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Strong Bad Email #203
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"Independent films are called that for a reason: they are independent of anything good."

Strong Bad points out the differences between the two warring types of independent films.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, The Cheat, Strong Sad, Pom Pom, Homestar Runner, Lan Handermannek, Marzipan, Strong Mad, Bubs, Coach Z, Senor Cardgage

Places: Computer Room, Strong Sad's Room, The Field, The Movie Theater, Telephone Pole

Computer: Compé

Date: Monday, August 10, 2009

Running Time: 5:20 (site), 4:38 (YouTube)

Page Title: Compy Compé


[edit] Transcript

{Strong Bad sits at his computer, which is now, the Compé. The Compé's logo fades in while the computer sighs and a shine appears in the background. The logo then retracts itself and fades out, at which point the screen is replaced with a desktop. The wallpaper is a blurry, slightly pixelated shot of grass. There is a single icon on the top-left corner of the desktop: a pixelated image of Strong Bad's head in an envelope, titled "sbemail.exe". A pixelated cursor is seen on the screen.}

STRONG BAD: Hey! Who taped a full-color photo to my computer screen? {rubs the screen} It won't come off!

{Cut to wider shot. The Cheat is standing next to Strong Bad.}

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: What? {turns towards and points to the Compé} Those are actual graphics? {turns back to The Cheat} And I can change it to be whatever I want? {Turns back towards the Compé} {singing} Oh, best thing ever! Best thing ever! {quickly and mumbled} This is the best thing ever!

{Strong Bad moves the mouse and right clicks the screen. A contextual menu appears with the items "Options", "Sounds", "Icons", and "Change Desktop". He clicks the "Change Desktop" option, and the grass wallpaper is replaced by an image of Strong Bad dancing in The Basement. It is a close-up of Strong Bad's butt, which has a lens flare on it.}

STRONG BAD: {rapping} To check my email, all I gotta do is click. All that old typin' made my boxing gloves sick. {Double clicks on a "sbemail.exe" icon. An email pops-up.}

{Strong Bad says "a hideous growth on my butt festival?" instead of "an independent film festival?". He corrects himself by saying "Err... wait. Independent film festival?", to which he then mumbles "Sorry about that. I get those two mixed up." Instead of "Evil Gif", he says "Evil Moms choose Evil Gif". He pronounces "Gif" as "Jiff", and does so whenever he says the name later in the email. He pronounces "Phoenix, Arizona" as "Phoeniz, Arixona".}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Well Gif, the short answer is no. The long answer is {forcefully, after a short pause} NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! {after a short delay, he types these four exclamation marks} Independent films are called that for a reason: they are independent of anything good.

{clears screen}

STRONG BAD: {typing} And these days, they seem to be locked in a civil war that will hopefully end in the extermination of both sides. I am, of course talking about independent films vs. indie films. "What's the diff?" you may ask. {quickly} Because apparently you're in a big hurry. {goes back to a normal pace} Well, it's as plain as—

{cut to split screen wide shots of Strong Sad in his room with an old film-reel camera at his eye, and Pom Pom in the Field with a bottle of water}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —Strong Sad and Pom Pom!

{Strong Sad lowers the camera and both characters look towards the viewer.}

POM POM: {bubbling noises}

{The left side of the half, Strong Sad's side, expands to take up the entire screen. His "BOYS DON'T CRY" poster is now visible on the wall. There is a dead plant on a square pillar, at which Strong Sad is now looking and pointing his camera.}

STRONG BAD: Strong Sad is on the independent film side. {Strong Sad moves the camera, which has been in his right hand, to the right, where he presses two buttons of some sort. He is now looking at the camera, which is pointed at the plant again.} He's the lifer artist-type that went to film school.

STRONG SAD: I minored in holding on wide shots for too long!

{There is a four second pause.}

{Cut to a movie theater screen. A few empty seats are shown on the bottom. On the screen is a black and white movie that consists of the dead plant Strong Sad was filming. There appears to be two puzzle pieces in front of the pot. The film zooms into what appears to be the shadow of the square pillar.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And he's making some boring, very personal, no budget film.

{Cut to a close-up Strong Sad in his room, still with the camera.}

STRONG SAD: Actually, I've succeeded in going lower than no budget! I'm making the world's first faux-budget film! The entire thing's being financed with {pulls up several colored pieces of paper} Monopoly money!

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And, best of luck to you.

{Cut back to the Compé}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Pom Pom on the other hand, represents indie films. The slicker, catchier name they came up with that seems to perform better in the 18 to 24 demo.

{Cut to Pom Pom in a director's chair, with his back to the viewer. To his left is a digital studio camera on a tripod, and to his right is a table with a coffee maker and some Styrofoam cups on it. To the right of his chair there is a traditional megaphone. "POM-POM" is stenciled in on the chair. He is talking on his cell phone, wearing sunglasses, and holding a water bottle.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} He's a tech-savvy hipster whose dad owns his own studio, {the logo for "Pom Pictures" appears and fades away} and relies on using middle names and/or initials to somehow solidify his indie cred.

{As Strong Bad talks, Pom Pom's director's chair is zoomed in on, and the stenciled name on it changes from "POM-POM" to "POM THOMAS POM" to "J. POM THOMAS POM" to "J. POM THOMAS C. POM" to "J. WILLIAM POM THOMAS C. POM".}

{There is then a cut to what appears to be a three-ring binder. The three-ring binder opens to a page explaining the budget:}

Budget: 30 Million
Every dollar we spend
makes it look like 5 dollars we didn't spend.
So get spending!

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} He'll spend his 30-million dollar budget, trying as hard as he can to make it look like he only spent a few hundred thousand.

{Cut to the movie theater as seen earlier. A seemingly hand-drawn animated version of the studio logo is shown, along with synthpop music with 808 drums and driving beats. The logo is zoomed in on.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} The first step is to spend millions on a hand-drawn title sequence—

{The logo pops away and is replaced with the orange text "presents" in orange cursive text, which starts in the center, and moves to the right. A cloud forms in the top-right corner and moves northwestwards. Then "presents" pops away and is replaced with "an indie film by" in white text. A typical city skyline is drawn from left to right. Also, the red letters "J WILLIAM POM THOMAS C POM" appears under "an indie film by". This text continues to grow in size, and the cloud still moves northwestward, almost out of view.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —that looks like it was made by some Junior High kid during Pre-Algebra. {The (tilted) mathematical equation "18x+14y" appears in blue and moves in a diagonal line from bottom to top in the bottom-right corner of the movie screen.}

{Everything besides the mathematical equation, which is still moving, goes away. A boom box is drawn on the movie screen, with the speakers moving back and forth.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Oh, and don't forget the indie soundtrack by unknown {The movie screen pans up to reveal the text "indie-tronic soundtrack by she likes cloth"} bands, whose songs are already in every car commercial ever.

{The screen pans down past the boom box. A car is drawn, and colored completely white.}

SINGER: {in a high-pitched voice} Gets really great gas mileage! {the word "mileage" is pronounced differently}

{As the singer sings, the text "THE NEW '04" appears under the car, and "18 mpg" appears under the previous text. The text and the image of the car then fade away.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} The title of the movie is either—

{A female character is drawn with a yellow shirt, orange hair, and blue glasses. A male character is drawn across the screen from her, with a white shirt, black glasses and a yellow sock cap.}

STRONG BAD: —two of the cleverly named main characters,—

{The text "Chester + Meg" appears, and a heart is drawn around it.}

STRONG BAD: —or the city and state in which it takes place.

{As he says the previous line, the text "Chester + Meg" becomes "Megchester, NY". Another city skyline is drawn under this text.}

STRONG BAD: Ooh, in fact, just call it "city comma state".

{As Strong Bad says the previous line, the text changes to "city, state", and then to "city (comma) state". The movie screen then fades to white after a pause, and transitions to a black and white picture open book with the following on it, with two puzzle pieces to the side:}

If not for inspiration, to
wit, because, as it were, only
begotten from greed, whosoever
would make its plaintiff clear.

-Nobody U. Know

STRONG BAD: Meanwhile, Strong Sad names his movie by picking a few boring— {There is a zoom in on the page, with all of the text almost completely fading out except for "because, as it were".}

STRONG BAD: —words from the middle of a boring sentence, and makes his own—

{A tear is shown falling, and lands on the "cau" in "because", causing the ink to fade out a short distance down the page.}

STRONG BAD: —soundtrack by weeping softly—

{Cut to Strong Sad in his room. He is kneeling by his bed with his head in the "bell" of a Saxophone. A microphone is to the left.}

STRONG BAD: —into the wrong end of a saxophone.

{The camera zooms in on the view of the microphone to Strong Sad's head. A light bass noise and the light weep of Strong Sad can be heard. The Saxophone moves around, generating a guitar-like noise. Then there is a cut back to the movie theater. It is the same screen as it was before, however the text "a filmic thought-excursion by Strong Sad" appears underneath "because, as it were". The "soundtrack" continues to play.}

STRONG BAD: His film will star a washed-up TV actor {The just introduced text is replaced by "starring"} that hasn't worked in ten years, in a desperate attempt {That text is replaced with "i mean, re-introducing"} to reinvent himself.

{The text "homestar runner" appears under the previous text. There is a record scratch and abrupt cut to close-up of Homestar Runner in the field. The soundtrack has stopped.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {angrily} Hey, whadaya lookin' at me for?

{Cut back to the Pom Studios Production Notebook, on the same page as before.}

STRONG BAD: Pom Pom's movie has A-list—

{The page flips to a picture of an actor with a five o'clock shadow, with stitches on his cheek, and something behind his ear. The photo is labeled "Lan Handermannek" at the top.}

STRONG BAD: —movie stars, but they're all working "for scale". {The text "will work for scale" is put, as if stamped, on the photo.} Which I can only assume is a solid—

{Cut to a screen with the text "PAYSTUB:" at the top. In the background there is the Pom Pictures logo tiled. A golden scale liquefies from the bottom up. The text "Pay to the order of: Lan Handermannek" is under the scale.}

STRONG BAD: —gold scale, with both sides perfectly balanced {Five gold bars begin to pop on each side of the scale} with gold bricks. As for what it's about—

{Cut to a blank brick wall with the banner "COMING THIS SUMMER!" On the top. As Strong Bad talks, the poster for a movie called ">CYBER.COMA.STATIC" rolls out in the space below the banner. It is space themed, featuring a photo of a man in yellow, red-lensed glasses with a laser gun.}

STRONG BAD: —an indie film's plot is pretty much the same as any summer blockbuster,—

{The text on the poster, "In the dead of space, dealing with aliens is the easiest part of the voyage", is enlarged.}

STRONG BAD: —but just switch out any mention of the word "space" {The text "space," moves slightly upwards and out of place.} with the word, "small factory town", {As he says this, the words appear in sync, and in the hand-drawn style seen earlier.} replace "aliens" {The word "aliens" wiggles.} with "quirky, dysfunctional family", {The text is replaced in the same manner as before. Dysfunctional is hyphenated. The poster, which is masked, begins to fade into a different poster.} And replace "voyage" {The text "voyage" moves to the right and off screen.} with... "journey". {The text "journey." appears in a typewriter effect.}

{The sentence transitions away, and the camera zooms in on the poster for "city (comma) state" there are clouds, the city skyline, a road, and a female character and male character waving to each other.}

ANNOUNCER: In the dead of a small factory town, dealing with your quirky, dysfunctional family is the easiest part of the journey.

{Cut to an advertisement for "because, as it were" on paper, stapled to a pole. The camera continues to zoom in on the paper:}

join us for an
(Shot of because, as it were)
one showing 8PM
followed by director

STRONG BAD: Once finished, Strong Sad's independent film will enjoy a small, art house opening.

{Cut to a zoom out of Strong Sad, who is to the right of the pole.}

STRONG SAD: You forgot the apostrophe-"s"! This film is opening at this guy called Art's {Cut back to the paper. The paper is corrected in red, but no pen visible.} house!

{Cut to a close up of Strong Sad.}

STRONG SAD: He's got like three couches! {In an excited tone, he pumps his right fist} Ou-tta-sight!

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And, best of luck to you.

{Cut to a shot of (from left to right) Marzipan, Strong Mad, Bubs, and Coach Z standing in line at the movie theater, with Senor Cardgage acting as the usher. Two city (comma) state posters are on the wall, with the words "NOW PLAYING" above them. The camera slowly pans to the right}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Pom Pom's little movie that could opens on 2,000 screens the first weekend, expanding to 10,000 the next.

{Cut to Strong Bad and The Cheat (who has popcorn) sitting the theater.}

STRONG BAD: And wouldn'tcha know it? This movie was {moving his head around} sooo cheap to make, that he still has money left over to take out—

{Strong Bad pulls up a booklet labeled "Local Trade Papes" with the slogan "For your considerasche". The poster for city (comma) state is on the front page, and under is the text "Best Indie Film".}

STRONG BAD: —full page ads in all the trade papers during award season! {puts booklet away and stares down.} That movie is all heart. {Wipes his boxing glove on his face, as if he was wiping his nose after holding up tears.}

{Cut back to the Compé.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} There you have it, Evil Jeff. The difference between a hideous growth on my butt, and a profitable hideous growth on my butt. I know you wanted us to have some film festival with all the characters, and you'd get to see little bits of everybody's movies, but I didn't do that. {scornfully} Because I hate you. OOOoooooooo!! Now who's evil? Forget GIFs {Types ".gifs".}, man. I'm an evil tif {Types ".tif".}! Or maybe an evil 24-bit ping {Types ".png".} with alpha channel. Or maybe an evil {Speaking as if confused.} targa {Pauses.} file? Whatever those are.

{An "Ah-ha!" is heard from the Compé as a pop-up bubble pops up in the bottom-left corner of the screen.}

STRONG BAD: Whoa! Looks like I've gone The Paper-less with this new computer. Can I at least customize that sound it makes?

{The pop-up bubble retracts, and pops-up again with a distorted version of The Paper's Preeeeow sound.}

STRONG BAD: That's what I'm talking about!

[edit] Easter Eggs

  • At the end, click on the first "hideous growth on my butt" to see a filming session with Homestar and Strong Sad.
    HOMESTAR RUNNER: {slowly} I just... don't think I can handle... eating this... asparagus. {holds up a limp-looking piece of asparagus}
    STRONG SAD: Cut, cut!
    HOMESTAR RUNNER: {angrily} What was wrong with that take? I mean, whaddya expect for two pinks and a green? {holds up Monopoly money} I'm not... Bernardo Ralshonde, you know. Sounds like he'd be some type of famous actor.
  • Also, click on "OOOoooooooo!" to see the poster and tagline of Cyber.Coma.Static.
    {the poster slowly zooms in}
    NARRATOR: In the dead of space... dealing with aliens is the easiest part of the voyage.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Explanations

  • .gif, .tif, .png and targa are all raster image file formats.
    • An alpha channel is a channel stored in many image formats, dictating the opacity of the individual pixels, allowing for transparency and semi-transparency.
    • 24-bit refers to a color range supported by the PNG image format, indicating it can support over 16 million different colors, which is 2 to the power of 24.
    • It is possible, though not common, for a 24-bit PNG to have an alpha channel by declaring a specific color to be completely transparent, and all other colors would be completely opaque. More commonly, a 32-bit PNG is used, where 24 bits are used as in the 24-bit PNG to store color information, and 8 bits are used to store a value indicating the amount of transparency for the pixel.
  • Being "paid to scale" means the actor is agreeing to accept the actor's union minimum rather than a higher salary for a role.
  • Pom Pom's note book is labeled "Mondo PrePro". Mondo is Italian for "world", but is used for films that are intentionally provocative. "PrePro" is short for pre-production, the stage of filmmaking where fundamental elements, such as budget and crew composition, are determined.

[edit] Trivia

Strong Bad says - Some nerd asks about some crap that I hate like usual and I get a new computer. This is an instance of somebody asking me for something very specific and I instead do an ever-so-gentle dance around what they really want me to say and do. I love to sit back and imagine their dissatisfaction as an increasingly frustrated bald programmer type sitting in a cubicle filled with greasy empty fast food bags. But then again, I like to imagine a lotta things are frustrated bald fast food bag swimmers so, y'know, wahtever.
  • The goggles that Matt Chapman is seen wearing on the summer blockbuster poster is a "HUD unit" from the Laser Tag Team Ops toy line made by Tiger Electronics.
  • The YouTube description for this email is "Strong Bad explains the difference between indie and independent films."

[edit] Remarks

  • Despite his apparent contempt for the genre, Strong Bad has previously made his own independent films in the Dangeresque series, which can be considered independent, as it was produced without the involvement of a major film studio.
  • The Monopoly money that Homestar Runner is given is the incorrect color (assuming he is using a recent American edition, as the colors have changed over time). In actuality, pink is for $5 bills, and green is for $20 bills.
  • The plot of Pom Pom's indie film is changed to "In the dead of small factory town..." and "...dealing with quirky, dysfunctional family..." but the narrator reads it as "...of a small factory town..." and "...dealing with your quirky, dysfunctional family..."
  • The water level in the bottle that Pom Pom is drinking from never goes down.
  • Despite Strong Bad not noticing his desktop before, he had turned it on (and presumably connected to his ISP) in Compy Catalog.
  • In weird dream, Strong Bad seemed to disapprove of email clients which can be run simply by clicking an icon rather than typing a command line, but here, he seems to find not having to type to be an advantage.
  • Even though some of the keyboard is visible, Strong Bad's boxing gloves are never visible.
  • Strong Bad selects a new desktop image and customized sound of the Compé-per without specifying any file locations.
  • Strong Bad is seen in the theatre during this email, some time after he was banned from the theatre in the movies.

[edit] Goofs

What? Those are actual lace goofs?
  • When The Cheat walks up the first time, and the camera zooms out, the sbemail.exe icon disappears.
  • When Strong Bad types "I am, of course talking about...", he leaves out a comma after "of course".
  • The back button goes to the Toons menu instead of the email menu.
  • When the camera zooms into the city (comma) state poster, the wall and the poster get closer at different speeds.
  • When Strong Bad turns his head back to The Cheat after saying "Those are actual graphics?", his mask laces remain in place, then disappear.
  • While zooming in on the city (comma) state poster, the outline of one of the buildings (second from the left) moves erratically as the camera gets closer.
  • Strong Sad's belly button is missing in the Easter egg.

[edit] Fixed Goofs

  • When Strong Bad said, "Pom Pom on the other hand", he failed to type "the". This was fixed later after release.

[edit] Inside References

[edit] Real-World References

  • "Evil Moms choose Evil Gif" is a play on Jif peanut butter tag line, "Choosy Moms choose Jif". This was also referenced in the Toons Menu description of the previous week's toon, Compy Catalog.
  • "Megchester, NY" is a play on the suffix "-chester", indicating the site of a Roman military camp or fort. It could also be an allusion to the Upstate city of Rochester and the movie "Synecdoche, New York"
  • "Pom Pom's little movie that could" is an allusion to the children's book The Little Engine That Could.
  • The animated intro in Pom Pom's indie movie is a reference to films which use hand-drawn style opening credit sequences, such as Juno, which was directed by the son of a famous director.
  • The logo of the Local Trade Papes is modeled after Variety, one of the most famous and long-running entertainment trade magazines still in publication today.
  • The car shown in the intro to Pom Pom's indie film is actually a 2007-2008 Nissan Maxima, which got 19 City/25 Highway MPG in 2008.

[edit] YouTube Version

On September 2, 2009, a version of the cartoon was released to YouTube. It differs from the version on the website in the following ways:

  • The audio quality is much higher.
  • The entire sequence with The Cheat telling Strong Bad how to change his desktop is deleted; the YouTube version starts with Strong Bad's email song.
  • The K and Es in "she likes cloth" are colored in.
  • The ending is completely changed after the line "There you have it, Evil Jeff. The difference between a hideous growth on my butt, and a profitable hideous growth on my butt." The altered script is as follows:

[edit] Transcript

STRONG BAD: Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go raid Pom Pom's craft soivice table. Can't get enough of those artisinal cheeses and that extra healthy water.
{Strong Bad gets up, making The Geddup Noise, and the Compé-per appears with the simulated The Paper sound, reading "the end."}
  • The Geddup Noise is loud, for an unknown reason.

[edit] External Links

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