Wrapping Up 2011

After working nearly non-stop since mid-October, this week slows down a little as we head into the Christmas/New Year’s period. We’ve been having many “finals” of late… last Friday we had our final scoring session of 2011 for PABF03 “Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson”; tonight (Tuesday, 12/13/11) we’ll have our final dub of the year working on “Politically Inept”; later this week We’ll have our final music spotting session for 2011 as we begin work on PABF04 “The D’oh-cial Network”. More details on that episode next time, after I’ve spotted it.

There has been a lot of positive response on the ‘net to NABF18 “Holidays of Future Passed”. I have always enjoyed the writers’ takes on how our favorite family will evolve (devolve?) in future years. Of course most fans point to 2F15 “Lisa’s Wedding” as the best and strongest example of this type of episode and I’d have to agree. Hard to believe it’s been nearly sixteen years since that episode first aired. Did you all enjoy the End Credits Simpsons Theme/Christmas Carol mashup? That was Al Jean’s idea and Alf’s witty and excellently-crafted arrangement. We also had a lot of fun recording the “future” version of the Itchy & Scratchy Theme. More serious with a big choir singing.

For me – and for many longtime fans, I’d suspect – what makes this episode so good is the blending of very funny gags and observations regarding the future with a story that brings us back to the heart of the family. When the show first started airing in the ’90s and friends and family would complain to me about Bart’s smart-ass antics, I’d try to defend the show by pointing out that its core belief system revolved around family values and the fact that no matter how mischievous Bart was or how doltish Homer was, The Simpsons all loved each other and would do anything to protect each other. Those sentiments were expressed by all the family members in “Holidays of Future Passed”.

Before I forget, in my last post I teased that there was a cameo guest voice during the soccer match about five minutes into the show. Who was the mystery actor yelling: “GOOOOOAAAAAAALLL!”? None other than Matt Groening. At the dubbing session there were only sounds of crowd cheering during that shot and Matt said we needed to spice it up somehow. After a few ideas bounced around the room, it was decided that we needed an announcer to yell “GOOOOOAAAAAAALLL!” Then came the question of who would do it. We all wanted Matt to do it, so he marched up to a microphone and in two takes we had our newest sports announcer.

That’s it for now. I’ll just make this a quick blog update. I’ll fit in one more post after we’ve spotted “The D’oh-cial Network” and that will be the last last for 2011.

Thanks for stopping by.

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12 thoughts on “Wrapping Up 2011

  1. I’m looking for the title of the first song in the “Theme/Christmas Carol mashup”, I’ve been searching for it all week long, but can not find it…
    Hope maybe you can help me (:
    Happy Holidays!

    • The Christmas carols/songs as they are heard in order are: “Carol of the Bells”, “Jingle Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, “O Christmas Tree” (AKA “O Tannenbaum”).

      Happy Holidays to you, too!

  2. I loved the episode. In fact, it’s my favourite episode in a very long time, and a really memorable one to boot.

    Going onto the music side of things, I thought Sleigh Ride was a perfect fit for the photo montage. As well as being all Christmassy it also created the feeling that the Simpson family getting older is something really exciting and something to be happy about.

    And the credits theme is probably one of my favourite renditions of the entire series (ironically my previous favourite was the one at the end of Lisa’s Wedding). The parts from the standard end credits theme sounded much grander than usual. Orchestral even. I thought the whole concept was much more interesting and inspired than slapping another song over the credits, haha. I hope you guys do something similar again one day.

    • Sleigh Ride performed by the Ronettes – a Christmas classic. Why not enjoy it again?

      Many fans have really enjoyed Alf’s End Credits themes this season. I, too, hope he is asked to do more of them as we roll along into seasons 24 & 25.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks for your comment.

  3. I loved the beginning and end credits as well. I really enjoy reading your blog. You are so lucky to have such a fun and interesting job. I had a question about the song selection for episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama. Who selects what songs are played? Whoever it is does an excellent job. I make playlists for my ipod based each season. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Your friend,
    Francesca

    • On some shows and movies there is a person known as the Music Supervisor. Their main job is finding songs to put into the movie or episode that will work well with the story. Sometimes they put in well-known, existing songs and sometimes they put in songs by brand new artists that you may have never heard of. Remember, this is show BUSINESS and the Music Supervisor has to handle all the business aspects of finding and inserting music into shows and movies – they negotiate the contracts, the permissions, the CD deals, etc. On THE SIMPSONS, we don’t have a Music Supervisor. All the song choices are made by the writers of the scripts. Sometimes they get to have their choices, sometimes not. It all depends on whether the cost of licensing is affordable or not. As for Futurama, I don’t know if they have a Music Supervisor or not.

      I wish you a Happy Holiday, too!

  4. No disrespect to all the slicing and dicing you’ve been doing to the theme, but I especially liked that the closing theme was a new recording and even included a few brief new parts. It really made the episode seem important.

  5. Very Nice!

    I agree – the episode was really great. Not that the others haven’t been great – but this one just stood out. The music with the credits was done really well. It was fun to pause on the family christmas photos at the beginning and at the body outlines at Moe’s. I think I saw Sideshow Bob’s outline next to a rake, suggesting he died there. 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

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