Friday, April 5, 2013

Blast from the Past #631: September 3, 2003: Re: Big Brawl Notes, and September 5, 2003: Re: Shows 49-52 and Re: Show 49

Subj: Re: Big Brawl Notes
Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2003 11:00:26 PM

From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 9/3/03 6:31:41 PM, bLloyd writes:

<<Hey Pete!

Send me yer Big Brawl notes asap!




Great phone call today! Sorry about your eye problems... I was looking forward to your visit.

Onward to "Big Brawl" comments:

1.) Re: the following:

We’re gonna to lose Master Splinter’s trail!

I think that either "to" should go, or "gonna" should be "going".

2.) Re: the following:

There has been some form of mistake.  The Gom-Tai were to fight the Frumpoids … not you Earthers.  In fact, the only Earther registered is Splinter.

What if we have the Gyogi formally call Splinter "Hamato Splinter", after Hamato Yoshi (i.e. Splinter, when competing in the nexus, honors his former master Yoshi by using the Hamato family name)? And... "Frumpoids"...? Can we come up with a better name?

3.) Re: the following:

This is not as it should be.  I am sorry but I must attend to placing the Frumpoids against another entry group.  If you will excuse me …

I think changing it as follows would be more logical:

This is not as it should be.  To properly compete in the games you must register correctly, at the entry pavilion. Now I must reschedule the match between the Gom-Tai and the Frumpoids...

Even if we DON'T show the Turtles going through a proper entry procedure (which I still like as an idea but will concede is not absolutely necessary, although it would be fun), I think it would be good to imply that there IS a correct, established procedure for entering the games.

4.) I am even more convinced now that all the back-story (as told by D'Jinn) about Yoshi and his battle with Drako is 99% irrelevant and should be taken out (lines 104 through 115 at least). This is really Splinter's story, and Yoshi's tale is more or less repetition. We don't even need to elaborate about how Splinter came to know about these competitions, beyond one or two lines -- maybe one of the Turtles can ask him how he knew about the Nexus and the Big Brawl, and Splinter could simply say something like "When my master Hamato Yoshi still lived, he would come to compete in the Nexus, and bring me with him as his mascot."

5.) Re: the following:

SPLINTER looks up.  Suddenly, his face is bathed in WHITE LIGHT.
121. D’JINN (V.O. CONT’D)
But then, something happened.  Something turned the tide.
OTS SPLINTER looks up and sees, surrounded by a glowing white light, the form of Master Yoshi kneeling in meditation.  Yoshi smiles and nods at Splinter.

This is way too sappy, and not needed. I would lose it.

6.) Re: the following:

Wow.  This is big.  This is… huge!  This is like finding out your old man is… SUPERMAN!

I would replace "old man" with "dad".

7.) Re: the following:

THE GYOJI hovers forward and bows.
144. GYOJI
The four Earthers have qualified to be admitted into the tournament, my lord.
Then, they should be.  By all means … of course if you deem it acceptable, old friend.

I would prefer it if the Gyogi says -- somewhat hesitantly -- something about how irregular the Turtles' entry into the games has been so far, and then have the Daimyo invoke some royal right to make an exception to the rules which allows them to participate without going through all the typical entry stuff and qualification matches, etc.. 

8.) Re: the following:

But, they have gotten here … and they have won their preliminary bout.

I suggest a slight change to this line, as follows:

But, they have gotten here, on their own initiative … and they have won their preliminary bout.

9.) Re: the following:

Thank you.  And, as a token of my esteem to you all, I will withdraw from this contest.

Is there a reason for him to do this? I don't see it in this script.

10.) Re: the following:

SIDE VIEW – PAN WITH – The Ultimate Ninja leads the four turtles past weapons and armor and trophies etc. of past victors (including Shredder’s helmet), and they pass wax statues of FORMER CHAMPIONS.  They pass DARK ASSASSINS #1, #2, and #3 standing on pedestals as if they are wax figures.>>

I'm a little concerned that the Turtles could pass by these three living and breathing "Dark Assassins" and be fooled into thinking that they are statues. I would suggest doing something a little different -- maybe have them actually hiding within breakaway plaster-type shells of three famous champions, which split and shatter when they attack Leo, or maybe they have some kind of illusion power which lets them bend light to look like statues.

11.) Re: the following:

Impressive is it not?  Here is a wax figure that may interest you.
CLOSER ON – THE TURTLES stop before a wax figure of Master Yoshi.
It’s … it’s Master Yoshi.
In a moment of reverence, the four turtles bow to the wax figure.  Then, the Ultimate Ninja turns to Leonardo

This is not a bad bit, but I wonder if it might work better if either (a) right after the statue of Yoshi there is a statue of SPLINTER, or (b) there is ONLY a statue of Splinter. Remember, the Turtles never knew Yoshi -- they've only heard of him through Splinter's stories. And I think seeing a statue of their beloved master Splinter in this "Hall of Heroes" would REALLY blow their minds (like if you find out that when they were younger your parents were actually REAL PEOPLE WHO DID COOL STUFF!!!).

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Shows 49-52
Date: Friday, September 5, 2003 11:13:17 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Carole

In a message dated 9/4/03 1:12:30 PM, Carole at 4Kids writes:

<< Hi Peter,
We've been copying Stan Sakai on all of the script materials for these
episodes. Is there any artwork that you or Stan want to send to us for this
story arc, as we will begin design work on 49 early next week?  Looking
forward to hearing back from you about this as soon as possible.  Thanks.
Best regards,


Thanks for sending Stan all that material. In terms of design stuff, there is nothing that I have right now to send to you, though I expect I will have comments and suggestion on designs as we go along. I can't speak for Stan, though, so maybe you should ask him that same question. Obviously, as for any designs for Usagi and any of Stan's other characters who are going to appear in those episodes, it will be very important to get those to Stan right away, as I'm sure he will have specific comments about keeping those characters looking like they should. Also, it just occurred to me that it would make a lot of sense to get Stan involved with the voice choices for those characters, as well.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: Show 49
Date: Friday, September 5, 2003 11:24:32 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think it might be a tad too early to finalize the script, though I think we're pretty darned close. Here are my comments on the second draft of Script #49.

1.) I appreciate that the story D'Jinn tells about Hamato Yoshi has been shortened, but it still seems irrelevant and unnecessary -- and repetitious -- to me. I mean, it's one fight against Drako, which he loses, followed IMMEDIATELY by ANOTHER fight with Drako... which he ALSO loses. And I have yet to have explained to me WHY anyone still thinks we need it, especially given our time issues. However, I will at this point conditionally approve its continued inclusion -- the condition being that when I'm done reading this draft, I don't see that there are things that SHOULD be in this script but AREN'T because we've wasted time with the Yoshi story.
And I just realized that there is another flaw in this bit, a significant logical one. Re: the following:

120. * D’JINN (V.O. CONT’D)
… against Drako!  Drako was going to extract his vengeance from Splinter’s hide, to make an example of Yoshi’s pint-sized student for all to see.

How does Drako know that Splinter is Yoshi's "pint-sized student"? Remember, Yoshi brought Splinter with him to the nexus as a PRE-MUTATED, ordinary rat in a cage. When Splinter comes back and fights Drako, he's four feet tall, mutated and wearing clothes... and REALLY doesn't look much like his previous ordinary rat form. 
I really think we can lose this part of the flashback story, and I have something to suggest as a substitution which might be (a) cooler, (b) more logical, and (c) fill up whatever time we empty by taking out this Yoshi bit. I'll make this suggestion in a moment, in point 3.

2.) Gary made a good point about Splinter's broken leg, at least if it is, as described in the script, "obviously broken". I take that to mean visually flopping around, maybe with bone sticking through the skin, etc.. I don't think that's necessary, however, especially as we have D'Jinn narrating, and we can have him literally say something like "Splinter's leg was broken"... and have it be so, but have it be a FRACTURE kind of break instead of a literal snapped-in-two bone. As for the believability of Splinter continuing to fight with a broken leg, I think a broken-in-two bone WOULD put him out of the fight, but he could continue to fight with a FRACTURE, as I'm sure we have all seen in various athletic competitions (like that gymnast a few years ago who continued to compete in floor exercises, even with a leg fracture... ouch!). There was even an incident locally a couple of months ago, at the AMA National Motocross event in Southwick, MA, where one of the top riders in the 125cc competition, Ryan Hughes, broke his leg in the first of two motos and taped it up and rode through the pain in the second moto.

Perhaps we could do something where when Drako fractures Splinter's leg, we can point it out by having the fight paused by the Gyogi, and Splinter is offered the option of quitting... but to the leering Drako's disbelief and dismay, Splinter splints (!) and tapes his leg up and continues on to victory. This might be better as it makes crystal clear exactly how brave and strong Splinter is, AND what kind of pain he is in.

3.) Here's the suggestion/substitution I mentioned in point 1: What if, when Splinter has won his match over Drako and is later ambushed by Drako and his goons in the deserted bazaar, he gets some help -- from Usagi Yojimbo! Perhaps a visibly younger Usagi, perhaps accompanied by his Sword Master. They could jump in and take out several of the attackers, but the Ultimate Daimyo could still intervene at the critical moment as he does in the script. I dig this idea because it introduces Usagi in a neat way and establishes him right off the bat as a noble character.

4.) Regarding Gary's other problems with Don and his chalk and Leo's swords breaking: I think it's just as likely (or unlikely) that Don would have a piece of chalk in his bag of tricks as he would a can of spray paint or a marker. So I don't have a problem with that.

As for the swords, in something of an odd coincidence, in the issue of the TMNT comic book which Jim Lawson is right now penciling, I have written a scene where Leo is fighting with that strange Aztec-looking warrior from the end of issue #11. This guy has a weapon made out of some futuristic high-tech carbon fiber which is stronger than steel, and he chips away at one of Leo's swords until with one powerful blow, that sword shatters.

So I don't have a problem with that bit per se, as the weapons of the Gom-Tai may have some unusual properties that make Leo's swords vulnerable. And... it just occurred to me that although we don't need to mention it here in these episodes, perhaps when Leo's swords are re-forged in the Nexus, they take on some new and special qualities (don't know what they should be -- maybe they're stronger, sharper, etc.). Cool!

-- Pete

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