Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blast from the Past #542: March 21, 2007: Re: Ep 149 Second Draft, March 22, 2007: Re: TMNT 150 OUTLINE, March 27, 2007: Re: Ep 149 Third Draft, and March 28, 2007: Re: TMNT148 First Draft

Subj: Re:   Ep 149 Second Draft
Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 4:11:04 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

P. Laird notes on Ep. 149 second draft

1.) Re: the following:

The first order business: revenge!  The turtles must be destroyed!"

Should there be an "of" between "order" and "business"?

2.) Re: the following:

Uhm, yeah, six hours ago."

Leo doesn't say "yeah".

3.) Re: the following:


A small point, but I think it would sound better if Leo said his full name here, i.e. "Baxter Stockman?"

4.) Re: the following:

When Stockman turns over a new leaf … he turns over a whole tree."

I like this sentiment, but the repetition of "turns over" bothers me a little. How about the following change:

When Stockman turns over a new leaf … he uses the whole tree."

5.) Re: the following:

So, you see, President Bishop was as good as his word.  I have a brand new body and chance to start over."

Should there be an "a" between "and" and "chance"?

6.) Re: the following:

Well, I guess it’s time to say good-bye.  It was really nice seeing you … again … like this.  The new Stockman."

Again, I think this would be a good place to use "Baxter Stockman" instead of just "Stockman".

7.) Re: the following:

Ahh, no!  I forgot!  The Department of Agriculture Ship left an hour ago.  I can’t imagine how I’ll get home now."

The  "I can’t imagine how I’ll get home now" line seems pretty silly -- I mean, how much imagination does it take to imagine waiting for the next shuttle? I would suggest either eliminating that line entirely or replacing it with something like "Now I'll have to wait eight hours for the next shuttle!"

8.) Re: the following:

We’ve been targeted by rockets!
POV – LOOKING DOWN THE TWO ROCKETS as they’re <BURNING> right towards Cody’s Spaceship!
They’re inbound!"

"They're inbound!" is redundant -- I would eliminate it.

9.) Re: the following:

"ROTATE 180 DEGREES TO REVEAL that he’s actually hanging upside-down.  In fact, WIDEN to show that the four turtles, Stockman and Cody are all hanging upside-down in their seats as they’re all strapped in.  Mikey looks around and at Stockman.
Aww, shell!  If this is paradise, I want a refund!  Stockman’s here, too!
All a little groggy and slow from the crash, Leonardo and Raphael are the first to unbuckle and tumble to their feet.
Hurts too much to be paradise, Mikey."

When I first read MIke's line about "paradise", I was scratching my head -- why's he talking about a tropical vacation? Then it dawned on me that he was really referring to "heaven"... and I'm not sure we want to go there.
I would eliminate both Mike's and Raph's lines above.

10.) Re: the following:

Now, now, “Raph” … I’m your friend …"

Maybe it would be funnier here if Stockman said "dude" instead of "Raph", given how earlier Stockman had been saying "dude" to try to fit in with the Turtles. Might be more appropriately pathetic.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT 150 OUTLINE
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007 10:49:37 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

notes on Ep. 150 outline

1.) Re: the following:

" Cody flicks a switch.  The Time Window pulsates with power and – BOOM! – Serling EXPLODES!  Oops."

Having Serling "explode" seems both too extreme/destructive and a little too simple/boring. However, I was inspired by the use of the word "explode" to think of another possible thing which could happen to Serling which could be different AND visually interesting -- the force fields/energy matrix of the Time Window could cause Serling to partially or totally DISASSEMBLE, ending up looking like a classic "exploded diagram"... you know, the ones where all the parts of a gadget are shown in three dimensions and all separated so you can see each one.

2.) Re: the following:

"Don nods, but adds, “There is a theory that time is fluid like a river, with currents, eddies, backwash.  And the same current that swept us here, should sweep you back there.”  Leo asks, “Who came up with that theory?  Einstein?”  “Naw,” says Don, “Mr. Spock.” "

First, Don doesn't say "Naw". Second, the "Mr. Spock" rejoinder sounds a lot more like something which Mike might say -- it sounds weird coming out of the mouth of Don, who takes his science seriously.

3.) There is something a little off about Serling being shrunk down to the size of an action figure, and STILL being sent through the Time Window into the past. I would think that they Turtles would have tried to do something to return Serling to his normal size before they continued the experiment. Therefore, I would suggest that we move the bit where Cody, Don and Serling discuss when and where he might end up in the past to BEFORE he gets shrunken down to action figure size, and that the time traveling happens IMMEDIATELY after Serling gets shrunken, before the Turtles have time to do anything about it.

4.) Re: the following:

" Says Don, “Naw, he’s my new rocket ship test pilot!”"

Don doesn't say "Naw".

5.) Re: the following:

"Says Raph, “Test pilot?  He’s a guest at my tea party!”  Raph throws a tiny dress on Serling and plops him down at a tea party set.  How humiliating!  Leo, Don and Mikey give Raph an incredulous look.  “Uh, tea party?”  Raph snarls at them, all tough and Raphael-like, “Yeah, you got a problem with that?!”  Leo holds up his katana swords, “Yup.  Cuz I’m good use ‘im to sharpen my blades!

This is truly bizarre, not just for Raph's TOTALLY out of character doll's clothing and  tea party bit, but what the HECK is Leo saying? "I’m good use ‘im to sharpen my blades!” Huh? 
Part of the problem is that whoever wrote this seems to think that is is important in this scene that each Turtle must have a unique desire to use Serling in some different way. I disagree. A simpler course of action -- and one which keeps the Turtles in character -- would be to have Raph grab Serling away from Mike or Don (just to be mean) and then Leo tries to grab Serling away from Raph (to give him back to Mike or Don)... and in the ensuing tug of war, Serling can fly out of their hands and be caught by Splinter.

6.) Re: the following:

" CU ON THE DOOR swinging shut – when suddenly Donatello’s bo staff flies in from O.S. – wedging the door ajar!

We ZIP PAN to an alley across the street, where the Turtle Tots hide in the shadows.  They’ve followed the man here.  “Nice shot,” says Leo to Don.  Don smiles sheepishly, “Thanks, but I was aiming for the old dude.

That response and attitude is out of character for Don.

7.) Re: the following:

" Mikey sighs and walks off the piano – inadvertently playing three ascending notes on the scale.  And suddenly, the floor beneath the piano swings open – revealing a secret staircase."

That seems like a terribly inefficient way to keep the secret door to your secret room from being opened accidentally... just three notes on the piano? 

8.) Re: the following:

"And just then, Splinter enters.  “Yes, I recognized Serling as your old toy the moment we arrived here.”  Why didn’t he say so?  “It was obvious he hadn’t met us yet.  It is best to let time unfold as it should.

This brings up a concept which occurred to me earlier, i.e. the question of why none of the Turtles or Splinter recognized Serling as their toy from the past... a pretty sizable plot hole, if you ask me! And Splinter's response here is pretty lame (not to mention it doesn't address AT ALL why the Turtles -- who spent a lot more time with the little Serling "toy" -- didn't recognize him.
One possible solution to this problem might be to somehow alter Serling's look before he gets sent back into the past. Two ways come to mind -- Cody and Don outfit Serling with extra "chroniton-deflecting body armor"... or Cody suggests removing most of Serling's outer body shell, resulting in a "naked robot" look.

9.) The biggest problem with this story, however, is the "Major Mel-Function" character and everything that happens with him and in his toy shop. It's REALLY silly. Painfully silly. Like this bit, among others:

"Major Mel-Function plans to mass produce millions of Serlings – and make billions of dollars in the process! "

Mel has just encountered Serling, doesn't know what he is, what he can do or not do... and yet he somehow has plans to "mass produce millions of Serlings – and make billions of dollars in the process!"?!
And there is some implication that SOMEHOW Mel has seen Serling before... but we are never told how/why. There's a "child's drawing", supposedly "of Serling"... but we aren't told HOW it was drawn or WHERE it came from.
I think this last part of the story needs to be re-thought. Also, let's not forget that -- if it works as part of a cool//fun story -- Serling doesn't HAVE to stay action-figure sized when he is back in the past. It might be useful to have him suddenly revert to his full size at the right moment.

-- Pete


Subj: Re:   Ep 149 Third Draft
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 11:17:40 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

notes on Ep. 149 third draft

1.) Re: the following:

I’ve got a whole bag full of amazing high-tech goodies.  Wanna see ‘em?"

Donatello doesn't say "wanna". Or "'em".

2.) Re: the following:

(smiling/happy geeks)

Cody might, but Don doesn't say "Yep".

3.) Re: the following:

The burning fireball comes down hard for huge <CRASH> as the back part of the ship <BREAKS> off … tumbles once … and then <EXPLODES> in a huge ball of fuel-fire and then goes out.  The front half of the ship, battered and blackened rolls once to a stop upside-down.
PUSH IN ON – THE WRECKAGE of half of Cody’s ship sits upside-down.
CLOSE ON – MICHELANGELO’S FACE as his eyes open … <Blink-blink>.
ROTATE 180 DEGREES TO REVEAL that he’s actually hanging upside-down.  In fact, WIDEN to show that the four turtles, Stockman and Cody are all hanging upside-down in their seats as they’re all strapped in.
(dripping sarcasm)
Well, that was “green-tastic!”
All a little groggy and slow from the crash, Leonardo and Raphael are the first to unbuckle and tumble to their feet.**
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but how did we survive that?
*Cody flips down and lands on his feet with a smile.  Donatello is down and pulls something out of his pocket… Donatello is holding the DEVICE up in the center of the cockpit.
Upgrades.  Donatello and I reinforced the cockpit with a mixture of Titanium and Donatellium."

Not to be too picky, but... while I think the "reinforced... with a mixture of Titanium and Donatellium" bit is a good idea, I would like to see some reference to the way that they survived the tremendous forces exerted on their bodies by the crashing and bouncing. On "Star Trek", they use the "inertial dampers" to keep everybody from being smashed into jelly when their ships make sudden turns or stops. Maybe we could use something like that.

4.) Re: the following:

Let’s try to move as quickly as possible.  We only have so much air in these suits."

"We only have so much air" sounds somehow too vague. How about "We don't have much air in these suits" or "we only have a couple of hours of air in these suits"?

5.) Re: the following:

Doubtful.  If years of working for the Shredder has taught me anything, it’s how ruthless and persistent he was."

I think "is" would be more appropriate than "was".

6.) Re: the following:

We’re trapped in this canyon.  Let’s at least keep moving and see where this comes out."

Leo's two lines here seem a bit at odds. Are they "trapped", or can they "keep moving"? I would eliminate the "trapped" line.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT148 First Draft
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:16:09 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

comments on Ep. 148 first draft

1.) Re: the following:

A felony in progress or just standard terrapin tomfoolery?
As Biggles joins the gang, Mikey scratches his head.
Um, there’s no “Tom” here--
Leo <bonks> Mikey on the head with the ball. CODY taps on his HOLO-CLIPBOARD, leading BIGGLES away."

This "Tom" gag has, I think, about a 1% humor content... or less. I would drop it.

2.) Re: the following:

I’m here for a full overhaul and spit polish. Tomorrow, I’m accepting a special citation from the city for “Extreme Excellence in Law Enforcement and Civil Service.”"

The use here of the phrase "spit polish" seems awfully odd... especially coming from a ROBOT. Here's an alternative suggestion:

I’m here for a full diagnostic and cosmetic refurbishment. Tomorrow, I’m accepting a special citation from the city for “Extreme Excellence in Law Enforcement and Civil Service.”"

3.) Re: the following:

Shove it, you battery powered Bobbie."

"Shove it"? Isn't that more than a little rude and crude for our show?

4.) Re: the following:

Step two? Turn New York’s “finest” into my new BFF… And step three… "

I know that "BFF" is current "text message"-type slang for "Best Friend Forever", but to avoid dating ourselves (thinking of a new viewer a decade or more down the road), maybe we should either think of a new term or just the use the whole words "Best Friend Forever".

5.) Re: the following:

I don’t know anything about the “due process” of the future, but I don’t want to learn about it first hand! "

This seems like a fairly silly line, especially coming from brain-boy Don. It's superfluous, so I would lose it.

6.) Re: the following:

"TWO PEACEKEEPERS grab CODY, BIGGLES starts to stomp his way up the grandstand towards the Turtles.
Take him in! Jones is <ZZZZZT> an accessory after the fact!"

Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't Biggles make his false claim about Cody's involvement BEFORE the Peacekeepers grab him?

7.) Re: the following:

Makey fasty with the explainy!"

Is this pidgin English as spoken by someone who is Chinese? Sure sounds like it. Kind of embarrassing.

8.) Re: the following:

"SPLINTER helps CODY along.
What do I do?
Everyone flattens as the train goes into THE TUNNEL. "

It's baffling to me why, for this scene, Cody has suddenly turned into a helpless idiot.

9.) Re: the following:

"FIND SERLING trying desperately to CATCH a priceless vase, AND mop up spilled GUNK, AND serve drinks, when—<SPLAT!> A bowl of GREEN GLOP splatters all over him.
Disconnect me...Disconnect me now."

"Disconnect" him from what?I don't get it. Is Serling doing the classic long-suffering "Just kill me now" bit? If so, it's not clear or funny as written.

10.) Re: the following:

"A simple room with a HOLOGRAPHIC HEIGHT CHART in the BG. RAPID SERIES OF MUG SHOTS as… LEO is SCANNED by a lazer… <FLASH!>"

A "lazer" -- is that like a "laser"?

11.) Re: the following:

"ANGLE – JAMMERHEAD bangs on Biggles to let go, but the robot’s grip does not yield. The guys <ZIP> past them on either side."

Hmmm... doesn't Jammerhead possess the power to phase through things? Why doesn't he do it now?
Oh... I see he does it about five lines later... but my point is stil germane, I think.

12.) Re: the following:

Oh do shove it, you over-amplified hooligan."

MORE "shove it"? Inappropriate.

13.) Re: the following:

"THE CONTROL CONSOLE, where Don flips open the protective case over the re-boot Button and as he’s about to press it—
ON DON – wincing in pain as <WHACK!> JAMMERHEAD hits him with the butt of his power blade as he phases up through the floor!
Nice try…but your program just crashed, big time.
He raises the blade, when <ZZAAAAAP!> Jammerhead’s body convulses with energy! He falls in a heap… 
Revealing BIGGLES! His STUN BATON crackling with energy.
Oh do shove it, you over-amplified hooligan.
ANGLE - THE TURTLES, SPLINTER, and CODY run for Don, leaving unconscious PHANTOMS behind them.
He reached the reset!"

Okay... so did Don reach the reset button... or did Jammerhead stop him "as he’s about to press it"? We can't have it both ways.

-- Pete

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