Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blast from the Past #378: Feb. 16, 2004: comments on Ep. 65 first draft script

Feb. 16, 2004: comments on Ep. 65 first draft script

From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Ep. 65 first draft script. No major problems, just a few detail suggestions:

1.) Would it be interesting to have young Casey wear glasses? I know he doesn't wear them in the present, but there could be several ways around that -- he could wear contacts, for example.
The reason I suggest it is that it would be another way to draw the viewer's attention away from who this kid really is, until the final reveal.
And while we're on that subject -- I really want to avoid giving too much away about the surprise in this episode, and when we get around to writing up the synopses for season three to post online, let's not have anything for this episode which refers at all to the fact that this kid is Casey, i.e. "The Turtles try to teach a kid who is strangely familiar" or anything like that.

2.) Re: the following:

"23. APRIL
(to turtles)
At least I’m happy to see you guys.  I was about to make some hot chocolate.  I can easily make enough for four teenage turtles."

I think it sounds odd for April to say "four teenage turtles". And because -- I think -- this scene is supposed to show she is still a little mad at Casey, it might be better if she instead says (with a pointed look at Casey) "I can easily make enough for FIVE."
And when Casey perks up and expects to be part of this hot chocolate party, she could ignore him, then count -- first pointing at the Turtles -- "One, two, three, four..." then point at herself "... five." Then she gives him another look, and she and the Turtles go inside, leaving Casey outside.

3.) Re: the following:

"26. CASEY
Come on, April.  You wasn’t that scared.  You beat the crud out of me."

"You wasn't" sounds too stupid for Casey. Let's just have him say "You weren't".

4.) Re: the following:

"ON – THE FOUR TURTLES AS - Donatello’s ShellCel rings.
It’s probably Casey.
CLOSER ON – DONATELLO answers the ShellCel holding it up to the side of his head …
What up, numbskull?"

"What up, numbskull?" is much more of a Raph or Mikey phrase. And I think it would be funnier if Don answers the phone and "rubs it in" by first loudly slurping his hot chocolate, then saying something like "Mmm--mmm! That's some mighty fine hot chocolate, April!" -- just before the annoying fax-like screech comes over the phone.

5.) Re: the following:

Casey is such a bonehead.
Yeah, but, April kicked his sorry be-hind all over that alley."

I would swap who speaks these lines, and have Don say "Casey can be such a bonehead."

6.) Re: the following:

"38. APRIL
I’m okay.  I have to admit the training from Master Splinter did come in pretty handy.  But, Casey caught me by surprise.  I should have heard him coming.  You guys would have.
WIDER ON – THE FOUR TURTLES look at each other.
I guess.  After a while, you get a sixth sense for that."

To reinforce the "teaching" theme of this story, I would suggest changing Leo's line as follows:

"It's something Master Splinter has spent a long time giving us lessons on. After a while -- if you've studied hard enough -- you get a sixth sense for it."

It also just occurred to me that it might be fun to do a story where we actually see Splinter giving April lessons. The line "I've never trained a human before" (spoken by Splinter, of course) just popped into my head.

7.) Re: the following:

Could you guys teach me?  To be more aware?
THE FOUR TURTLES are reticent.  Raphael shakes his head.
No way!"

I think it would be cool if there is a beat after April's line, a moment where the Turtles all look knowingly at one another (all remembering their failure with that young kid, which we will shortly see in flashback)... then Raph could say his line.

8.) Re: the following:

Yeah, last time we tried to play sensei, it didn’t work out too well."

Leo would say "yes", not "Yeah".

9.) Re: the following:

Raph, that’s no way to tell a story.  Here, let me do it.  [story voice] It was many, many moons ago …
ON – THE WINDOW and the darkness outside … PUSH IN AS …
… on a night as dark as this …"

I'm up for Mikey starting to tell the story in a humorous way, but this as is is kind of weak. Maybe start it out like this:

MIKE: It was a dark and stormy night... in a galaxy far, far away...

RAPH: Mikey...!

MIKE: Uh... I mean, many moons ago...

10.) Re: the following:

You had better hope you never let me catch going out of the sewers!"

There's a "you" missing in this line, but it's awkward anyway -- I would change it to read as follows:

"You had better hope I never catch you going out of the sewers!"

11.) Re: the following:

… was destiny … or, actually, it was kid named Arnie that needed help."

I'd prefer that Mike doesn't refer to the kid by name in this line. So it should read:

… was destiny … or, actually, it was this kid who needed help."

12.) Not that EVERYTHING in these stories has to be connected, but as I was reading this scene with Arnie and Steve, I had this image in my head of Steve being a young black kid -- who later grows up to be "Silver Sentry"! Is that too much?

13.) Re: the following:

"DOWN LOW AS – Small turtle tot hands (Leo Tot’s) hook a clothesline around the ankle of Teen Roughneck #4 and …
WIDER – Teen Roughneck #4 goes to move forward and TRIPS and falls into Danny McDonough.
Watch it, man.
WIDER STILL – Arnie is on the ground leaning against the dead end wall.  The teen roughnecks and Danny McDonough look down at Arnie.
Next time, don’t use our street, man. [to roughnecks] Come on, let’s get out of here."

It seems kind of odd that the punks pick this moment to leave Arnie alone -- why don't they continue to harass him? Might it be better if we hear a police siren in the distance (not necessarily coming for these punks, but THEY don't know that), and that causes them to break off their assault?

14.) Re: the following:

Dilemma is Greek for "two ideas.""

Is it? I'd never heard that before.

15.) Re: the following:

"104. RAPH TOT
Well, I got two ideas, let’s kick butt and let’s kick butt.  Those creeps are getting away."

Might be cooler if Raph says:

"104. RAPH TOT
Well, I got two ideas, let’s kick butt and let’s take names.  Those creeps are getting away."

16.) Re: the following:

"121. LEO TOT
Train in the ways of martial arts.  I can help you.  I’m something of a … sensei."

I would prefer it if Leo said something like this instead:

"Train in the art of self-defense. I can help you... teach you..."

17.) Re: the following:

Excellent Michelangelo.  Donatello lift your leg higher the kick.  Enough for now, it is Leonardo’s turn."

Should that read "Donatello, lift your leg higher for the kick"?

18.) Re: the following:

"CLOSER ON – DONATELLO is <SNORING> with his eyes open as he’s pulling ropes that … 
PAN ACROSS/FOLLOW THE ROPES through a series of secret pulleys and disguises and …
THE ROPES GO TO MIKEY TOT’S BED – Mikey Tot isn’t there.  Donatello has rigged a papier-mâché head and a series of rope pulleys and a <RECORDED SNORE> to mimic Mikey in bed where he should be (in an "Escape for Alcatraz" kind of way)."

I'm unclear what exactly the ropes and pulleys are for -- they don't seem to do anything.

19.) Re: the following:

(to self)
Something is not right.  Michelangelo’s breathing sounds strange.  I should see if he is all right."

The use of the word "right" twice here bothers me a little -- how about if we have Splinter say "I should see if he is ill."

20.) Re: the following:

"LEO TOT calls out to Master Splinter.
156. LEO TOT
Master Splinter, I just had a bad dream and I need a drink of water.
RAPH TOT sits up in his bed.
Me too, Master Splinter, I need a drink of water.
MASTER SPLINTER turns around in FOREGROUND and in the BACKGROUND, Mikey Tot slips into his bed and stash the papier-mâché head …
Me three.  May I please have a glass of water?
Upon hearing Michelangelo’s voice, Splinter turns and looks at Mikey Tot … Splinter’s suspicions fade …
I will go and get three …
Four, please.
Four glasses of water." 

Wouldn't it make more sense if Don asks for water before Mikey?

21.) Re: the following:

"CLOSER ON - He hurls them like shuriken right at CAMERA and …
ON – THE METAL PLATED DOOR of the rooftop stairway exit as the chess pieces come <ZINGING> in and <STICK> in the door with deadly precision."

WOW!!! The sharpest chess pieces in history! This is terribly silly -- how about having him know over some soda cans or something with the chess pieces?

All in all, a fun episode!

-- Pete

1 comment:

  1. "155. SPLINTER
    Something is not right. Michelangelo’s breathing sounds strange. I should see if he is all right."

    The use of the word "right" twice here bothers me a little -- how about if we have Splinter say "I should see if he is ill."

    I agree with your opinion (above) Peter. If Splinter is so worried about Mikey he should said that.