an emotional collapse.  Awesome stuff.

• We only shot 2 takes of this scene because we were running out of time when we filmed it.  I was worried when I went into editing (because I knew we had only 2 takes), but both takes were AWESOME.  That's a tribute to both Vic and Liz.  The girls gave fantastic performances.

• Don't you love that the janitor in this scene is napping in a leopard print Snuggie?  I do

*** Scene 10 ***
Scene begins in a classroom with a teacher talking about Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

• I challenge you: TRY not to laugh when Trina throws Rex across the room.  Just try.

• Matt and Daniella ("Robbie" and "Trina") are just hilarious together in this short scene.

• When Robbie tells Trina his new address, it makes me laugh every time.  By the way, back in the day, when I was an actor on Head of the Class, I myself lived on Cahuenga – it's a real street in North Hollywood.

• Yes, Matt Bennett ("Robbie") actually makes that little squeak sound at the end of the scene.  I don't know how he does it.  I've tried, and I can't do it.  Can you?

*** Scene 11 ***
Scene begins in the Black Box theater.  The audience getting ready for Trina's one-woman show to begin.

• Yep, that's me who says "Trina Vega's one-woman show will now begin."

• ALERT!!! There's a BIG SURPRISE in this scene.  I'm not going to reveal it here.  But watch closely and you'll see.  :)

• Danielle Monet, singing that stupid song, is just so fun to watch.  And I love that the audience is laughing, and she's confused as to why.

*** Scene 12 ***
Scene begins outside at night.  Tori and Jade are walking a big dog up to Beck's silver RV.

• Tori helping the dog blow his nose is hilarious.  And watch how the dog puts his paw over Tori's arm just before he blows!!!

• This was not an easy scene to shoot.  We shot it outside, late at night.  The whole dog attack... the screaming... the running back and forth inside the RV (seen through the windows)...  just A LOT going on.  It took a while to get it really right.

*** Scene 13 ***
Scene begins in the Black Box theater with Trina on crutches.

• More hilariousness from Daniella ("Trina").

• My favorite line in this scene is when Trina says, "From now on, I'm calling this city... SHE-cago!"

• Trina is such a fun character to write for.  Any other character, when an audience is applauding for her, would say "Thank you... thank you!"  ONLY TRINA would say "You're welcome... you're welcome!"

*** Scene 14 ***
Scene begins outside and night with Beck's father being loaded into an ambulance.

• Watch when the ambulance pulls away.  I like how we see Beck's dad give a sad little wave.

• The ambulance motor died just before we shot this scene.  We couldn't get it to start.  So, our crew actually PULLED it away by hand, and we added the sound of the motor in post.

• I love how, after Tori has done so much to help Jade get what she wants (Beck back), Jade then won't even take the time to give Tori a ride home.  Interesting commentary on real life, isn't it?


And that wraps up the Fun Facts and behind-the-scenes info for Jade Dumps Beck.   I hope you love it!  Let me know what you think.  Please comment below.  :)

–Dan :)

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

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