Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blast from the Past #644: January 20, 2005: Re: don's staff

Date:  Thursday, January 20, 2005 9:12:12 PM
Subj:  Re: don's staff
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Kevin Munroe

In a message dated 1/18/05 3:53:27 PM, Kevin Munroe writes:

<<Hey Peter,

Hope you had a good weekend.

  We're starting to roll on this trailer now and it's going to be awesome, I think. Really great mood and tone stuff.

  Quick question - would you be open to Donatello having a telescoping bo-staff? Something a little higher tech than a piece of wood?

  Was thinking that could be cool, or if we keep the staff as long, it might be neat to have a bunch of "attachments" that he can clip on from his waist or something in mid-battle - blades, flags, claws, etc.

  Nit picky stuff, but just thought I'd ask. Not sure if any is applicable to the teaser trailer.

Still should get some Leo designs and the rev'ed treatment to you by friday.

  Hope all is well,



  I read the breakdown for the Turtle teaser trailer, and it looks good -- though I wonder what the term "rlo" means. One comment -- while conceptually it is a cool reveal when the bandana tails start to blow in the breeze, I'm wondering it it might look a bit silly to have one, then another, then a third in sequence. In other words, why don't they all start waving in the breeze at once? Maybe this can be done with careful timing. It might also help if there is something else in the shot to show that there IS a breeze and these aren't "self-waving" headbands (something which happens far too often in our animated TV show) -- maybe some stuff on the rooftop starts blowing around (paper, discarded trash, cloths on a clothsline, etc.).

  I notice you mention the idea of a telescoping staff for Don in the trailer breakdown as well. I have to tell you that this is an idea which I have thought about and which has been proposed a number of times, and -- even given how much I love tech stuff and gadgets -- I've never loved it, for a few reasons. 

First, of all the Turtles' weapons, Don's is the simplest and most "honest", if you will -- in fact, it's really just a stick! (Albeit one which has been carefully shaped, sanded, balanced, etc..) As such, its very simplicity emphasizes exactly how good Don is at being a ninja -- look at the marvelous things he can do with just a stick! (And as a stick, it is supremely reliable -- it's always just as it is, you don't have to worry that it has an expanding mechanism which could get jammed at a critical moment in battle, and so on.)

  Second, as a practical matter, if you look at it logically, unless the sections of the telescoping staff are made of adamantium or unobtainium, it's NEVER going to be as strong as one single piece of material. There will be some amount of flex and slop in its "joints".

  And that leads to the third problem, again one of logic and "realism" -- any time you make a telescoping staff, the segments which telescope outward must, of necessity, be progressively smaller in diameter at you go out towards the ends of the staff... and I think that looks goofy. UNLESS you cheat it, and make it "magic technology"... which is actually one of my pet peeves in movie special effects -- the "tech effect" which LOOKS like technology but is actually closer to magic. Two examples of this are the Batmobile's armor and those headresses of the Egyptian-style characters in "Stargate" (the movie). In both cases, the objects in question just appear out of nowhere, with no logical rationale for WHERE they could have come from. They just appear, and it always reads to me as the result of somebody in a position of power saying "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if..." and not thinking any further than that. That kind of thing REALLY bugs me.

I look forward to your second shot at the treatment!

   -- Peter

No comments:

Post a Comment