Director’s Blog: Let’s Hang Out In the Tree House

I could’ve sworn I wrote this one before, but I couldn’t find it, and I needed a writing warm up, so here goes.

You guys have probably heard in one of the million Q and A’s (or hey’s) about how this episode was shot on the fly our second ever day of shooting. I realized we were ahead of schedule, and rather than actually let anyone rest for a minute, I woke up extra, extra early and wrote a new episode for everyone to memorize, rehearse, plan, and shoot in the time that would have been our extended lunch break. It’s a solid representation of my mentality as a producer. I also saved cash on all the tortilla chips we would’ve eaten during our siesta.

I realized that I wanted more time with the girls just being friends with each other, which happens surprisingly rarely in the show. If you’re mainly writing two characters, it’s hard to create conflicts that exist outside that world that also keep Esther and Zelda amicable. As it happens, I was lucky enough to realize that early in our shoot, and had bits and pieces I could make into an episode already. It’s the absolute best part of being the writer/director/producer (just ask any vlogger).

The tree house was just something that we came across in shooting. The house we were in front of (a friend of our Producer Jasmine’s) happened to have it. Only a maniac would decide to put his crew, stars, and gear up in a tree on weathered, creaky, rotten boards for an afternoon cause he thought it would look pretty. For the record, all web producers are maniacs.

That thing about being “spit sisters” came from an episode of The Simpsons  where Bart and Milhouse become spit brothers in Bart’s treehouse. It must have been from the second or third season, so I was still in elementary school. My parents half explained it to me later, but I think they were hesitant to elaborate on the idea of being “blood brothers” for obvious, mid-90’s blood-hysteria-related reasons. But it’s so weird that it stuck with me all these years. I’ve made references to “spit brothers” my whole life, to the point of it being just a part of my regular vernacular.

(Bart and Milhouse say goodbye, as Bart is headed off to Capital City.)
Milhouse: I don’t know, Bart. I mean, I’m gonna miss you and all, but—
Bart: Come on, Milhouse. This way we’ll be friends forever.
Milhouse: Wellokay.
(Bart and Milhouse spit on each other’s hands and shake.)
Bart and Milhouse: (In unison) Eeeew!
Bart: I’m gonna miss you, spit brother.
Milhouse: I’m gonna miss you, spit brother.

It’s nice to run into another person who knows the episode I’m referencing, like we too are pop-culture spit brothers.