Come back later for more trivias. Click on a question to see the answer.
[S01E11] Behind the door
The very last scene keeps the mystery on who opened the door to Maykel. This cliffhanger was here to keep the interest for a second season.
However, in case the show was a flop, Maykel left a hint on the identity of this person in the opening credits. Indeed, at the end of the opening credits in every other episode, Maykel ends alone on the bench. But not in this 11th episode, cause this time another person stays with Maykel: the one who opened the door.
[S01E09] The black screen
In the first scene of this episode, when we hear someone’s ringing at Maykel’s door, we suddenly face a black screen and hear the opening door with someone walking in before we see Julien on the bed.
This is totally unintended. The scene with Maykel opening the door to Julien was written in the screenplay. But in the rush, and without a script supervisor this day, the team forgot to film it and nobody noticed it. It’s only once in the editing room, four weeks later, that Maykel discovered this mistake.
Unable to reshoot it, the trick of the black screen was used to correct the error. Without it, the scene would just cut from the bathroom to Julien jumping on the bed without any sense.
[S01E06] Chronological inconsistency (2)
In the first part of the episode, the characters says that they have a party tonight. When Margaret leaves the bar to let Greg ask Esther out, she even says see you tonight. But when Margaret goes to Maykel’s place before the party in the next scene, she tells him that Greg and Esther are a couple since last night, something that Esther will confirm.
This is a mistake while filming the scene. The screenplay states that the party is on the next day, but all the cast said tonight on every takes. So it was impossible to correct it in the editing room.
In 2015, for the series Ultimate Cut, a message “The next day” was added on screen when Margaret comes to Maykel’s place, to try to make this scene more logical.
[S01E06] Why Marjorie arrives only now?
This episode is a game changer: Margaret’s plan is finally in place and Maykel doesn’t know what he feels anymore. The story needed a new character, someone from outside the team, to have a fresh point of view on the situation.
Marjorie was added mid-season, for just some episodes, to diffuse the conflict to come.
[S01E03] Facebook / MySpace
This episode is a little bit special. In 2007, before his break-up, Maykel contacted Steven Tsapelas, creator of the american webseries We Need Girlfriends, to adapt this series in France. Eventually, after his break-up with Johannes, Maykel changed the project.
However, this episode 3 is what’s left of the initial project. We Need Girlfriends episode 3 is titled “MySpace”. Maykel changed it in “Facebook” cause this social media was becoming big in 2007, but the rest of the episode is the same.
In the very first scene of this episode, Esther is talking about Tom, We Need Girlfriends main character, and says it’s her cousin from New York. She says he had a bad idea with MySpace but in the end, she will reproduce the same mistake.
[S01E02] Chronological inconsistency
The intro scene in episode 2 (when Greg meets Maykel) has a chronological inconsistency. Maykel says that they cut ties when he did his coming out cause Greg was afraid.
This is impossible, as later in this episode, it is revealed they stopped hanging out together right after high school. But at this time, Maykel was in love with Esther. After that, he will even date Margaret before his coming out.
So when he did his coming out, Greg was out of his life for years already, and Greg couldn’t even know that Maykel was gay.
[S01E01] Maykel's monologue
When Maykel talks with his shrink, and tells what happened after the break-up, his monologue is actually the lyrics from the song Alone Without You by Mark Owen.
Behind the scenes
[S01E11] The tributes
Maykel Stone watches a lot of series and drew his inspiration for this season finale in the ones he was watching at the time.
The first sentence on a black background is taken from Buffy the vampire slayer created by Joss Whedon, and it’s the last thing Buffy said to her sister Dawn before her sacrifice.
The argument between Johannes and Maykel uses, in part, the same dialogues as the last argument between Buffy and Riley in another episode of Buffy the vampire slayer.
Finally, the song lipsynced by the characters in the end is an idea taken from the series Nip/Tuck created by Ryan Murphy.
[S01E09] A second screenwriter
This episode is the only one (in this season) that Maykel didn’t write alone. Adelin Sureau helped him to write one of the longest episode in the series. For the anecdote, Adelin was also meant to play in this episode. The character of the Seraph, Julien, was firstly named Adelin and was no other than God himself (this explains the title of the episode).
Sadly, because of a conflicting shooting schedule, Adelin couldn’t be there for this episode and the screenplay had to be changed. The director, Ambroise Bucher, proposed one of his friends to take the role. Jeremy Alison, a stage actor, took this place and brought a really dramatic touch to this completely out-of-this-world Seraph.
[S01E09] The visual effects
This episode is the first one that needed special effects. The company DYspeed was created solely for this purpose and designed the evil Maykel in the mirror, or helped the Seraph to stop time and disappear.
These are basic effects, but were hard to create for an amateur team in 2008. Nowadays, it would be very easy to make these effects with any editing software, but back then, they had to create them from scratch. The result remains sometimes unsatisfactory, some effects are too visible (we can see where the fake mirror starts), but despite the new versions, the production refused to remake them cause they are now part of what make this episode so special..
[S01E03] Day for night
In episode 3 (season 1), Esther goes at night to wake up Maykel. This scene wasn’t filmed at night as the camera used (a simple mainstream camcorder) was too low quality for that.
Instead, the scene was filmed during the day, and an effect was applied on it in the editing room. This effect, often used in movies, increases the blue color and darken the picture. Then the scene looks like it was filmed at night.
You can find a video in the Bonus Features section that compares before and after this effect.
[General] How long did it take to film a season?
Each season took 3 months, filming only on Saturdays and Sundays because the cast, composed of volunteers, was either working or studying the rest of the week.
4 episodes were filmed each month, but not in chronological order. It was randomized to optimize the locations. For example, the first month were filmed episodes 1 to 4, but on one day, all scenes taking place on the same location were shot.
[General] Is this show based on a true story?
Season 1 starting point is based on the real break-up between Maykel and his ex, really called Johannes. The rest of the story is fictional.
Each character form the first season is based on someone that Maykel really met:
– Johannes is the real first name of Maykel’s ex.
– Esther is someone that Maykel met in high school and she even play her own role, it’s the real Esther herself.
– Greg is based on someone called Greg that Maykel also met in high school.
– Margaret is based on Maykel’s real ex-girlfriend, but her name was changed.
– And Marjorie is based on a friend Maykel met in university. Her name was also changed.
[General] How was the series filmed?
The show was shot in SD with a simple mainstream camcorder, the Sony HD-SR5, and without any external microphone. It was then edited on Windows with Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0.
[General] This scene was different in my memories
Over time, we reworked the show for different reasons. The original cut from 2008 doesn’t even exist anymore on our servers.
In 2009, to celebrate season 2, Sidney Soriano re-edited the first season under the version name New Cut and corrected some editing glitches, but also added new shots.
In 2010, to celebrate season 3, the whole series received an HD upscale. It’s not a real HD version, but just a new 720p encoding from the original SD master. This version was simply called HD Edition.
In 2015, Maykel wanted to upgrade the audio track and reworked it totally. He also added some small changes in some scenes. This version was called the Ultimate Cut.
And in 2022, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of NOTHING NEW, we re-encoded the show with a better quality. Some changes were also made in a few scenes, but the real novelty was the addition of a vertical version for each episode, cause this new format is now widely adopted. This edition, called Anniversary Edition, is the one you can currently watch.
[General] Was the show in the medias?
The TV channel France 3 dedicated a report about NOTHING NEW in the news on April 22, 2008 (the video is available in the extras, but is in French only without subtitles) for the series Premiere.
The radio station NRJ followed each season of the show and a report was dedicated to it each year in the news. The first one on April 9, 2008 (season 1), the second one on July 2, 2009 (season 2) and the last one on February 4, 2010 (season 3).
The show “Radio Campus” on the radio station Radio Bienvenue Strasbourg had Maykel as a guest to talk about the show on February 23, 2009.
The show was broadcasted at FestiWebTele in Montreal, Canada, on September 28, 2012.
Some articles about the show were published in the press and on some websites:
20 Minutes “Une” – March 27, 2008
20 Minutes “Grand Strasbourg” – April 22, 2008
e-Alsace.net – April 28, 2008
e-Alsace.net – May 8, 2008
20 Minutes “Grand Strasbourg” – July 1, 2008
Bref, le magazine du court métrage – n°83 – July/August 2008
Univers Freebox – July 2, 2008
e-Alsace.net – July 15, 2008
e-Alsace.net – May 6, 2009
20 Minutes “Grand Strasbourg” – May 7, 2009
Mouviz – February 10, 2010
Za-Gay – June 22, 2012