Episode 01: Sacred Cow
Two priests uncover the horrifying truth about the nature of prayers.
Comments:
themindfantastic says:
To say I am floored by your production of Sacred Cow is to not even come close to the absolute amazement at its performance. It even one upped the original short story. This is definitely something I will be telling not just "One Friend" about. WOW. Thank you thank you thank you for this amazing production. Everything about it was beyond expectation on a logarithmic scale.
Commented on Thursday, March 01, 2007 9:00 PM
Josh says:
Oh my God (no pun intended), one word sums up this podcast in its entirety...Epic!
Commented on Thursday, March 01, 2007 9:00 PM
kvs says:

To be honest, I was disappointed. I waited for this for a month, only to have it delayed for a month. The hype was big about this supposed "big name" podcaster. Turns out he is (and this is not an affront to him) a middling sort of podcaster. But hey, whatever. Then came the big promise of a story by this guy. Okay. I'm stupid, I bite again. The story is interesting enough but it left too much open. Yeah, I know, 30 mins. is a short time to tell a story fully. However, Serling, whom you are obviously (tring) to imitate managed it and I would expect the same of anyone trying to do this. However, you didn't come close. You tried, you failed. Its as simple as that. Sorry to be critical but (and this is only an opinion here) there were several problems with the script and story:




(ED NOTE: Spoiler Warning)

First, the 'board to the head' beginning with the charted explanation left little to the imagination. It should have been left to be revealed in the body of the story, which it later was. But the preemptive strike at the beginning gave the whole work a 3rd grade, flow chart, explain everything mentality.Second, story wise, what was the big deal with the aliens. Yes, we (humanity) had been being duped for a couple of thousand years, but big whoop. Its not like they were a danger to anyone. Did they cause ill effects on the human race? Did people die because of this? Wheres the horror? The threat? What would have been better would be to ask the bigger questions? Were these creatures collectively God? They were asked but left dangling as if to say, " we don't know what it is, its not hurting anyone, lets kill it." What was the reason. Thirdly, more realistic dialog and less preachiness. The purpose for inventions speech was very contrived. The dialog was stiff and struggling at times. People don't talk like text books, genius' don't tend to prattle (they do ramble). I should know, I worked with a number over the years. Now for the filming. Lighting issues. Shakey camera work at times (Oddly well handled part of the time), and some actors who were terrible unsuited. The main priest was good, the second priest too young, Gordo just irritating and weakly acted, as though he were strung out on twinkies and going through puberty. The ending was vague and took no chances and the whole device felt 'stuffed'. I will give you points for effort. You are at least doing something. The effects were truly great. But it all just felt contrived. And I am sorry to be so harsh. But don't promise what you can't deliver or modify what you claim to be. Honesty over vanity, which is what this project seems to be dedicated. I will say this, I have a couple of friends who turned me on to this who really liked it. I too think it has potential. But on this episode, it was squandered and crippled. Better plotted out scripts and a little more in the way of directing and I think you may have something. Otherwise, I will be skeptical, not that it should matter to you. Keep plugging and remember its easy to set on this side, but it can be liberating and freeing to do so. You laid it open for commentary and opinion. Here is just one. Future good fortune. KVS

Commented on Thursday, March 01, 2007 9:00 PM
Rich Sigfrit says:
I have to say, to Earl and Crew, that you guys did a tremendous job on this first ep. The CG was great, the visuals good, and acting was on par. Ive been a fan of Elliot since the first time I saw Fall of a Saga. One thing I really liked about this was that you didn't pander to the lowest common denominator. I felt that this was more a story about faith, then about any kind of scary monster. By not doing the easy story about things that eat people, it took a much more poignant look at the question of faith. How do you know what you believe, and have believed is true. It would've been too simple to make the tale about something that eats the body, but something that feeds on the soul, is not only deeper, but something that you won't see on network television. I guess that's the trouble with having to pander to stockholders who may not be able to realize what should be painfully obvious. I think this is a great way to open the series. No real surprise that this was spawned from the mind attatched to the body that uses Chicken Sissors to shave his head. hahahaha. If this is the bench mark set for Stranger Things, I can't wait for Discontent.
Commented on Thursday, March 01, 2007 9:00 PM
Japester says:
I disagree with kvs. I think it would be churlish to criticize this film too much. The team has done a remarkable job on a small budget.

Scott's take on religion is quite unique from my perspective. It's all about the priest's faith being tested and I had no problems with the actor's portrayal of this. The cultist looked suitably young and impressionable. The simple man really came across as a mindless genius.

My suspension of disbelief was a little tested when I saw the alien. It was a good-looking alien but I think something half seen as in Alien would have worked better. When I heard Scott Sigler's story podcast in audio, in my mind the aliens were mysterious and shadowy creatures, and for some reason I had the idea that they were outside the Earth's atmosphere, otherwise an aircraft might have bumped into one by now and they might have been discovered.

I was thrown by the text cards before the film, which read like a trailer or preview. Given that I was about to watch the film, it would have been better without this.

Technically, very nice. Very little in the way of jaggies. I watched it through my 5.5-Gen iPod on my TV.

I think it's a remarkable achievement and a great start to what is a groundbreaking podcasting venture. Well done guys!
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
ACVines says:
Guys and Gals: Congrats on getting it started. Looking forward to Discontent. Good luck.
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
Evo says:
Well done, boys and girls. KVS's rather harsh comments aside (some very valid points if you can get past the "you personally disappointed me" filler, so worth examining closely), my expectations were met. I look forward to seeing how the crew improves with repetition and trying out new things as the show progresses.
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
hallben says:
Absolutely mind bogglingly amazing.

I have been blown away by the really high production value and the quality of the performance. Not to mention the of course excellent writing.

I have followed this with some interest, though not actively. After listening to the interview on Slice of Sci-Fi and subscribing today I eagerly downloaded this.

This was a great start and I look forward to the future episodes. To me this proved that the burgeoning media of blog/pod casting is really something to sit up and take notice of as a form of visual entertainment, not just radio entertainment.
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
Fr0sty says:
All I can say is... wow... absolutely fantastic!

Now that I've got my breath back, that was a great story. I followed the premiere with interest and I can tell you, I'm definitely not disappointed with this first episode. I was a big fan of The Outer Limits and Mysterious Ways; this show hits the nail right on the head for me. I personally loved the way the intro was done, it really set a 'creepy' scene to the whole thing IMHO.

Can't wait for the second episode. Bring it on!! :)
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
jmilum says:
Very good start. I was really impressed with most of the acting and directing. I do agree w/ kvs that the beginning was not needed and detracted from the quality of the rest.

I told my one friend and plan to tell many more :)
Commented on Friday, March 02, 2007 9:00 PM
dk_ravage says:
Guys, you are off to a great start with this. For a first run, this episode was well done, and as this vidcast evolves, I know it'll only get better.

I was a fan of the original 'Sacred Cow,' and this has a 'day after' kind of a feel to it, which brings about a bit of closure to the story as a whole. I'm sure Scott's just laughing manically now, having his ego stroked so much :)

Anyway, I loved this episode, and I'm really looking forward to 'Discontent' when it drops. Keep up the great work.
Commented on Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:00 PM
Crash says:
Just got done watching the first episode of Stranger things. I have to say i was very impressed. The story by Sigler was a good choice, it puts out a nice feeling of where stranger things wants to place itself. the "jiggling" camera work ( which is actually used in 5 primetime TV shows) was used very well doing what it's made to do which is include you in the show.

Really photography was very well done and a nice added filter to the end shot. Casting was also well done i feel, while at times they did seem to be somewhat choppy, I'm thinking that was more from doing a second angle take.

Was it perfect? No. was it still fun to watch and enjoyable? YES! I feel that you folks have hit the corner stone of the new technologies that are out there. Where a show can be produced on the cheap and still come out great. This shows that you don't have to be "in the know" to produce quality, you just have to have talent. which each and everyone of you do., and I thank you. for taking the time to bring out a quality piece.. oh and congrats on hitting the 1000 + mark for release.

~Crash
Commented on Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:00 PM
Kronikarz says:
Very nice! Looking forward to other stories!

As for the criticism:
The "Bad Beginning" was supposed to look like the amateur YouTube video that Gordo posted on the internet. A lot of YT videos begin with a blue screen with a white font explaining stuff. The childish behavior of Gordo has to do, I believe, with him being a genius savant.

Some real criticism: A microphone was visible during a shot where the two priests talk.

Not to say the story was perfect, because it wasn't, but considering the budget, it was really really good.
Commented on Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:00 PM
laymanarts says:
Earl and Company,

You have much to be proud about! The effort and time spent on your project was very apparent in the work.

I know most of you personally, and truly think you've all stepped up your game.

My opinion is an honest one, and I think you have a great product that many people will continue to enjoy for a long time to come.

Can't wait till the next episode!
Commented on Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:00 PM
beardiebloke says:
ED NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD

That was a fun story and it sure got me thinking about *stuff*. I guess the moral is that you should get a good broadband connection so you don't have to stick around to get killed by an evil fake priest.
Commented on Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:00 PM
hallben says:
I am not a brainless 'yes man'. I did legitimately enjoy the show a great deal. I was looking at it not from the 'if this was on TV' standpoint but from the 'this is a FREE and UNPAID production that is being distributed via PODCASTING'. This therefore gives it a totally different perspective for me to evaluate it from. And from that perspective it is "Absolutely mind bogglingly amazing."
Commented on Sunday, March 04, 2007 9:00 PM
Earl says:
Hey everyone -

This is Earl Newton, executive producer of Stranger Things. I wasn't sure if we'd need to do this, but it's looking like we will.

We have no problem with any kind of critique of the show, whether it's constructive or not. We believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

That said, we're not going to tolerate insulting the commenters or fans on this site. They have the right to their opinion as much as anyone does. In keeping with that ideal, I've deleted Jingofatt's comment.

Jingo, I encourage you to repost your criticisms, minus the personal attacks.

Business aside, watch your feed in the next 24 hours for an update on the premiere, and the good things to come in the next few weeks...

*out*
Commented on Sunday, March 04, 2007 9:00 PM
adamduckworth says:
Ummm... wow... To say I'm floored would be an understament. Earl and company, you've done it again. I'll be honest, I was skeptical when I first heard the idea, but it was a very good blend of religion and sci fi. And Elliot was good as always (yet "Fall of a Saga" still has a special place in my heart). Keep it up (and if you need me for more than just a parishoner, Earl, you know where to find me).
Commented on Sunday, March 04, 2007 9:00 PM
Rage says:
I was going to say I am floored, but two other people are already down there hogging up the linoleum. But on a serious note....probably a g flat, I really enjoyed it, brave fellows. Im proud of you Bobby Sixkiller.
Commented on Monday, March 05, 2007 9:00 PM
parrottm says:
I really enjoyed the episode. I wish you guys all the best as you move forward
Commented on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 9:00 PM
Dale says:
I found your video to be impressive. While I am not so refined a critic as others, or at least one other, I can see the potential and it has proven to me that what I would like to accomplish as I enter the world of Podcasting is that it can be done by the little guy. I have tons of questions and would love to talk about them. Is there to be a public forum or will you entertain private inquiry? If private, please email to daleherbert@mac.com.

Thanks for a job well done. You held my interest which is hard to do. Do it again.
Commented on Sunday, March 11, 2007 9:00 PM
Earl says:
Dale -

We'll have a forum set up soon to handle questions about the show - to be honest, we're currently swamped with producing the show! So if you'll email me your questions, I'll be glad to answer them, and post the answers here on the blog, until a more two-way system can be locked down.

Email me at: earl@strangerthings.tv and we'll get to your questions ASAP.
Commented on Monday, March 12, 2007 9:00 PM
[...] Stranger Things Sacred Cow [...]
Commented on Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:00 PM
carissaldavis says:
Just a general comment, not really episode specific, yet I was compelled to do so after viewing several episodes at Rich's house. I am extrodinarily impressed by your body of work. Many kudos are thrown your way, and I wish you luck in your future endevors. As if you needed further encouragement to continue, I hope to see many more things from you. Congrats.
Commented on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:00 PM
[...] Scott discusses his rise as one of the more successful podcast novelists in history, the story behind his movie option with Rogue Pictures, and how his short story became the premiere episode of Stranger Things (See Sacred Cow). [...]
Commented on Wednesday, December 31, 1969 4:00 PM

Very nice way to start the series. This is a fun little way to let you know you will be seeing some smart sci-fi and not just a “boo I’m a scary monster” type of show. Very polished.... Scott’s cameo is quite funny and David made me believe he was guy sitting on pew. You are on to something.

Commented on Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:17 AM
ALex says:

I loved this. Very good production for the budget you guys have. Although I do agree a couple of things could have been fixed. Like for example: When the cultist meets with the priest for the second time. I think throwing the box to the floor was a little too much, and sort of ruined the tension and suspense a little bit.

Anyways great idea great acting, I’ll watch the next episodes and tell all my friends about it.

Commented on Tuesday, June 03, 2008 7:35 AM
pablohill says:

How can I put this???? WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW...... did I mention WOW… Holy crap, What was your budget for this episode??? I am amazed.... This is hands down the best show on the internet and even better than many shows on broadcast tv with way more budget. Only Lindsay Campbell beats you, and that is just because she is so cute and witty, www.moblogic.tv , that’s her site if you’ve never seen it. Anyway, congratulations to the crew of strangerthings.tv AWSOME job and keep it up.

Commented on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 12:05 PM
J-zilla says:

excellent!!!  Better than anything I’ve seen on cable or network tv.

Commented on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:24 PM
jeremy says:

this was pretty good. i am a christian and i still enjoyed it thoroughly.

Commented on Monday, June 01, 2009 12:22 PM
Russ says:

To Earl & co:
Really nice, professional job and a good story as well! It could be a real TV show (if you interrupt it every 5 minutes with 4 minutes of commercials, dumb it down a tad, remove religious references and add a relentless laugh track). Thanks for being on the internet!

Commented on Thursday, August 06, 2009 12:01 PM
carljuvy says:

nice story… great job… prefer this kind of films than those big budget nonsense films.

Commented on Monday, October 25, 2010 11:15 AM
Jessicah says:

I know I’m four years late to the game, but I recently hunted this episode down because of Toby Turner. At first I only wanted to watch because he was in it, but as I watched it I fell in love with Gordo. The character was adorable!
Sure there were obvious flaws, but the amazing parts overshadow those few slips by a million times. During the entire last seven minutes of the episode my jaw was dropped, hands cupped over my mouth and I was saying “No no no no no no no no nonononono. Oh my God Oh My GOD” on repeat. Very good job by all of you. I think I’ll be watching the rest.

:D

Commented on Friday, June 24, 2011 10:42 PM
Daniel says:

This is very creepy. I enjoyed it so much. You’re lucky you have Toby “Tobuscus” Turner as a cast member. Because of him I’m here and now I love this series. I want to see more. This should me put on TV and it should be 1 hour long.

Very good and I love how it was made. Great storyline and it sure adds a mystery to most religion. In a creepy sense how it was going on for years in ancient civilization and how places of worships building design contribute to this.

I would rather see films like this in theaters than most action movies.Excellent work!!

Commented on Saturday, June 25, 2011 3:28 PM
Giles says:

TOBUSCUS!

I thought there were definite things I liked about this, there was a good thrill when they mentioned that the priest was excommunicated. Unfortunately I didn’t like the way that they did just want to kill the things straight away. People fear what they do not understand, but this just says, whatever we don’t understand, must die.

I liked how it was short and sweet. I actually thought Toby was better once he became the creepy bad guy, he just seems to play a bad guy really well. The main priest was a good actor. Kudos.

Editing felt a little ‘high school’ to me.

Commented on Saturday, September 10, 2011 9:13 AM
sophie says:

i watched it because of Toby....

Commented on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:45 PM
Guido says:

I like the story and the characters very much, but the flow of the video itself was a bit, “jerky” for a lack of a better word. If you would have shot this in black and white, I think it would have flowed smoother. This is just my opinion and I thoroughly enjoyed the video.

Commented on Monday, October 17, 2011 12:54 AM
TobyTLove says:

PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BEING SO CRITICAL!  This is not an actual movie or something.  Considering their timeframe and budget it was great!
And contrary to popular belief, Toby was AWESOME.  You need him in ALL OF YOUR VIDS!  It’s weird seeing Toby so serious, I love it <3 He’s even hotter (anyone seen This One’s For You, Baby? Oh. My. Gosh.)

Commented on Thursday, November 03, 2011 11:45 AM
Odin says:

This was awesome, and not just because of Toby

Commented on Monday, December 12, 2011 7:44 AM
Vatt says:

Whoa :O This was amazing.

Commented on Saturday, January 28, 2012 9:18 AM
Kyle says:

I came here for TOBUSCUS but I have to say that I liked the movie as a whole and when Gordo started cooking the meat in the milk I flashed back to a line from the the old testament. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” And I was like Oh! I see what you did there! That line always seemed a little weird to me and now I know why. The aliens wrote it to keep our prayers yummy!

Commented on Monday, March 12, 2012 3:23 PM
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