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Write part of a Hak5 skit

Darren Kitchen

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Given 1000 monkeys and 1000 typewriters, eventually you'll get Shakespeare. Or so goes the Infinite monkey theorem. How that relates to the script below is unknown, however we do know that today the Internet is all about "user generated content"... And rounded corners, obviously.

So today we would like to take this opportunity to share with you the rough draft of the script for an uncoming skit on HAK.5. Written in what some may call a drunken stupor, the creative geniuses here at HAK.5 bring you the first ever Red Team Competition.

It's quite simple actually. The first step is to read the copy as it's known in the biz, then red team it by using the edit button found on the left hand side of this here web page. By carefully using wiki markup and your brain, located in the cranial cavity of your body, you can manipulate the text until it sufficiently passes the patented HAK.5 "chocolate milk snorts out of nose" comedy filter. Remember to click the save page button, and respect the opinions of others involved in this Massively Multiplayer Online Cluster Fuck, or MMOCF for short. You can even use the talk page to discuss things like pace, beats, continuity, and other biz speak things. Or just make fart jokes. Either way the performance arts and cinematography experts here at HAK.5 will soon turn what comes of this page into a skit for your chocolate milk drinking, watching, and eventual monitor cleaning enjoyment.

Thanks, and happy editing.



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It's effectively a rewrite, and I'm not sure if people want that on the Wiki, so let's just see how the Forum crowd feels about this:


Shot 1: Intro

Wess, Alli and Darren, each wearing labcoats an a nametag standing together in this formation:

W A 


The font for the nametag is such that the paper containing the name on Darren's nametag goes far beyond the bounds of the tag. Wess and Alli's nametag contain their names in the same font, but since their name isn't that long, their names fit their respective badges.

Wess and Alli are each holding a clipboard and are literally looking up to Darren. Darren stands tall, with an smug smile on his face. He knows he's hit the big league now.

During the following a trumpetty tune is playing (think the trumpets of the 20th Century Fox tune).

White background. Possibly b&w imaging.

Camera moves from the left of Darren to the right of Darren, making sure Darren's face remains in the center of the shot.

The lower half of the shot is filled with a static banner that reads something like (large font) "MicroShaft Laboratories" with below it (small font) "Studies For The Advancement Of Internet Life".

Cut to a center shot of Darren's face, with Wess and Alli visible on each side of him behind his shoulders, but smaller as they're further away from the camera, both still looking in reverence.

A banner under Darren's face reads: (small font) "Featuring" and below that (large font) "Dr. Schiesenhaufer".

Shot 2: Explanation

Darren in an as 'lab-like' environment as possible.

D: Hallo, und wilkommen to ze Microshaft Laboritories for ze advancement ov Internet Life. I'm doctor Schiesenhaufer. Today, ve are going to do an experiment to study ze effects of Web Zwei punkt nul user generated content on ze average individual. Allow me to introduce ze euh.. volunteers.

Cut to a fixed shot with Paul and Erin, sitting in a chair, looking somewhat dazed. Wess is standing behind and to the side of Paul, clipboard and pen at the ready. Alli is standing similarly to the other side of Erin.

Position is something like this:

Y  W  X  A

    P   E

Darren walks in from the side at Y walking behind Wess to end up in X, talking all the way.

D: Ve haf found this male and female subject willing to help further our understanding of the human psyche, as it relates to ze internet. Ze male to my right here is named Paul.

Close-up of Paul. Kinda dazed.

P: Where am I? My head hurts.

D: Um. Yah, and ze female to my left is Erin.

Close-up of Erin. Who starts out in zombie-mode, realises she's in view and jumps to attention.

E: Huh? Wait, am I on TV? *HI MOM!*

D: Yez, yez, enough of zat. Zese two subjects vill be confined to a small room with an internet-enabled laptop, and undergo a non-stop exposure to eizer MySpayz, or YouTube for ze next 24 hours. My assistants, Wess and Alli vill closely monitor zem during zis time, and keep track ov any changes. Let's begin!

Shot 3: 1 Hour Mark.

Start out with a black screen that simply contains the text "1 Hour".

Cut to the set. There are 2 doors, and a clock hangs between them pointing to 1 o'clock. Darren's standing in between the doors.

D: Right, von hour has passed. Let's see how things are progressing.

Darren enters one room.

Shot 4: 1 hour - Paul

Paul is gazing at the laptop screen, like a complete zombie. Mouth open. Doesn't blink at all. Wess is standing behind him, checking his watch, then scribbling on the clipboard.

They talk with a bit of a whisper.

D: Vess, how iz ze subject doing.

W: Fairly well, Doctor. This one has already begun to show clear signs of mental fatigue. People are beginning to notice his MySpace profile.

D: Excellent work. Keep it up.

Shot 5: 1 Hour - Erin

Alli is taking a worried closer look at Erin who is mesmerized by the screen in front of her, and kinda rocking back and forth.

D: Mein gott. Zis one is looking promizing.

A: Yes Doctor. She's appeared to have lost control of her motor functions after about 45 minutes. It's only a matter of time until other parts of her body will begin to shut down.

Darren, looking amused.

D: Make sure you keep very precise logs on her.

A: Of course, doctor.

Shot 6: 1 Hour - Summary

Darren, standing outside the two doors again.

D: As you can see the early effects are already starting to show. We'll take another look in 5 hours.

Shot 7: 6 Hour Mark.

Start with a black screen with "6 hours" written on it.

Cut to Darren again standing outside of the 2 rooms. Clock reads 6 o'clock.

D: Six hours into our experiment. We should see some profound changes by now.

Shot 8: 6 Hours - Erin

Alli is standing back a bit, and scribbling on her clipboard. Erin is bopping up and down on her chair, rocking her head from left to right, singing joyously "Pantsu! Pantsu! Pantsu!"

D: Report.

A: As you can see the brain has now completely shut down, and she's going entirely on instinct already. I'm a little worried, Doctor.

D: Nonsense! Zis was expected. Continue monitoring.

Shot 9: 6 Hours - Paul

Paul is still looking at the screen like a zombie, however now has his hands on the keyboard. His mouth is still open and preferably drooling. He's got some goth makeup thing going, and his shirt is different. Wess is standing next to him, and moving his hand in front of his eyes, to which Paul is non-responsive.

D: And changes?

W: He's slowly moving into the Emo state after a brief stint in the indie-rock state, doctor. His profile has been expanded with band photos of artists that appear to have bought their instruments yesterday.

D: How bad is it?

W: Can I switch with Alli?

D: Be strong, young man. It's for science!

Shot 10: 12 Hours mark

Black screen with "12 Hours" written on it. Cut to Darren in front of the two doors, holding a cup of coffee. Clock reads 12 o'clock.

D: Ve are now halfway through our experiment. Let's take another look.

Shot 11: 12 Hours - Paul

Paul seems to have regained conciousness somewhat. Mouth is shut. More make-up on his face (black nail polish?) and wearing some emo-y shirt. He's tapping away at the keyboard.

D: Impressive.

W: Indeed, doctor. He's begun communicating in earnest with other MySpace people, forcing part of his brain to reactivate. I estimate his cognitive level to be at roughly 5 to 10%. It seems his current focus of attention is towards uninspired sluts. His profile has been... um... 'enhanced' with an estimated 1300 animated gifs. He's already made 400 adds, and his friends collection is growing so fast I can barely keep up. And he's also started a collection of pirated MP3s from depressing emo bands.

D: Good, good.

P: I have to PEE!

Shot 12: 12 Hours - Erin

Alli is checking her watch, and scribbling something on her clipboard. Erin is sitting still in front of the machine, typing at the keyboard.

D: Remarkable.

A: Yes, you were right, Doctor.

D: Of course.

A: The subject calmed down, and begun leaving comments with the various clips she encounters. Her most-used tags are "Lame", "Fag" and... "w-t-f-b-b-q"... I haven't yet been able to decipher what that last one means.

D: Just continue monitoring. Ve vill decipher ze meanings after ze experiment.

A: Yes doctor.

Shot 13: 18 Hours mark

Black screen with "18 Hours" written on it. Cut to Darren in front of the two doors, tired, rubbing his eyes. Clock reads 6 o'clock.

D: Already 18 hours have passed. So far ze results have been most promising. Let's take anozzer look.

Shot 14: 18 Hours - Erin

Alli is shaking her writing hand to try and get the numbness out. Erin is talking to a webcam.

E: Hi mom! I'm doing this really lame survey type thing. Yeah, it sucks, but they pay well...

Erin fades away into a mumble.

D: Hrmm.

A: She's switched from re-adding other peoples clips to making and adding her own. So far she's made 56 clips directed at her mom, who, according to our background information, doesn't even own a computer. Her 40-minute documentary "What I had for breakfast, part 1: Yogurt" proved to be an instant hit and is currently placed prominently on the frontpage, and acquired over 300 "Lame" tags. I'm suspecting "Lame" is actually a compliment in this domain.

D: I told you, focus on ze monitoring. Just leave ze interpreting ov ze data to experts like me.

Shot 15: 18 Hours - Paul

Wess has a clothes pin on his nose, and there's an ominous yellow stain in the corner of the room. Paul has lost the make-up, and looks fairly normal as he's still tapping away at the keyboard.

D: Classic.

W: His cognitive level increased to at least 15%. He's acquired over 900 friends during the last hour, 60% of which look to be porn spam bots, 25% are older men claiming to be young girls, and for some reason tend to pick images of the same girl for their respective profiles. Another 10 % are his heroes: favourite bands, singers, IPTV show hosts such as Kevin Rose, and someone impersonating Dvorak. The final 5% are NBC reporters for Dateline that are trying to lure him into having sex on camera with them.

D: Really?

W: Sounds like a decent proposition to me.


Shot 16: 24 Hours mark

Black screen with "24 Hours" written on it. Cut to Darren in front of the two doors, hair a mess. Dazed. Clock reads 12 o'clock. Darren drinks from a can of Own Jooz, and instantly springing to life.

D: Our 24 hours haf passed. Our volunteers must be quite overcome by their ordeal. Let's take them out of their rooms and see how they're doing. TIME!

Cut to a black screen, and you can hear Wess and Alli taking Erin and Paul from their rooms.

W: Experiment's over, Paul.

P: Noooo! Lonelygirl16 wants me!

(sound of a struggle, ending with a dry thud)

Shot 17: Conclusion

Back to the same position as shot 2. Paul is rubbing his head while Wess is trying to use a hankerchief to wipe some blood of a small piece of pipe (camera stabiliser mod). Erin is looking panicky around her while Alli is holding her by the shoulders to try and keep her in the chair.

D: Az you haf seen, our subjects have changed remarkably due to Web zwei punkt nul over-exposure. However, are zey themselves aware of zis?

Darren turns to Paul.

D: Paul, during this experiment you seemed to have invented a new style of postmodern webdesign and photography that seamlessly combined a sense of dispair at society with a truly staggering amount of unnecessary CSS. How do you feel about this?

Paul talking like the typical, slow, hurting emo.

P: Oooh my head. The leaf of the spur slowly decends onto the weeping stones of destiny, while the pale light of the moon trembles in the wind...

Darren, stumped.

D: Riiight. Zo, Erin! How about you? Do you think ze explosion in user created content and IPTV vill bring ze media back to ze people, creating a healthier environment for ze geopolitical stage?

E: Lame! If someone set us up the bomb, I r like ORLY? Double you tee eff fag!

Darren cautiously backs away a bit.

A: Doctor?

D: Clearly, Web zwei punkt nul over-exposure is a very serious illness, and ve at MicroShaft are vorking very hard to study this phenomenon, trying to find a cure. Thus far, ze effects uncovered are irreversible, but prevention is possible. Zank you for joining us for our little experiment.

Erin is getting a bit more violent, and Alli is having some trouble keeping her in her chair.

A: Doctor!?

D: Join us again next week for our next experiment: <fill in>. Zank you, and good night!

Credits begin to scroll, but you can hear:

D: Right. To ze shredder wiz zem.

A + W simultaneously: Yes, Doctor.

Black screen as credits keep scrolling by.

Wess and Alli appear, talking privately.

A: What's up with Dr. Schiesenhaufer's nametag? It's WAY too large for his tag.

W: Guess he didn't want to go with a smaller font.

A: Maybe he's trying to compensate for something?

W: I do NOT want to know.

Black screen for the last bit of credits.


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So, um... Anybody actually _read_ that bit I wrote?

Any thoughts or comments on that?

I started to. Got about half way. It's funny. Definately funny. I'm just thinking about pace. In fact, now that I look back at the original script it's full of fat. It's probably a 5 minute script, and by that point we've bored the audience half to death. They'll be banging their heads against the monitor shouting "we get it already! it wasn't funny the first minute in, it's not funny now."

Anyway, it's good, it just needs a lot of work. I've got to take another stab at cutting the fat and getting as much punchline in as few dialogue as possible. I'll also have to reform it in some sort of bulletted list or something, as none of us are any good at remembering lines or rehearsing sketches. basically if we cant adlib and improv it, it probably wont happen.

little known fact: most sketches on the show are written and produced at the same time, most of it improv. May be quite interesting when we finally go live. :). I think the microshaft cell phone skit was thought up on the way walking to the location. w00t.


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That's one option. You could also chop it up into short bits and use them throughout the episode. Then the black screen with X Hours could be made a bit prettier with the Microshaft Laboratories logo, the name of the study, etc. etc.. Try to give it a bit of legitimacy.

Another idea is to do this throughout one episode with Paul on MySpace, and the next episode with Erin on YouTube.

Possibly even doing both.

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