Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blast from the Past #610: April 11, 2003: comments on Episode 33 outline

Subj: comments on Episode 33 outline
Date: Friday, April 11, 2003 3:32:02 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are a few comments on the outline of Episode 33:

1.) We may have already covered this, but I'll say it anyway -- when the Turtles encounter the Shredder in the "virtual past", I think it would be good to tweak that Shredder's armor/costume to be subtly (maybe a LITTLE bit more than subtly) different than the modern Shredder's outfit -- maybe a little bit more leaning toward the ornate Samurai look, but still recognizably the Shredder, with those key elements -- three-pronged/bladed helmet, hooked blades on shoulders, forearms, and shins, and hand blades. Not only would it fit more in with the historical context, but it could make a very cool toy! I also think we should consider doing something similar with the costumes of the Foot ninja in the "virtual past".

2.) There's a scene on page 3 as follows:

A Foot Ninja turns to his master.  Should they follow?

Feudal Japan Shredder:  "No.  The bamboo forest will give them too much of an advantage.  Let them go for now.  They are not the ones I seek.  Though … send some men to watch the road.  You others, come with me."

This scene seems wrong to me somehow -- I think it's because this "virtual world" thing is happening in the minds of the Turtles, so everything that WE see should be (I think) ONLY things that THEY see. The same idea would apply to the following scene on pages 5 and 6:

A road runs through the bamboo forest.  A family consisting of an old man, a young boy and a beautiful woman stand by the handcart they were pulling (a two-wheeled Japanese affair with a long extended handle in front).

Desperately, the old man and the boy stand back to back being held at sword point by five Feudal Foot Ninja.  The woman, however, is putting up a fight.  Three other Foot Ninja attack her with their swords flashing as she fends them off (quite well) with a walking staff (bo staff of sorts).

The three turtles move forward through the bamboo preparing to leap into the fray and help the family but stop as suddenly …

This scene could be altered to fit the "Turtles' point-of-view only" rule pretty easily, simply by starting that scene by showing the Turtles moving through the bamboo forest and THEN having them stop and see the attack on the handcart and its human occupants. Actually, the first questionable scene with the Shredder doesn't seem to be needed at all and could just be dropped.
A question -- is there any particular reason -- other than eye candy -- that the woman in this scene is described several times as "beautiful"?

3.) Also on page 3 (and 4), there is this:

Meanwhile back in the reality of the TCRI Building and the virtual reality pod room, Mr. Mortu and several Utroms, assisted by Professor Honeycutt, desperately try to figure out what’s gone wrong with the system.  But it is to no avail; it appears that all control overrides have been "locked out!"  They’ll have to try rerouting all controls.  It’ll take hours … and there’s a good chance it won’t work.

I have no problem with this, but I think it could be enhanced in terms of the sense of peril and difficulty if we take a page from other science fiction treatments of virtual reality stuff and also say that not only are they having problems dealing with the hardware, the fact that the Turtles' minds are now linked to this machine in intimate ways means that the Turtles are thus very vulnerable to any disruptions/energy spikes in the flow of data/sensations into their brains, and they could be harmed -- maybe even KILLED -- if the Utroms and Prof. Honeycutt screw it up. Sort of -- but not exactly -- akin to the old "If you're having a dream and you die in the dream, you can die in real life" bit.

4.) On page 4 is the following:

Inside the TCRI building, Mortu gets the report: they’re under attack.  Yes, he figured that out by the ground shaking explosions and arms fire; they will simply have to trust in their defenses.  Right now, he cannot allow these turtles to perish no matter what happens.

And on page 9 is this:

Mortu pulls aside his assistant:  "Make ready the transmat and prepare the council for evacuation.  We may be forced to leave."
Fugitoid:  "Oh dear.  At least not until we free my friends here."
Mortu:  "Of course, Professor Honeycutt.  We will not abandon them.  I promise."  

I think we need to remember that not leaving is NOT an option for the Utroms now -- they have been revealed (or at least their alien presence has been revealed, because of the weird transmat beam shooting out  of the top of the building -- even if nobody outside the building has acutally SEEN an Utrom in his or her true form), their facility is surrounded, and they HAVE to leave. We would benefit in terms of tension and drama to play this up, and Mortu's dilemma -- is the survival of the four Turtles of greater importance than the survival of all of the Utroms in the TCRI building?
Also, I can't remember right now how we had planned for this arc to end -- are the Utroms going to beam back to their home planet, leaving Earth forever (or at least until we want to bring the back)... or am I confusing the original comic story with the story we talked about for these episodes? If so, there is even greater jeopardy for the Utroms, who have FINALLY built their transmat, and it has come down to this -- that this is the ONLY time they can use it. Once those troops break in, it's all over for them... they won't be able to get home -- EVER.

5.) On page 9, in the scene where Mikey greets the other Turtles with the big meal, I thought it would be fun to have a little back-and-forth (maybe between Mikey and Don) about the fact that they're sitting down to this huge spread of food, and not a molecule of it is real! 

6.) On page 12, there is this:

As they begin to vanish, Leonardo calls out the Mortu, "What was it you were trying to tell us about the Shredder before..?"
Mortu begins to answer, "The Shredder is an…" 

I wonder if it would work better if Mortu just says "The Shredder is…" Or maybe "The Shredder is one of…"  Minor point, I know.

7.) Also on page 12, there is the following:

We flash and VR dissolve back to the TCRI building; it’s all over; the virtual pods open and the Turtles and Splinter emerge!  Safe and sound!  The Fugitoid, the Utroms and Guardians present are relieved!

But, when asked how the Virtual Pods malfunctioned like that, Mortu has no explanation as to how it could have happened.

"Oh, but I do!" says a sinister voice from behind them.  

They all turn to see the real Shredder, still alive, surrounded by Foot Ninja, Elite Ninja, Tech Ninja, the Hun, and the robotic Baxter Stockman thing!

I know how Stockman got into the TCRI building, but what about everybody else? Did they just waltz in through the National Guard, police, firefighters and crowds of onlookers? Or is there some secret entrance we haven't seen yet, that perhaps Stockman discovered via his computer system infiltration and thus informed the Shredder of?

8.) On page 12 and continuing on page 13, there is this:

Closer on – Shredder readies his gleaming blades.  "The time has come to finally have the sweetest revenge upon my most hated enemies …"

The turtles get ready but …

Shredder (cont’d):  "The Utrom!"

I suppose you could refer to the race or group of Utroms as "the Utrom", although I have always when referring to them in the plural said "Utroms". I think perhaps we should follow my general rule here, because I think people might be confused that the Shredder is referring to one specific Utrom, as opposed to the group.

That's all I've got for now -- should be an exciting episode!

-- Pete

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blast from the Past #609: April 5, 2003: Re: Season 2 voices, and April 7, 2000: notes on Ep. 30 and 31 first draft scripts

Subj: Re: Season 2 voices
Date: Saturday, April 5, 2003 7:43:43 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 4/4/03 9:36:58 AM, Lloyd writes:

<<Hey Pete -

When you get a minute or three, would you mind jotting down your thoughts on
how the following character's VOICES might sound:

The Fugitiod - I'm thinking C3P0-ish, kinda cultured, intelligent, and
slightly fussy>>

This is an interesting question which I've never thought about before, but -- according to the backstory, Honeycutt's mind was transferred into the body of a robot worker, Sal. So you have to ask yourself -- what would the voice of a worker robot sound like? And then, how would that voice change -- if at all -- if the MIND behind it was suddenly switched from a basic worker robot computer brain to an older, brilliant, human scientist? I would suspect it would only really need to sound clear and probably unaccented (for greatest comprehension). However, I have no problem with your description.

<<Triceratons - Gruff, deep, warriors (lean towards Klingon) - the
leaders/politicians of the bunch might try to sound a bit more "civilized">>


<<General Blanque - Commanding, no-nonsense>>

I'm thinking George C. Scott in "Patton".

<<Trusted Aide - she needs to be able to play "conniving" and she should sound
markedly different than April>>

Maybe a sort-of French or Italian accent.

<<Rynoxx - thug, bully, an alien mook!>>

Vin Diesel!

<<Sleeg - sleazy, Peter Lorre type alien, always angling>>

Gotta love Peter Lorre! Although a David Spade-type might be funny, too.

<<Traximus - deep voiced, weary hero, beaten gladiator, bordering on

James Earl Jones.

<<Leatherhead - gravely, rough, highly intelligent>>

Fine. Paul Newman?

<<Karai - sleek, no-nonsense, commanding, Japanese accent>>


-- Pete


Subj: notes on Ep. 30 and 31 first draft scripts
Date: Monday, April 7, 2003 7:35:40 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Re: notes on Ep. 30 and 31 first draft scripts -- I just has the pleasure of reading these two scripts and have a few comments, but I think these are a lot of fun and need only minor tweaking. (Please note that I am going to be referencing line numbers instead of page numbers because I reduced type size to save paper and time during printing, and thus changed the page numbering.)


Episode 30: "The Arena"

1.) I think it would be fun to include some "throwaway" lines from the arena announcers which would kind of reflect/parody the typical stuff you hear over the loudspeakers at a race or other large sporting event. Here are a couple of possible examples:

-- "Don't forget to pick up your event program at any of the arena's sales kiosks -- at only fifteen plecks, it's a steal!"

-- "This event is cosponsored by Rad Zam's YumStuf™ -- makers of the best "meatfood on a stick" treat in this galaxy... or any other!"

2.) It would be cool to see some Triceraton youngsters (smaller, shorter horns) in attendance at the Arena, as well as "ordinary" Triceratons in "civilian" clothes.

3.) Line 93: Gruel is said to be using his "walking stick to pick his nasty teeth". I thought he was going to use his prosthetic horn (per my suggestion) to do this.

4.) Line 151: Raphael's line "I don't mean no disrespect, Traximus, but what's a Triceraton like you doing fighting in the games?" reads well but doesn't make much sense in context, as shortly thereafter we show an "official" Triceraton team (Monza Ram and his All-Stars) fighting in the games. I think it might make more sense if Raph says something like "So what's a Triceraton doing locked up in here with the rest of us "gladiator scum"?"

5.) Line 153: I would suggest taking the phrase "were a nation that" out of Traximus' first line here -- it seems extraneous.

6.) Line 155: Traximus' line "The Prime Leader hopes the games will silence me" doesn't sound right. Is Traximus a gladiator against his will -- essentially a prisoner forced to fight to the death, as the result of his speaking out against the Triceratons' dishonorable war with the Federation? If that's the case -- and it appears to be so -- then it would seem that the Prime Leader wouldn't really care, or need to "hope", about Traximus speaking or not speaking -- Traximus is a disgraced individual now, the lowest of the low. I would suggest changing that line to imply that the Prime Leader is enjoying humiliating Traximus by forcing him to be a gladiator, but Traximus himself has not -- nor will he, ever -- given up hope or given up speaking out against the evil of the current Triceraton regime.

7.) Line 156: The Soldier's line here about locating the Triceraton Homeworlds made me think it might be cool to throw in a comment or two about how difficult it is to keep track of them because -- unlike the worlds of the Federation -- the Triceraton homeworlds, given their mobile nature, are constantly roaming about the galaxy.

8.) Line 158: This line of General Blanque's strikes me as (a) bad, and (b) unnecessary. I would suggest taking it out.

9.) Line 159: I thought it might be fun to add to Zed's gushing lines about the Prime Leader something like "May his horns never dull!"
Also, it seems that Zanramon's name is misspelled throughout this script as "Zanroman".
And line line 163, "All right" is misspelled as "Alright".

10.) Line 186: I would suggest taking out the "You disgusting dinosaur!" from this line by the Fugitoid.

11.) Line 188: I think the word "Star" is missing here -- it should read "... Monza Ram and his All-Star warriors!"

12.) Line 197: Suggest changing Zed's line as follows:

These Turtles fight like... like Triceratons!

13.) Line 199: I suggest changing "little guys" in Raz' line so it reads "The crowd is really taking to these hard-shelled off-worlders!"

14.) Line 209: Even though it's Leo who does it in the original comic story, I wonder if it would make more sense if the Turtle who jumps into the alien camera platform and quickly figures out how to drive it would be Don (techno-boy) instead of Leo.


Episode 31: "Triceraton Wars"

1.) Line 4: In Don's line -- "We're all on the run, lots of stuff blows up, the Triceratons capture us and throw us in this gladiator arena to try and convince Honeycutt to build his Teleportal device, but those dipstick hornheads should have known we would have kicked butt and taken names." -- I would change "and" to "to" in the phrase "try and convince Honeycutt". And the last part -- "those dipstick hornheads should have known we would have kicked butt and taken names" -- is awkward and actually sounds more like Raph talking. I would suggest changing it to something like "we fought with honor -- and won!"

2.) Prime Leader ZanRamon's name is misspelled in this script also.

3.) Line 18: I suggest taking out "Mr." in Leo's line.

4.) Line 29: I like that Leo is taking charge and issuing orders, but some of what he says doesn't make sense to me. They all came in through a hatch in the ceiling, but Leo says nothing about that -- instead, he tells Mikey to help him barricade the door (with a table). I think it might make more sense and look cooler if he tells the other guys to use their blasters to weld the doors AND that ceiling hatch shut.

5.) Line 31: I suggest changing Don's line from "But if you don't build the Teleportal we'll never get home to our Master Splinter" to read "But if you don't build the Teleportal we'll never get home to rescue Master Splinter."

6.) Line 38: Given the seriousness of the dialogue here, I would suggest changing the somewhat inappropriate slapsticky stuff with the Fugitoid grabbing Raph's blaster, Raph grabbing it back, Fugitoid grabbing it back, etc. -- maybe the Fugitoid should instead take Mike's blaster, or else another one which is lying around.

7.) Line 74: I just want to remind everyone that, although I think it's fun and cool to see them used again, the Triceraton one-man flying rigs are NOT meant for extended, long-range space pursuit.

8.) Line 88: After Leo's line about Master Splinter, I thought it would be fun to have the Fugitoid -- who a moment earlier looked like he "may blow a fuse" -- to say something like "Hmph! I really MUST meet this Master Splinter someday...!"

9.) Line 97: I would suggest changing Raph's "Give it a rest, Mikey." line to something like this:

Have you seen THIS one before?!"

10.)  Instead of having the Federation ships "decloaking", I would instead have them appear as they "come out of warp speed". 

11.) Line 108: When the Turtles get away from the two battle fleets, I think they should go "into warp" and get really far away, giving them some time in which to try to build the Fugitoid's Teleportal. Then, the Triceraton Ensign's line #121 could be altered to read something like "We have traced the warp vector pattern of the Fugitoid's stolen ship to the Egarim sector."

12.) I think it's great that you were able to work the Turtles in space suits into this story in a logical way. I was thinking we could have a little bit of fun with this, in this way -- the Prime Leader's opulent and well-equipped Cruiser comes stocked with a variety of space suit configurations made to fit not only Triceraton anatomy but other alien forms, which is how the Turtles (or at least some of them) are able to find space suits which fit them pretty well. But maybe when they ALL have to go outside the ship, Mikey is stuck wearing a Triceraton space suit, which is too big for him, the tail piece is awkward and annoying, and he has the big Triceraton space helmet which looks really funny on him.

13.) Line 133: The "Who hails the Triceraton Flagship?!" line (#134) works fine, as it seems to fit the more formal and stilted way the Triceratons speak, but doesn't work for me when General Blanque says almost the same thing. In fact, I wonder if we actually need EITHER of these lines -- they do seem kind of extraneous.

14.) The Fugitoid is said to have "tool attachments on each of his extended fingers". Are these literally attached to his fingers, or, as I suggested in a previous email:

"I suggest that we give him the ability (logical given that the Fugitoid's robot body is that of a worker droid) to detach his forearm/hand units and snap on/screw on other "tool" or "weapon" arm units. And this page might be a good place to show this for the first time, when Don and Honeycutt are trying to build Honeycutt's Teleportal. I did some drawings of the Fugitoid with these kinds of replacement units years ago -- I'll see if I can dig those out and send them along."

15.) Line 164: It's interesting that the writer extrapolated on the Federation/Triceraton history by suggesting that the Federation caused the Triceratons to move to their asteroid ships, but I don't like it. I suggest either eliminating lines 164 and 165 altogether or changing them in some fashion similar to this:

164. MOZAR
That was a NATURAL disaster -- which we survived with courage and cunning!

Obviously not disastrous enough!

16.) Line 176: I suggest changing Mike's line to read "Hey, at least we got 'em to agree on something!"


That's it from me for now! One other thing -- has the Triceraton "Battle Asteroid" ship been designed yet?

-- Pete

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blast from the Past #608: April 1, 2003: Re: Shredder Clones Color and Re: TMNT - Final draft 028 ("Turtles in Space, Part 2: The Trouble with Triceratons"), and April 3, 2003: Re: TMNT - Final draft 028 and Re: TMNT ep 032 Outline

Subj: Re: Shredder Clones Color
Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2003 8:31:43 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 4/1/03 8:18:50 PM, Lloyd writes:

 Hey Pete -

Vinnie sent a comment that he didn't like the flesh-colored arms on the
attached Shredder Clone color model.  I wanted your thoughts on this.

Also, I believe we sent you a few new models for season 2.  Lemme know
your take on those as well!




I did see the color Shredder Clone art, and I liked it -- I actually thought "the creepier the better!"

As for the three pieces of art I got faxed -- alien sewer tunnel, crab-like creature, and sewer sweeping machine -- the only thing question I have is about the size of the sewer sweeping machine and how large it is in relation to the sewer tunnel... if the method of locomotion for this thing is a kind of inchworm effect -- which seems to be the case from the artwork, it would seem to have to be significantly smaller in diameter than the sewer tunnel (otherwise it could not raise its back very high to "inch" along). If so, that would seem to run counter to the idea that it takes up so much space in the tunnel that the Turtles and the Fugitoid are trapped by it and can't get by it.
I would suggest perhaps a different mode of locomotion -- perhaps rows of little caterpillar-type feet.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT - Final draft 028 3-31-03
Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2003 8:50:35 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

Not sure if this went through, so I'm sending it again...


The final of episode 27 looks fine to me.

I'm still disappointed in the denouement of the Turtles in aircar vs. Triceratons in Flying Rigs scene. I have read it over and over and it dawned on me a moment ago that there seems to be -- for some reason I don't quite understand -- the idea that we need to have the Turtles defeat ALL three Triceratons in this skirmish. I don't see why that's necessary -- why can't they take out two and then the third one disables their aircar, and when it looks like the Turtles are definitely going to crash, that remaining Triceraton could just fly away to join his comrades?

I've extracted the part of the script in question, and here's how I would suggest changing it:


ANGLE ON - THE REMAINING TRICERATON comes swooping down in a long ARC …

CLOSE - on the Air Car’s remaining engine, shaking and rattling in  engine mounts loosened from previous Triceraton blasts, belching smoke and FIRE …

CLOSE - on the remaining Triceraton, looking down and cracking an evil grin, <CHUCKLING>.

I've had just about enough of these green punks -- now I'm going to take them out in style!

ANGLE ON - the Triceraton as he continues his sweeping arc on a vector which will take him up UNDER the Turtles' aircar.

ANGLE - on sky as Mikey suddenly zooms out of the clouds on his sidecar -- out of control -- and desperately jumps out of the sidecar back onto the Air Car. 

CLOSE - on Mikey <LANDING HARD> in the back seat.

I’m saved!  I’m saved!

ANGLE ON - the Triceraton, muscular arm raised, as he zooms up under the aircar and GRABS the aircar's engine, and RIPS a large hunk of it loose, bits and pieces of metal popping off, fuel spraying from torn fuel lines.

** ANGLE - on shuddering Air Car – Donatello struggles with the controls.

Complete engine failure!  We’re going down!

HIGH ANGLE – of Michelangelo looking up toward us, and falling away toward the forest below, shouting:  

I’m doomed!  I’m doomed!

ANGLE ON - the Triceraton as he flings the smoking, now-useless engine part away, circles back, and, laughing evilly, watches the Turtles falling to their doom before he ZOOMS off to join the main force of his Triceraton comrades.

ANGLE – on the Turtles, the air <SCREAMING> around them. 


ANGLE - on the ground rushing up to meet them, as they fall out of the sky toward certain pancake-flat extinction! 


How about it? Otherwise, this one looks fine too.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - Final draft 028 3-31-03
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2003 8:55:59 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 4/2/03 11:53:45 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hi Pete -

I wanna talk with you about your last note re: episode 28 and whether or
not the Turtles should defeat all 3 Triceratons or not.  While at first
I didn't think it mattered all that much one way or the other, after
goin' in and checking it out, I think it's actually much better that the
Turtles do in fact defeat the Tri's.  It's really the only thing they
get to accomplish in the whole episode, a kind of "mini-victory" for
them.  The rest of the time they're on the run, getting chased or trying
to catch the Fugitiod, that kinda thing.

But I think the more important (actually, more FUN) reason to let them
have their moment of victory is that it makes a comedic contrast to what
happens to them in the next moment (namely their AirCar gives out and
they're about to die), from one extreme to the other.  I think that
works better for us.

Anyway, let's talk around 12:30.  I'll be working from home tomorrow.

Have a nice night!

Lloyd  >>


Not to be disagreeable, but -- I disagree!

I think the Turtles get to do a LOT of cool stuff in this episode -- they acquit themselves quite nicely in the bar against various alien scum and Federat soldiers, they successfully steal an unfamiliar alien aircar and take out two tough, experienced Triceraton commandos IN MID-AIR, and they battle their way into the Triceraton bunker/ship.

And if we have them take out TWO Triceratons instead of THREE, that's still TWO moments of victory to make what you refer to as the "comedic contrast" to their following distress. I just don't see why they have to take out ALL of the Triceratons. I mean, the Turtles don't HAVE to win ALL the time.

Not to mention the fact that as it stands now, we're supposed to believe that Mikey can slam himself and his sidecar into the Triceraton HARD enough to KNOCK that big Triceraton and his combat flying rig out of the sky -- and yet Mike is apparently unscathed and unshaken (and so apparently is the sidecar, this rusty beat up sidecar from a rusty beat up stolen aircar!), and -- la di da, piloting his sidecar as if nothing has happened -- "swoops around, passing his buddies again and jumping out of the sidecar back onto the Air Car." 

I think the scenario from the comics (as reworked in my last email) is tighter, more dramatic AND funnier, unexpected and less cliched, and my suggestion is to stick with it.

By the way, I will be out of town all day tomorrow (Friday) but if you want to call me I should be available via my cell phone, except for a few hours in the afternoon.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT ep 032 Outline
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2003 11:10:58 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think this outline for Episode 32 is good, and the only comment I have -- which I'm sure will be addressed at script time, but I'll mention it anyway -- is that at one point (while watching the Utrom's history on Earth unfold in the virtual reality thing) one of the Turtles is said to be looking over an Utrom's shoulder, while on their spaceship before it crashes to Earth. As this is BEFORE the Utroms create their humanoid exo-suits, I assume that the "shoulder" reference just means the Turtle is standing behind the Utrom.

-- Pete

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blast from the Past #607: March 23, 2003: Comments!, March 30, 2003: CG models and comments on Ep. 27 ("Turtles in Space, Part 1: The Fugitoid") final draft

Subj: Comments!
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2003 8:16:50 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read three things today -- the first/rough draft of show #28 ("The Trouble With Triceratons"), and the outlines for episodes 30 and 31. Here are my comments...


"The Trouble With Triceratons"

1.) Pg. 1: Suggest changing Mike's line to "Felt like my shell got put back on backwards!"

2.) Pg. 2: Suggest adding the word "prototype" so Mike's line reads "General Blanque wants his prototype invention; the "Teleportal"." I make this suggestion because I think it's important to make clear here (and elsewhere when appropriate) that Honeycutt's Teleportal is at this point still just a concept.

3.) Pg. 5: Suggest changing Fugitoid's line to read "I believe I know of an establishment where we could hire a pilot to smuggle us off-planet!"

4.) Pg. 7: Suggest adding a line so that General Blanque's tirade reads "Destroy them utterly and completely! Turn their shells into serving trays! But BRING ME THAT FUGITOID!"

5.) Pg. 8: Suggest that instead of Commander Mozar saying "The victory of my people hangs in the balance!", he should say "Victory for my people hangs in the balance!"
Further down on this page, suggest adding to the Fugitoid's line "Um... well, I'm very partial to a D'Hoonnibian Spicy Cheese Disk they serve here." (A beat, as Honeycutt realizes that he doesn't EAT anymore.) "At least... I used to be."

6.) Pg. 13: To further illustrate the sleazy nature of this bar, I suggest that when Raph knocks the Alien Trucker out and the guy hits the floor, what happens next is various small scruffy aliens scurry over and start picking the guy's pockets.

7.) Pg. 14: Because in the kind of spaceport city that Peblak is, there would probably be any number of green-skinned aliens, I suggest changing the Alien Counterman's line to "I'm calling about dat reward, the one for the... "shell-bearing green-skinned life forms."

8.) Pg. Suggest changing Raph and Leo's exchange as follows:

We gotta save him. The little 'Toid's our pal now...

Not to mention our only way home!

Also on this page, there's an "if" that should be an "it" in Raph's line "Great. Somebody left it by the side of the road to die."

9.) Pg. 28: Instead of ripping "it to shreds!", the Triceraton should just TEAR the Turtles' aircar's engine from its mountings and toss it away.


Episode 30 outline "The Arena"

1.) Pg. 2: I think we should have part of the audience in the arena be made up of non-Triceraton aliens, and Raz's line can reflect this by changing it to read "Good morning fellow Saurians and guest species..."

2.) Pg. 8 and elsewhere, General Blanque is referred to as a "D'Hoonibian general". It's important to remember that D'Hoonib is just one planet in the Humanoid Federation and Blaqnque is a Federation general.
Also on this page, Traximus refers to uncovering a plot between his top (Triceraton) general and General Blanque, which resulted in his being "imprisoned by his superiors and sent to the arena". How is this supposed to work? As a method of getting Traximus out of the way and out of sight, it seems a bit sketchy... after all, the gladiators in the arena battles are seen all over the vid broadcasts. And if Traximus had indeed exposed a Triceraton traitor who was working with the Federation, wouldn't he be considered a hero? Or is the idea there are so many Triceratons involved in this conspiracy of complicity with the Federation that they are able to silence a whistleblower by shipping him off to the arena? Seems too complicated and not terribly logical. I suggest instead that Traximus was sent to the arena (on charges of sedition or treason?) after speaking out once too often and too loudly against the war with the Federation.

3.) Pg. 10: I think it would be cool if, after the Turtles have fought honorably and valiantly and Prime Leader Zanramon STILL gives them the "thumbs down", the crowd in the arena should -- to his shock and dismay -- loudly BOO the Prime Leader.


Episode 31 outline "Triceraton Wars"

1.) Pg. 2: Suggest changing Don's line to Mike to "That's Mexican standoff, shell-for-brains!"

2.) Pg. 4: Suggest changing the word "fry" to "blast" in Honeycutt's line when he grabs Raph's blaster.

3.) Pg. 6: For the big space confrontation between the Federats and the Triceratons, I think it would be cool to devise a NEW kind of Triceraton asteroid ship which would be loaded with armament (like a battleship).

4.) Pg. 8: More confusion in nomenclature re: "D'Hoonibian" and "Federation".

When Gary and I met with Vinnie this past week, we discussed the Fugitoid as an action figure which I think we all want to see. Vinnie expressed hope that we could do something to add features to the 'Toid to make him as interesting a toy as he can be. To that end, I suggest that we give him the ability (logical given that the Fugitoid's robot body is that of a worker droid) to detach his forearm/hand units and snap on/screw on other "tool" or "weapon" arm units. And this page might be a good place to show this for the first time, when Don and Honeycutt are trying to build Honeycutt's Teleportal. I did some drawings of the Fugitoid with these kinds of replacement units years ago -- I'll see if I can dig those out and send them along.

5.) Pg. 13: When the Turtles and the Fugitoid are swept up in the Utrom's Transmat beam at the end of this episode, several Triceratons and Federats are taken along with them. In the comics, only Triceratons went -- are the Federats necessary? Do we need them in the next episode?


That's all from me for now! I'm psyched about these episodes!

-- Pete


Subj: CG models
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2003 9:46:34 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Just remembered something I wanted to mention.

The CG model of the Battle Shell vehicle, rendered with cartoon shaders, has been used to very good effect in the new TMNT show, and I think we should seriously consider doing something similar in the second season, specifically for some of the vehicles and spaceships in the "Turtles in Space" arc.

I think it would add quite a bit to the verisimilitude of the settings if we had CG models for (in decreasing order of importance and desirability):

1-- Triceraton asteroid ships (including arena ship and giant homeworlds "mothership")
2-- Triceraton aircars and flying rigs
3-- Turtles' beat-up aircar
4-- Federat hover tanks
5-- Triceraton and Federat warships

It also just occurred to me that it might be worth considering animating the Fugitoid as a CG model, too.

Just a thought!

-- Pete


Subj: comments on Ep. 27 final draft
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:08:16 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm reading Episode 27/Final draft right now. Henceforth, comments (if I have any!):

1.) I can't recall if this line was in any previous drafts, but if it was I'm surprised it got by me. It's the Fugitoid's line as follows:

  "Just because he’s the head of the entire Federation, he thinks he can call any time he wants.

The "he" the 'Toid is referring to is General Blanque, and Blanque isn't (or at least we never intended him to be) leader of the entire Federation... but rather an important leader in that part of the Federation. I would suggest changing this as follows:

  "Just because he’s the head of the Federation military in this sector, he thinks he can call any time he wants."  

2.) Minor detail point which might not need to be incorporated into this draft of the script but possibly at storyboarding time -- on page 25, when Blanque is telling Lonae (and the audience) about Honeycutt's Teleportal (via a display on a screen), I think it would be good to have the words "Teleportal Protoype Design" somewhere in there, to reinforce my point expressed in a previous email that the Teleportal does not yet exist anywhere BUT in Honeycutt's mind. (The Utrom's transmat is a different story.)

3.) Another minor, but possibly telling, point (in several parts): Are we legally safe in calling the political entity that Blanque represents "the Federation"? I assume that Paramount (STAR TREK) does not own those words, but I could be wrong. If it is at all sketchy, legally, I suggest calling it the "Humanoid Federation", which would accomplish two things: one, separate us from STAR TREK's "Federation", and two, emphasize a point which we were trying to make, somewhat subtly, back when we did the original FUGITOID comic... which was to make the bad guys -- or at least one set of them, the other set being the Triceratons --(apparently) human. We did this because the typical thing in science fiction is to make human=good, nonhuman=bad, and we wanted to set that concept on its ear (at least in part).

4.) I make this suggestion only to enhance a scene, and I know it isn't necessary -- when on page 36 the Triceraton shows Lonae the precious gems which will be hers in payment for betraying the Federation, I thought it might be nice if she says something brief about them to reinforce the idea that whatever it is that the Triceratons are paying her, it's substantial AND incredibly alluring. One idea -- she sees them and says in a voice equally weighted with greed and awe "Gnarthian Pleasure Gems -- enough for a lifetime --!" (or something of that nature).


And here's some comments on Episode 28 second draft:

1.) On page 5, Mikey has been given the Fugitoid's line about finding a ship which can smuggle them out (which I suggested in previous notes changing to "smuggle them off-planet". I still think the "off-planet" works better, and I don't think giving Mikey the line makes much sense -- as Mike has almost no clue as to where he is, and the Fugitoid DOES. From Mikey's perspective, for all he knows getting out of the city OR off-planet might makes things WORSE, not better.

2.) On page 9, in line 27, is there any particular reason that Mozar calls Honeyuctt's device a "Transportal" rather than a "Teleportal"?

3.) I'm quite disturbed that my suggestion from my last notes, as follows:

"9.) Pg. 28: Instead of ripping "it to shreds!", the Triceraton should just TEAR the Turtles' aircar's engine from its mountings and toss it away."

... has not only been ignored, but the whole bit with the Triceraton tearing the engine out (OR to pieces!) has been completely taken out, and a new -- and really slapstickilly silly -- bit has been added with Don doing a "Mayday!" call on a disconnected (!) microphone. Exactly who is he calling in a "Mayday!" distress call to -- the Federats? the Triceratons?

That's it!

-- Pete

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blast from the Past #606: March 10, 2003: Re: Episode (can you believe it?) 27 ("Turtles in Space, Part 1: The Fugitoid") first draft outline and March 20, 2003: Re: The next 3

Subj: Re: Episode (can you believe it?) 27 first draft outline
Date: Monday, March 10, 2003 11:33:21 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 3/9/03 8:59:14 PM, Lloyd writes:

Howdy folks,

Welcome to the 2nd season of TMNT!

As per the TMNT meeting last Monday and subsequent conversations last
week, we are diving into season 2 at warp speed.

As a result, attached you will find the first rough (and unedited) draft
outline for episode 27.

Please review and send me your comments asap.

Let's get this show on the road!


PS - the season arc for the next 26 episodes (shows 27 - 52) is
currently a work in progress, but the arc for season 2's first 5 shows
(the outer space/Triceraton War storyline) has been worked out and I
will forward those to you in a subsequent e-mail.


Sorry I wasn't around to take your call today.

I read the draft outline for Episode 27 (first episode of second season) tonight, and liked it a lot. I like all of the extra action bits you've put in, and hope that we can come up with some really cool designs for the extra Federat hardware. I really don't have much to say! It's pretty much ready to go to the next stage, as far as I can see. 

One thing I would like to clarify -- Professor Honeycutt (does he need a first name? I don't think we ever gave him one in the comics) becomes "a" Fugitoid when his mind becomes trapped in the robot Sal's body and Honeycutt then tries to escape from and evade General Blanque. "Fugitoid", as we established in the FUGITOID comic book, is a generic term the Federats assign to any rogue robot (a FUGITive andrOID... clever, huh?). So, while the character will always be for us, in the toyline and in the show and amongst ourselves and as a trademark, be "the" Fugitoid, in the story he is actually "a" Fugitoid. I make this comment for internal clarity's sake, and also because I was inspired to bring it up by a line you wrote where Don says "Whatever! Let's save the Fugitoid!" and it struck me that he probably WOULDN'T call him "the Fugitoid", but rather "Prof. Honeycutt".

There's a bit on page 7 where Don disables the sewer cleaning unit by jamming his staff into the electronic guts of the machine which "shorts it out". A minor thing, but I thought it might be cool if he yells to Raph to toss him a sai, which he then uses to do the deed -- the idea being that the sai, unlike the bo, is mostly metal, therefore conductive, and therefore more likely to cause a short-circuit when stuck through several circuit boards.

One thing that I thought would be funny would be a moment in the alien sewer, where they're walking along, and one of the Turtles (I'm thinking Mikey) is in the rear, and he sees something which makes him do a double-take. The thing he sees is some kind of weird almost "Bizarro-World" analogue of our basic cast (Turtles and Splinter) -- I'm thinking that one possibility would be an old turtle-like thing, walking with a cane, followed by four rat-like things with crude weapons, going in the opposite direction. Mike and one of the ratlike-things would share a startled glance, then all would move on. It could be a brief, fun sight gag. (Maybe to make it even more surreal, they could be really small -- like less than a foot tall.)

-- Pete


Subj: Re: The next 3
Date: Thursday, March 20, 2003 11:08:33 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 3/20/03 8:44:59 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

I've been slowly but surely thrashing out the second season story arc
and I wanted to send you a rough episodes 32, 33 & 34, the next three
shows in the arc (these follow the five part Turtles In Space
storyline).  This is the whole Utrom backstory and reveal of the
Shredder as an Utrom.  Based on our last conversation, I've changed the
set up substantially and beefed the whole story up into a very cool
everything-comes-to-a-head 3-parter.  I am anxiously awaiting your

You should also have received the first draft of episode 27, part one of
Turtles In Space, and I will be sending you first draft outlines of
parts 4 & 5 of the Turtles in Space tomorrow.

As always, a quick turnaround on notes is greatly appreciated.

Call me with any and all questions, comments, horse racing tips, etc.


Lloyd >>


I printed out this stuff and hope to read/analyze/comment on it tomorrow. But I wanted to get back to you with comments about the first draft of Ep. 27 and the latest batch of art.


Episode 27: "Turtles in Space/The Fugitoid/Part 1"

1.) Pg. 4: I think instead of "'em" it should be "'im", where the voice on the intercom headset says "bag 'em and tag 'em". As it's only one Fugitoid they're going for, it should be "him" rather than "them".

2.) Pg. 7: I think it would be cooler if instead of jabbing a sai into a rifle barrel, Raph THROWS the sai.

3.) Pg. 8: Two typos in Fugitoid lines: Line 32 has an "is" missing (Hmm, one benefit of being trapped in this robotic body IS the sheer strength of it"). And line 33 has an "of" which should be an "on".

4.) Pg. 9: The word "soldier's" in the first line doesn't need an apostrophe. And in line 39, the "of" should be an "or".

5.) I appreciate the inclusion of my goofy little "Bizarro world ninja mutants" idea in the scene on page 17 (it should be VERY funny!), but was wondering if the "Cowabunga!" line from the fourth little rat should be in some alien tongue and the word "Cowabunga!" be in English subtitle form.

6.) Pg. 19: There's an "of" missing from line 100 ("... a device capable OF transporting...").

7.) Pg. 21: I think there's something missing in this flashback, and that's something which shows that Blanque has made the connection and figured out the fact that Honeycutt's mind is now in the Fugitoid's body. Also, are we going to show or at least say that Honeycutt's human body was killed by the lightning strike? After all, it's this death of a human which Blanque uses (at least in the original comic story) as his ostensible reason for chasing down the "rogue robot". Not sure how (or if) to use this concept in the episode. I was thinking that it might be fun/creepy to leave Huneycutt's body still alive, but wandering around with the robot Sal's machine consciousness in it ("human acting like robot" hijinks ensue!).

8.) Pg. 26: When the Turtles are straining to hold back the sewer cleaning machine, perhaps the Fugitoid should pitch in with some of that robot strength.

9.) Pg. 30: I think "VENDER" should be spelled "VENDOR".

10.) Pp. 33-37: Somewhere in here, I thought it might be fun if, in the tight, cramped interior of the tank (not much room with four Turtles and one Fugitoid), the Fugitoid keeps banging his head accidentally... and he's fascinated by the fact that in this robot body, he feels no pain. So fascinated, in fact, that he starts deliberately banging his head and various other body parts into things... until he realizes that all the Turtles are giving him odd looks, and he sheepishly stops.

11.) I wonder if Honeycutt should ask the Turtles more about themselves -- "Are you the dominant species on your planet?" or "How do you know all of those wonderful fighting and disappearing techniques?" or some such.

(As I was proofreading these notes, it dawned on me that in this script Honeycutt accepts the fact of the Turtles "beaming in" without commenting on it at all. As the Transmat/Transportal tech is key to this storyline and something that Honeycutt is familiar with, I would think he would wonder how the Turtles came to have access to or were transported by some kind of Transmat technology.)


New art:

1.) Triceraton logo: This one is pretty good, but I whipped up a few variations on this design for consideration -- I'll attach them to this message.

2.) Triceraton mothership: Getting better, but still not quite there. The docking jetties still seem too spindly (look at the double-page spread in the comics which shows the mothership, and look at how beefy the docking jetties -- and the big clamps which hold the smaller asteroid ships in place -- are). I don't like the vertical spikes or spines ringing the lower and upper domes. I do like the second tier of docking jetties halfway down the asteroid. And while keeping the basic inverted cone shape, I think some variation/irregularity in the cone's shape might be good. I would also do half as many of those arced structures which go partially up the sides of the big dome. And the asteroid parts should look more like rock!

3.) Triceraton cruiser Version 1: I like this one better than version 2, but the pertinent comments about the Mothership (above) also apply here.

4.) Triceraton prison hallway, cell, cafeteria, Triceraton arena with schematic: all fine.

5.) Honecutt revised: fine.

6.) Fugitoid revised: I'm not 100% loving the foot variation, but I can see where it would aid in animation, so I'll let it go. The rest looks fine, though I would like to emphasize -- because my fax copy is a bit muddy and the detail in the drawing is not clear -- that the 'Toids fingers are not jointed but made in the same bendable "gooseneck" style as his neck, waist, arms, and legs.

7.) General Blanque: Fine, but I would like it if at some point in the show we see him wearing a cap similar to what he has in the comics.

8.) Triceraton Soldier-Revised: Better, but it still has the tail stripes I don't like.

9.) Gruell: Fine... is he going to have his prosthetic "tooth-picking, butt-scratching" horn? It's not clear in this drawing.

10.) Prime Leader Triceraton-Revised: Fine. Vinnie wondered if his frill could be more ornate than the regular Triceraton frill. I think it's fine as is, but if you want to try something like that I would certainly consider it.

11.) Traximus: VERY cool! Vinnie's eyes lit up when he saw this one.

12.) Rynokk: Fine.

13.) Tank Driver: Pretty cool, but what are those things coming out of the back of his helmet?

14.) Triceraton Bunker Ship/Version 1: I like this one... very nice.

15.) Garbage Vehicle: Fine.

16.) Triceraton air cars-revised: I like both of them, but my preference is Version 2.

17.) Dented air car: Perfect!

18.) Federation hover tank Version 1: I prefer this one, but I wonder if there's enough room for everybody inside it.

19.) Federation orbital station: Because the basic overall shape here is very similar to the cone shape of the Triceraton asteroid ships, I would suggest doing this: Take the top 2/3 of Version 1. Lop off the bottom (immediately below that bulgy thing in the middle with the four arms with pods on the ends). Then take the top of Version 2, lop it off, and stick it upside down on the bottom of the now-truncated Version 1.

20.) Triceraton blaster: Thank you for going back to the original design. I like it, but I would take off the little bulge on the side(s) just above the rear pistol grip. I like the exposed bits on the top.

21.) Federation laser rifle: I like them both, with a preference for Design #1. 

22.) Professor Honeycutt's Mentawave helmet: Fine.

That's it for the stuff I got today. Now I want to bring up a couple of things that came up today during our meeting with Vinnie to talk about next year's toy line.

Vinnie brought with him a couple of prototypes of a kind of light saber-type thing which Playmates may buy the technology for, and Vinnie thinks (and I agree with him) that it would be a cool part of a Turtles toy, IF we can work it into a story... and it seemed like the outer space story might be the obvious choice. Vinnie also would love to do Turtles in space suits... again, if it can be worked into a story.

So here are a few ideas:

1.) As part of their attempt to hide from the Federats, either in episode 27 or 28, the Turtles and the Fugitoid swipe some old space suits as temporary disguises.

2.) When the Turtles are imprisoned on the arena asteroid ship, part of their gladiatorial training is in zero gravity. This is accomplished quite easily, as they are on a spaceship -- one way would be to open a hatch somewhere on the asteroid's surface, from which the gladiators and their minders emerge, into the vacuum of space, there to train. Obviously they would need SPACESUITS! Might also be opportunity for humor as Turtles struggle to adapt to zero g, Mikey barfing in his helmet, etc.

3.) As part of the training in point 2, the Turtles -- and the other gladiators -- are given various types of light/energy weapons. The Turtles' could be vaguely analogous to their signature weapons.

Something to think about!

-- Pete

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ask PL #11

I think the last one of these was back in August of 2012, so maybe it's time for another. I hope the fact that I am currently suffering from feeling like half my body is made up of phlegm doesn't affect the quality of my answers -- yes, I am currently on day eleven of a pretty bad cold.

For this entry, I request that you don't ask me about the IDW TMNT comic book series (I'm not reading it) or the Nickolodeon TMNT show (I've only watched the first two episodes and am going to wait until the entire season is released as a DVD set to watch the rest) or the upcoming movie (I know nothing about it that hasn't been released to the public... which isn't much, I guess). -- PL

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blast from the Past #605: February 21, 2003: Usagi Yojimbo, and March 4, 2003: Re: Season 2 is upon us!

Subj: Usagi Yojimbo
Date: Friday, February 21, 2003 11:47:31 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Hope you are well.

I was wondering if you thought there was any way we could get Usagi Yojimbo (Stan Sakai's rabbit samurai character, who has made appearances in our comics and in the original animated series) into the new show, maybe in the second season. I ask this without having made any overtures to Stan -- I don't know if he'd want to do it, but I suspect that if we treated Usagi properly, he'd be into it.

My immediate thought for how we would get this feudal Japan-era character to interact with the Turtles would be to send one or more of the boys back in time (or maybe back in time in another dimension, as Stan's world for Usagi is totally populated by anthropomorphic creatures, with no humans) to have an adventure with Usagi. Dovetailing with this idea could be the introduction of the character of Renet, the Apprentice Timestress (from issue #8 of the original Mirage comic series, as well as issue #7 of "Tales of the TMNT") -- something a lot of fans having been asking for. If we wanted to adapt the story from issue #8 (minus the character of Cerebus), it might be fun to work it up into a three or four episode story arc where the Turtles would be sent into other time periods/dimensions as a result of their interaction with Renet and possibly the villain from that issue, the sorceror/demon Savanti Romero.

... or...

Usagi could be introduced to our boys via that story idea I brought up when you were up here last to talk about the second season -- the "interdimensional martial arts tournament" thing. That actually might be the easiest way to do it.

So when are we going to get together and talk more about next season?

By the way, I just watched the rough cut of the sixth episode, the "sword of Tengu" one. Cool!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Season 2 is upon us!
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2003 11:10:06 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I notice that this and your last email have been sent from a new email address -- should I start using that one?

I read through your "rough and ready" outline and have some comments... most about 6 and 7, which you've already noted aren't quite complete yet. I'll separate my comments by episode.


"Turtles in Space Part 1 -- The Fugitoid":

1.) You mention that the Turtles learn from Honeycutt about the "plight of robots on this planet (think Magnus Robot Fighter)" -- are you referring to the idea as put forward in both FUGITOID and TMNT that robots have no rights and thus Honeycutt, in Fugitoid form, is vulnerable? If so, I think we intended that that was a situation which prevailed on nearly all civilized worlds, not just on D'Hoonib.

2.) You mention that Honeycutt has developed a "trans-dimensional" transportation device. Was this intentional? The transmat as conceived in the original comics was not an inter-dimensional transport, but only an interplanetary or intergalactic transport. Curiously enough, I have introduced the concept in the new TMNT comic series that the transmat technology, when tweaked properly, MAY have interdimensional capabilities, which may figure into future storylines. Is this something you are also thinking about?

3.) I love the "sewers of the future bit" (even if REALLY they are the sewers of the present -- just on a distant planet) -- I think it offers a lot of opportunities to do fun stuff.


"Turtles in Space Part 2 -- The Trouble With Triceratons":

1.) The following is text copied from an email I sent to Vinnie at Playmates recently, regarding the aerial battle between the Turtles in their stolen aircar and the Triceratons in their flying rigs:

"I have another question, this one related to second or third year TMNT toys. Something I've always hoped to see as a toy is the Triceraton Flying Rig, seen in issue #5 of the original Mirage TMNT comics, used by the Triceraton commandos in their aerial pursuit of the Turtles. I've always thought the design of it was cool (in the interest of full disclosure, I designed it!) and think it would make a very cool toy -- lots of play value! It could be designed to accept nearly any of the figures in the TMNT line, not just a Triceraton.

I'm hoping -- expecting, too -- that this hardware will show up in the next season of the show, probably in one or more of the first few shows, when the Turtles have their space adventure. I think the sequence in the original comic where these vehicles are featured will PROBABLY make it pretty much intact into the show. That sequence goes basically like this: Triceraton Shock Commandos assault a bar where the Turtles and the Fugitoid are hiding. They steal the Fugitoid and take off, three of them on their Flying Rigs. The Turtles commandeer a beat-up little speeder/flyer and pursue the Triceratons, which leads to the Triceratons on their Flying Rigs engaging the Turtles in an aerial battle which ends with the Turtles' vehicle crashing. (I'll attach a scan of one of the pages from this sequence.) 

I was thinking that it might also be fun to devise a one-man (or one-Turtle) flying rig which could detach from the speeder to do individual battle with the Triceratons -- which would provide us with a neat opportunity to do a set of good guy/bad guy vehicles, maybe with special figures -- one Triceraton, one Turtle -- packed with their respective vehicle."

This was actually inspired by your comment some time ago that the aircar that the Turtles commandeer reminded you of the old Fantasticar from the FANTASTIC FOUR!


"Turtles in Space Part 3 -- Prison Planet":

1.) I think it would be cool and demonstrate a previously-unseen part of the Turtles' ninja training to do the bit from the comics where they survive the nearly-airless conditions in the spaceship by using meditation techniques to radically slow their breathing and metabolism. Also, when the Turtles get to the Triceraton homeworld, should they be using the breathing apparatus we gave them in the comics (because of the different atmosphere)?

2.) I think the gladiator stuff works well, and I kept thinking of that great FF story arc where the Thing is captive of the Skrulls (I think) and has to fight Torgo in the space arena. Cool! It might be neat to have another gladiator who is a type of alien turtle (looking much different than our boys, of course)... maybe Mike could have a few funny moments with it.
The thing with Rynokk works, but I think it might be a good idea to have him get some kind of comeuppance after he betrays the Turtles to the Triceraton guards.

3.) In the scenes with April and Casey back on Earth, I think it might be fun to use those moments to also develop their relationship.


"Turtles in Space Part 4 -- The Arena":

1.) I was a bit taken aback by the idea that the Triceratons the Turtles eventually fight in the arena are gladiatorial slaves like the Turtles (Kevin and I originally intended that those Triceratons were more like popular sports figures, a government-sponsored team), but after I thought about it it made sense. The original way also works, but this could be cool... I guess it's more like the original Roman gladiatorial games, where they were all slaves, essentially.


"Turtles in Space Part 5 -- Triceraton Wars":

1.) I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of Honeycutt somewhat casually building his transmat machine and then using it to beam himself, the Turtles, AND the machine itself away. For one thing, how does he know where to send the Turtles? And there's something about using the Transmat to transmit itself that makes my brain hurt. I think it might be a good idea to have that idea be one that they consider but reject for various reasons -- OR -- that they try it, but it fails at the key moment (I'll get to that in a bit). OR... just prior to their making the decision to try this crazy scheme, we could have a cool dramatic bit where Honeycutt, realizing that his mind (now trapped in the Fugitoid's robot body), with its knowledge of transmat theory (in fact maybe part of the tension in this "crazy idea" bit is that for Honeycutt it IS still a theory -- he's never actually BUILT a working transmat!), is too dangerous to the galaxy to remain in existence -- and he asks the Turtles to use a Triceraton blaster to melt him into slag... and we could have a bit of conflict among the Turtles, where Leo is appalled, Don -- who sees the catastrophic potential of the transmat in the Triceratons' hands -- is reluctantly in agreement, etc...

I would prefer to use the escape bit from the comics -- where the Utroms, whose transmat back on Earth contains the coordinates of where the Turtles were beamed into space -- unexpectedly rescue the Turtles and the Fugitoid (as well as take several Triceratons). I think it could be a good bit if we did something where the Turtles and Honeycutt have built what they think will be a working device, and they activate it just as the Triceratons arrive... but it fizzles and doesn't work! Our heroes are then just about to be blasted by the Triceratons... all hope seems lost-- when suddenly the Utroms teleport them all away.


"Turtles in Space Part 6 -- Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Utrom But Were Afraid To Ask": (wacky title!)

1.) The inclusion of the Shredder in this and the following episode seems forced and somewhat without point... and I have to say a had a "Fred Wolf moment" when reading the parts about the Shredder bickering with a disembodied head  (sounded WAY too much like the Shredder and Krang from the old series). I think we need to discuss in great detail what the hell the Shredder has been up to since we last saw him... and I don't see why he would want to have ANYTHING to do with Baxter Stockman, who not only betrayed him but tried to kill him! I would think that these two are sworn enemies at this point. My gut feeling is that the Shredder needs a much more dramatic way of returning -- not sneaking around the TCRI building and planting booby-traps.

2.) If we MUST include the Shredder in this tale and he MUST sneak into the TCRI building (and I'm not at all convinced that it's a good idea), maybe he should use the devices that the Foot Tech Ninjas wore that rendered them invisible.

3.) The reveal of the Shredder as an Utrom seems to come too early in my opinion. I think this is something that could wait until much later in the season, and they also learn about it a really casual way -- there's no drama to the reveal.

4.) I would much prefer -- unless you present me with compelling reasons to feel otherwise -- to leave the Shredder and Stockman out of this story and maybe even wrap up this arc in this episode, using the assault on the TCRI building by the National Guard and police to provide the action and tension.


"Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Utrom But Were Afraid To Ask" Part 2 -- The History of the Shredder:

1.) This one is so rough I don't know that it makes any sense to go into it, but in brief I'm still not groovin' on the inclusion of the Shredder and Stockman's head... in large part because the Shredder's actions seem kind of small and petty (he sets a bomb to blow up the Utroms). And I just remembered another question: How is it that the Shredder now knows that his "ancient enemy" is in the TCRI building?


I have to go out now, do some stuff, and pick up my daughter early this afternoon, so I won't be home for your 12:30 call. I will try to reach you by phone later in the afternoon.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Blast from the Past #604: February 11, 200: Re: Meet Casey Jones, February 14, 2003: Re: Notes and stuff, and TMNT Episode 5: "Nano!"

Subj:  Re: Meet Casey Jones
Date:  Tuesday, February 11, 2003 9:43:01 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine

In a message dated 2/10/03 9:32:24 PM, Lloyd writes:

 Hey Peter -

Y'know, with all the chatter on the message boards about the
"high-quality" of the original series 1st three episodes (were these a
linked story?), maybe I should see 'em?  I kinda on purpose didn't go
back and watch any of the old episodes or movies while working up the
new show, but after 26 episodes, maybe I should take a peek?  What do
you think?  If yes, could you guys send us a copy?


I think either the first 3 or first 5 episodes were sort of connected, and Family Home Entertainment put out a tape which has the first three on it (I think they did more than that, also). Should you look at them? Hmmm... maybe... if only to pat yourself on the back for the great improvement that has been made since then! I don't see any reason why not, I guess. I think you should take the "high-quality" comments with a Turtle-sized grain of salt. I'll ask Katie to dig up a copy of that tape to send you.

As far as the behind the scenes video goes, I'm game!  We should do a
scene where we have a camera with me in the office in NY and one out by
you at the same time, and I call you, and all I get is your machine, and
the camera pans over to you still fast asleep in bed!

You ARE a funny guy! In all seriousness, I think it would be cool... and not a bad thing to include on the DVD.

We're cutting show 5 today and tomorrow!  Nano!  I finished the mix on
show 2.

Send tapes! Send tapes! (Actually, I've been wondering -- how much trouble would it be for you to burn DVD copies instead of, or in addition to, tapes?) 

Did you watch the picture cut on 4 (Meet Casey Jones)?

I did, and it was very cool. Love the opening and the motorcycle stuff (except for the fact that the brake lever which Raph grabs on Casey's bike is still on the wrong side!). The flashback with Hun worked well. I think Casey is going to be a great character and a great asset for this new series. I'm looking forward to seeing his first meeting with April. 

I was a TINY bit disappointed with some of the action (or editing, maybe?) in the fight scenes between Casey and Raph. It's something I've mentioned to you before -- there seems to be in some scenes an odd timing or pacing, i.e. a character should move quickly in a scene, but instead casually strolls. One example of this that really stuck out to me is when Raph engages Casey (who's wielding TWO baseball bats) and blocks/traps ONE of Casey's bats with a sai, and then struggles with him as they exchange some dialogue (probably about four or five seconds). What immediately leapt into my mind was "Why doesn't Casey whack Raph with his OTHER baseball bat, which is clearly (at least as far as I can tell) NOT being blocked/trapped by Raph?" He's got the time and the opportunity to do it. 

Another example is when Raph grabs Casey's arm to restrain him when Casey's about to beat on the purse snatchers -- Raph grabs the arm and they stand there wiggling for what seems like a REALLY long time, when in actual fact Casey would probably just bop Raph immediately upon being grabbed. I'm not sure how we can address this -- it may be something that is an unavoidable artifact of the way the shows are put together, i.e we can't stand over the shoulders of the animators in Korea and catch things like this as they're being done. What's your opinion?

And when the hell am I supposed to find time for NEXT season's story
arc?!  Arrrgh!

I think you need the time machine that JoEllyn must think I have, judging from the cover letter on the latest batch of storyboards ("Search For Splinter, Part 2"), dated February 7, 2003, in which she asks that I respond with comments "... by January 8th, 2003..." 

Speaking of those storyboards, I do have a couple of comments:

-- I'm a little concerned about the action on pages 4-12, where Don and Mike are falling and they save themselves. I know we're cheating a lot on "real" physics for this scene (the bit where Mike tells Don to "kick off" him as they fall so Don can slam against the window makes me wince), but I think anything we can do to make it more realistic will help to sell the scene AND make it more compelling. For one thing -- do they have to fall that far? (They are shown on page 12 having stopped "... about ten feet from the ground".) As you know, the longer you fall, the more speed and momentum you pick up, and if they actually fall that far, ten feet from the ground they would probably be moving so fast that there's no way in hell that the suction cup shukos would stick, and even if they did, they'd probably immediately be torn off instantly.
I'd like to suggest a couple of things. One, how about using slow motion to allow Don and Mike time to react before they have fallen that far? And two, when Don DOES manage to get his suction cups to stick, maybe he slides a little ways down the window, as a way of emphasizing the force which his falling has imparted.

A detail -- it says in the storyboards on page 6 that both his knee suction cups and the suction cup on one hand stick -- but the way it's drawn, only his knee cups are sticking.

-- I loved the whole Utrom reveal and shower scene. Cool!

-- Pete


Subj:  Re: Notes and stuff
Date:  Friday, February 14, 2003 12:14:29 AM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine

In a message dated 2/12/03 2:06:28 AM, Lloyd writes:
- I'll look into the DVD thing - I think it would just take us longer to
get them done...


Thanks. Actually, if 4Kids can do it and is willing to do it, it might actually make more sense to maybe save some time and only do it every three or four or five episodes (depending on how many can be stuffed onto one DVD). I suggest this because the main reason I'd like to have these eps on DVD is for reference purposes, and that would make it a heck of a lot easier. (Plus, I'm finding that I've got a bucketload of tapes beginning to pile up here!)

The action problem you describe is the kinda thing that keeps me up at
night!  It's a real sticky problem and I'm not exactly sure how to solve
it, but let's discuss...

Hmmm... this is probably not going to work out, time and money wise, but what if for key action sequences we actually had Dong Woo animate a few extra seconds for each scene -- maybe in different angles or close ups -- that could be inserted to tweak the timing in certain scenes? (I think the analogue in live action is what's called "coverage".) For example, in the scene where Raph grabs Casey's arm, animate a couple of seconds of Raph in closeup as he struggles with Casey, and maybe a closeup of Casey as he struggles back -- both of which could be cut in -- quick cuts -- to possibly reduce the awkwardness of that action as it appears when the whole thing is seen in a long or medium shot, where you see their whole bodies. Please feel free to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about!

-- Pete


Subj:  TMNT Episode 5: "Nano!"
Date:  Friday, February 14, 2003 12:03:26 AM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine


I got the copy of the rough cut of Episode 5 ("Nano!") today... thank you! I watched it and thought it came out better than I expected. The Nano creature itself was I thought very cool and at times quite affecting -- the changing faces thing worked surprisingly well.

There were a couple of odd things worth noting (well, I think so anyway!):

-- when Casey is lying on the couch after fighting the Nanomonster, and April approaches him (view is from behind her) she walks REALLY weirdly -- almost spastically.

-- There's a moment when Mikey is being dangled by the big Nanomonster in the junkyard and his headband changes from orange to blue.

Some of the drawing of the Turtles seemed "softer" than previous episodes, and it made me wonder if Dong Woo has different teams of animators working on different shows. Do you know?

I'm finding that I really look forward to getting these tapes every week. Keep 'em comin'!

-- Pete