Friday, January 18, 2013

Blast from the Past #604: February 11, 200: Re: Meet Casey Jones, February 14, 2003: Re: Notes and stuff, and TMNT Episode 5: "Nano!"

Subj:  Re: Meet Casey Jones
Date:  Tuesday, February 11, 2003 9:43:01 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine

In a message dated 2/10/03 9:32:24 PM, Lloyd writes:

 Hey Peter -

Y'know, with all the chatter on the message boards about the
"high-quality" of the original series 1st three episodes (were these a
linked story?), maybe I should see 'em?  I kinda on purpose didn't go
back and watch any of the old episodes or movies while working up the
new show, but after 26 episodes, maybe I should take a peek?  What do
you think?  If yes, could you guys send us a copy?


I think either the first 3 or first 5 episodes were sort of connected, and Family Home Entertainment put out a tape which has the first three on it (I think they did more than that, also). Should you look at them? Hmmm... maybe... if only to pat yourself on the back for the great improvement that has been made since then! I don't see any reason why not, I guess. I think you should take the "high-quality" comments with a Turtle-sized grain of salt. I'll ask Katie to dig up a copy of that tape to send you.

As far as the behind the scenes video goes, I'm game!  We should do a
scene where we have a camera with me in the office in NY and one out by
you at the same time, and I call you, and all I get is your machine, and
the camera pans over to you still fast asleep in bed!

You ARE a funny guy! In all seriousness, I think it would be cool... and not a bad thing to include on the DVD.

We're cutting show 5 today and tomorrow!  Nano!  I finished the mix on
show 2.

Send tapes! Send tapes! (Actually, I've been wondering -- how much trouble would it be for you to burn DVD copies instead of, or in addition to, tapes?) 

Did you watch the picture cut on 4 (Meet Casey Jones)?

I did, and it was very cool. Love the opening and the motorcycle stuff (except for the fact that the brake lever which Raph grabs on Casey's bike is still on the wrong side!). The flashback with Hun worked well. I think Casey is going to be a great character and a great asset for this new series. I'm looking forward to seeing his first meeting with April. 

I was a TINY bit disappointed with some of the action (or editing, maybe?) in the fight scenes between Casey and Raph. It's something I've mentioned to you before -- there seems to be in some scenes an odd timing or pacing, i.e. a character should move quickly in a scene, but instead casually strolls. One example of this that really stuck out to me is when Raph engages Casey (who's wielding TWO baseball bats) and blocks/traps ONE of Casey's bats with a sai, and then struggles with him as they exchange some dialogue (probably about four or five seconds). What immediately leapt into my mind was "Why doesn't Casey whack Raph with his OTHER baseball bat, which is clearly (at least as far as I can tell) NOT being blocked/trapped by Raph?" He's got the time and the opportunity to do it. 

Another example is when Raph grabs Casey's arm to restrain him when Casey's about to beat on the purse snatchers -- Raph grabs the arm and they stand there wiggling for what seems like a REALLY long time, when in actual fact Casey would probably just bop Raph immediately upon being grabbed. I'm not sure how we can address this -- it may be something that is an unavoidable artifact of the way the shows are put together, i.e we can't stand over the shoulders of the animators in Korea and catch things like this as they're being done. What's your opinion?

And when the hell am I supposed to find time for NEXT season's story
arc?!  Arrrgh!

I think you need the time machine that JoEllyn must think I have, judging from the cover letter on the latest batch of storyboards ("Search For Splinter, Part 2"), dated February 7, 2003, in which she asks that I respond with comments "... by January 8th, 2003..." 

Speaking of those storyboards, I do have a couple of comments:

-- I'm a little concerned about the action on pages 4-12, where Don and Mike are falling and they save themselves. I know we're cheating a lot on "real" physics for this scene (the bit where Mike tells Don to "kick off" him as they fall so Don can slam against the window makes me wince), but I think anything we can do to make it more realistic will help to sell the scene AND make it more compelling. For one thing -- do they have to fall that far? (They are shown on page 12 having stopped "... about ten feet from the ground".) As you know, the longer you fall, the more speed and momentum you pick up, and if they actually fall that far, ten feet from the ground they would probably be moving so fast that there's no way in hell that the suction cup shukos would stick, and even if they did, they'd probably immediately be torn off instantly.
I'd like to suggest a couple of things. One, how about using slow motion to allow Don and Mike time to react before they have fallen that far? And two, when Don DOES manage to get his suction cups to stick, maybe he slides a little ways down the window, as a way of emphasizing the force which his falling has imparted.

A detail -- it says in the storyboards on page 6 that both his knee suction cups and the suction cup on one hand stick -- but the way it's drawn, only his knee cups are sticking.

-- I loved the whole Utrom reveal and shower scene. Cool!

-- Pete


Subj:  Re: Notes and stuff
Date:  Friday, February 14, 2003 12:14:29 AM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine

In a message dated 2/12/03 2:06:28 AM, Lloyd writes:
- I'll look into the DVD thing - I think it would just take us longer to
get them done...


Thanks. Actually, if 4Kids can do it and is willing to do it, it might actually make more sense to maybe save some time and only do it every three or four or five episodes (depending on how many can be stuffed onto one DVD). I suggest this because the main reason I'd like to have these eps on DVD is for reference purposes, and that would make it a heck of a lot easier. (Plus, I'm finding that I've got a bucketload of tapes beginning to pile up here!)

The action problem you describe is the kinda thing that keeps me up at
night!  It's a real sticky problem and I'm not exactly sure how to solve
it, but let's discuss...

Hmmm... this is probably not going to work out, time and money wise, but what if for key action sequences we actually had Dong Woo animate a few extra seconds for each scene -- maybe in different angles or close ups -- that could be inserted to tweak the timing in certain scenes? (I think the analogue in live action is what's called "coverage".) For example, in the scene where Raph grabs Casey's arm, animate a couple of seconds of Raph in closeup as he struggles with Casey, and maybe a closeup of Casey as he struggles back -- both of which could be cut in -- quick cuts -- to possibly reduce the awkwardness of that action as it appears when the whole thing is seen in a long or medium shot, where you see their whole bodies. Please feel free to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about!

-- Pete


Subj:  TMNT Episode 5: "Nano!"
Date:  Friday, February 14, 2003 12:03:26 AM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Golfine


I got the copy of the rough cut of Episode 5 ("Nano!") today... thank you! I watched it and thought it came out better than I expected. The Nano creature itself was I thought very cool and at times quite affecting -- the changing faces thing worked surprisingly well.

There were a couple of odd things worth noting (well, I think so anyway!):

-- when Casey is lying on the couch after fighting the Nanomonster, and April approaches him (view is from behind her) she walks REALLY weirdly -- almost spastically.

-- There's a moment when Mikey is being dangled by the big Nanomonster in the junkyard and his headband changes from orange to blue.

Some of the drawing of the Turtles seemed "softer" than previous episodes, and it made me wonder if Dong Woo has different teams of animators working on different shows. Do you know?

I'm finding that I really look forward to getting these tapes every week. Keep 'em comin'!

-- Pete

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