Monday, April 22, 2013

Blast from the Past #635: November 2, 2003: Episodes 55 and 56, and November 6, 2003: Re: Script 54

Subj: Episodes
Date: Sunday, November 2, 2003 10:44:40 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I don't have many comments on these two scripts:

Episode 55:

1.) Re: the following:

The prisoners are escaping!  Move to intercept and recapture—!
ANGLE - on Raphael leaping in with his sais, doing a tuck-into-a-roll under the Triceraton’s energy beams, and:
CLOSE - on Raph’s sais <slicing> the blaster to pieces, then spinning to knocking the Triceraton out of frame!

We've had this problem before -- Raph's sais are STABBING and BLOCKING weapons, not SLICING weapons.

2.) I think that somewhere between lines 17 and 24, it would be cool if April showed some initiative and grabbed a blaster.

3.) Re: the following:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP - on Zanramon as his eyes narrow in cold fury.
Now, witness the penalty of actions!

Zanramon's line seems weird to me. I suggest changing it to "Now, witness the consequences of inaction!"

4.) Re: the following:

CLOSE - on the Triceraton Pilot as an <ALARM> sounds on his console, illuminating his face from below.
We have a transionic particle alert!
ON – THE GEIGER COUNTER-ESQUE device <SCRATCHES> out a reading with the needle off the edge.
The reading is off the gauge!

The description of the scanner/gauge here seems goofy/primitive. I suggest doing something a little cooler/techier, such as a 3D "landscape" display where concentrations of transionic particles are shown as varying-sized bumps. I'll attach a quick CG 3D example of what I mean. 

5.) Re: the following:

Go ahead.  Make my day.
(breaks; conversational)
I always wanted to say that.

Eh. I think the "I always wanted to say that" bit is more of a Mike thing and doesn't really serve a good purpose here -- I say let's lose it.

6.) When Don gets marched into Zanramon's Throne Room, where is his bo staff? 

7.) Re: the following:

CLOSE - on Zanramon, eyes widening in disbelief, furious.
You defy me?!
CLOSE - on Donatello as he looks back into Zanramon’s face. He sighs, leveling with the Prime Leader.
Not on purpose.  Read my lips: The Fugitoid’s not on earth anymore.  He left a while ago.

I think we should lose the "Read my lips" line.

8.) Re: the following:

108. APRIL
I’m telling you, it’s the tunnel!
Casey takes a step, and we PAN WITH him to reveal the bridge: it’s been blasted to smithereens, on fire.  Without skipping a beat, Casey turns back, deadpan:
109. CASEY
Ooo-kay.  We’re takin’ the tunnel.

Don't like Casey's last line here. Suggest changing it to simpler "Tunnel's good."


Episode 56:

1.) Re: the following:

FAVOR LEONARDO - looking around, impressed.
Man, you got some horns, Traximus.  You put your base right under the Prime Leader's nose.

"Man, you got some horns" is Raph talk, not Leo.

2.) Re: the following:

Prime Leader!  Sorry to report the entire Tri-Fighter fleet has been sabotaged.

I think it should be made clear that it isn't the ENTIRE Tri-Fighter fleet that has been sabotaged, but those fighters on THAT particular asteroid ship.

3.) That's it from me!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Script 54
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2003 6:58:20 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Carole at 4Kids

In a message dated 11/6/03 5:34:35 PM, Carole writes:

<< Hi Peter,
Notes for 54 have been incorporated into this script from everyone,  but I
don't have a record of any additional notes from you.  Are we OK to go final?  I really don't want to loose ground on our schedule.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.


I just read the revision (second draft) of the script for Episode 54 today, appreciate the improvements, and have no real negative comments or problems with it -- but I do have a few quick suggestions which we might want to incorporate. (None of them are critical, but they all might be useful changes.)
By the way, I am REALLY digging the new second season episodes. It's so cool to see the Fugitoid and Triceratons animated!

1.) Re: the following:

The Fugitoid used the Teleportal to escape us last time.  But, we have tracked the Teleportal's transionic particle trail to the farthest corner of the T-17 galaxy.

I would suggest adding "and his allies" (referring to the Turtles) as follows:

The Fugitoid and his allies used the Teleportal to escape us last time.  But, we have tracked the Teleportal's transionic particle trail to the farthest corner of the T-17 galaxy.

Also, in this scene, I think it might be cool to have a brief mention (most likely from Zanroman) about how LONG it has taken them (weeks? months? years?) -- even traveling at light speed or faster-than-light speed -- to get to Earth, as contrasted to the teleportal journey of the Fugitoid, which took mere seconds.

2.) Re: the following:

*THE TWELVE TRICERATON TRI-BASES form a large circle in orbit around the earth and then …
*WIDER - THE TRI-BASES - in synchronicity -- each shoot out a PURPLE BEAM -- in a wide that...   THE BEAMS join each other …
*A PURPLE SHIELD envelopes the entire earth.

No problem here -- just had a visual inspiration for this. I think it would be cool if the area between the crisscrossing beams looked kind of like the oily multicolored soapy film that you get when you dip a circular bubble maker into  its bottle of bubble liquid. You know what I mean? It's a translucent, nearly transparent film which also has lots of cool colors shifting and swirling around in it. I think I got this idea when reading this script over and saw those crisscrossing beams as like one of those giant, multi-opening bubble makers.

3.) Re: the following:

TRICERATON WARRIOR #1 using some kinda Geiger counter like scanner, calls out to a TRICERATON WARRIOR on 2nd SKY SLED -- as he indicates NEW YORK MAN #1, who's running.
That one.
TRICERATON WARRIOR #1 swoops past and <ZAPS> the NEW YORK MAN #1 with a cattle prod-like device, as TRICERATON WARRIOR #2 swoops in and grabs the guy and flies him away.

Although I like the reuse of the Triceraton flying harness, it occurred to me that a new Triceraton vehicle might be useful here -- the Triceraton who actually does the grabbing of the humans could use it. Maybe it could have a series of grabber arms dangling from its underside, with big clamps on the ends which could be holding struggling captive humans.

4.) Re: the following:

CASEY'S at his window looking out, slack-jawed … amazed.  On the television in the BACKGROUND, A TV NEWSWOMAN reports.
… we will bring your more reports of military action as they unfold.

How about carrying over an idea which we used when introducing Casey in the comics (I can't remember if we did it in the new show) where Casey has a bunch of TVs which he has on at the same time, but all tuned to different channels? It would be a hubbub/babble of various reporters' voices, all describing the invasion in slightly different ways. If we did NOT do it when we introduced Casey, never mind.

5.) Re: the following:

Today, the unthinkable happened.  Earth no longer need question if there is life on other planets.  It is here, and we are in the full grip of an alien invasion.  The real question is will life remain on Earth … or is this the end of the human race?!

This seems to me to be stating the obvious, and for no particular reason. I suggest taking it out.

6.) Re: the following:

*WIDER TO REVEAL – Splinter sits alone.  The turtles have gone.
… in the lair until we know more of what is …
*Splinter looks around realizing the turtles aren’t there.
SPLINTER shakes his head.
Why do I even bother.

The "Why do I even bother" line seems superfluous. I think it would work just as well -- or better -- to end this bit on Splinter's sigh and shake of his head.

7.) Re: the following scene:

*TWO HOVER PLATFORMS and a contingent of EIGHT TRICERATON WARRIORS (two on each sled four on the ground marching) moves down the street past the alley opening (where the turtles are hiding).
*DOWN ANGLE ON – THE TWO HOVER PLATFORMS – One Triceraton on each platform holds a "Geiger" counter-esque DEVICE, which they are aiming at the buildings getting small <SCRATCHING> sounding readings.
*OTS – TRICERATON WARRIOR #3 aims his "Geiger" counter-esque device at a building and the <SCRATCHING> sound gets LOUDER.
There’s one here.  We’ll get it.  Keep searching.  We’ll catch up.
*WIDER – AS THE OTHER HOVER PLATFORM and the four marching Triceraton Warriors moves on down the street as Triceraton Warrior #4 "drives/maneuvers" his hover platform with Triceraton Warrior #3 on it closer to the building.
*Triceraton Warrior #3 raises his laser weapon and <SLAGS> the entire wall, which <MELTS> away REVEALING a terrified old woman (NEW YORK WOMAN #2).
*DOWN ANGLE - TRICERATON WARRIOR #3 drags out NEW YORK WOMAN #2 onto the hover platform.
(old woman voice)
Help...horrible dinosaur creatures!
*The old woman swoons and goes limp in the mighty Triceraton’s mighty arms.
*ZIP PAN OVER TO – THE ALLEYWAY ENTRANCE – The four turtles are looking partially concealed in shadow.  All the turtles look pretty angry, especially Raphael.

There are a couple of places like this in this script, where the Triceratons are scanning for persons contaminated with transionic particles, and the Turtles are nearby -- but the Triceratons for some reason don't register the Turtles on their scanners, even though the Turtles should be MUCH more contaminated than anyone else in NYC. This is a bit of a logic problem... not a HUGE one, but troubling. One suggestion -- have one of the Triceratons grumble about the "narrow effective scanning field" of their scanning devices ("This is gonna take forever!"), whereupon he is reprimanded by another (his superior officer) to the effect of "Just shut up and do your job... the sooner we're done, the sooner we can get off this stinkin' mammal-infested planet!" (The idea here is that their scanners have an effective scanning field which covers about 30 to 45 degrees forward -- in other words, the scanners have to be almost pointed directly at the subjects to register transionic particles... thus, as long as the Turtles stay out of this area, they won't show up on the scanners. I know, it's a little detail, but...

8.) Somewhere in all of the scenes of the Triceratons marching around, threatening people and shooting at things, I thought it could be funny to show a couple of them looting (as invading troops are known to do), and maybe they're stealing some really tacky touristy souvenirs from a gift shop -- like the Statue of Liberty made out of seashells or beer bottle caps, or something.

9.) Re: the following:

WIDER – On a hover platform, A TRICERATON WARRIOR #5 reads the signal.  He points towards April’s shop as he speaks to Triceraton Warrior #6 flying the platform.  Casey’s motorcycle is parked just outside the front door up on the sidewalk.
In there.  It’s a strong reading.

Holding two helmets, CASEY talks to APRIL; Casey tosses one of the helmets to April …
I’m tell ya, April, it’s crazy out there.  I’m getting’ you out of town to where it’s safe.
What about the guys?
They’re tough.  They can take care of themselves.  Once you’re safe, I’ll come back and give ‘em a hand.
April looks skeptical and a little feisty …
Look, Casey, I appreciate the thought, but I can take care of myself.  I don’t need anybody worrying …
LOOKING PAST CASEY AND APRIL (IN FOREGROUND) TOWARDS – A LASER BLAST <SLAGS> the entire front wall REVEALING the Triceratons on their hover platform with laser weapons raised …
Uhm … okay, let’s go!

Casey and April come running out the front door of the shop and leap onto the motorcycle April pulls on her motorcycle helmet and …

Question -- do we really want the whole front wall of April's Second Time Around shop to be "slagged"? This will require it to be fixed sometime in the next bunch of episodes to keep continuity intact. Also, if it IS slagged, how do Casey and April run out the front door?
My suggestion would be to have Casey and April already outside when the Triceratons come by, and avoid any trashing of the shop.

10.) Re: the following:

Deny us, and you will be destroyed!
REVERSE ON – The window behind the old man has four turtles in it looking in watching TV over the shoulder of the old man.
You have ten Tri-gons to comply.
ON – THE TV - With that, the TV goes to <STATIC>.

Might be funny to do a thing where after the TV goes to static, there's a brief pause where people are shown responding to Zanramon's comments in confusion... then the screen(s) come back on and a slightly nerdy-looking Triceraton tech or junior officer says something like "Uh... our glorious Prime Leader Zanramon has ordered me to tell you pathetic, ignorant mammals that one Tri-gon equals forty-five of your puny human minutes. That is all. Thank you..." And the screen goes to static again.

-- Pete

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