Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Blast from the Past #414: July 6, 2004: Re: TMNT - 83 1st draft ("I, Monster")
Subj: Re: TMNT - 83 1st draft
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2004 4:22:41 PM
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine
Here are my comments on comments on Ep. 83 first draft
1.) Re: the following:
"RAT KING (VO)(CONT)
Before that… I can’t remember… Who was I? What brought me here?
FLASH to images from Ep. 76 – the lab table in Bishop’s workshop, instruments, <SPARKING> ELECTRICITY - all rapid-fire, washed-out, partially obscured in shadow… seen through a haze of broken memory."
As I have said before, this seems to telegraph the secret of the Rat King's origins (as we are establishing them for this story) WAY too early. I really don't want it to be clear in this episode that he is the Slayer or even has ANY connection to Bishop.
2.) Re: the following:
"WIDER – the Rat King perches in an upper corner of the room like a spider, sitting mostly in shadow and holding a SIDE OF BEEF. He <TEARS> another chunk off, throws it to the rats."
What exactly does "like a spider" mean here? Is he crouched on a ledge, or is he actually sticking to the wall (a la Spider-Man)? I think it should be the former, to avoid giving too much away.
3.) Re: the following:
But then, none of you is Michelangelo…
(“Kung Fu” overtones)
“He who moves like the shadow.”"
As I think it is a great recurring gag to have Mikey tout his BattleNexus championship whenever possible, perhaps it would be fun to add it here, as follows:
But then, none of you is Michelangelo… BattleNexus Champion! And...
(“Kung Fu” overtones)
“He who moves like the shadow.”"
4.) Re: the following:
"ON LEO – looking around – something clearly not right here.
Maybe training here isn’t the smartest idea.
WIDEN to include Mikey in the b.g., tying the bandana on his bicep and racing off into the bowels of the factory.
<woo-hoo!> Stealth mode… engaged!
Raph thumbs toward the receding figure of Michelangelo.
Yeah, but Mikey ain’t exactly the smartest turtle."
Raph's line doesn't make much sense to me. I think it would only make sense if it had been established that playing around in this abandoned factory was Mikey's idea, but it wasn't -- it was Casey's. Even the "ninja training " bit seems to have been set up as something ALL of the Turtles thought of.
I would change Raph's line, perhaps to something like "Maybe we should just leave the "BattleNexus Champion" here to play with himself." (Pause) "Nah... how can I pass us ANY chance to beat Mikey at something?"
Also, given the more aggressive stance we are giving Leo in these episodes, perhaps his line here would work better coming from Don.
5.) Re: the following:
"HIGH ANGLE – the Rat King FLIES BACK out of frame just before Leo looks up in his direction."
This may sound like a stupid question, but I need to know -- are we saying here that he is LITERALLY flying -- or has he just JUMPED?
6.) Re: the following:
"WIDEN to include the ceiling, where the Rat King moves swiftly on all fours, upside down, staying just behind Raph."
Another example of showing that the Rat King has some extraordinary or "super" powers -- do we want to do this here?
7.) Re: the following:
"CLOSE ON RAPHAEL - the Rat King stands upright on the ceiling, which puts his head right behind Raphael’s (Raph’s head obscures our view of the Rat King’s face). Raphael’s eye slits narrow. He knows something’s there.
Raph SPINS, SLASHING with his sais, but the Rat King anticipates his move, LEANING quickly backwards, up out of frame.
WIDER – Raph looks around. Nothing – not even on the ceiling."
And another example. I understand that we are showing the Slayer's "camouflage" power, but I question whether we really should do this just yet -- it might be better to save it for nearer to the end of the episode, perhaps as a way for him to escape from the Turtles... or maybe we can play with perception here and not give away that he has this power -- instead making it seem like he COULD have just hidden behind something.
8.) Re: the following:
"REVERSE on the Rat King, back pressed against the face of a freestanding brick wall – the only wall left of some ruined building.
RAT KING (VO)
My judgment is passed. They will not leave here alive. The rats will see to that…
PAN ALONG the wall to a windowpane just in time to see Leo CHARGING, leading with his katana.
Leo <SMASHES> through the window, lands, and <SLICES> a quick katana strike to the exact spot where the Rat King was just standing. The blade <THUNKS> into solid brick.
WIDER – the Rat King is nowhere to be seen. Leo removes his katana, still looking around for the danger he knows is here. Don comes running in.
It’s an exercise, Leo. We’re supposed to catch him, not fillet him.
Leo ignores the comment – he’s got a new obsession now."
This Leo bit makes no sense to me at all. Are we to understand that Leo somehow knew SOMEBODY (and it's not clear WHO he thinks it is) was standing against that brick wall, and Leo just smashed through the window and struck that spot with his sword hard enough to stick the blade into the brick? Is he PSYCHO???!!!
9.) Re: the following:
"HIGH ANGLE on the crash site, including the Rat King watching his handiwork from a nearby rooftop.
Well, that’s one mystery solved."
What mystery is that? Don seems to be jumping to conclusions -- just seeing the figure of the Rat King doesn't really EXPLAIN a lot.
10.) Re: the following:
"WIDER – as Casey brings up the rear on the fire escape, the Rat King lands his flip. He bounces directly into a GIANT LEAP that carries him over the width of an entire building and down out of sight."
I think we may be starting to push it a little bit here.
11.) Re: the following:
"ON THE TURTLES – Leo taking charge.
The walls! Block the holes in the walls!"
I have to say that this might be perhaps Leo's worst idea ever, one that really has almost NO chance of success, and wastes time.
12.) Re: the following:
"LOW ANGLE – the Rat King LEAPS from the rim of the arena, executing a series of ACROBATIC FLIPS. SWISH DOWN to:
ARENA FLOOR – the Rat King lands with a <THOOM!>, sticking it calmly, perfectly.
ON THE TURTLES – Leo, Raph, Don and Casey steel themselves for more fighting. Only Mikey takes with jaw-dropping surprise.
Okay, did everybody else know he could do that? Because I feel like I’m the only one who’s freaking out here."
Mikey's reaction seems a bit ludicrous and over-the-top. I would lose it.
13.) Re: the following:
"RAPHAEL’S POV – Mikey sits up, dazed, beneath the indentation his body slam made on the wall.
ON RAPHAEL – determined.
Then it’s time we busted out!
Raph CHARGES straight toward a very surprised Michelangelo, dropping his shoulders and leading with his forearms like a football block.
EXT. ARENA – CONTINUOUS
Raphael PLOWS THROUGH to open air."
The action here is not clear. Is Raph just charging into the wall, or is he slamming Mikey into it like a battering ram? If it's the latter, that's not acceptable.
14.) Re: the following:
"<BOOM!> The Rat King practically EXPLODES out of the base of the smokestack, sending BRICK SHRAPNEL – from small slivers to large chunks – flying.
ON LEO – as the shrapnel passes behind him, leaving him unscathed.
SPLIT-SCREEN on Don, Raph, Mike and Casey as each is taken down by flying brick."
Wow... those are some accurate bricks. This is really stupid.
15.) Re: the following:
"CLOSE ON THE RAT KING’S HAND – his slimy rags SLIPPING, losing his grip. Leo’s hand reaches down to grab him, but comes up with nothing but UNRAVELING RAGS."
Dopey. Why, after a desperate battle in which he is trying to kill the Rat King, would Leo reach out to grab his hand? Makes no sense.