Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blast from the Past #587: July 22, 2002: Re: Name Clearances and notes on Ep. 10 premise/outline, "Nano"2nd draft, and Episode 7 first draft, and July 31, 2002: Re: Notes

Subj: Re: Name Clearances
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002 10:39:27 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Gary Richardson


I have no significant problems with any of the names except for "Machette" ("machete" spelled wrong) and Shiv, both alternate names for Hun which I think are weak. Maybe we could call him "Shun".

Another possibility for the turtle phone -- "The Shellular".



Subj: notes on Ep. 10 premise/outline, "Nano"2nd draft, and Episode 7 first draft
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002 10:58:54 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm back home for a few days, and here are my comments as follows:

Episode 10 premise/outline:

1.) Several times in this outline Hun is referred to as "the Hun". I assume this is just a quirk and we are not now calling him "the Hun".

2.) On page 3, Leo is "...up on a rooftop getting some open space..." This seems kind of casual given the previous episodes' big concerns about the Turtles going aboveground.

3.) On page 4, Saki tells Leo that his adversaries' goal is "... the absolute and total domination of the planet." I would think Leo would view this kind of super-villainish claim as totally whacko and thus not terribly convincing.

4.) Is Splinter's "mystic vision" bit really necessary? I think not. And it also sets a precedent for Splinter being able to mystically view REAL -- not mystic -- events over long distances, which I don't think we want to establish.

5.) The BIGGEST -- and perhaps insurmountable -- problem with this whole tale is the idea that in the fifteen years that they have been together, the Turtles have never asked Splinter or been told by Splinter how/why the heck they came to be NINJAS, of all things. How could this be? Weren't they ever curious? Doesn't seem likely at all. Maybe the Turtles could have known most of the story, but for whatever reason Splinter left out the identity of Saki. But even that doesn't really make much sense.

6.) On page 6, Hun appears in the flashback to when Yoshi was killed (about fifteen years ago). Has Hun been with the Foot and the Shredder for that long? Why is it even necessary to tie Hun in with the origin story of the Turtles? Including Hun in the scene with Saki and Yoshi makes the Shredder appear a bit wimpy -- like he can't handle Yoshi by himself.

7.) How does Hun knock Leo's swords out of his hands?



(Note: As the pages were not numbered, I refer to them as if page 1 was the first page of Act One.)

1.) I was kind of shocked to see on page 2 the sadism of Dr. Richards. I had come to view her as a kindly (grand)motherly type, but after she cruelly zaps the Nano "painfully" to make it deconstruct its humanoid figure, and refers to the Nano's "personifying" with scorn and derision, I don't really like her any more. And while I understand why she reacts the way she does for the sake of the story, I have to say that I don't quite buy the idea that any cybernetics researcher would react to seeming evidence of real artificial intelligence with such a cavalier attitude.

2.) On page 9, when Casey encounters April for the first time, a couple of his (and her) lines seem awkward. Especially Casey's following line:

(no tact)
So you're hiding out here in your "Daddy’s" junk shop instead of doin’ what you really wanna do with your life?

        It seems to come out of nowhere in a too blatantly, purposefully critical and perceptive (for Casey) way. I suggest changing their exchange to something like this:

(no tact)
I get it -- while you're waitin' for another real job to come along, you can play in your Pop's junk shop. Cool.

(bridles, sputtering)
It’s an Antique Shop - - and I’m not playing --!  This is a real... you can't judge--!

Hey, whatever, babe. 

3.) On page 13, beginning of Act Two, wouldn't the Nano's disassembling of the burglar alarm actually set off the alarm? I think that's the way most alarm systems work. Perhaps instead of disassembling the alarms, the Nano uses its cybernetic powers to reprogram them to "disarmed" mode (easily shown in the animation by a close-up of the alarm's LCD panel showing the words "Armed" or "Alarm On" changing to "Disarmed" or "Alarm Off").

4.) On page 15, before the cool shot of Casey outside April's apartment keeping watch (great image), Raph says "Don't worry April. We've got you covered." The way this comes on the tails of all the Mikey sleepover stuff makes it seem oddly timed. Perhaps immediately before this line of Raph's April could reiterate how nervous she is about the break-ins.

5.) Is Casey wearing his hockey mask when he confronts Harry? Might be kind of cool to show how the Nano reacts to Casey's mask.

6.) What if the car that the Nano disassembles on page 18 is actually Harry's brand new ride, purchased with his new ill-gotten gains? Might be funny to see his horrified reaction as the Nano takes it apart.

7.) On page 20, one of Mike's lines -- "I knew you were gonna say that..." is mislabled as a Don line.

8.) On page 21, I would suggest replacing Leo's "What do you know about this?" line (spoken to Harry) to something like "Are you responsible for this -- thing?!"
I really don't think April would pillow Casey's head on her lap (too intimate at this point) -- just have her check his pulse or dilation of his pupils or something. And his line about whether "... April digs me.." is too much too soon also. I suggest changing it to something like "S-so... did I win...?" or "Anybody get the number of that truck...?"

9.) On page 24, Don discusses how the little chunk of Nano he has is reproducing itself. I don't think we ever find out what happens to this chunk. Is it destroyed? Or does it continue to reproduce and create a threat down the road?
Also, while it is absolutely not necessary, I would love it if we could get into this story, maybe in this scene, one of my favorite lines from the original comics -- "Robots make my skin crawl!" Probably Raph would say it.

10.) On page 26, why does Harry have his "throne" and "little kingdom" in a junkyard? I don't recall this from earlier stages. Is this really his hideout?

11.) I like the emotional content of the ending of the Nano... good stuff.

12.) I got a real queasy feeling reading that last scene between April and Casey where she is throwing crockery at him as they argue. Isn't this like one of the most offensive stereotypes of how women argue with men? And isn't she the one who made such a big deal about the breakage of stuff in her antique shop earlier? It's not even necessary -- just use the dialogue as is and give them appropriate gestures.


Episode 7 first draft:

1.) On page 7, I would change Casey's line to read "Whoa! Raph, your crib's even more awesome than you said!" to avoid the awkwardness of the "Your guys' crib's..." phrasing.

2.) On page 9, "whose" is misspelled "who's" in Don's first line. Also on this page, Don's comment about the Turtles getting their "hair up" is just plain odd. They don't have hair. Some other line would be appropriate. And in Leo's last line on this page, I think he would say "bunch of" rather than "buncha".

3.) On page 10, I would substitute "bros" for "homeys" in Raph's first lines.

4.) I'm still not clear whether Casey is wearing his hockey mask in his and Raph's fight scene with the Purple Dragons and Foot Tech Ninjas.

5.) On page 25, shouldn't there be several blips when Don's scanner picks up the multiple Foot Tech Ninjas tailing Raph?

That's it from me for now.



Subj: Re: Notes
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 10:59:09 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 7/31/02 8:47:09 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Howdy boys -

Haven't heard from Peter since last Tuesday, so just wondering when I might
expect notes on Final 5, revised 7, outline for 8 and premise for 9.  I've
already gone ahead and started revising 8 & 9, but I'd like Peter's input
before I go too far.  I've also written up an outline for a show that I'd
like to insert between 8 and 9 (it needs to happen before show 10), and that
will go out today.>>


I am back from vacation now, and have some comments for you on some of the above, as follows:


"Fallen Angel" Episode 12 Premise -- Overall, not bad, has promise.

1.) On page 1, when Angel and the Purple Dragons are trying to rob the store, suddenly the Turtles and Casey are there. Why?

2.) On pages 2 and 3, the Battlewagon (Hey, how about "BATTLESHELL" as a name for that vehicle?) is parked INSIDE the lair apparently to set up what is a pretty ridiculous slapstick sequence where the Battlewagon runs over and breaks a bunch of stuff (while Don and Mikey "...stare with jaws agape..." like morons). Why isn't the Battlewagon being worked on in the warehouse/garage, which makes a heck of a lot more sense?

3.) On the last page, there's a battle where Casey is able to take Hun out with one blow from a baseball bat while moments earlier all FOUR of the Turtles with all their weapons barely make a mark on him. This seems ludicrous.


"The Garbageman" Episode 9 outline -- Overall, not too thrilling. Weak, silly villain. 

1.) When the Turtles are in the "abandoned junkyard" with the homeless guys, are they in their usual garb or are they wearing their trenchcoat disguises?

2.) On page 2 "The Truck" creates "... a slick they have to leap over". As I assume the Turtles are chasing the Truck in their Battlewagon, how  do they "leap" a "slick"? Also, on this page, why do the Turtles row out to the island? Why not swim? (They ARE turtles, after all...)

3.) The epilogue struck me as being very silly and unnecessary.


"Cold Blooded" Episode 8 Outline revised -- WAY different from the first draft, though not necessarily in a good way. Lots of "Fred Wolf" feeling in this one.

1.) The pizza gag which runs through this whole episode reminds me of the bad old days. It also seems unnecessary -- I'd lose it.

2.) How does Mike discover the crocodile is a pregnant female? 

3.) The "quintuplets" bit is silly and seems only to exist as a setup for a lame "clones" joke. Yuck.

4.) The design of the poachers vehicle seems REALLY silly, with "... a variety of cages, aquariums, etc.... attached to the OUTSIDE of the VEHICLE, ready to accommodate captured animals." I guess this is to make these criminals and their getaway vehicle MORE CONSPICUOUS And a "... GIANT TESLA COIL..."? Just to bust through the zoo gates? And why blow the gates " smithereens" anyway? Isn't this going to be a bit noisy?

5.) On page 3, why does Mike come "reeling" in? Is he drunk?

6.) On page 4, Kreeger's cyber forearm is somehow able to not only detect Mikey's footsteps but also their direction AND destination. Is it just me or can these freakin' cyber forearms do EVERYTHING? (Up until the next to last paragraph, of course.)

7.) How big is this croc? Both Kreeger and Mikey are able to carry it. I thought this creature was a lot bigger, for some reason. Also, on page 5 the croc "leaps from Mikey's arms". Can crocs leap?

8.) Mikey's "surfing skills"? How about "ninja skills"?

9.) On page 7, Mikey climbing on to the side of the truck and ripping off each of the compartments to find an access to the inside of the truck is just stupid. He can't look for a door? Oh wait, he does... after ripping off all of the compartments.
Also on this page -- wasn't the crocodile struggling when Mike saw it last? Is he really so stupid that he can't tell a stuffed toy from a live STRUGGLING croc?
And these poachers having laser weapons which can slice through steel seems a bit much.

10.) On page 8, we have Mikey deflecting "Air Punches" with his nunchuks. One of the deflected "Air Punches" knocks down a piece of sewer wall which "cuts off access to a tunnel (implying it's a pretty BIG piece of wall). Doesn't it seem silly that his little 'chuks could deflect something with so much energy?
Also on this page -- how does Don determine that Mike entered the zoo from the north entrance, based on what they learned about how much he paid for the pizza? Did I miss something? And Leo's instructions for the Turtles on how to "look for what has been disturbed" somehow leads Don to sense "a nearby spot of concrete which is cooler than the others." WHAT!??!!! That makes NO sense to me.

11.) On page 9, the whole first paragraph with Mikey and the video camera (which somehow miraculously can see the same special spectrum of light which Kreeger's tracker gizmo can see) is silly/stupid and should go.
Also, Mike's "wild TWISTY move" which somehow twirls Kreeger like a ballerina and trusses him up in his own cables feels like a desperation move by the writer to end this thing.
And why is this hardass poacher suddenly reduced at the end of this episode to "rambling and mumbling nonsense"?


<<We sent out some models that we need approvals on (Foot Tech with revised
logo comes to mind).   I'll check what else is pending and send you a list
in a follow up e-mail.>>

Okay. I saw the "secret elevator" drawings today and thought that while it didn't look ANYTHING like what I had in my mind, I like it. 

<<We're hoping to send a revised, more contemporary version of the TMNT song
(to possibly be used for the main title) by the end of the week.>>

Look forward to it!

<<Peter, hope you're enjoying your vacation.>>

I was!