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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions (and MY ANSWERS!)

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Lot of fans of contact me via my email (DanWarp@gmail.com), Twitter, YouTube, and my other online accounts.  The people who work for my web team at Schneider's Bakery noticed that I get asked a lot of the same questions, over and over.  So, I asked them to compile a list of the ones most frequently asked, which they did.  

Here are my responses!  They're in no particular order.

 FREQUENTLY  ASKED   QUESTIONS 

(1)  I don't live in America, so when do I get to see the new episode in my country?

Unfortunately, I don't know.  I just create, write, film and deliver the shows.  I have no idea how, if, or when Nickelodeon airs the episodes outside the USA.  There's no way I could keep up with the air schedules for dozens of countries.  So, sadly, I can't help you with this question.

(2)  Will you follow me on Twitter?

The way Twitter works makes it silly to follow more than 30 or 40 people (in my opinion).   I'm confused by Twitter users who follow hundreds or thousands of people because, if you do that, you see SO MANY tweets that you miss the ones you really need to see.  Does that make sense?

(3)  How can I audition to be an actor on one of your shows?

Casting is handled by our casting director and the others in her department.  To be submitted for a role, you must have an agent who contacts our casting department on your behalf.  Unless you live in New York or Los Angeles, it's very hard to get "in the game" of auditioning for TV shows and movies.  But some other cities do have agents as well.  There are good ones in Chicago, Dallas, and Florida, for example.  Without an agent (or manager, or some kind of legitimate representation), it's next to impossible to get an audition for any real TV show or movie.

(4)  How do I get to be a writer, director, or producer in the entertainment business?

I wish I could tell everyone who asks me this question how to do it.  But there's no clear path to becoming a writer, director, or producer.  Everyone who has succeeded in the entertainment business has his or her own unique story.  There's just no short, easy answer to this question.  One day when I have some time, I plan to write about this and give you my best advice – but that's not just a few sentences or paragraphs.  It's a long, involved answer.

(5)  What's the difference between Schneider's Bakery and Nickelodeon?

Schneider's Bakery is the name of my own production company.  Nickelodeon is the network hires me through the company name "Schneider's Bakery" to create, write, produce, and deliver shows.  In recent years, Schneider's Bakery has become the name used to identify me and my team – all the talented people who work with me to make and deliver our shows.   And we're all Team Nick.

(6)  What is DanWarp?  What does it mean?

A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to get very active online – to connect with the fans and provide fun information for them.  But lots of people tend to misspell my last name "Schneider" – so I wanted to pick an online name that was cool, short, easy to remember, and very easy to spell.  And I came up with DanWarp.  So, "DanWarp" and "Schneider's Bakery" are basically the same thing. 

(7)  I have some great ideas!  Will you read them or let me tell you about them?

I'm sorry, but legally I'm not allowed to read material submitted by outside sources.  Too much potential for lawsuits.  I'm only allowed to read material that comes to me through licensed literary agents. 

(8)  Would you ever make a show for networks other than Nickelodeon?

Well, in the past I've made shows for other networks, but Nick has been great home to me for a long time.  At this point, Nickelodeon has become almost like a family for me and the other people who work the shows we make.  I'm having tons of fun with Henry Danger right now, and I have other shows I'm creating soon at Nick, so I plan to be at Nickelodeon for a long time.

(9)  I used to love watching The Amanda Show.  What happened with Moody's Point?  Who was the real Moody?

For a detailed explanation about what happened with Moody's Point, CLICK HERE.

(10)  Do you write all the episodes yourself?

No.  I work with an extremely talented, small group of writers (just 4 or 5 people).  They are instrumental in helping me come up with stories, outlines, and the all funny stuff that happens in the episodes.  Then, I take the lead in writing the actual scripts, usually with just one other writer.

(11)  I love watching your shows (like Drake & Josh, iCarly, and Victorious) but I'm not a kid.  Is that weird/bad?

No, not at all! CLICK HERE to read about that.

(12)  Where can I buy an iCarly Penny-Tee shirt?

Sadly, they're not for sale anywhere.  Those shirts you see on iCarly are specially made.  The writers and I come up with the words (that go on the chest) and our costume department makes the shirts they could buy them.  I have seen some for sale on places like eBay, but I they are fan-made – not official merchandise.

(13)  Why did Drake & Josh get canceled?

Drake & Josh was never canceled.  The term "canceled" usually applies to a network ending a TV show due to poor ratings.  That never happened with Drake & Josh.  In fact, Drake & Josh got its highest ratings during its final season.  And the last episode "Really Big Shrimp" was the most-watched episode of the entire series' run. 

Drake & Josh ended because we all felt it was time to say goodbye.  Both Drake Bell and Josh Peck had been with Nickelodeon for nearly 8 years (I first hired them for The Amanda Show).  They were ready to move on and try new things.  Also, the network already had plenty of episodes of Drake & Josh for reruns, and they were excited about the idea of me creating a new TV series for Miranda Cosgrove (which I did: iCarly).

So, Drake & Josh ended because of a mutual decision by the stars, the network, and me.  We were all very sad to say goodbye to the show, but we had a lot of fun two years later making "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh."

(14)  Do you think that Drake and Josh will ever reunite and do more movies together?

I think it would be great to see Drake Bell and Josh Peck do a movie together, either as grown-up versions of Drake Parker and Josh Nickols, or as new, different characters.

(15)  Can I come visit the set of iCarly or Victorious and meet the stars and watch rehearsal?

I wish I could say yes, but the answer is really no unless you have some direct connection to someone who works on  the show.  We love our fans and would like to invite them all to come hang out with us, but that would create all kinds of problems.  First, there would be way too many people to accommodate.  Second, there's a major safety issue.  That's why we have new rules that prohibit us from allowing fans in the studio.

(16)  How can I contact you?

That's a little hard.  If I tried to respond to every email and comment I get online from fans of my shows, it would be a full time job!  I wouldn't have any time to make TV shows or movies.  So, there's no sure-fire way of reaching me.  But you can email me: DanWarp@gmail.com – I check that email sometimes.  And-or you can leave a comment for me by CLICKING HERE – I check those comments sometimes, too.

(17)  I have a great idea for a TV show (or movie).  How do I go about selling it, or getting it produced?

A great idea, alone, isn't worth much at all.  Lots of people have great ideas for TV shows or movies.  But to excite real players in the entertainment business, you have to have much more than a great idea.  You have to have some kind of credibility.  You need to write books, or screenplays, or make short films, or take acting classes... something.  That way, when you come up with a great idea, you can say, "I have a great idea, and here is an example of my talent."  A famous studio president once said, "People with great ideas are a dime a dozen.  People with great ideas and great abilities are the Holy Grail." 

Also, you're never going to get a professional producer, director, writer, or actor to listen your ideas by reaching out via Facebook or Twitter (or through some other online method).  That's like walking up to them in a restaurant and saying, "Hey!  Will you listen to my ideas?"  Realistically, it just doesn't work that way. 

(18)  Where did the hobo jokes come from?
 

The writers have been using the word "hobo" in my shows since the early days of All That (1994).  We always thought it was just a funny-sounding word.

Most important: "hobos" are not a reference to what we would consider the homeless of today.  Hobos are caricatures of the 19th century types who would ride the rails (trains) and carry their possessions in a red, cloth sack at the end of a stick.  Hobos no longer exist, but they have been characters in classic comedy since the days of Red Skelton.

Every once in a while, I'll receive a complaint from someone claiming that "hobo" is simply another word for homeless person.  I disagree.

I'd always been taught that a hobo was someone who made a personal choice to live a wandering life, usually traveling by railroad car.  Some dictionaries agree with this distinction, and others don't.  But to me, a hobo is just a guy who likes to roam the country, living a free-wheeling "go wherever the wind takes me" lifestyle.

You can read an official definition of the word hobo by CLICKING HERE.
 
(19)  What's the first show you ever made for Nickelodeon?

All That.  I wrote the pilot for All That in late 1993, and we filmed it in January of 1994.  I think the very first sketch I ever wrote was called "Cool Shoes."

(20)  What is your favorite show you've ever made for Nickelodeon?

I really can't say because I love them all for different reasons.  It's like asking a parent to pick his "favorite" children.  The shows I've made are All That… Kenan & Kel… The Amanda Show… Drake & Josh… Zoey 101… iCarly… and Victorious.  They're all very different, and each series has qualities that make me proud. :)

(21)  Did Zoey 101 end because Jamie Lynn Spears got pregnant?

No.  Some people think that, but it's not true.  We did four seasons of Zoey 101.  The last season was shot during the summer of 2007, and wrapped (ended) in August.  We had our final wrap party at the end of August.  Everyone had a fun time, hugged, and we all said our goodbyes.  That was the end of Zoey 101, in terms of production.

It wasn't until several weeks later (in October) that anyone from our production heard about Jamie Lynn being pregnant.

Zoey 101 ended for the same reasons Drake & Josh ended.  The network felt they had enough episodes, and everyone involved with the show was ready to move on and do other things.

(22)  Did you come up with the idea for "spaghetti tacos" on iCarly?

Yep, that was my idea.  I can't remember in which episode the term "spaghetti tacos" was first used, but I'm pretty sure it was in season one of iCarly.  

I was writing a scene where Spencer made dinner (or talked about making dinner) – and since the Spencer character is such a fun, creative guy, I thought he's gotta make something interesting – and something that would sound very appealing to kids and teens, especially.

My favorite food of all time is spaghetti.  And who doesn't love tacos?  So, I decided that Spencer would combine the two and make "spaghetti tacos" for dinner.  I'm always really happy when a fan sends me a pic of spaghetti tacos they actually made for themselves. :)

Here's a link to an article in the New York Times about iCarly and spaghetti tacos: CLICK HERE TO READ IT

And you can read my own blog about spaghetti tacos by CLICKING HERE
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Okay, that's all for now.  Check back soon, and I'll have more questions and answers posted here.

Thanks!
–DanWarp
(a.k.a Dan Schneider – a.k.a. Schneider's Bakery, Inc.)