Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blast from the Past #589: August 8, 2002: Re: Sword of Tengu and Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2, August 9, 2002: Re: Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2, and August 13, 2002: Re: Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2, and other stuff

Subj: Re: Sword of Tengu
Date: Thursday, August 8, 2002 10:18:45 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 8/8/02 4:03:21 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Just a reminder - I re-faxed the sword sketch that Gary sent me.  Please
compare it to the one we sent you with the other models and let me know your
preference.  We're just trying to accommodate Playmates, and they've asked
for this model asap.

Thanks! >>


I got the fax from you as well as a copy from Gary. Frankly, I don't find either design very exciting but at the same time I don't find either objectionable, either. I doodled up an idea which I had after our conversation today -- I'll attach  a scan of it to this email. Basically, I thought it might be cool to have a very stylized Utrom shape as the pommel of the sword. Done properly, it would just appear to be some kind of bizarre demon head, and would not give away our big secret.



Subj: Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2
Date: Thursday, August 8, 2002 10:32:56 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I went over the storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2, and thought they were very cool and exciting. I have only three critical comments:

1.) In Act 1, on pages 74 and 75, Splinter wedges his walking stick into Raph's belt as Raph is lying on the floor in front of him, and FLINGS him -- one-handed, no less! -- bodily across the room. This seemed to me to be a pretty amazing display of strength for the old dude. I wonder if this should be reworked so that Splinter is somehow using Raph's own momentum to propel him across the room.

2.) In act 2, on page 149, Leo and Don stopping to laugh at Raph's shoving Mike seemed inappropriate, especially given the circumstances (Splinter may be in trouble). I would just have them not react at all to the shove.

3.) In Act 2, page 181 -- I thought the armored car's wheel was supposed to be directly on top of the manhole cover.



Subj: Re: Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2
Date: Friday, August 9, 2002 11:52:48 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 8/9/02 3:21:19 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete

<<Thanks for the notes on the board.  

Your e-mail said notes for Acts 1 & 2 - did you get Act 3 as well (it
should have come with Act 2 - where the Turtles fight the Foot Ninjas)?  I
just want to make sure you have it.  Act 4 will go out today.>>

I just got the boards for the third act today, and have reviewed them. I think they look really cool too, and I have only two comments, both Splinter-related.

1.) On pages 242 and 243, Splinter grabs and throws a Mouser with his... PREHENSILE TAIL???!!! I don't think Splinter has even done anything like this in any iteration of the TMNT, as far as I can remember. I don't think I want to go there now.

2.) On page 405, Splinter whacks a Mouser with his WOODEN WALKING STICK and apparently SHREDS it. This seems like a somewhat extreme effect.

<<I think your Sword of Tengu was PERFECT!  I was trying to figure out how to
hint at the Utrom connection without blowing it, but it never would have
occurred to me to actually STICK AN UTROM HEAD on the damn thing!  Nice job!
I'm just going to have our prop guy make it longer and more sword-ish. >>

I'm glad you liked it!

I look forward to getting more boards and the music you mentioned.

Talk to you next week!



Subj: Re: Storyboards for Episode 1 Acts 1 and 2, and other stuff
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 12:45:39 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 8/10/02 10:26:11 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< I also had the note about Splinter shredding the Mouser with a stick!
We will fix.

But as far as tossing a Mouser with his tail... I think that is totally
cool!  Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't think the tail action
was questionable in any way - he's a big mutant rat with a big mutant
rat tail... let's use the damn thing! I thought it was a nice touch.

I'll call you Monday and you can tell me I'm crazy! >>


You're crazy!

Seriously.... if we follow the logic in your statement above, we could have the turtles crawling on ceilings like geckos, extending their tongues several feet and changing the color of their skin like chameleons, running across water like the fabled "Jesus Lizard"  -- hey, they're mutant reptiles, after all! I have bad scary visions of Splinter using his prehensile tail to pick locks, untie ropes, play chess, serve tea, scratch himself, etc. YAHHHHH!!!!! I've always viewed their mutation this way -- basically it caused them to (A) get bigger, (B) get humanoid, and (C) get smarter. That's it. No special powers or weird physical abilities.

On to other subjects:

Storyboards for Act 4 of Episode 1: They look cool. No problems from my end.

Theme Song: Like Gary, I prefer the tweaked version of the first song you sent us. Not to say there isn't a better song which could be written, but of the two so far submitted, that's the better one. One thing: The "It's a whole new shell game!" line which comes at the end of that song might work better if it were made bolder -- right now it kind of fades out a bit limply. Just a thought.

Nano monster: I got a few variations when I got home, which are a bit better but still not quite there. Of the four images on these two pages, the one on the right side of the second page -- the one with the notes "head too big" and "overall too high" -- captures best the pieced-together look I was thinking of, with parts that almost look like they came from various common appliances. I think it could still stand to be a bit more asymmetric, with perhaps the torso especially needing to look less like a single piece. The other three figures, while interesting, don't give me that necessary feeling of a construct built from pieces of common stuff. 

        I know this is a difficult design problem (one of the reasons I haven't jumped in with my own sketches!), but to make this character really look cool we need to spend the time to actually THINK about the kinds of pieces of whatever various appliances, etc. can be assembled together to make a convincing little robot weirdo -- maybe even take a stroll through a junk store or junkyard to get some ideas. For example: Could a gooseneck lamp stem become an arm or leg? How about the shell of a toaster as the chest cavity? Could part of a camera become an eye? How about a pair of push lawnmower wheels as hip joints? A pair of vice-grip pliers for a hand? And so on, and so on...

Sword of Tengu: What a great design! <g> Seriously, it looks fine.

-- Peter


  1. About the glove that comes with sword of Tengu. How Leo was able to wore it? He has a three-fingered hand.

    1. Margui, you make a good point. I have a vague memory of this coming up in discussions with Lloyd, but I can't be sure if I am remembering that correctly.

      One possible explanation for this is that although the glove looks outwardly like a glove, inside it it more like a mitten. Or that the finger holes in the glove were big enough that Leo was able to fit two of his fingers into three of them.

      Or that we just made a mistake! -- PL