PSYCH 3 Executive Producers on the 'Ticking Clock' of THIS IS GUS and What Had to Be Cut - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

PSYCH 3 Executive Producers on the ‘Ticking Clock’ of THIS IS GUS and What Had to Be Cut

November 15, 2021 by  

Psych 3

PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS — Pictured: (l-r) Dulé Hill as Burton, James Roday Rodriguez as Shawn — (Photo by: James Dittiger/Peacock)

The PSYCH franchise returns with THIS IS GUS on Thursday, November 18, as Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez) and Gus (Dulé Hill) try to figure out who the heck Selene (Jazmyn Simon)—Gus’ pregnant fiancée—is married to.

While this marks the second film to bow on Peacock, it’s the first to be crafted knowing it would live exclusively on the streamer. (PSYCH 2 was originally intended to air on USA Network, but pivoted after production was completed.)

“I started writing the script [for THIS IS GUS], and I was doing the act breaks and all that stuff,” PSYCH creator (and co-writer/director) Steve Franks explains in the video below. “James and I were working on it, but I started before James, because James is doing A MILLION LITTLE THINGS…And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I can write this like a feature film. I don’t have to worry about the little act breaks!’ I was so excited. It was so freeing and so liberating.”

But, of course, the best laid plans often go awry.

“Cut to: We’re…like two weeks in[to] the editing, and we get a call from my editor [saying], ‘They were wondering where the act breaks are supposed to go,” Franks says with a laugh, noting that it’s complicated since some versions of Peacock do include ads.

“We thought we’re gonna get away with all kinds of new stuff on the streamer,” adds executive producer Chris Henze. “We actually had a a bad word in the movie that starts with ‘sh’ and we were forced to take it out. And we were like, ‘Wait a minute! We waited all this time to craft something for a streamer so we could be edgy.’ It really wasn’t very edgy, but still.”

There was, however, a good reason for the edit: “Apparently our audience has become accustomed to this being a family viewing experience,” Henze says. “And so we were we were pressured to take it out.” (They found a good workaround in the film, though.)

However, sometimes, restrictions—even self-imposed ones—can make for intriguing storytelling. For PSYCH 3, the writers had to figure out a way to tell the story of Shawn and Gus trying to find Selene’s husband before she gave birth…but still allow time for general PSYCH antics. And they had to figure out how to tell the story in a way that was feasible, production-wise, in the midst of a pandemic.

“We knew we were going to go make a movie in the time of COVID,” Roday Rodriguez says. “And luckily, I had done a whole season of the other show with all of those protocols in place. So I had some idea of what to expect. But it did condense what the story could be—we couldn’t just do any anything we wanted.”

“It focused us a little bit in terms of, ‘What’s the most effective way to tell this story?’ And, also, ‘What can we actually get away with doing?'” he continues. “And if you combine that with the idea of, yeah, a baby’s coming and the added wrinkle that it can’t come into this world until Gus and Selene tie the knot—which was a very silly, wrinkle, but perfect for PSYCH—it gives you it gives you a ticking clock without having to work too hard to get it. I think so often you have to work overtime as a writer to create stakes, and these stakes kind of write themselves.”

Can’t wait for more PSYCH? Watch the first four minutes of THIS IS GUS now…

PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS, Thursday, November 18, Peacock


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