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a Quote-Unquote Newsletter

issue 18

August 14, 2020

Hey! I know who that is!

The cameo gag. Casting a real person as themselves. Casting a real person as a fictional version of themselves. All of these play into the relationship between the audience and the story, creating a bleed between the barriers of the world you know and the fiction you’re watching.

There are plenty of reasons to add a real person or public figure (or not add them) into your fictional story, and we look at some of those reasons in this week’s blog post.

Need more examples?

From, a supercut of actors playing themselves in movies.

Or how about a collection of clips of Jay Leno as Jay Leno in movies, making jokes about the protagonist?

“...your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Adding a real person to your story raises one set of questions. The legality of it can raise entirely different ones. For some good examples involving Ready Player Onecheck out this primer on fair use of celebrity identities in fiction from the Creative Law Center.

Highland How-To: Customizing A Template

Highland 2 has plenty of preset Document Templates for you to use, from Screenplay to Manuscript to Speech, but did you know that you can tweak the fonts?

On the right-hand side of the Template menu you'll see drop down menus under Template Options. These menus let you pick from a set of coordinated fonts, or even change some of the default behaviors of that template.

And remember: Part of how Highland works is keeping your Editor separate from your Export. You can select any font you want for when you're writing and editing, and still know that the final exported document will look clean and crisp.

To learn more about how Highland 2, check out our Knowledge Base!

Conspiracy Theories, Celebrity Cameos, and Gameplay

Including real people and events into the workings of a game is part of the idea behind many Alternate Reality Games (ARGs). Adrian Hon shows how early ARGs, like one used to promote Steven Spielberg’s A.I., and the QAnon conspiracy movement share DNA. A good read for anyone who wants to learn more about ARG design, or if you’re interested in the relationship between the problem-solving mind states of gamers and conspiracy theorists.

Other Cool Things

You may have noticed Maya Rudolph trending on Twitter this week, so this seems like a good time to learn more about her career and life in this conversation with the New York Times.

If you’re in the center of the Venn diagram of "People Who Will Miss College Football Season" and "People Who Love Oral Histories of Filmmaking," now might be the time to check out the oral history of 1993’s The Program, hailed by ESPN as “college football’s cult movie.”

Because few things warm the heart like a story of different species coming together in love and harmony, check out this short video on a man who rescued a baby magpie, and how that magpie is now best friends with him and his cat.

And that’s what’s inneresting this week!

If you know someone else who might want to read this, please forward it to them. Thanks!

Come across something you think other readers will find inneresting? Reach out to Chris on Twitter @ccsont or email us at


November 3rd, 2020
Election Day


Inneresting is edited by Chris Csont, with contributions from the entire Quote-Unquote team. Subscribe here.

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