before thanksgiving, i went with ryan to one of his film classes to watch a screening of an unfinished movie. the professor had told ryan and his classmates to bring friends if they wanted, as the filmmakers were hoping to get as much feedback as they could.
after the screening, the filmmakers asked us questions and listened to our opinions about the movie. i raised my hand early on to respond to something they’d asked, but they called on someone else who said pretty much the same thing i was going to, so i put my hand down. ten minutes later i was fully absorbed in searching the internet on my cell phone (for reasons i’ll explain shortly), and had stopped listening entirely.
“were you going to say something earlier?” one of the filmmakers said. i looked up to see that he was staring right at me. i had no idea what they’d been talking about.
“oh, um, it already got answered,” i said, embarrassed. i’m glad i wasn’t in the class and therefore wouldn’t be coming back, because everyone knows that “it already got answered” is the go-to phrase for people who haven’t been paying attention.
i was using the phone internet instead of paying attention because of something i’d noticed in the movie. the movie, a pretty decent flick otherwise, was horribly guilty of Gratuitous Use Of The Font Comic Sans MS. this is a pretty common offense, as most of you know. freddy used to say that what the use of comic sans says to the world is “i don’t take my business seriously, and neither should you.” and he’s right. but not only was this movie guilty of Gratuitous Use Of The Font Comic Sans MS, it was also guilty of Gratuitous Use Of The Font Comic Sans MS In A Scene Which Takes Place In The Eighties. the characters were sitting around in their living room watching a television show, and the title of the show and the names of its stars were in comic sans. with the kerning all messed up, no less.
i was pretty sure that, in the eighties, comic sans hadn’t been created yet. during the question-and-answer period, i decided that i was’t going to bring it up in front of the class, but that i’d approach one of the filmmakers afterward. i wanted to be sure i was right first, so i used my phone internet to do a google search. it took forever, but i finally found out that comic sans was created in 1995.
after the class was over, i approached one of the filmmakers. “excuse me,” i said.
“yes?” he said.
“this is probably the dorkiest thing i’ll ever say in my life, but how concerned are you about font anachronisms?”
he gave me a blank look. “that depends,” he said. “what have you got?”
i was starting to get nervous. “well. in that scene where they were watching the tv show? i noticed that the title sequence was done in comic sans. but comic sans wasn’t created until 1995. i just thought i’d let you know.”
“oh, there’s all kinds of stuff like that in there,” he said. “but thanks for telling me anyway.”
“sure,” i said, and walked away. i found the whole thing not a little embarrassing, partly because he thought i was a dork, but mostly because he didn’t care about font anachronisms.