Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blast form the Past #627: August 5, 2003: Re: FW: Profile 41, 42, 43, August 6, 2003: Re: Episode 45 first draft, and August 8, 2003: "Slam Hockey"

(Note: I'm getting near the end of the emails regarding my part in the development of the 4Kids TMNT animated series, and probably have just a few weeks worth of posts of them left to go. After that, I am going to post some of the emails between me and Kevin Munroe about the development, from my perspective, of the story for the 2007 TMNT animated feature film...

... and that should be pretty much it for this blog, with the exception of a few items here and there. I really don't expect to have much more to post here, with the possible exception of a TMNT drawing or artifact which turns up during a future archeological excavation (translation: cleaning my rooms). Maybe I will do an "Ask PL" now and then. -- PL)


Subj: Re: FW: Profile 41, 42, 43
Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2003 12:10:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


These parts of the Christmas story are fine, except for one thing in part 43. That is this bit below:

Clandestinely, April pays the Silver Sentry five bucks.
Thanks.  I think they fell for it.
My pleasure.

I think it's a fine gag to have April conspire with Silver Sentry to appear to win at arm wrestling when Raph and Casey have failed, but giving him five bucks seems kind of cheesy. I'd prefer something else (like maybe a package of Christmas cookies that she has baked, or the recipe for same, and maybe one earlier line or two can set this up) or nothing at all, maybe just a high-five.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Episode 45 first draft
Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2003 11:31:59 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 8/6/03 8:59:03 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

Any notes on 45 first draft?

Lloyd >>


Here ya go!


Ep. 45 first draft/"Rogue in the House, Part One" comments

1.) Re: the following:

And so I stand before the world…
PULL BACK to reveal the new powerful Exo-suit. As the lights illuminate, the Shredder raises the suit’s arms, testing them, the new armor gleaming, looking even more wicked than before!

How different are we thinking here, for the Shredder's new suit? I'm not really interested in going off on some wacky tangent with a lot of overkill, bigger blades, spikes, etc. However, if we want to do a subtle redesign, I'm open to it -- and given how important the Shredder is to our show, we should probably start on that ASAP.

2.) Re: the following Shredder line:

But, we have little time to waste.  My situation on this planet has hardly been more precarious than now.  The Utroms may have gone, but it is a certainty that they will return in force and try to recapture me.

Should the Shredder refer to his foes as "the Utroms", given that he, too is actually an Utrom? Should he instead say something like "The other Utroms and their cursed Guardians may have gone.." Just wondering...
Also, it just occurred to me that one course of action for the Shredder, rather than waiting on Earth for the Utroms to return and hunt him down, might be for him to start investigating ways to LEAVE Earth, either through space travel, dimension-hopping, or whatever. Might be fun to play around with. And thinking about THAT leads me to another wacky idea -- what would an alliance between the Shredder/Foot and the Triceratons be like?

3.) Re: the following Shredder line:

It is Stockman.  Good to see you, Dr. Stockman.  Have you lost weight?

Well, OBVIOUSLY he's lost weight! I get the idea that it is a little bit of cruel humor on the Shredder's part, but I wonder if it might be better said, like:

It is Stockman.  Good to see you, Dr. Stockman.  You've lost weight! It suits you.


It is Stockman.  Impressive weight loss, Dr. Stockman... a new exercise program, perhaps?

4.) Re: this Stockman line:

Go ahead and laugh.  If it wasn’t for the information your flunkies extracted from my mind regarding robotics, your technology never would have advanced to this level.  You never could have done it without me!

Saying that the information was "extracted" from his mind implies to me that they just sucked it out of him without his consent, which to me also implies that they don't really need him or need to deal with him and his egotistical quirks. I think it would work better for the story if we establish that Baxter helped them, but through a series of negotiations, helped along of course by the arm-twisting (or would that be nerve twisting?) by Hun.

It also just occurred to me that in addition to the pain zap to get Stockman to comply with their wishes, it would be DOUBLY effective to have a companion PLEASURE zap, almost something that Stockman would get addicted to, a reward for doing good work for the Foot. This could be shown as part of Hun's demonstration for the Shredder, most likely BEFORE the pain zap.

5.) Re: the following exchange:

Karai, you must trust me more than that.  This is a very important example.  An example of what happens to those who disobey my commands.  Is that clear?

EXTREME CLOSE-UP - on Karai as she remains silent, staring down, disagreeing.
CLOSE - on Hun as he bows in agreement with the Shredder.

34. HUN
Crystal.  It’s an example of the leadership we’ve been missing.  All the more reason we’re happy you’re back, master.  Now if I may show you some of what we’ve been able to create.

I think I get what the writer is trying to do -- have Hun get in a dig at Karai as he also kisses up to the Shredder -- but it doesn't SOUND like Hun to me, especially the "Crystal." bit. In fact, isn't the Shredder talking to Karai and asking HER if it is clear? I don't think Hun would answer a question the Shredder was posing to Karai as if he (Hun) had been asked it.
I think this scene would work better with just a smug look from Hun who is enjoying Karai's discomfiture, and then an edited version of his lines as follows:

34. HUN
Now, Master, if I may show you some of what we’ve been able to create...

6.) I know this might require a lot of rewriting, but it just occurred to me that this might be fun -- what if one of the Turtles (Raph, maybe) senses something odd about the "Splinter" that they meet in the sewers (the one who is actually a robot)? What if he perceives that this Splinter doesn't "smell" right, and actually provokes a fight with the Splinter robot, to the horror of his brothers... and Raph is only proven right when moments later the REAL Splinter arrives, as in the script?

7.) Can we put another "Robots make my skin crawl" line in here, maybe right after Zog takes the Splinter robot apart? I think we did it in another episode, and I think it was from Raph and should be again (although maybe I'm getting the show confused with the comics). It's not a big deal, and certainly not necessary, but it's one of my favorite lines.

8.) Instead of Zog running behind the ShellSleds the whole way to the Shredder's hideout, how about one of the Turtles returning to their lair and getting the bigger SewerSlider (which I'm sure Playmates would like!) so that Zog can ride? Doesn't Donatello actually do something like that to get the "direction finder", or does he have a "direction finder" on him for some reason? The scene in question goes like this:

PAN UP – to Donatello holding up the module, fascinated.

It’s a remote control.  And if this Splinter is receiving remote instructions, we can trace the signal!


CLOSE - on Donatello’s hands as he holds up a Direction Finder wired into the Remote Control Module.

… With a Direction Finder!

What if we change it to something like this:

PAN UP – to Donatello holding up the module, fascinated.

It’s a remote control.  And if this Splinter is receiving remote instructions, we can trace the signal! Hold on -- I'll be right back!

Donatello jumps onto his ShellSled and ZOOMS off toward the Turtles' sewer lair.


The SEWERSLIDER zooms up with Donatello at the controls, coming to a sharp stop near the others. Donatello leaps out of the SewerSlider, some kind of gadget in his hands.

CLOSE - on Donatello’s hands as he holds up a Direction Finder wired into the Remote Control Module.  

Voila! -- my Direction Finder!

9.) "Stating the obvious" dept.:

ANGLE - on Splinter in foreground as a figure moves along the railing in far background, and he ducks into the shadows.

CLOSE - on a Foot Ninja guard walking along the deck of the ship, patrolling.

That guard; a Foot Ninja!

I think we can safely lose that Splinter line -- I'll bet our audience knows what the Foot ninjas look like by now.

10.) I don't get the point of all of the following:

ANGLE - on railing of freighter.  Above, two Foot Ninja walk by, weapons ready, patrolling the deck.  Below, Raphael arrives at the top of the mooring line, and turns back.

If we take these guys out, the alarm gets pulled, and no way we find out what they’re up to in there.

TWO SHOT - looking down the rope to Leonardo and Splinter crouched below.

Donatello said a ship carrying this much equipment is going to need extra cooling vents for the power supplies…

HIGH ANGLE – down the side of the ship to a cooling vent down the sheer side of the hull.

… like that one right there.

CLOSE - on twin laser turrets that guard the vent.

Along with the security system he said to watch out for!

ANGLE - on Raphael as he puts a sai between his teeth and takes out a grappling line, attaching the hook to the railing above.

Time to play target practice, with me as the target!

WIDE - on side of ship as Raphael launches himself, swinging silently out over space!

CLOSE - on the laser turrets as they pick up his movement, turn and start <firing!>
ANGLE - on Raphael swinging in a wide arc, laser beams flashing past him, turning and ducking in mid-swing to avoid being hit!

CLOSE - on the cooling vent as Leonardo quickly climbs down the sheer face of the hull using ninja climbing apparatus, and while the laser turrets are occupied with Raphael, takes one out with a <swipe> of his katana.

ANGLE - on Raphael reaching the end of his swing at the other turret, and <pinning it> with a sai straight through the barrel of the laser.

TWO SHOT - of Leonardo extending a hand to Raphael.

I hate being the target!

I mean, it starts out with Raph saying something that doesn't seem to make much sense -- that if they take out the two Foot guards (I assume with ninja silence and stealth) then "the alarm" (?) will sound and they won't be able to get inside. Huh?
Then, immediately after he bemoans the idea that doing that will sound an alarm and draw attention to them, he and Leo start playing around with a freakin' LASER CANNON (!) which starts BLASTING away at them. Way to be stealthy, guys! I'm sure none of the Foot will notice that laser cannon going off.

11.) Donatello says:

Hey, if I can’t figure out a way to take out a floating Foot lab that has over a hundred and fifty tons of diesel fuel aboard, I might as well hang up my tool belt.

I think a better measure of the diesel fuel might be in gallons, as in "thousands of". I'm sure someone could research the actual facts of what a ship like this might be carrying for fuel.

That's it from me for now. I think this will be an exciting episode!

-- Pete


Subj: "Slam Hockey"
Date: Friday, August 8, 2003 2:05:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


"Slam Hockey"? Hmmm... Did anyone do a web search? I typed in "slam hockey" on Google and got 43,000 hits. Might be worth thinking up a different name... "battle hockey"/108 hits... "combat hockey"/91 hits... "hockey warz"/no hits... just a thought.

Here are some comments...

1.) Re: the shape of the rink on which "Slam Hockey" is played -- I think it's cool that there are some ramps and obstacles which don't exist on a regular hockey rink, but I think much more exciting visuals and action would result from having the whole playing surface be shaped like a "half-pipe" like the snowboarders and skateboarders use.

2.) I agree with Gary that the name "Golden Bears" is a little weak. Possible alternates: "Polar Bears", "Golden Grizzlies".

3.) I don't really have a problem with the "Golden Puck" being the beloved artifact, but it occurred to me that perhaps it would be cooler and work into the story a little better if the artifact was instead a "Golden Goalie" mask which at some point Casey could put on in place of his standard goalie mask.

4.) I guess I should just give up repeating my idea about the Texans being changed to Alaskans. It doesn't seem to ever make it into the story.

5.) Does it bother anybody that our "Golden Puck" thieves just abandon their undamaged and very likely extremely expensive Para-Hawks near the subway entrance? It seems like a silly action only there to set up one of the thieves dropping a matchbox in the subway -- something that surely could be done in a more interesting and logical fashion. The whole subway thing seems like a weird digression with no real point. I mean, these guys have FLYING MACHINES -- why the heck do they stop and take the freakin' SUBWAY???!!!

-- Pete


  1. Any comments on the most recent cast members in Michael Bay's TMNT film?

  2. Hey Mr. L!

    In regards to the bit about the future of this blog, do you happen to have any of your notes from the development of the Steve Barron film? Of course, it wouldn't be a handy copy/paste thing, but I'm sure you would have an audience hungry for info on the film. There's really next to nothing out there!

    On a side note, the Barron film and your comic work was a HUGE influence on my creativity as a child. I've always remained in touch with my creative side, as well as my inner child. Next month, I'm opening the doors on my own film/video production company-- a dream years in the making. It's corny, but without your work on the Turtles, I probably wouldn't be doing what I am now. Thanks for all of the creative inspiration!