Our Latest Harebrained Scheme

Well, here we go again. Another something-or-other that sounds like fun and so we’re going to try to do it.

A little background: we have very much enjoyed doing our FB Livecasts, but have felt the nagging sense that we have more to offer than tips on How to Badly Bake Cobbler and What Not to Guess When Matthew is Drawing Even If It Looks Just Like Who You Think It Is (Christopher Walken). We wanted it to fall under the following constraints:
1. We wanted it to be video.
2. We didn’t want to have to do any editing.
3. We wanted it to be short enough that it wasn’t a big commitment.
4. We wanted to share some of our vast moonscape of knowledge.
5. We did not want the moonscape to make us seem too boring.

So here’s what we came up with:

A ten-minute video in which we answer a question from you guys while also attempting some sort of ridiculous feat.

Let it be known that at various times in our planning conversation (about an hour of back-and-forth across the studio) it was going to be called Ten Minutes in Heaven with Robbi and Matthew, Ten Minutes in the Closet with Robbi and Matthew, and then just Ten Minutes with Robbi and Matthew. We gave it a tagline, “Collaboration. Creativity. Catastrophe.” and considered it done.

Matthew even drew up some logo sketches for me (part of the gimmick is that we’ll have a ten-minute timer so there will be no going overtime, and thus the natural hourglass/stopwatch motif):

I was feeling that the whole stopwatch thing was a little too on the nose, and started looking at logos that included stopwatches. They were all super lame.

Then I googled “Ten Minutes With” and found this:

Ten Minutes with Teddy & Tina, who are a wholesome, loving couple who talk about the following:

We didn’t want it to appear that we were stealing their idea and then corrupting it in the way that we do whenever we steal other people’s ideas, so the whole Ten Minutes concept went out the window. I think Teddy & Tina will be very glad not to be associated with our shenanigans.

Back to square one. We started tossing around the idea of what might invoke “a short time”. Matthew suggested “sojourn” and “idyll” and I must say my eyes rolled so hard into the back of my head I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get right again.

Matthew cleverly came up with “quickie” (surprise) and we thought “Creative Quickie” might be good, except for maybe the fact that we’re trying to appeal to librarians and such, and while I’m not going say that librarians don’t like quickies, I’d venture to guess that it’s not the sort of thing they want to share within their librarian networks.

PLUS, goddammit:

So it turns out we aren’t nearly as creative as we thought.

But we also wanted to capture the hijinx of trying to do the ridiculous feat. This part of the idea came from our very first idea, which was “Robbi and Matthew Eat Potatoes” in which we would eat potatoes every episode, an idea we never took seriously but made us laugh. We looked up a bunch of synonyms and somehow came across “nudniks,” which I thought effectively captured the ridiculousness, and I thought “Creative Nudniks” might be funny (I thought it was way funnier yesterday than I do right now). But we’d already coined ourselves “idiots” back in the day and figured maybe that time has passed.

Then we decided the tagline should cover the nudnik part of things, so it was back to the main title. And really, the point of the whole thing was that we would be trying to answer one single question in a ten-minute time period. The hijinx shouldn’t be the point.

And then it came to us – Quick Question! Great alliteration! Captures exactly what we’re trying to do! Perfect! A quick google search came up empty, but while I was searching I started to fall out of love with it because it started sounding like the name of a corny local cable access show. Matthew suggested adding the ONE and somehow it seemed more descriptive and less like a catchphrase. We tried to plumb the depths of why that was but basically couldn’t find a compelling answer. Since we only need to pitch this idea to ourselves, we said, “Screw it! We’re done!”

The design went through many iterations, but thankfully none of them involved a stopwatch or hourglass. I realized a lightning bolt said it the best. And so:

Dang that lightning bolt doesn’t read like an “I” with the serif font. Also, those Qs are awfully loopy.

Better, but the lightning bolt still doesn’t read. Plus, what about our names?

Ok, but that handwritten font is not quite it. Plus, we left out the hijinx! Annoyingly, another layer of text to include.

Getting there, but boy does it look grim. Some color?

Whatever the answer is, the answer is not yellow. Or pink.

Oh righhhht, the Robbi & Matthew color scheme is black and orange. I forgot.

And the exclamation points made it much more hijinx-y, even though Matthew usually hates exclamation points. And changing the bottom bit from bar to banner also made it seem a little more fun.

And there you have it.

We will record later this week, post early next week, and talk about it on the livecast on Wednesdays. If you have any questions you’d like us to answer (or 10-minute hijinx suggestions), put them in the comments below!

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