Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blast from the Past #616: May 27, 2003: Re: Notes, and May 28, 2003: Re: TMNT - 034 Final script and revised Saki Utrom restraint helmet

(Note: While putting together this post, I noticed that the last part of it was from an email I sent to Lloyd Goldfine at 4:03AM. Four in the freakin' morning! It's difficult, at this point in my life -- when I have re-adopted a sane sleep schedule -- to believe that I regularly stayed up that late to work on this stuff. Just crazy. -- PL)

Subj: Re: Notes
Date: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 12:15:04 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/26/03 9:42:28 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Dear FutureMan -

Just a reminder.  We're anxiously awaiting your notes on 34 and 35!>>


I just sent my comments on Ep. 35. I don't have much to say about Ep. 34 -- I thought most of the changes were very good -- but there's one thing that jumped out at me, and that is the following scene:

*ON SHREDDER - Hun and the Elite Ninja gather around their fallen master in shock.  Suddenly Stockman looks up at them with an evil glint in his eye, raising his <SPARKING> claws.

Who wants to be next?

*HUN AND THE ELITE NINJA - look at one another.  Beat.  Then they all bolt for the exit!  
*STOCKMAN - skitters after them, claws <CRACKLING>.

Cowards!  I will destroy you all!

This really bugs me -- because it's not at all the way that Hun and/or the Shredder's Elite Guard would react, especially to a little pip-squeak robot with Baxter Stockman's head inside it who only through surprise managed to take down the Shredder (and only temporarily, as we see several pages later). These are really tough, kickass dudes -- I don't buy for a minute that they would turn tail and run, ESPECIALLY the Elite Guard, who are FANATICALLY devoted to the Shredder. This scene has the feeling of an attempt at humor which just falls flat.

I think we need to come up with some other reason for Hun and the Elite to leave. Maybe we could turn this on its head... maybe STOCKMAN -- recognizing that he's no match for the forces arrayed against him -- boogies out of the chamber, fleeing before the wrath of Hun and the Elite.

Now... that STILL leaves me feeling somewhat unsatisfied by the actions of the Elite, because I don't think they would leave the body (maybe even the LIVING body -- they're not SURE he's dead at this point) of their master the Shredder lying there. What if... the Elite pick up his body and take it with them? The Shredder is not seen again in the script until he throws the shuriken into the transmat console, so it would work nicely to imagine that the Elite carried him a some distance, he revived, and then came back to the Transmat chamber to try one last time to destroy his enemies.

(We wouldn't have to show or say anything about this -- but it would also be logical that when the Shredder revives, he orders the Elite and Hun to continue to pursue Stockman -- thus eliminating any need for us to have some or all of the Elite come back to the transmat chamber with the Shredder... unless, of course, that was desirable!)

<<Hope you had a great long weekend!


PS - Thanks once again for putting me up at your guest house and taking
me out on our two big Segway adventures!  I had a great time! >>

You're welcome! I'm glad you had a good time, and didn't seem to mind Parker jumping on you. Hopefully you can Segway again on another visit... you adapted to it well! (I still think 4Kids should supply Segways for its key employees... they could, uh, increase productivity... yeah, that's it!)

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - 034 Final script
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 1:10:45 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/27/03 6:02:27 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Good afternoon
Attached, please find the final draft of episode 034 "Secret Origins - Pt 2"
 <<034 Final Draft 5-27-03.doc>>  >>

I think the changes in the Shredder/Stockman/Hun/Elite scene work well to enhance the logic of the storytelling, but there's still something missing in the following scene:

**ON SHREDDER - Hun and the Elite Ninja gather around their fallen master in shock.  As Stockman <SKITTERS> away in the background and disappears into some duct work.

I’m free!  Free of him at last!

**HUN AND THE ELITE NINJA lift the "lifeless"/stiff body of the Shredder and carry him towards the door …
**ON SHREDDER in FOREGROUND - The Turtles, Splinter, Mortu and the Fugitoid look as their fallen enemy is carried out past our heroes but …

Is he…?

**CLOSE ON LIFELESS SHREDDER'S HAND - clutching something we can't see.  His hand droops and out rolls a TECHNO-ORGANIC GRENADE-LIKE DEVICE, which <PLUNKS> to the floor and …

**WIDER – Hun and the Elite Ninja carry the body of the Shredder out of the room and are gone as the small round device rolls towards the center of the room.

What bothers me here is that as described, Hun and the Elite seem to ignore the Turtles and Splinter and the Utroms, and vice versa. It's as if once the Shredder has been taken out, the fight is over. It's all too casual. The Elite just pick up the Shredder and walk out.  I don't think huge changes are necessary, but SOMETHING needs to be added to show that the tension is still high between the opposing forces -- maybe Hun carries the Shredder by himself (he's certainly strong enough) and he commands the Elite to be prepared to fight a rearguard action if the Turtles decide to attack as they try to leave with the Shredder's body (this doesn't even need to be done with dialogue -- just actions and gestures and looks to indicate that though the battle may have paused, the war is still on... maybe a glare at the Turtles and a single line from Hun like "This isn't over, freaks!" or something like that). The Turtles and Splinter and the Guardians should also be in fighting poses, ready to defend themselves if Hun and the Elite decide to continue to attack.
Other than that, I would say this one is approved.

-- Peter


Subj: revised Saki Utrom restraint helmet
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:03:24 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think the new version of the restraint helmet for the Saki Utrom is much improved. I have a few suggestions (see attached jpg file).

1.) Squared off points: just an aesthetic thing for me -- I like that look.

2.) Cross bar: I think there needs to be something going across that wide opening in the front of the helmet to assure that the squishy Saki Utrom does not squeeze himself out.

3.) Restraints under Utrom: This may have been the intent but I wanted it to be clear -- the restraint bars which come down the sides of the helmet also go UNDER the Utrom's body.

-- Pete

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