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I don't know when I'll get around to rambling on Future Tense, but as it's up next, I'm posting my outline notes on that episode to Story Editor Michael Reaves.
The thing you need to know is that there was much discussion back then of doing the episode (or at least sections of it) in 3-D. Now I do NOT mean CGI. I mean the 3-D glasses kind of 3-D. So many of the notes below reflect that.
Notes on "Future Tense" Outline...
Michael, I know this is exactly the kind of document that drives my story editors nuts. I apologize, but in the interests of time I believe this is the best solution.
I also want you to know that I considered your suggestion that we replace one of Cary or Gary's episodes with a from-scratch 3-D affair. But after reviewing the schedule it just wasn't practical. Aside from the fact (and budgetary concern) that those guys are already underway on those stories, we just don't have time to come up with a new story from scratch and get Gary Krisel's approval on it and still make all relevant deadlines.
I believe that what I've beated out below preserves all the essential stuff from Marty and Bob's outline, but gives us more opportunity for 3-D action in cyber-space. As usual, none of it is etched in stone. If this approach works for you, you can go right to script. If there's anything you, Marty or Bob want to discuss, that's cool too.
GENERAL NOTE ON 3-D ACTION IN CYBERSPACE
Please remember the nature of this particular 3-D process: some elements push backward or forward depending on their assigned color. You guys don't have to worry about assigning the colors. Leave that to the art director. Nor do you have to sweat the foregrounding and backgrounding. We'll leave that to the board artists, art director, line producer and Frank. What you do need to be aware of though is that this particular 3-D process only really works with characters and objects. They should not be interacting with the environment or backgrounds. That's not to say that Cyber-Xanatos or whoever can't form any specific object out of the "ether" or something. But we don't want scenes of Goliath tearing up Cyber-walls or Brooklyn being swallowed up by the cyber-ground or whatever. Energy beams might work, but "energy fields" could be problematic. If this is unclear, we can set up a meeting with our technical expert, Rob Hummell.
I. Streamline and combine your beats 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Open on the skiff and the mist with some specific line from Goliath, where he's saying that the odyssey they've been on has been rewarding, but that he really is starting to miss the clan and Manhattan, his adopted home. He feels woozy for a second. Then he sees the Statue of Liberty. (The wooziness is being done in the interest of fair play. Don't make too much of it. The audience will forget about it until the end of the episode, at which point, they'll think: "Of course.")
Combine the blowing up of the skiff with the capture of Elisa and Angela by the Steel Clan robots, (we don't need uniformed human sentries). Goliath and Bronx are rescued by Matt. As they make their way to rebel headquarters we can get Xanatos's brief big brother (3-D) message. We can see the statue of Hudson and find out he's dead. Meet the hostile Brooklyn.
II. Combines your beat 5 & part of beat 6.
Meet the Blind Broadway. And bring up the Phoenix Gate. Make sure Goliath states definitively that "HISTORY CANNOT BE CHANGED". The line about 'time as a river' is a good one, but don't count on that to be clear enough by itself. Intro Good Demona and establish that she is mated (as opposed to married) to Brooklyn. Don't forget to plant another "fairness clue" with our audience. When Goliath says that he thought Demona was in love with Thailog, it takes her a flustered minute to explain that Thailog also died fighting Xanatos. Or something like that. Also I think we can let the more sophisticated members of our audience see the irony that Demona is finally good again only to be lost to Goliath forever. We don't have to state that in dialogue. It raises a lot of complicated issues.
Suddenly Cyborg-Lexington enters and announces that Talon, their inside man, is transmitting all-important data even as they speak. He turns on a monitor and we see Talon getting his butt kicked by Xanatos (in 3-D). While they are watching this, Goliath should ask where this battle between Xanatos and Talon is taking place. All Lexington knows is that it was coming from somewhere inside the Eyrie Pyramid. Xanatos gloats about his plan to do to the entire planet what he has done to Manhattan, then he destroys Talon and the transmission is cut off.
III. Combines just a bit of your beat 6 and both of your two beat 7s. (Don't feel bad. This late in the season, I'm having trouble counting too.)
We don't need the attack by the Thailog Stormtroopers. Brooklyn states that it's now or never. We have to launch a pre-emptive strike on Xanatos' lair. They'll divide into ground and air forces. Brooklyn, Demona, Cyborg-Lex, Blind Broadway and Goliath will wait for Matt and Bronx and the rebels to create a diversion downstairs. Then they will go in above.
As the five gargoyles wait atop a nearby building for their cue, Demona and Brooklyn again try to prevail on Goliath to use the Gate.
IV. Combines your beats 8 & 9.
Matt and Bronx's diversion begins. The gargoyles fly in, but Lex reports with his cyborg-sight that both Matt and Bronx have been killed. Brooklyn is determined that they won't have died in vain.
They get in, but Lex is quickly taken prisoner and Broadway dies. Goliath, Brooklyn and Demona make their way to Computer Mainframe/Banquet Hall. They aren't looking for any Chief Administrator. They're still looking for Xanatos, not realizing that he no longer exists on the physical plane.
V. Basically your beat 10.
Except instead of a VR helmet, have Goliath, Brooklyn and Demona digitized into (3-D) Cyber-Space ala TRON. No physical bodies left outside. If you die in there. You dead. Obliterated.
VI. Your beat 11, greatly expanded to fill most of the act.
Xanatos has been holding Elisa and Angela prisoner inside cyber-space, anticipating Goliath's arrival. We get our explanation. Our fight. And the destruction of Brooklyn, Demona and Angela. Goliath finally manages to take out Xanatos, which causes the whole cyber-world to dissolve.
VII. Combines and abbreviates both of your beat 12s.
Goliath and Elisa are re-digitized in the real world. Only to discover that Lex used the opportunity to activate Xanatos' plan. Now he'll rule what's left of the world. Goliath lashes out at Lex, which knocks him back into the main frame and the whole thing starts to blow. Castle is destroyed taking out Lex. (No redemption possible.) Goliath barely manages to save Elisa, but he's broken by it. And Elisa tries to get the gate from him. She fails and melts into Puck. In fact the entire world seems to melt into her to become Puck.
VIII. Your beat 13.
Puck reveals what it has all been about. (Make sure to specifically mention that Oberon has begun "The Gathering".)
IX. Your beat 14.
Make it clear that Goliath passed out right after he said his line about missing his adopted home. So the audience in retrospect can place the exact moment when Puck's little adventure began.
And that's it. Feel free to call with questions or concerns.
Time to ramble...
Chapter LV: "Ill Met by Moonlight"
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Story: Michael Reaves
Teleplay: Diane Duane & Peter Morwood
Director: Dennis Woodyard
This was Michael's title, which he chose knowing it would appeal to the Shakespearean in me. I liked it, but it did concern me that people would misread it. Which is often the case. "I'll Meet by Moonlight" is the one I hear most often.
LORD & LADY
We'd been building toward this one since "The Mirror" -- i.e. from the moment we introduced the concept of the Third Race (a.k.a. Oberon's Children). Note that Oberon refers to himself as "Lord of the Third Race". It's interesting to me that he acknowledges that Gargoyles and Humans are first & second. Perhaps that's his version of humility. Supports my notion that the Oberati (as I wanted to call them originally) evolved last.
Anyway, when we first intro'd Titania's Mirror, I'm curious how many of you thought you'd eventually get to meet Titania?
Note also Oberon & Titania's skin color. This was intentional. Since I knew we had the Gathering coming up and that myth-figures from many cultures would be bowing to Oberon as Lord, I didn't want to depict him or Titania with traditional caucasoid skin. I wanted them a step removed.
We also establish that Oberon divorced Titania for her hybris and disdain for mortals. That he sent her and ALL the children out to learn humility. As I've stated many times, the problem that Oberon had is that 1001 years ago, relative to his fellows, he was already humble. But that's relative. They all go out, and Titania and Puck and a few others learn the lesson that he sent them to learn. But thinking he had no lesson to learn, he learned... nothing. So Titania has evolved, and Oberon has not.
Gabriel has been a bit bored on Avalon. Angela says: "Join us on the skiff, my brother." This seemed like a pretty clear indication to me that Angela & Gabriel's relationship was fraternal, not romantic. (I mean, after all, Demona's called Goliath a lot of things, but never "brother".) But still some people thought that these two were an item. They take evidence, I'm told, from the way they held hands over the volcano later in the episode. But I still see that as fraternal concern.
LINES I LIKE (all quotations approximate)
Angela: "I'm beginning to think that this Manhattan is a myth."
Seline: "Humans and Gargoyles profane your kingdom."
Oberon: "A minor nuisance" and "Insolent infestation!"
Titania: "Time for even Puck to mend his manners."
Oberon: "So proud Titania, the game's a foot." (Combines Shakespeare and Conan Doyle.)
Guardian: "No choice and only one chance."
Oberon: "Now, you're just quibbling." (One of my all time favorite lines in context.)
Angela: "Gargoyles stand together."
Titania: "Oberon's word is law."
Katharine: "But does that mean he's always right."
Titania: "Not while he's married."
Goliath: "All's well that ends well."
Silver, we're told is for vampires and weres. So Elisa loses ANOTHER gun to contribute a bit more iron.
I thought the iron bell was a VERY clever solution, and I even thought that Titania's clues were very clever. And the oblique exchange in the forge is clever.
But the forging itself is a disaster. No mold. Just pour hot iron on the ground? Then cool it BEFORE you start hammering it into shape? I picture a forgotten scene where the Guardian finally looks up from his work and says, "I gotta confess I don't know what I'm doing here." And then Elisa says, "Didn't you forge your armor?" And Princess Katharine says, "Actually that was two of the eggs: Michael and Raphael." And Ophelia sighs and says, "I'll go get them."
I do like the overlapping hammer sound effect onto the next scene though.
Ophelia's honesty is also very neat. She questions whether they are doing the right thing. And her arguments RING a lot truer than the rationalization we get from the rest of the gang. Lucky our guys are sympathetic, and Oberon is not.
I like the pairing of Gabriel with Goliath and Angela to carry the action. That was fun.
The sound effects accompanying Oberon's flight -- a kind of more meaty version of what was done with Puck in "The Mirror" -- are pretty cool. I like his arrival as a pillar of flame too. He's got style, you have to admit.
I like the cool lighting in the volcano and my daughter Erin liked the lava hands ("That's so awesome.")
I also like the Firefalls. I remember those as being part of the pre-Byrne/pre-Salkind version of Krypton. And long ago, Yosemite National Park used to do firefalls too. The image always stuck with me as very cool. And I like the steam as the lava flows into the river. (Helping to keep the island warm and balmy, perhaps?)
At one point, Gabriel says: "This way!" but on the cut, Goliath is again in the lead. A small mistake, I'm afraid.
I love Goliath's fury as he attacks Oberon (Erin: "Whoa, that was cool!") And I love how Oberon shatters to become diamond-hard beneath. And I love how Goliath STILL doesn't give up, putting Oberon into a half-nelson.
Getting us to where I wanted us to go...
Oberon grants assylum, with no hard feelings. He makes the Gargoyles his Honor Guard, which I think is cool. He exempts Goliath and his "clan" from his magic (inadvertently granting this exemption to both the Avalon & Manhattan clans, since Goliath thinks of himself as a member of both.) Oberon & Titania are remarried simply by agreeing that it is so. I mean when you're at the top of the food chain, who needs anyone else to officiate?
Goliath learns that Titania feels indebted to him, though he doesn't learn why. How many of you guys put together that Titania and Anastasia were one and the same? Of course, our voice casting was a HUGE clue. But we have enough actors doubling characters who aren't related that I thought that few people would draw the conclusion that we already had in mind.
And of course, we pave the way for the Gathering...
That's my ramble. Where's yours?
Time to ramble...
Chapter LIV: "Cloud Fathers"
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler-Reaves
Writer: Lydia Marano
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Our recap emphasized Xanatos' near disinterest in Goliath. It's kinda funny. And I love how Xanatos spells out that he doesn't hold a grudge. I really do think that it's his reasonableness that sets him apart as a villain. That and the fact that he's such a big picture guy. His big plans are rarely about acquiring things he can get himself. He wants immortality.
Xanatos: "It's my first real step at cliched villainy. How am I doing?"
Still, it was fun at the very end to let him at least get annoyed: "...These last minute upsets you keep handing me are becoming... irritating." THAT in fact is the closest Xanatos comes to cliched villainy.
Throughout the episode, the girls keep asking Peter if he wants to "visit" his own father. I'm curious as to how many of you realized that Carlos Maza had actually passed away.
I think the Cloud Fathers memo that I recently posted gives a pretty clear indication of what I was trying to go for here. This, in my mind, is an internal struggle: Peter vs. Peter. Were his actions as a young man reasonable? Are they justifiable? If he admits his mistakes can he live with them? Etc.
I like how dialogue from the Arizona flashback is referenced by Coyote later. My kids noticed it too. Erin also noticed how much Coyote looked like young Peter with his "rugged good looks". I'm glad that was clear.
We finally get to know Elisa's other sibling -- the non-mutated one. She seems like an interesting character. Very open-minded. Influenced by her mother's more academic and anthropological pursuits, but choosing to focus on the Native American side of her heritage as opposed to the African side that her mother studies.
It's interesting to me that Elisa is the only one of the siblings who really directly follows in a parent's footsteps.
And I like Beth & Elisa's exchange...
Beth: "They're kinda beautiful... but so alien."
Elisa: "After a while, all you notice is the beauty."
So is Elisa in love or what?!
And PLEASE don't tell me that Beth's line is further evidence that the gargs come from another planet.
THE SWIMMING POOL
I thought this was VERY clever having the skiff arrive in a pool. But I wonder how visually clear it was. that it was JUST a swimming pool.
I did like Elisa's line, when asked where she came from, she says: "The deep end." True in so many ways.
MORE LINES I LIKE
Coyote 4.0: "Once more with feeling."
Coyote 4.0: "Don't quit your day job." (This said to a gargoyle.)
Xanatos (regarding Angela): "She's lovely, Goliath."
Angela (while attacking): "I'm the lovely one, remember!"
Elisa: "Bronx, hit it!" (Didn't she say the same thing in Golem?)
Xanatos: "No way my luck is this bad."
Elisa to Peter re: the Gargs: "Are THESE guys figments of your imagination?" (Answer that one for yourself.)
Coyote re Coyote: "I should sue for trademark infringement."
Xanatos: "I've always considered myself a trickster at heart."
Xanatos to Coyote 4 re the Trickster: "Bottle him."
Coyote 4: "Curious."
Xanatos: "It's so hard to program good help these days."
Coyote 4: "I'm programmed for vengeance."
Coming up with Trickster plots -- for guys like Coyote or Puck or even Xanatos -- can be REALLY hellish. It's hard work making sure that you have all these twists and turns and contingencies figured out. Now try pitting TWO TRICKSTERS, Coyote and Xanatos, against each other. Man!
You can imagine why we were never quite able to tame our FOUR TRICKSTER story involving Puck, Coyote, Raven & Anansi. Not that I think it's impossible, but we just ran out of time and had to settle for the still incredibly complex "Possession".
EYES OF THE COYOTE
I wish the carving had had NO EYES until the acid created them.
Michael Horse, who played both Peter & Carlos in this story, advised us on this script. Obviously, we were trying to be respectful of the culture. He told us to make sure that the carving and the Kachina masks were NOT copies of actual sand-paintings or masks in use. That would be sacreligious.
We did get one letter of complaint about this episode, but it was clear from the letter that the writer hadn't yet seen the episode. So we sent them a tape. Got no more complaints.
He's a nice stand-in for X, but pales in comparison. Still it was fun always redesigning him. Making him tougher in new ways. And I really like that the Cauldron of Life was reincorporated into him. Nothing ever wasted on this series.
I was also highly amused by the Coyote/Roadrunner schtick. With the trickster in the role of the Roadrunner, tricking Wile E. 4.0 into destroying himself.
AND BACK TO PETER
Coyote had to get Peter back. I like that. And I like the bittersweet ending at Carlos' grave. It strikes me as a graveside victory.
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?
In a previous question, you told someone to send a script to a production studio, as a way to break into the business. I was just wondering if someone would actually read the script, or just throw it away?
Did I really say that? It doesn't sound like me at all.
You are correct, they'd either toss it or send it back to you unread. Unsolicited material is dangerous for studio execs to read, particularly if its based on that studio's properties.
I believe what I suggested was to send a sample to an agency. They still might throw it away, but they are much more likely to read it.
I wasn't going to do a Gathering Journal, but here it is anyway! Feel free to point and laugh at if need be...I suck at this kind of stuff...
Woke up around 7 am and called my friend to wake up. She'd woken up like an hour before, was already at breakfast. She got to my house around 8, and about 8:30 or so we headed down to the train station. Train was a few minutes late. We then settled back and just played gameboys and listend to music for the hour ride into Boston. Once we arrived at North Station, we had to hop the subway to South Station. We got 2 tokens each, since we had to ride 2 different subway lines along the way. When we changed over, both lines were in the same area, so there was no charge for the changeover. So, we saved our tokens for the ride home. We arrived at south station at like 10:30 or so. Our Bus wasn't leaving until 12 (we had to leave early since the next train out of our town would make us very pressured for time, and we didn't want that), so we sat around until our bus was ready. After the 11:30 bus out of our gate boarded, we got in line. There was plenty of room left (it was also going to NYC), so they let us on. There was a delay, so we didn't actually leave until 11:45, but it was still earlier than our bus was scheduled to leave.
Bus ride was okay, we were due to arrive at about 4:20 or so, giving us plenty of time to call our parents and enjoy the surrounding before opening ceremonies. But we got caught in a LOT of traffic, so we didn't rrive at the bus terminal until about 5:45 pm. We cuaght the subway to the Hotel, and when we arrived on solid ground, I SCREAMED out loud (mostly stuff along the lines of, "If I ever needed proof of the exitance of God, here it is.") my joy that we had finally arrived. We checked in, and got to our room, and called out parents, and headed up to the ballroom just before opening ceremionies were to begin. We didn't have our bdges yet, but we got okay'd by a bunch of people, and we were going to pick them up after in the Con Suite. I noted that some people looked like some people my friend and I knew back home, which was facinating and yet creepy at the same time. My friend was all, so which guy is Greg? I'm saying to my self, how can you NOT know what Greg looks like? Didn't you see his picture on the Gathering site?
Opening ceremonies was cool. We represented a few of the con virigns this year. On the way to the Con Suite afterwards, like 12 of of crammed into the elevtor. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I made a reference to Fang's saying of "Mommy" In the Bad Guys reel...and soon we were all screaming it. I was rather funny...After picking up our Con stuff, my friend and I went back to our room to put our newly aquired packages away, and headed to the 6th floor since we wanted to win Xanatos' money. Well, that got screwed over, so we went upstairs for Hudson's rant. It was great. I even had to correct Hudson at one point because he screwed up the line, "Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass good-bye" (afterwhich, he told me to shut up). My friend left in the middle of it, don't know where she went...
Afterwards, we had the Clan wars. I watched, and took a few pictures (which didn't come out too good, since it was a suck camera, but still...), and later decided to sign up. We stopped before it was my turn, since half the guns were broken or didn't shoot. I definatly plan to play next year. After, I headed down to the Blue Mug-a-guest. I'm surpirsed no one asked me to whip out my ID, sicne I don't like I'm over 18, I look maybe 15 (just for the record, I'm 19 1/2). I sat on the floor for a bit (with a perfect view), and later in a chair on the corner (So I was out of people's way of leaving). We finally got kicked out at like 1:30. I got to talk with Greg for all of 30 seconds and shook his hand (which was the reason I came in the first place). I went back to my room and to bed.
We got up at about 8 am to go to shopping. We had lots of fun. We got into a little bit of "touble" on the way back to the hotel. Hudson and a bunch of other people (I'm horrible at names, and was in no mood to pay attention anyhow) helped us out with, so I missed a bunch of stuff. Later, I hung out at the con suite (bringing twizlers for the gang) for a bit, discussing manga and evil twins until the Radio play. It was good, I didn't pick up on the fact that Seth was playing Claw at first (I wasn't thinking in the right terms at that moment), but I did later when he stood up. Some of the growls were quite funny. And Thom as Servarius was SOOO hilarious! It was just so wrong...
I think it was here when I got Greg to sign my book. He drew me a picture, but of exactly what, I couldn't tell. Then I got my picutre taken with him (and Greg, you're not looking at the camera!).
At dinner I got to sit at the table with Nichelle Nichols. It was okay, I admit I would have rather sit with Greg. The food was good, but I didn't eat much of it since I wasn't very hungry.
The Masquerade was fun. I look lots of pitures, but on a few, I have the back's of people's heads since they jumped in front at the last second. I ran out of film and couldn't change it fast enough, so I dont' have a good picture of Thom dropping his pants. I have the start of it though (hehe, nice boxers, Thom!), and I guess that'll do for me.
I didn't stay around for the dance, I think I went to my room for a bit maybe, and later to the Con Suite until like 1 am. I felt kinda dumb and almost invasive (being a newbie), but I'm one of those people that just have to be around other people. We listened to a bunch of music by people I'd never heard of.
I spend much of the day running around trying to solve the problem left over from yesterday. I missed the auction because of it. I spent time looking for my friend, and I couldn't seem to find here anywhere.
Closing cereminies was okay. I wasn't paying much attention, since I was having a bad day (Saturday's incident didn't help any at all). Plus, I was kinda mad at a few people for various reasons (I'd rather not say why, since I don't want to insult anyone).
Then the fighting between me and my friend started. She wanted to leave for the bus terminal, but I wanted to stay (I'd rather be killing time around people I sorta know than complete strangers). By the time we started to leave, she had to say by to everyone. I finally saw a teeny bit of the othercon art room (loved how inside on the board it was labeled "The Porno Room").
Bus ride home was okay. I spent the entire time listening to CD's. We would've gotten home in time, but the 15 minute rest stop turned into like 30 minutes. We missed the train back home, but we called my friend's boyfriend to pick us up because we had a feeling we were going to miss our train. We fought some more. I was trying to be respectful of people around us by telling her not to swear so darn much and turn the car radio down (that was very loud, and I told them if we get pulled over and fined $500 by the cops, I wasn't paying a penny. And yet I would probably be begged for it, as the only one in the car that had that much money in my bank account) when we hit my neighboorhood (which is a residential area that is NOT used to loud noise at all, and espicially not at 1 am on Monday morning when people have to get up and work). She made a point of saying next year she was taking her boyfriend, and they were going to room together, and that I might not be able to go (since it wouldn't be with her, and one reason our parents let us go is that we were going together). That REALLY pissed me off. I don't think she's even going to be dating him in next August, plus I can find other people to go with, and I have PLENTY of money to get me there and back. I havent talked to her, but I'm going to be compensated for this trip that I paid for ENTIRELY, one way or another (which cost me, oh, about $800. That's a LOT of money for someone with my age and current job).
I was glad to be home. After all that happened (especially Sunday, which was a REALLY bad day), I was glad it was over.
All in all, though, it was worth it, and I plan on going to Montreal next year if I possibly can.
I hope you made it. And I hope you make it to Las Vegas this summer. Hope you and your friend reconciled too.
A lot of what you wrote was semi-mysterious. Incident on Saturday. People your mad at on Sunday. But I hope you had a good time overall.
Knew I would get to this eventually.
Tuesday, June 24th.
Woke up early to pick up Aaron and Mara from LaGuardia Airport. Drove to my friend Nick's house in Pleasantville to pick him up, as I needed someone to navigate as I've never driven to the airport before. Well, the directions were confusing (it would take another trip later to teach me that Mapquest.com really sucked), but we got there eventually. I parked the car, Nick and I grabbed a quick bite-to-eat (though he bought a whole meal) at the food court, and waited for Aaron and Mara. They soon arrived, and we grabbed their luggage and brought it to my car, where we made the trip back home to Croton.
My brother's graduation was later in the day, so we all lounged around and rested before the event. We watched some anime music videos, and later on made our way to the graduation. We all agreed that the ceremony was way, way too long. It was a small class, and they filled it up with long speeches, and songs (I actually quietly heckled it). We knew more guests would be arriving later for the party at home, so as soon as Alex (my brother) got his diploma, we were out of there. Good thing to, cause people were already arriving. The food was great, we spent some time mingling with various guests. Got to see family I don't get to see often. And eventually Aaron and I went to pick up Lynati at the train station.
After the party ended, I drove Nick home, and came back here, where we checked e-mail, and then Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Alex and I watched this horrible animated Ben-Hurr movie, narrated by the great Charleton Heston himself. Bad animation, bad CGI, and a Jesus that looked like a child molester. All and all, it was fun to just rip into it. Then we called it a night.
Wednesday, June 25th.
Alex, Mara and I were the first ones up, we chatted out on the deck about things, and shared a smoke. Eventually, we had to get Aaron and Lynati up, cause we needed to drop Lynati off at the train station. After that, the three of us went shopping for con equipment, first to Wal-Mart and Office Max, then to a Toys R Us to grab some Nerf Guns for Clan Wars.
We came back, and watched Kevin Smith's classic film, Clerks. I've seen the movie a million times and it never gets old. But this was Aaron and Mara's first time seeing it, and since they were both fans of the six episode cartoon series based on the movie, I thought it was about damn time they finally saw it. ;)
Best reaction came from Mara after the incident in the movie with the Chewlies Gum rep that tried to start an anti-cigarette riot in the store.
Mara: I feel like going out and having a cigarette.
The movie ended, we had leftovers for dinner, and began loading up my car with Con equipment, as Aaron and I needed to be at the hotel early the next morning with it, just in case the Home Depot people showed up (they gave us an 8 AM to 5 PM window). So Aaron and I loaded up the cars, while Mara prepared envelopes up stairs.
We were done by a quarter past midnight, so we decided to get some sleep.
Thursday, June 26th.
Aaron and I woke up early, and headed down to the city. We got to the hotel shortly before 8 and had my car parked. We then proceeded across the street to take care of getting cash we owed the hotel. Chase Manhattan took a look at us and well, let's just say it took a very, very long time and a couple calls to his local Chase in San Antonio for the withdrawl to go through.
I ended up making my way back to the hotel, where I was spotted by Mooncat and Princess Alexandra (Mooncat I had met at G2002, but this was my first time meeting Princess). Also ran into Leo, and Dreamie and Winterwolf. We waited, and Aaron came back to check Greg Weisman, Thom Adcox, and Vic Cook into their hotel rooms. And soon, Mara arrived with Alex and Greg Weisman. My mom was nice enough to pick Greg up at the LaGuardia.
Everyone arrived, and we checked into the Con Suite. Soon we got a call that Home Depot arrived with the wood and panels, so we went outside and brought them in. We brought them up to the 18th floor, to the Madison Suite, which was where we were keeping our Dealer's Room and Art Show. Met Sapphire there also (had previously met her at previous Gatherings, but never really got to know her till this year). Now, I'm useless when it comes to things like power tools, so were Alex and Leo, so we all stood back while the women did the work. Quite funny actually.
We took our lunch break at Sbarro's. Tasty and cheap. And met up with Kathy Pogge there. Food was good, and we came back
A good portion of the rest of the day, and con planning is kind of a blurr, but Lynati and Ethan eventually showed up, and I saw many con early arrivals (like Hudson (though he was staff) and his crew). Then Thom and Vic showed up. Thom recognized me, which was cool ;)
(Also at some point, we had a quick meeting in the Con Suite, and Greg W laughed at me for looking dazed already)
The staff, and the guests, and some of the early arrivals went to dinner down at the Monster Sushi. I had eaten there before with Aaron, Mara and Lynati about a year or so ago, and the place is still good. Too small unfortunatly, as the large group we were could not get a table together. So we divided up by three tables. At my table was Aaron, Mara, Lynati and Ethan. We talked about the con, how to eat sushi, Aaron played with his chop sticks, and we discussed Mayor Bloomberg and NYC's new smoking ban (which none of us agreed with), and I remember Ethan was really upset about it (I don't blame him, I am too). Aaron made a great comment in reference to "Clerks". "Bloomberg is a representative of Chewlie's Gum."
We got our food, ate, and eventually we made our way back to the hotel, to the Con Suite. Revel and Spacebabie showed up around this time. We stuffed enevelopes and watched the first half of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. But it was late, so we all went to get some sleep. Aaron, Lyn and Mara in the bedroom, while I took the "couch that turns into a couch".
Friday, June 27th.
Woke up early to turn the Con Suite over to Batya and the Dreamer Clan. Saw Stephen somewhere around here. Met up with Kathy and we arranged Sky Top for panels. Then went down and had a shift at the Registration Desk in the Lobby. Got to meet a lot of familiar faces, and new faces during that. Though I got sick of people coming up and asking where the bathroom was. It got so bad, we had to put up a sign saying "Gathering 2003. We are NOT Hotel Staff. We do NOT know where the bathroom is". Of course people kept asking anyway.
My shift over, I went to a panel I was supposed to sit on, and my brain was on overload. I barely said a word. And it wasn't till later I finally thought of something to talk about. Like Kathy said, staff members should not provide content. Then it was down to audition for the Radio Play. Being on staff, I knew it was "The Reckoning" several weeks in advance. I was hoping to be cast as Thailog, cause Thailog is just good, old fashioned, evil fun. ;) Though I would find out the next day I was cast as Hollywood, but I was just happy to be in it.
After that, I browsed through the art room. Walked around the hotel to make sure everything was running smoothly, and nothing was on fire. Popped in on Mara briefly during her Round Robin. Couldn't stay though.
Eventually got back to Skytop, where Kathy and I, with help from volunteers set the room up for Opening Ceremonies. Lined up the chairs, and had one table in the middle for the projector. Then Leo, someone else (was it you Winterwolf?) tried to set up the screen, but couldn't get the damn thing open. I think Hudson finally got it open. It was also around now that I met Lain for the first time. I've been friends with her since shortly after G2001, and it was nice to finally meet her in person.
Everyone arrived, all the guests arrived. And it was time for Opening Ceremonies to begin. Now, I have had this fear of public speaking all my life. So when I first went up, first thing I did was bring up G2004. WHile watching them, I figured that I should just get over it. Mara offered to go up and speak, but I went up again, and I thought I did so much better. Made a short speech, and introduced the guests and staff. Then I turned it over to Greg Weisman, who made the same Opening Ceremonies speech he's made ever since the cons first began, but never get old.
Afterwards came Hudson's rant, which I'd have loved to stay for, but I had to set up a TV and VCR, and tapes in the London Suite for Mara's MST. This year's victims; "Enter Macbeth", and "Vendettas". We were supposed to head right into Greg and Thom's Othercon: Blue "Mug-A-Guest", but as learned at G2001, the letters in "Gathering of the Gargoyles" can be rearranged to "Get Greg In Here", so we ended up MSTing "Turf" and the first act of "The Reckoning".
Finally, Greg and Thom arrived. By now everyone has heard the big revelation, but I'll say it anyway. Lex is gay. And it took less than twenty four hours for that tidbit to reach the comment rooms ;) Greg obviously didn't plan to say it, but Anna has a way of getting things out of people ;)
Lots of great and funny, and perverted questions were asked, I think we would have been there al night had Hotel Security not told us to vacate. I think I met Allaine and Ellen Stolfa for the first time around here also.
"I have a ten inch tongue."
Afterwards, Mara and I went to the COn Suite to get our bags, and settled in to the room Aaron got for the night. We were up for a couple more hours chatting with Hudson, Chris Rogers, Kythera and Cat. I was dozing off and really needed sleep, but I'm not one to be a party pooper. Besides, I really enjoy their company.
But we got to sleep.
Saturday, June 28th.
Got up early, and fetched sodas for Aaron and Mara before making our way to the sixth floor for a brief staff meeting.
Then went to a TGS panel, which consisted of little more than a former staff editor voicing complaints about another staffer. I didn't stay for the whole thing as I was pulled out by Goliath116 to let me know about a security issue. Which he and I made brief announcements about. I won't go into it here, but we ended up telling people not to leave the hotel unless they were in groups of four.
Went down and joined Mara for a shift at the Reg table. Sign was still up, and we still had people asking where the bathroom was. Spent a couple hours there, and then it was time for Radio Play rehearsal.
(somewhere before rehearsal, my aunt and uncle showed up, I gave them a brief tour, told them what the Gathering was. They couldn't stay long, but it was a pleasant surprise.)
Rehearsal went great. I was cast as Hollywood, and we went through Act One twice. Thom and Alex Garg (not to be confused with my brother) did this great Thailog and Sevarius Dr. Evil laughing scene. And speaking of Thom. He was great as Sevarius. Truly, truly hillarious. Thom really needs to get on to the internet, and visit the CRs.
Greg also made a funny joke about Batya and Alex Wittenberg. They were cast as Demona and Fang. And when Demona says "he's a fool but he may be of some use," and Fang says "I can work with that." Greg turns to them and says, "I bet that's what you said at the wedding." Which got a big laugh. No offense to both Batya and Alex, tyhey're great people, but that was just plain funny.
As soon as we finished Act 3, the hotel catering told us to clear out while they set up the banquet. Which caused me to spend the next several minutes arguing with them, cause the Radio Play was schedualed. but we soon cleared things up, and held the Radio Play. Which went over very well. Aside from grunts and roars, I only had one line, but it got a big laugh. I think Gore tried to one-up me, but never! I am master of the stupid voice! ;)
Afterwards it was time for the banquet. Nichelle Nichols arrived, and I have to say I was impressed. The woman looked and carried herself like a queen. And speaking of stunning looking women, Karine, Sapphire and Dreamie arrived and dressed to kill. Damn, did they look great.
We all took our seats, with at least one staff member minding each guest. I sat at Greg's table. Also there was Lexy, Revel, Spacebabie, AlexGarg... and I'm blanking out on the others. The food was great, I especially liked the rice and chicken. At some point I made this observation. "I kind of feel sorry for the people sitting with Nichelle. I mean look at her. They're all going to have to watch themselves and how they eat. Wheras Greg is probably almost as big a slob as the rest of us." To which Greg said; "Actually, I'm probably a bigger slob than the rest of you." We discussed quite a few things at the table. Revel kept a great conversation going. Lexy and I discussed Griffith from "Berserk" briefly. And we had a conversation on X2, and why Greg thinks Magneto's name is corny. I respectfully disagree though ;)
Dinner ended, and we set up for the Masquerade. Dreamie and I were running this. She MCed the event while I handled the behind the scenes organizing and the entries. The number of costumes dropped, but what we had was great. We had a great Lady Macbeth, two great Owens, Patrick and Karine as Anastasia and Fox, Revel as Vinnie, Spacebabie as Robyn Canmore, A Fan as "A Highly Educated Individual with a job straight out of college" (actually, A Fan wasn't going to enter, but I put him up to it), and of course Hudson and Kythera's show. I'm blanking out on everyone. Though I personally thought it was a shame that Aaron and Mara couldn't enter as Severus Snape and Herminone (I can't spell her name, sorry ;)).
Then came the Awards Ceremony, which ended with Siryn getting her much deserved Fan Guest of Honor award. She may not think so, but no one deserved that award more than she did. I hope she enjoys it.
After that was over, it was time for our showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", at first I wasn't going to attend, and went down to Chris Roger's room to watch anime. They were playing the Animatrix, which unfortunatly did not impress me, so I made my way back up to Rocky. There were problems with the DVD player (I swear that thing never gave me a problem before), but Anna and Jill were kind enough to... ahem, entertain everyone till this was sorted out. Then we had a great Rocky showing.
Afterwards I went to sleep in the con suite on "the couch that transforms into a couch".
Sunday, June 29th.
Woke up early, showered and dressed, and picked up sodas for Aaron and Mara. it was time for the auction, Aaron was in charge of the auction, and Cat resumed her role from last year of vibrating the auction items. And encouraging people to bid by removing an article of clothing as the bids increased. She was down to her bra and panties when "The Last" broke $750. Aaron, who never needs an excuse to show off his Demona tattoo manned the auction shirtless as well. And I think at some point Greg agreed to take off his shirt if anything broke $1,000. Which didn't happen.
The auction kind of died off when most of the big spenders went off to the "Team Atlantis" panel, but we resumed and sold off what we could after Closing Ceremonies.
Ah Closing Ceremonies. Always bittersweet. I introed my staff again, and let G2004 pitch their con as well. Thanked everyone for coming, then turned it over to Greg.
Then I went down to the Con Suite after Patrick set up his laptop there, so we could accept PayPal payments for auction items. While doing this, I corrupted Batya by showing her the first two episodes of "Clerks" ;)
Since the Dreamer Clan was bidding their farewell, I spent most of the day in the con suite, making sure it wasn't trashed and nothing was stolen. Helped clean up where ever I could, and eventually showed the remaining four "Clerks" episodes. Then we watched "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker", anime music vids, and later "Cowboy Bebop the Movie". Seth made a great comment here. "This movie is about SARS! Nano-SARS!"
After that was over, we watched anime music vids again, but I was exhausted and went to sleep.
Monday, June 30th.
Woke up, showered and dressed, and Patrick, Mara and I, (forget who else), cleared up the con suite before we had to check out. We relocated to Aaron and Mara's room for the rest of the day. And later, most of us took a trip down to Midtown Comics. The majority of the time we spent in the pr0n section. I believe it was Aaron, Goliath116, Cat, Revel, Spacebabie, Y2Kecate, and I. Revel and Spacebabie cut out early. But the rest of us, shared pr0n, and just looked at it for a long time. Some might say we're all a little too comfortable with each other.
Came back the hotel, but it was almost time for me to leave. Had the hotel staff bring my car around, while we transported all my crap and other stuff to the car. I said good bye to everyone and drove off. I ended up leaving my katana in Aaron's room, but that was okay, because I had to come back the next day to pick up Greg W and takin him to LaGuardia. but first I went to work to cash my paycheck, went home and ate dinner, and got myself directions from the Hotel to LaGuardia from mapquest.com.
Tuesday, July 1st.
Lesson of the day. NEVER, EVER, EVER Use MapQuest.com.
Started driving back into the city, and as I approached the hotel, something happened and my engine began to sound like a lawnmower. but figured I'd make it. Got my katana and said good bye to Aaron again. Said bye to Carol, and Greg and i got into my car. Some small talk, we discussed comics, and his time in NYC. He mentiond pcking up "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", and having liked it. He thought making Captain Nemo an Indian was interesting, cause he's never seen him played like that before, and it was a long time since either he or I had read the book (actually I checked the book recently and saw that Verne wrote Nemo as an Indian, the movies just made him a Brit.)
Then Murphy's Law kicked in. The direcions sucked and we were going in circles. We passed the Hotel Pennsylvania at least twice. They wouldn't let us get onto 34th St, where we needed to be to take the Midtown tunnel. A guy in a van smashed my mirror, got out, tossed $20 and left. Greg wrote down his license plate number though. The transmission in my car started going crazy up the yin-yang. We finally go to the tunnel, and missed the exit, drove all over Queens, trying to get back onto the highway. Almost ended up in Brooklyn. I'm panicing, and Greg is keeping a level head. But we got directions, and made it to the airport. Greg thankfully made his flight. He told me he's going to make fun of me in Ask Greg, but it's all in good fun. I look forward to seeing it. It was an adventure. And looking back, I can laugh about it, though I was a wreck for a couple days after it happened.
My car has been repaired, nothing bad happened, and it's running beautifully again. Figures, of all the times it goes crazy, it had to happen with Greg Weisman in my car. But we're cool. Everything's cool.
Hosting the Gathering was a real experience. It was hard difficult work, and I doubt I'll ever do it again. But everyone seems to have had a good time. And I thought it was time to give something back to the series in fandom that I love. So, I'd love to thank everyone on my staff. You all did great. Best staff I could ever ask for. So, Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Dreamie, Winterwolf, Carol, Kathy, Patrick, Hudson, Noel, JEB (you helped a lot), and Jen (I know you couldn't make it, but I still feel I couldn't have done it without you), all my best regards to each of you, and I hope to see you all in the near future. To all the Security (Kythera, Goliath116, Zaius, Duncan, etc), and volunteers, you did great. To everyone for coming, this fandom is truly awesome. And to my brother, Alex, you weren't on staff, but you broke your back for us. Thank you.
The weekend has become a big blurr, so I apologize if i forgot anyone or anything. But to everyone, you all Rule!
I hope everyone goes to Gathering 2004. Montreal has a great staff, and a great location. G2004 is going to kick ass! Give Karine, Sapphire, and the rest of the staff all the support in the world. Being on con staff is not easy. It's a very hard job. be thankful there are people dedicated enough to do this every year. It's a labor of love.
Ah, yes, Mr. Bishansky's Wild Ride. Everyone should try it.
Well, I'm not exactly sure when I'll be watching Cloud Fathers and doing that ramble, but it's obviously on deck, so while I'm thinking of it, I thought I'd present my notes on the Outline from May of 1995.
SPOILERS for the episode.
Notes on "The Cloud Fathers" Outline...
Primary emotional conflict is between Peter and himself. It's an internal conflict. Think Field of Dreams. He can't admit that there was value to his father's Sioux Traditions or he'd have to admit that he wasted all those years being at war with his dad. Now that his dad is dead, he feels it's too late to see his pop's PoV. That's where his adamant stance comes from. But we won't objectively reveal that Peter's dad is dead until the last scene.
We'll illustrate this conflict by letting Coyote/Trickster/Kachina appear as young Peter. One of the trickster's goals is to recover the real Peter. Bring him back to the fold, so to speak.
We'll have less "obvious" magic up front, or else it's hard to keep the real Peter in complete denial. Replace shimmering trickster with trickster posing as mysterious "young Peter" in various guises. Very worldy and cynical the way young Peter was and old Peter believes he still is, but really isn't.
Not a Beth/Peter conflict, per se.
Maza family is Sioux. Not Hopi.
In retrospect, I was wrong to leave the real Xanatos out of this story. His presence will undercut Coyote, but we need someone for Coyote to talk to anyway, so we might as well put Xanatos on the scene and in charge. It's another one of his bids for immortality. And the narcissistic byplay between Xanatos and Coyote might be fun.
It's Coyote (Kachina Trickster) vs. Coyote (4.0 Robot & Xanatos) for the Trickster hall of fame.
Coyote-4.0 has been made from an alloy that includes the melted down Cauldron of Life, making him able to catch and contain a Kachina. The robot is also heavily upgraded with armor and weaponry, making him a lot tougher than the last three versions Goliath defeated.
No longer necessary to force the proximity between campus, construction site and "village".
Don't need the elders.
Keep the midnight ceremony, but I'm extremely nervous about the dancing -- it could be a real animation problem.
1. Teaser opening at seemingly deserted construction site. Something very weird and spooky is happening to the bulldozers. Don't show too much.
2. Flashback to 1960. Peter, an only child, is 18 years old. (Maybe he's got a brush cut, while his dad has very long hair.) Peter's fighting with his dad. Dad believes in old ways. Peter doesn't. He leaves for NYC.
3. Dissolve to Peter waking up from Flashback dream as his airplane comes in for a landing. He doesn't like to be back in Arizona.
4. Beth picks him up at airport. She's asked him to come because of Xanatos' building project on leased tribal land. (She can't tell authorities about Derek, but she knows X is probably up to no good.) Peter is equally suspicious of Xanatos. (As long as it's a real world thing.) Beth's driving Peter out to get a look at the construction site. Small talk en route: While he's in town does Peter want to "visit" grandpa? No, he does not. O.k., then, new topic. Any word on Elisa?
5. Mist to swimming pool. Elisa is alarmed to find out where they are. If Avalon sent them here, her sister Beth might be in danger.
6. Beth and Peter arrive at construction site. They are given permission to enter, even encouraged to enter, by a young security guard (whom the audience may or may not recognize as a dead ringer for the young Peter Maza, but who is in fact the kachina Coyote in disguise). Beth may say in an offhand way that the security guard looks familiar. Once inside the perimeter, we find the bizarre Stonehenge of vehicles and tires (in front of the large shed that hides the soil carving). And then Peter and Beth are surrounded by Xanatos and the tribal police. Arrested for trespassing and vandalism. Vandalism? They didn't do this. How could they? And the security guard gave them permission to enter. Xanatos says he has no security guards, but maybe he should hire some. Take them away.
7. The next day, Beth and Peter (a bit worse for wear) make it back to her off-campus apartment. They spent the rest of the night in jail, before making bail. Elisa is inside waiting for Beth. Reunion. Gargoyles are frozen in stone on the terrace. They discuss Xanatos situation. He must have set them up, which is a neat trick since he didn't know they were coming. Who was that security guard? He's the key to proving their innocence. And what is Xanatos up to on that land in the first place?
8. Meanwhile at construction site, Xanatos is in conversation with someone who's standing in the shadows. Someone who sounds a lot like Xanatos. (Coyote Robot, obviously.) Xanatos knows the Mazas didn't have anything to do with the "vandalism". But he let them take the rap because he didn't want the tribal police to investigate any further. Maybe he has a security camera video of "Young Peter/Phony Security Guard/Coyote/Trickster/Kachina" giving the Mazas permission to enter the site. Xanatos thinks that this security guy is the true vandal. He's positive he knows who the guy is. And he wants him.
9. Night. Goliath and Angela have been filled in. They are going to enter construction site by air to find out what Xanatos is up to. Peter has a few moral qualms about this, but the Gargoyles don't legally exist, so legally no one is trespassing. (Let's also not make Peter and Beth too comfortable too quickly around the gargoyles. Knowing they exist and seeing them frozen in stone, is not the same as seeing them walking and talking in all their glory.) After gargoyles head out, Elisa asks whether Peter might want to "visit" grandpa, after this is all over. No, Peter does not.
10. Goliath and Angela glide in. Enter the "shed". Find the soil carving and the land-sat pictures, though they don't know the significance of them. Then Coyote-4 shows. He was expecting Peter and Beth Maza, not Goliath and Angela, but he figures they'll do. We have a fight, which the gargoyles lose. They are down for the count.
Intercut between beats 11 and 12.
11. Outside the construction site, Peter, Beth and Elisa spot "Young Peter" (no longer dressed as a security guard, but as we saw young Peter dressed in the flashback). With Bronx's help they "apprehend" him. Now that he doesn't have his security guard hat, both Beth and Elisa are startled by his resemblance to their father. "Dad, doesn't he remind you of someone?" But Peter doesn't notice the resemblance and doesn't give them much opportunity to comment on it. He wants some answers from this faux-security guard. Why did he help Xanatos frame them? The kid sidesteps the question by asking a question of his own. Why shouldn't he help Xanatos? Who cares if Xanatos destroys a soil carving sacred to the kachina Coyote? All that old indian stuff is just that: old indian stuff. Beth is shocked. If that's what Xanatos is up to, he definitely must be stopped. Peter begrudgingly agrees that the tribe should be informed. The soil carving has anthropological value at least. Oh, please, says the kid, scoffing at Peter, the way Peter once scoffed at his father. Xanatos is bringing jobs to the tribe. Real jobs. Real money. If you inform the tribe, they'll just rope the site off as sacred land and Xanatos' project won't get off the ground. No jobs. No cash inflow. The kid looks at Peter and says: Get with the program, old man. Besides, where are your priorities. Your worried about some scratches in the sand, while Xanatos is about to ice your two gargoyle friends. The Mazas look shocked. They instinctively turn to look toward the construction site. In that moment, Bronx starts howling, and when they turn back, the Trickster has vanished.
12. Goliath and Angela regain consciousness inside the shed. Coyote-4 has just finished securing them in some kind of James Bondian deathtrap. Xanatos is there and he's actually apologetic. He has no desire to kill either Goliath or this intriguing new female. But the death trap has to be real, and he must be prepared to follow through or else he couldn't hope to trap his true quarry. He's figured that out at least. For weeks he kept pretending that he was about to destroy the soil carving, but until he made up his mind to actually bulldoze the thing last night, he didn't even get a nibble. His prey obviously knows when he's sincere. The seconds tick away and soon the gargoyles will die.
13. Led by Elisa, the Mazas and Bronx are breaking into the construction site perimeter and shed. (If we need a legal rationale, Elisa feels they have probable cause at this point. They have reason to believe a homicide is about to take place.) Peter can't figure out how that strange kid got away so fast. Beth thinks she knows how and also who the kid really is. But before she has a chance to voice her theory, they're in. Unfortunately, Xanatos (in his battle armor) is waiting. It looks bad for all of our heroes. And then Xanatos is hit with a lot of bad luck. Outrageously bad luck. And Xanatos actually seems pleased. He knows his quarry is near. All our gargoyle and human heroes escape, but not before Beth sees "Young Peter" watching them from the rafters. Coyote-IV tries to sneak up on him, but "Young Peter" jumps out an open window (or something) to safety.
14. Our heroes head for the tribal police station to inform the authorities about Xanatos and the hidden soil carving. Beth finally has a chance to reveal what she's now convinced is the truth about the faux-Security Guard. She believes he is Coyote, the trickster. Peter can't believe that this nonsense is coming out of the mouth of one of his daughters. The guy was a punk working for Xanatos. But Beth spells it out. Why would Coyote try to grab one of Xanatos' employees? And c'mon, the guy looked exactly like old pictures of Peter. And he was clearly trying to goad Peter into action through some pretty amateurish reverse-psychology. Plus the soil carving is sacred to Coyote. And who else would have the power to set those bulldozers up that way? And how about the amazing string of luck that allowed them to escape unharmed? That "kid" was Coyote. And he was protecting his sacred carving and us. Peter is appalled. He appeals to the others. But Elisa knows that such beings exist. She's met them. And Goliath says that Beth's theory fits with what Xanatos said earlier about his "true quarry". Angela finds it hard to believe that Peter doesn't believe. Peter won't budge. This is about a rich guy trying to build a building by bulldozing a cultural icon. That's it.
15. Just before they get to town, the gargoyles hide. The Mazas arrive outside the tribal police station. It is dark. Around back, there is some kind of tribal ceremony going on. No spectators. Just participants in masks. Beth is a student of this stuff, but even she's stumped. Nothing was scheduled, and she's unfamiliar with this ritual. Reluctantly, Peter explains. It's a ceremony of gratitude to Coyote. He knows because when he was a kid, his father made him participate. In fact, he played Coyote in the ceremony. But this old rite was rarely performed even when he was a kid. Beth sees this as further proof. The dark, empty police station. The spectatorless ceremony to Coyote. But Peter just mumbles, "It's a coincidence." Then the 'Coyote dancer' takes off his mask, revealing himself to be the "Young Peter" and asking the real Peter if this is a coincidence too? Before Peter can respond, Coyote-4 rockets into the scene, grabs "Young Peter" and rockets away.
16. Pick up more or less where we left off. The other dancers take off their masks as if waking from a trance. They are the tribal police we met in beat 5. They don't have a clue what they were doing out here, but are very interested to learn about the soil carving in the shed. The Mazas hook up with the gargoyles who saw the robot zoom in and out. Everyone is now sure they must save the true Coyote from Xanatos. Everyone but Peter. Xanatos was simply saving his employee from arrest. There's no one to rescue. Peter refuses to participate in any more of this foolishness. He is adamant in his denial. ADAMANT. This can't be true. It just can't.
17. But of course, it is. The Young Peter/trickster is locked in Coyote-4's grip. He's not exactly terrified, but he's a bit surprised he can't shape-shift himself free or vanish into smoke or something.
(NOTE: I don't know exactly where this should take place. Back in the "shed" makes logical sense, but we've staged all of our action there, and we might want to mix it up some.) Xanatos explains that Coyote-4 was made from an alloy that included the melted down Cauldron of Life -- a device which was supposed to grant Xanatos immortality, but fell short of his expectations. So he put it to a new use. The magic metal of the Cauldron allows Coyote-4 to hold onto Coyote-Trickster indefinitely. (And no, the irony of the names isn't lost on Xanatos. He's always considered himself something of a trickster at heart.) Now, with the trickster under his control, he can get his heart's desire. Starting with immortality. Just then Beth, Elisa and the gargoyles bust in. Still without the trickster's help, it isn't going well. Suddenly, a man appears in the Coyote mask from the midnight ceremony. His mere presence seems to bring bad luck to the villains. Xanatos is shaken. He thought he had the real coyote/trickster but now he isn't so sure. The tide turns. "Young Peter" is freed. Coyote-IV is destroyed. Xanatos is forced to flee or something. And of course, the masked man is revealed to be Peter Maza, who really doesn't know why his appearance helped turn things around. "Young Peter" explains that playing Coyote all those years ago connected them. They are part of each other, which, Young Peter says, is why he worked so hard to get him back. And with that Young Peter vanishes. Leaving the real Peter with the Coyote mask. Peter turns to his daughters and says. Let's go visit your grandfather.
18. We dissolve to the gravesite of Peter's father. The gargoyles keep a respectful distance. Elisa and Beth are closer, but also give Peter room. In a monologue to his dead dad, Peter reveals why he couldn't believe: if he admitted he had been wrong all those years ago, then he'd have had to admit that he lost all that time with his dad for nothing. He believes now, but it is too late. And he's so sorry, because he wishes there was some way his dad could know how much Peter always loved and respected him. Elisa and Beth approach to comfort their father. "I think he knows, dad. I think he knows."
O.K. That's it. As usual, NONE OF THIS is etched in stone. If you like it, you can go right to script. If you don't like it or any part of it, just come talk to me.
Well, I don't have a website or a LiveJournal, so I was going to do something like this myself. (Sorry, long speech.) I got home around 8 Sunday night, just in time to tape the new Caesar TV-movie. This was . . . I think it's fair to say this was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.
Traffic was a beast on Friday night. I left work in S. Jersey around 4:15 PM, thinking I might see part of the opening ceremonies, since MapQuest said it would be just a 2-hour, 100-mile drive up the NJ Turnpike. Hah! There was a lot of congestion, and I made it to the Lincoln Tunnel exit around 7. Then I crawled my way through hideous traffic for an hour until I got to the Tunnel. Within five minutes of leaving the Tunnel, I got lost and found myself on a road that led me inexorably, without exits, back to the Tunnel. A traffic cop led me to believe I would have to fight my way through at least half of the traffic jam I'd lived through the first time, and I basically screamed my way down the Tunnel. Fortunately, I took the Hoboken turnoff and had a much shorter path to the tolls ($6 again!). And this time, I found the hotel, even if I was overwhelmed by insane taxis and ruthless hordes of pedestrians, and forced to settle for parking at $32/day three blocks away.
Other than some early-morning problems waking up, that was probably the last bad thing that happened to me after I walked through the PA's doors at 10 PM exactly.
I made it in time to the 10 PM Fanfic Sex Panel and met three of the people I was most excited about - Mooncat, Ellen Stolfa, and Princess Alexandria - as well as some other cool names, including Stephen Sobotka and Lynati, who answered so many of my Gathering questions and had a big impact on my planning. Afterwards Mooncat took me to the room she was sharing with Alex (I'll call her Princess here, even though I usually call her Alex, so as not to confuse her with other Alexes) - and me. They'd been more than incredibly generous in offering me sleeping space, and since my original ideas for a place to sleep proved dreadfully unworkable, it proved to be a lifesaver. And of course, being able to have private conversations with two fellow femslash authors - *glee*. And MC had great presents, including the Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn T-Shirt that I wore most of Saturday and am totally in love with. Anyone who reads my stories would know it was me that day without having to look at my nametag ;). Then I listened in to the Mug-a-Guest panel for a while, just in time for the Lexington surprise. Then I spent a couple hours with MC and Princess talking, which was a blast, and I finally got to see Silver Falcon for the first time.
Saturday was the best day, partly because unlike Sunday, I didn't look at a clock obsessively. I had an 11 AM panel to sit on, so I met with my fellow panelists at 10, my first time with Dylan Blacquiere and Patrick Toman. The panel went great, the turnout was satisfactory considering the competition we had, and I felt extremely flattered sitting with Dylan, Patrick, and Ellen, talking to people who were interested in what I had to say. Then I finally got to register, where I met Mara for the first time (and she was very happy to see me - I hadnt realized she was a fan. But I love her MiSTs, so _I_ wasn't complaining). Later I wandered around the Art Room, attended the X-Over and Blue? panels, showed Liz and Constance my shirt, and then watched the Radio Play, which coincidentally was my favorite episode, Reckoning. Best part - Thom doing Sevarius and indulging in some Dr. Evil laughs with "Thailog" (Orion, I think?). Then came dinner with Princess, since I passed on the banquet, and we talked and went back to our room and watched "Broadway goes to Hollywood" (which I had not seen and, figures, was a disappointment even with Fox - when she tries to tackle Hyena and falls on her face, I wanted to vomit), "Sanctuary", and "Reckoning". The Masquerade was a classic - favorites were Spacebabie as Robyn, Revel as Vinnie (that was great), Seri Wavelength as Gruoch, and Patrick as . . . well, I'll let you wait for pictures Later I went out with MC, Princess, and Bizz, and then saw the Rocky Horror showing where - like I told Ellen, you just had to be there. Then more talking with MC, Alex, Ellen, Dylan, and Bizz, shower, curl into my Ivy shirt, and go to sleep. (I made MC purr *blush*)
On the last day, which had that frenetic, sad quality of not wanting the hours to pass, I visited the auction. I didn't get anything (being outbidded at the last second on a Demona comic), which didnt bother me because of MC's gifts, so I could just congratz those who did. The audiotape of the Demona/Atlantis episode was manna from heaven, since I was so upset by the cancellation when I first heard about it that I would just glare at the Atlantis video and walk past it. Now I feel like I can watch it. When little Garg refs came up, like Moliere's "AOTN" remark, everyone cheered. When Demona talked, no one said anything. I think we were all concentrating/memorizing too intently. And that slightly remodeled D drawing, *shivers*. Then came closing ceremonies, which were happy and sad at the same time, but it ended quickly, giving me enough time to say my goodbyes to everyone before the Coney Island group left. I had a disposable camera and took lots of pictures, and then I got my bags, and I left. I had to run back as I got to the garage because I forgot to give Princess something, and THEN I got to my car.
At the risk of sounding less than manly, it wasn't until I drove out of the garage that I cried.
This was my first Gathering ever, and I never really believed I would ever get to one, and I doubt I will get to the Montreal one, but maybe I can pull it off. It would depend partly on who else goes. Better than the gifts and the panels and the exhibits and the comedy was getting to meet all of you in person, and I have these great memories. Those of you who I got to know for the first time like Seri and A Fan, I will be reading your stories if you have any, and I would like to keep in touch, so my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm also on YIM and sometimes AOL IM. Everyone else, I'll continue to see you on the Internet as well, but this was very special, and I would have stayed until Monday afternoon if my personal situation was different. Mooncat, I love you and your generous spirit; Princess, you too; Ellen, finally! You're such a pro (I feel like I'm graduating high school); Dylan, I am going to read the rest if it kills me; Pat and Kathy, you kept me involved long ago when it seemed like there was nobody else; Spacebabie, Lynati, Mara, Seri, Bizz, Liz, Stephen, thanks! What a weekend.
Extremely sincerely, Allaine
I'm so glad that your first Gathering experience was a good one. Here's to many more, I hope.
Time to ramble...
Chapter LIII: "Bushido"
Story Editor: Gary Sperling
Writer: Gary Sperling
Director: Dennis Woodyard
As with "Sentinel", which immediately proceeded this ep, the Previously scenes are all from "Awakening". Because again, we're going to use this episode to tell another story loaded with parallelism and "What ifs?"
My daughter Erin, who's seen this episode before of course -- but not recently, picked up on all of it immediately. Taro is a Japanese Xanatos. Kai a Japanese Goliath. Yama a Japanese Demona. Hiroshi a Japanese Elisa. Etc.
What if Xanatos' plan for the gargoyles had been more directly and publicly exploitive? What if Demona was tricked... but also maintained her sense of honor and need for redemption. And etc. Would things have worked out better or worse?
Fortunately, Goliath has (in a sense) been through all of this before. And fortunately, Taro is clever. But he's no Xanatos. So it all turns out all right.
But the parallels continue. Taro also parallels the Captain, and we even present a faux Wyvern to drive the Captain/Demona - Taro/Yama relationship home.
I also like how Yama uses Goliath as proof that the Ishimura Clan doesn't need to hide from the world. Goliath disabuses him of oversimplifying, but it reminds me of when Goliath cited Xanatos to Demona as proof that humans can be trusted.
Yama is great at spouting half-truths that he has thoroughly embraced. Or put another way, Yama is right about a lot. But has chosen a really poor road with which to pave his good intentions. (Not quite the road to Hell, but the road to being a living walkaround character in a theme park!)
LOTS O' LINES
Yama (bored): "Yes, I know. We're terrifying."
Kai: "It's the best kept secret in Japan."
Goliath: "And you believe this problem will be solved by charging admission?"
Taro: "I was always a poor student." (Understatement of the year. And I love how Kai tries to deny it. That's good manners, cuz you gotta figure that for once Taro is being honest -- disarmingly honest.)
Kai: "Gargoyle must not fight Gargoyle" (A conscious tribute, believe it or not, to the semi-seminal "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" and the line "Ape has killed Ape!")
Elisa: "If you don't hurry, you're gonna wind up TV Stars!"
Goliath (horrified): "NO!" (See, we always blamed Disney for GARGOYLES low corporate profile, but Goliath himself was uncooperative.)
Taro: "Nobody ever got rich off Bushido."
Taro again: "Who else needs lessons in courtesy?"
And Taro again: "Bushido is not kind to you, Yama."
Reporter: "You've watched too many cartoons."
Elisa: "But it's a start."
Most of our guest actors began our voice recording playing different roles. But part way through the recording, Jamie and I realized that we needed to start over. They were all good actors but we hadn't worked with most of them before. Once we actually heard the SOUND of their voices, we knew we had to do some switching.
My son Benny immediately noticed that Elisa spent the last half of Act One in a kimono. (I assume her regular outfit was being cleaned -- QUICKLY.) Again, Elisa looks good in anything.
Hey, we actually do get attacked by "EVIL NINJAS"!
Also notice that Taro purchased the same brand of Tranq Gun that Bruno uses for Xanatos.
I love the cultural difference that the Ishimuran Gargoyles face IN, instead of out.
I love how Goliath crumbles the faux stone castle walls.
Hiroshi and Elisa both have some really nice moves. But she's WAY better looking.
And how about those electrified fans of Taro's. VERY COOL. Credit for those go to Dennis Woodyard and his team. The script had electro-disks on Taro's palms. But the fans are much cooler than what I had pictured. (Though I am gonna use those palm disks someday.)
Just exactly how many domes did Taro build? When Elisa & Hiroshi are behind the main dome, there ALWAYS seems to be another dome behind them from every angle.
More damn automated cannons shooting up the place. Sometimes, we fell back on old standards.
Way at the beginning of the World Tour, we had a meeting to decide what we were going to do about foreign languages. The majority felt we should ignore them. (I was on the fence, myself.) So when we wrote and recorded Bushido, we used no actual Japanese. Later, Frank wanted to put the first section in Japanese (with subtitles) -- right up until Kai meets Goliath, and then begins speaking English as a courtesy to his new friend. I felt it would work great (though I sure wish he had brought it up earlier). I felt that even our youngest non-literate audience would be okay with it, since the situation being presented was VERY straight-forward and easy to figure out.
Unfortunately, Frank came up with his plan too late, and Disney didn't want to spend the additional money to rerecord everything. (Many felt it was a dubious creative choice, and the cost settled it.) But in general, I wish we had played with foreign languages more. In Bushido and other World Tour eps.
BUSHIDO IN ISHIMURA
We also were interested in showing that Goliath's vision for human/Gargoyle relations wasn't just a pipe dream. For centuries, humans and Gargoyles have protected each other and lived in peace in Ishimura. It's not a perfect system. The younger human generation has (as the ep opens) lost interest in learning the ways of Bushido. And threats to their little community will always exist, both from within and without. But we felt it was important to demonstrate that peace is possible. And by the end, the pact between human & gargoyle, which we sense had begun to be taken for granted, is renewed. And the study of Bushido will be resumed. This struck me so keenly -- i.e. the notion of young humans and gargoyles studying together in the ways of Bushido (which I view to some degree at least as the Japanese version of the Gargoyle Way), that I incorporated the idea into Gargoyles 2198. Eventually, Ishimura will train both gargoyles and humans from across the globe. The former as protectors, the latter -- as GUARDIANS. All proving that Goliath was a garg ahead of his time.
Yama popped for me a bit. We bulked him up and added him to BAD GUYS as a guy who really wanted to redeem himself for betraying his clan.
We also wanted to do an episode set in Japan for our Japanese Animation Studio. At one point, I noticed that this specific episode was scheduled to go to our Korean sub-contractor. This seemed insane to me, so we juggled some stuff so that WDTVA-Tokyo could do Bushido. And they did a VERY nice job with it.
AND WHO CAN FORGET THE ANIMATRONIC GIANT GARGOYLE
Frank Welker is a lot of fun playing this guy. I want to bring him back. Or them rather. And I love how Taro is stranded up there and then falls. And I love how he says, "Not now." when the Garg starts talking.
Anyway, there's my ramble... Where's yours?
1) Oh Greg, one more thing I forgot! I've heard you were an English teacher once before. Who was your most memorable student and why? Where did you teach? And how come I wasn't selected to be in your class?
I was a Shakespeare T.A. at Stanford. I also taught a literature class there, "The Mythic Hero in Modern Literature".
At U.S.C., I taught Freshmen Composition.
And through U.C.L.A. Extension I've taught a course on Writing for Television Animation.