Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blast from the Past #554: December 19, 2007: comments on TMNT161 Outline, December 20, 2007: Re: TMNT157 2nd Draft and Re: TMNT158HackingStockmanDr1




Subj: comments on TMNT161 Outline
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:29:52 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

P. Laird comments on Ep.161 outline Web Wranglers


1.) Re: the following:

"“Awesome,” says Mikey.  “The word you’re lookin’ for is extreme,” says Raph.  Mikey flashes a cocky grin: “Naw, this is extreme.”  He performs a stunt that involves laying stomach-down on his board and zipping straight for an oncoming subway train.  He passes under it, and when he rolls out the other end, he’s now on his back, arms folded behind his head, utterly chill. Too bad he can’t see where he’s headed: Straight for a drop!


A deep drop into a concrete tank.  He falls in!  <Sploosh!> And finds himself knee-deep in sewage."

Unless NYC subways ride on railroad tie-less tracks, it would be impossible for Mikey to do this on a skateboard -- not to mention the absurdity of trying to ride under a moving subway in the first place! I think we need to come up with something different. 


2.) Re: the following:

"CUT TO: a subway station.  The subway rolls in.  The doors slide open.  And the passengers run out <SCREAMING!>  Followed by the creature.  It emerges from a subway car covered in glass."

I'm confused -- why is the creature "covered in glass"? 


3.) Re: the following:

"WIPE TO THE TURTLES:  Windows into cyberspace open up all around them, releasing malformed birds, cats, and the like.  “Well,” says Don, “at least now we know how these things are getting here.  Through cyber windows!”  “Yeah,” says Leo, his eyes widening in alarm, “and now we know who’s sending them too!”  His brothers turn to see what Leo sees: their arch enemy, visible through an open window, inside cyber space.  They gulp.  “It’s the Shredder!

First, Leo doesn't say "yeah".
Second, unless there is something in the rest of this outline to address this point, I think we're getting dangerously close to getting completely silly with this "creatures coming through cyber windows" thing, in this sense: If the Cyber Shredder is able to do this so easily, it stands to reason that he could just CONTINUE to do it and eventually overwhelm the Turtles (or any adversary, for that matter) with sheer volume. Perhaps we need to consider some kind of limit.


4.) Re: the following:

"BACK IN CYBER SPACE:  Mikey watches the fight, worried.  He throws a look at the portal: “Whatever you’re doing in there, bro, I hope it’s working.”   It is.  Suddenly, two digital sentries – beams of crackling energy in the vague shape of men – form on either side of the portal.  They’re armed with cyber scythes.  Uh-oh.   Looks like Don’s efforts have triggered the portal’s programmed defense system.  


They attack!  Mikey fights, but they’re too fast, too powerful.  This is their hood, after all.  But that’s when Mikey gets inspired.  He closes his eyes and strains (ala Hiro in Heroes).  “Think like Shredder! Think like Shredder!”  And when he opens his eyes, he’s shocked to find the virtual sentries frozen in place.  He stopped them with is mind!


CYBER SPACE: A stream of ones and zeros shoots out of the portal and reforms into Don.  He looks around, but can’t find Mikey.  “Over here, dude!”  Reveal: Mikey relaxing on a cyber recliner, flanked by the cyber sentries fanning him with cyber palm fronds.  “You know,” says Mikey, “cyber space isn’t so bad, once you get the hang of it.

Groan. Not only is this "just think it, then so it will be" bit a dramatic dead-end, the "cyber recliner" and palm frond fanning is painfully silly.


5.) Re: the following:

"“The word you’re looking for is virtual,” says Leo, “You’re not real, and you never will be.  You’re nothing but a backup file.”  Suddenly we hear: <WHUP-WHUP-WHUP!>  Leo smiles: “And speaking of backup.”  Just then, the Turtlecopter arrives, piloted by Mikey and Don.  Says Mikey:  “Awesome.  Not too late for the welcome back party!”  Shredder screams.  Raph grins:  “You want outta yer virtual torment?  Our pleasure. Let’s find out just how real you are!”  On that, Raph and Leo plunge two tech-darts into Shredder.   Shredder reacts in SHOCK.  The darts <beep>.  The <beeping> gets louder and faster until – <ZZZAPT!>  Shredder explodes into a mist of pixilated dust!"

Why do Raph and Leo wait until this last moment to use the "tech-darts"? Wouldn't this have been their FIRST move against the Cyber Shredder, logically?


6.) Re: the following:

"EPILOGUE: We’re outside an apartment building.  One apartment still has lights on.  We cut inside.  A man sits at his computer surfing the web.  He rises and leaves the room.  CU on his wifi router.  The lights start to flash.  Suddenly, a mist of pixilated dust seeps into the apartment from outside – drawn by the router’s antenna.  CU on the computer screen:  the image of Shredder appears.  It <cackles> then flickers off.  The Shredder is alive.  And he’ll be back. "

This scene seems not only superfluous, but silly as well ("a mist of pixilated dust seeps into the apartment from outside – drawn by the router’s antenna"???!!). I think this episode would end better on the previous paragraph, as follows:

"The dust scatters into the night.  The Turtlecopter lands.  The turtles look pleased but weary.  “Do you think that’s the end of him?” asks Don.  Leo shakes his head: “I wouldn’t count on it.  If there’s any way to live on, the Shredder will find it.

However, I suggest tweaking it a bit, perhaps having Leo say something like the following:


"Leo shakes his head: “I wouldn’t count on it.  If there’s any way to live on, the Shredder will find it. And it's up to us to find a way to stop him!"


7.) While I was reading this outline, it occurred to me to wonder how the Foot Mystics (if they are still around) would react to this "Cyber Shredder". There might be some fun to be had in a clash of mystic vs. techno.


-- Peter

-------------------------------------------------

Subj: Re: TMNT157 2nd Draft
Date: Thursday, December 20, 2007 11:08:41 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

P. Laird comments on Ep. 157 Engagement Ring second draft


1.) Re: the following:

" APRIL
For a paddle boat ride in Central Park?  Casey, you sure you’re feeling ok?
Casey stops pedaling.  CLOSE ON HIM: he looks deer in klieg lights.  He holds up a finger (“One Sec”).  He scrambles to remove a piece of paper from his tux. It seems to relax him.
 CASEY
Raph – I mean, I thought ya might ask that, seeing as I’m sure ta seem crazy. And the answer is: (READS PAPER), “I will now set the mood.

When Casey says "Raph -- I mean...", it is a little awkward. It took me several readings of that line to realize what the writer was trying to do. To make it immediately clear, I would suggest a small change as follows:

" CASEY
Raph thought – I mean, I thought ya might ask that, seeing as I’m sure ta seem crazy. And the answer is: (READS PAPER), “I will now set the mood.

2.) Re: the following:

" CASEY
Goongola! "

Unless we're looking for a new special word for Casey, I think that should be spelled "Goongala".


3.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Nice try.  <Big> Dragons, time ta ride!"

The "thug talk" filter missed this one -- that should be "to", not "ta".


4.) Re: the following:

"ON CASEY AND RAPH:  Both – ALARMED.  They chase.  But Hun pivots – aims his shotgun laser blaster…  
*HUN (TO UNCONSCIOUS APRIL)
Your boyfriend wants a goodbye kiss. 
CU on the barrel.  It sparkles with power then FIRES!"

That "goodbye kiss" comment from Hun sounds REALLY odd. And, as it's also unnecessary, I'd lose it.


5.) Re: the following:

"MR. SUN
I followed the ring’s destruction to you, as Hun did – as the authorities soon will.  Come, my friends, we must move before questions are asked…"

I think it would read better if changed slightly, as follows:


"MR. SUN
I followed the ring’s path of destruction to you, as Hun did – as the authorities soon will.  Come, my friends, we must move before questions are asked…"


6.) Re: the following:

"*MR. SUN
That is Evil made flesh. That is April."

Having Mr. Sun say "That is April" sounds a little strange, like perhaps too familiar, like he knows her. Maybe it would be better as follows:


*MR. SUN
That is Evil made flesh. That is your April."


... or maybe:


*MR. SUN
That is Evil made flesh. That is your beloved -- your April."


7.) Re: the following:

"CASEY
Goongolaaaaaaaa!"

Again, I think it should be "Goongalaaaaaaa!"


8.) Re: the following:

"CASEY
<Smirks> Ya lost yer shot. YARGH!
With lightning speed, he whips out a club and SMACKS Hun off! "

And from WHERE, exactly, does Casey whip this "club"? Perhaps a simple kick would suffice.


9.) Re: the following:

"SPECTRAL APRIL
Casey… goongola!"

Again... "goongala".


10.) Re: the following:

"*The image fades. Casey’s eyes NARROW. He grabs his CLUB and: STRIKES! Right where the Diamond and setting meet! <CRACK!> 
*Again and again!  <CRACK! CRACK!>  Rays of light erupt on contact, blinding him – but he keeps going. <CRACK! CRACK!>
*CASEY
April! April! <ON LAST STRIKE> APRIIIL! 
*He wedges his club! And with ALL HIS MIGHT pries the diamond… LOOSE! IT FALLS! The screen FLASHES with LIGHT! When it clears, we’re: WIDE: April is back to normal! And falling! As is Casey! "

Again with the club! And I'm a little baffled by this turn of events. Are we now saying that it was the gem (i.e. the diamond) which was the source of the ring's power? That seems a little off, especially as we have made something of a big deal about removing the ring -- not a PART of the ring, not just the STONE -- to release April from its curse.
While I'm not saying the following is the best way to accomplish what we need to accomplish in this scene, here's what I suggested in my last set of notes:


"Maybe something that would be a LITTLE bit more logical would be to have Casey grab Hun's blaster and use it to CUT through the ring, instead of trying to muscle it off. That COULD fit the legend -- even though Casey is CUTTING the ring off rather than PULLING it off, he is still the one who put it on and he's now the one who's taking it off.. And later the ring could mystically reform itself so Casey can give it back to Jin undamaged."


11.) Re: the following:

"*LEO
Looks like you two have a wedding coming up!  Mind if we crash?"

Leo's "Mind if we crash?" line sounds bizarre to me, and not just because it sounds so un-Leo... it would sound equally weird coming from ANY of the Turtles. Why would Leo or any of the other Turtles have to be "wedding crashers" as Casey and April's wedding?
Here's one possible alternative approach:


"*LEO
Looks like you two have a wedding coming up!
*APRIL
That's right... and you're all invited!  You guys are family.  You saved me…"


-- Peter

-----------------------------------------


Subj: Re: TMNT158HackingStockmanDr1
Date: Thursday, December 20, 2007 1:02:11 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine  

P. Laird comments on Ep. 158 "Hacking Stockman" first draft


1.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Look what crawled out to play! Lucky you…we got some new toys."

Non-thug-talking Hun would say "we HAVE", not "we GOT".

2.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Don't need brains wit' dese!"

Time to activate the "De-Thug" filter again, for this particularly egregious example!


3.) Re: the following:

"HUN rushes in and <WRENCHES> the door off its hinges! He throws it at the guys - a two ton Frisbee! They flatten as the disc passes over them, destroying a wall in the BG."

Just so we're clear here -- the only way Hun is able to do this is because he is using his new "energy gloves", right?


4.) Re: the following:

"BELOW, our heroes use HUN as an impromptu springboard, running up his back and leaping off his head to grab the ropes!"

I might buy ONE of the Turtles being able to do this, but all THREE? How slow would that make Hun?


5.) Re: the following:

"MIKEY
April?! Where's Don Juan?"

"Don Juan"? Inappropriate.


6.) Re: the following:

"DON
Let them beat each other to picobits. As long as Master Splinter's lost in cyberspace…I could care less."

The phrase should be "I couldn't care less". Think about it -- if you "could care less", then that means that you DO care to some degree.


7.) Re: the following:

"MASTER KHAN'S DIGITAL AVATAR rises up from the very fabric of cyberspace. He bows to one knee."

I have to say that is a strange turn of phrase I've never seen or heard before -- "bows to one knee". Though bowing and kneeling are somewhat related -- they both have to do with showing reverence and/or respect -- they are two separate and different things. Why not just say "he kneels"?


8.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Best money I ever spent. Keep this up, the Foot are gonna be Foot fungus."

Non-thug-talking Hun would say "going to", not "gonna".


9.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN (O.S.)
Uh…okay, that was probably funny in your head… I guess."

That line sounds like something Mikey would say. I think Stockman would say it a little differently, i.e.:


"STOCKMAN (O.S.)
Hmm... perhaps that was funny in your head…"


10.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Pain sticks. I call 'em pain sticks."

"Them", not "'em".


11.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN
Call them whatever you want, long as I get paid. I'm saving up to install a cerebral massage unit in this baby."

If Hun doesn't talk like a common thug, Baxter Stockman talks even LESS like a common thug. Here's a suggested tweak:


"STOCKMAN
Call them whatever you want, as long as I get paid. I'm saving up to install a cerebral massage unit in this body."


12.) Re: the following:

"HUN
What's a matter, Stockman? Static cling in yer metal boxers--?"

Better run that de-thug filter again.


13.) Re: the following:

"ON STOCKMAN'S horrified face.
STOCKMAN
How is this possible? Y-you're dead-!
ECU on STOCKMAN'S ROBOT EYE as SHREDDER laughs within.
SHREDDER (INTERNAL)
You should know better than most, Stockman…the bonds of death mean NOTHING to the Shredder!"

Continuity question -- does Stockman have any real reason to think that the Shredder is dead? Does he know about the trial and subsequent ice-planet exile of the Utrom-Shredder?
And WHY would Stockman know "better than most" that "the bonds of death mean NOTHING to the Shredder!"?


14.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN
Hun, wait! Listen to me! Shredder is back! He's IN my body and--!
HUN
I'm no “genius”, Baxter…but I know when someone's tryin' ta bust my skull! 

In this series, it's "THE Shredder", not just "Shredder". And better run that de-thug filter again.


15.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN
Whoa. I didn't know I could do that."

And I don't think Stockman says "Whoa."


16.) Re: the following:

"SHREDDER (INTERNAL)
You can't…but the Shredder can! "

Would it make more sense for the Shredder to just say "But I can!" (instead of the self-referential "the Shredder")?


17.) Re: the following:

"HUN
What the dook?
Stockman, suddenly embarrassed, tries to laugh this off.
STOCKMAN
Wow. This is embarrassing…It was a failsafe, just in case you didn't pay me. I wasn't going to use it… probably…"

"Dook"? Very silly... let's lose it. And I don't think Stockman would say "Wow" like this.


18.) Re: the following:

"Stockman rips one of the DATA PANELS from the wall, and BENDS it into what looks like a SHOULDER PLATE."

Shouldn't that be:


"Stockman/Shredder rips one of the DATA PANELS from the wall, and BENDS it into what looks like a SHOULDER PLATE."

19.) Re: the following:

"ON THE GUYS, fear washing over them.
LEO
Shredder…he's out!"

Fear washes over me that I'll have to keep repeating this -- it should be "The Shredder", not just "Shredder".


20.) Re: the following:

"LEO
Shredder does not leave this building!!

Oh, please...


21.) Re: the following:

"Shredder springs to his feet with an energy MACE."

Didn't THE Shredder toss his energy maces aside a few lines ago?


22.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN (INTERNAL)
Yeah, about that…What if I go back to work for you, at a slight pay increase, make you a shiny NEW new body…and I get my old new body back? Pretty please?"

Stockman does not say "Yeah".


23.) Re: the following:

"HUN
Now it's Halloween, Stockman? Tear that traitor apart!"

The "Now it's Halloween" line takes some time to parse, plus it's silly... I'd lose it.


24.) Re: the following:

"LEO
I don't think Shredder's crazy…uh…
crazier than normal…"

THE Shredder.


25.) Re: the following:

"Don's complete focus on the landscape is broken as he hears a <BEEPING>. He checks out his control panel to see-
SMALL ICONS indicating Shredder bits blinking wildly.
DONATELLO
Yes! Master Splinter's data bits! And they're close by!"

Are they "Shredder bits"... or "Splinter bits"?


26.) Re: the following:

"LEO
DON! Come in! We need you! It's Shred-"

It's "the Shred--"


27.) Re: the following:

"DON
Don can't come to the shell phone, he's off saving his father from an eternity of digital disembodiment!"

While this is mildly amusing, it is also very un-Don-like. But it would work well as a Mikey line.
Rather than have him spew out this kind of snarky, sarcastic line, why not take this opportunity to give him a line or which shows the conflict within him -- faced with two very important crises, which does he chose?! Save his Master... or his brothers?


28.) Re: the following:

"ON A SMALL CONTROL PANEL where a FLESHY TENTACLE activates a RED EMERGENCY EJECT switch…"

A "fleshy tentacle"...? WTF?


29.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN'S HEAD flips in the air, the helmet falling off as MECHANICAL SPIDER LEGS spring from his neck!
Shredder flails wildly, waving for his head as the guys leap for him, triple kicking Shredder flat on his can!
MIKEY
How the shell did that happen?
ON MIKEY as Stockman's head CLAMPS onto his shoulder.
MIKEY
Low fiber diet?
STOCKMAN
Try resident super-genius.
MIKEY
<Girly Scream!> EW EW EW EW!"

The "Low fiber diet?" might be amusing in another context, but here is seems to make little to no sense. And the order of some of the lines here seems off, given the action. Here's how I would re-order them:


"STOCKMAN'S HEAD flips in the air, the helmet falling off as MECHANICAL SPIDER LEGS spring from his neck!
Shredder flails wildly, waving for his head as the guys leap for him, triple kicking Shredder flat on his can!
MIKEY
How the shell did that happen?
STOCKMAN
Try resident super-genius.
ON MIKEY as Stockman's head CLAMPS onto his shoulder.
MIKEY
<Girly Scream!> EW EW EW EW!"


30.) Re: the following:

"LEO
Baxter! What the heck's happening--?"

Doesn't sound like Leo -- I'd change it to:


"LEO
Baxter! What's happening--?"


31.) Re: the following:

"DON
Data Dump. No roads here…gotta do this…"

Don doesn't say "gotta".


32.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN
Physically, there's nothing you can do. But…Shredder's consciousness is too huge to upload completely, so he's probably still anchored in cyberspace."

Hmm... to have this make more sense (at least to me), perhaps it can be tweaked to make it clear that whatever internal computer memory the Stockman-Bot has -- which the Shredder has now taken over and is using to control the Stockman-Bot -- is too small to contain all of the Shredder's cyber-consciousness. 


33.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN's eyes widen as Leo's SHELL PHONE falls to the floor. Stockman carefully moves for it…and plugs in a small TENDRIL…"

"Small TENDRILL"...? Is this anything like the ""fleshy tentacle" referred to earlier? Is someone confusing Stockman with an Utrom? (I know it's confusing ME!)


34.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN (ELECTRONIC)
YO, SHELLHEAD!!"

Oh, please. Stockman would not say "Yo"... and very likely he wouldn't say "shellhead".


35.) Re: the following:

"STOCKMAN
You'd better get with the program, or your brothers are gonna be shredded!!"

Nor would he say "gonna".


36.) Re: the following:

"DON
Shredder?! LEO! But-- "

THE Shredder.


37.) Re: the following:

"LEO
Someone help me down before I feint?"

Sounds like a Mike line, not a Leo line... and it's "faint", not "feint", in any event.


38.) Re: the following:

"RAPH scrambles for Leo while Mikey scoops up Stockman.
STOCKMAN
Before he can regain control!"

Stockman's line here needs to be a little better connected to what is happening.


39.) Re: the following:

"DON
I already lost my FATHER, SHREDDER…I'm NOT losing them too!"

Take out the "Shredder", and this reads fine.


40.) Re: the following:

"Don smirks and DIGITIZES OUT…"

"Smirks"? Inappropriate and un-Don-like. "Smiles", "grins" or even nothing at all would work.


41.) Re: the following:

"MIKEY
That's the Don-dizzle I'm talkin' about! I knew he wouldn't let us down!"

Can we please never do another "-izzle" thing, please... unless we're making a satiric comment on played-out slang?


42.) Re: the following:

"On STOCKMAN, wetting his armor."

Not literally, I hope.


43.) Re: the following:

"DON
They collapsed into a high-speed data stream…but energy can't be destroyed, so I've been able to construct an algorithm to find them…"

Energy can't be destroyed, true, but in this context, INFORMATION can be... which is what Splinter's "data bits" are. I think this would work better if we just took out the part about " energy can't be destroyed", as follows:


"DON
They collapsed into a high-speed data stream…but I'll be able to construct an algorithm to find them…"


-- Peter

3 comments:

  1. sorry if im beating a dead-"turtle" (and sorry for the corny joke but i did grow up watching the cartoon)but i feel that it is necessary to divulge my opinion.
    it is images like the one of baxter you just posted that boggles my mind as to why Michael bay feels a need to ignore source material, in which much of the content has remained latent within past movies, that is filled with a plethora of sci-fi, fantasy, robots, ninjas, mutants.... its goes on. the only things i can think of that is missing to make it a more marketable movie plot is zombies and vampires thrown in.
    honestly the vol. 1 mirage story line is oozing (<--- another corny joke) with things michael bay can cg-i-rape us with. mousers, utroms,triceratons,fugitoid, space travel, clone worms, leather head and so on. i just dont get why its necessary to make the turtles aliens. to make it seem like it could really be possible? are you on crack mr bay? so im supposed to believe there just happens to be a race millions of miles away that looks identical to species found on earth? we can call them turtleoids... that has not been done before. (<--- sarcasm)i guess i should just be happy it means they cant have ben afflec (who played daredevil) be the one who pushes the old man out of the way to cause the accident that creates the turtles. actualy, id much rather that than lightyear alien Moq'bara turtleoids. (did you get the trek reference?)

    anyways, before i become to disjointed (little late for that), ill try and wrap this up. we just want a good movie. i dont expect you to try and change anything, its out of your hands now. just talking to one of the creators of something loved and seeing them feel the same way about their creative property as you feel eases the pain of dealing with directors trying to ruin our childhoods. my second favorite comic book is the manga dragon ball (its funny to note that a dragon in one of the original series episodes is the same as dragon ball, i think its an ep. with usagi. toei animated the first 5 eps. of tmnt and was the animator of dragon ball) which was horribly translated in to dragonball evolution. seeing akira toriyama didn't like it, but stating so in the very japanese polite way, made me feel better.

    but i digress again, what i want is something true to the origins of tmnt. whats wrong with a nice trilogy going through volume 1? kill shredder in the begining of the movie and get going with the mousers and fugitoid arc. end it with the return of shredder and the turtles forced to the farm house. movie 2 return to new york movie 3 city at war.

    sorry for that rant, but i needed to say it. tmnt has been part of my life for the 25 years ive been around and will be for many more. thanks for all the great comics and hope one day you will at least finish up volume 4 (a fan finished vol 3 after how long. did you see that? for what its worth its pretty cool). i have faith you will eventually finish, but you deserve your break from it for as long as you want. look at the beach boys, brian wilson finished smiles in 2004 and now hes touring with them again. (i saw them last night in nj and they are amazing!)

    hope all is well and good luck with any future projects.

    --Tommie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to do a bit of editing on you Mr.Laird :) Normally I like your line changes, but as soon as april said the 'You Saved me' line in the Engagment ring episode, I just thought it came off as stating the obvious and un needed. She'd have invited them to the wedding even if only the old shop keeper saved her ;o)

    ReplyDelete