A Station Eight Fan Web Site

Gargoyles

The Phoenix Gate

Greg's Ramblings

Search:

: « First : « 100 : « 10 : Displaying #1001 - #1010 of 1232 records. : 10 » : 100 » : Last » :


Posts Per Page: 1 : 10 : 25 : 50 : 100 : All :


Bookmark Link

CONCEPTION

A random bit of information that I thought I'd post while I'm thinking of it. Based on my current research, Alexander Fox Xanatos was conceived sometime between September 6th, 1995 and November 16th, 1995.

This may change, or I may eventually be able to pin it down more. But right now, that's my most current info.


Bookmark Link

Chapter XXV: "City of Stone, Part Four"

Time to ramble...

Picking up right where Part Three leaves off, Demona is forced to back off on killing Elisa right away because of Bronx. I really like that scene, mostly for how it illustrates Bronx's level of sophistication. It's not like he understands English, beyond a few simple names and commands. But he understands tone of voice. Something that Demona uses. She talks him down by saying nasty things in a nice tone of voice. He's still suspicious. But as long as her actions and tone don't get hostile, he's content to back off. At one point though, she can't restrain her venom, and he starts to growl again. And she has to regain her composure.

FLASHBACK

Great Choral music during the battle. Carl Johnson and music editor Marc Perlman (both of whom will be attending the Gathering this June in Los Angeles) did a magnificent job with this.

And there's some great fog as well.

It's also nice to see a legitimately joyful Demona, hoisting Macbeth into the air. He laughs, but his mind's on other things, wondering why Bodhe wanted to talk to him without Demona present. Perhaps he's feeling guilty. Perhaps she picks up on that, which is why she eavesdrops.

A tragedy of bad timing: My sense is that Macbeth is about to read Bodhe the riot act, when Luach interrupts. Mac essentially agrees with Luach, but not with his manner. He takes JUST the wrong moment to teach him a lesson about being a good king. Luach reacts badly and storms out. And it is Luach's behavior that Macbeth is considering when Demona leaves. Two seconds later, I'm quite sure the conversation went like this:

Bodhe: "Well, sire?"

Macbeth: "Well, what?"

Bodhe: "The Gargoyles, sire. You must disavow them!"

Macbeth: "Don't be a fool." etc.

The siege is pretty cool too. (Though you'd think boulders dropped from the battlements would be a touch more effective.)

Mac rescues Gruoch. Even at this age, I still think they're a sexy couple.

I like the scene where Canmore removes his Hunter's Mask. Like Gille before him with Demona, he's truly annoyed when Mac doesn't immediately recognize him.

"Never would I have done so! We have been allies for thirty-seven years!!" Demona ain't a great judge of character.

Luach and Bodhe show up. I like this scene too. (O.K., I'm partial. What can I tell you?) Bodhe has an interesting moment. One of two things happens here. Either he's pleased to finally have one of his own blood (i.e. his grandson) installed as King or the death of Macbeth has finally awakened the hero inside him. Or both. For once, I tend to give Bodhe the benefit of the doubt. I think, at this late date, he's finally come into his own. I like to think he died a good warrior's death at Luach's side.

Demona wakes up. She claims not to believe Gruoch's admonishment, but NOTE, she does not kill Gruoch. Underneath it all, she knows that Gruoch is right and feels chastened.

Macbeth wakes up. Here we have our final scene on Lunfanan Hill. It parallels the previous break-up of Mac and Gru. That time Mac sent her away, but he loved her still. This time she sends him away. She loves him too. But this parting is permanent. Very moving to me. "I will always love you." And because of that, he must leave her. But we know he hasn't forgotten her even into the present. Her loss informs what follows.

Back to the present. Over episodes two and three, things in the present have been progressing very slowly. Now the present takes center stage.

Demona echoes what I'm sure by this time we were all thinking: "Take off that mask. You aren't fooling anyone... Macbeth." And he explains that he wears it as a symbol of her betrayal. (And for a psychological edge, no doubt.)

Meanwhile, we have that semi-feeble exchange between Goliath and Xanatos in the air. Feeble (a) because in one little scenelet, the mouth on Xanatos' armor is moving like it had lips; and (b) because the whole tapestry thing was a fairly forced way to get X and Goliath back to the castle.

I like Demona's line: "Let's not start that again. You blame me. I blame you..." etc. It's a very rational Xanatosian moment for her. But that rationality is born from the knowledge that she can't kill Macbeth without killing herself. Her usual vengeful attitude is useless. What she doesn't know is how suicidal he is. "Revenge is a dish best served cold. And I have waited 900 years for mine." Hey, leave a dish out for 900 years and it will get pretty cold.

There's always a bit of comedy in the pain-sharing battles of D&M.

When the floor starts to give way, it reminds me of a scene that was WAY better animated in the DuckTales pilot. Where the bricks of gold fall away in a simlilar vein. It's nice here, but it was awesome there.

I also like when Demona has Mac's E-M gun, tosses it and catches it to fire at X and G. Nice little touch.

And Xanatos' truly frightened yet underplayed: "This is bad." when he sees the computer screen.

I like the multiple falls that get us down to the Atrium -- a wonderful setting for the final confrontations.

And Goliath's speech: "...Death never does."

Again we get multiple images of the Sisters throughout this scene. And again, I had to fight for that.

Each Sister gets to take a mental punch to weaken first Macbeth and then Demona. Are they being hypocrites here? One aspect of their persona is, certainly. But there's more going on, some of which I still haven't revealed.

But the key thing in terms of this scene (and the events of AVALON) is that both Mac and Demona need to be mentally weakened for the spells of control that the Sisters are going to use on them in HIGH NOON and AVALON. And M&D need to borderline volunteer to relinquish control over themselves. Macbeth, who has been suicidal, is tired and willing. Demona's tougher. But even she doesn't put up much of a fight. "You tricked me." she says. And certainly they have, but she can't break the grip of three children, and though of course they are not ordinary children, one must wonder if she really wanted to.

Goliath: You have learned nothing.

The sisters (as children) say their cool (and ironic) line: "We have written their stories. They are our responsibility. They are our children." My three year old son Ben says: "I love the triplets."

But theirs is a story for another day.

Xanatos really has to sweat in this one. Unusual for him. I love his line to Bronx: "What are you looking at?"

But once the skies burn, he's back to his old self: "Magnificent." Believe it or not, it took some effort to really get the skies burning. The animation came back with only a few contrails of gas burning. We used video tricks to get that whole sky-burning effect that was SO important to the story.

When the gargs rush back inside they were supposed to lift Elisa up into the air in their joy at seeing her unstoned again. Thus you have contrast to explain Xanatos' line to Owen, "You'll forgive me, if I just shake your hand." (But you also have to wonder how he'd respond to Fox when next he saw her.)

And Xanatos gives a line I'd been waiting to use for a year. "I always wondered why I allowed you gargoyles to live. You come in handy now and then." I had always worried that an audience raised on certain villain cliches would just assume that the reason Xanatos never killed the gargs on one of the myriad occasions when he had the chance, was because we were bad writers. This X/G exchange was here to demonstrate that X wasn't that kind of villain. That he was never wasteful. Maybe at this point in the series, it wasn't necessary to spell it out. But it was still nice to get the sentiment across.

Of course, this ends the Xanatos/Demona partnership. Uneasy though it had been. It's why VOWS had to come first.

And that's my ramble...

Where's yours?


Bookmark Link

My Journey to Oregon...

Around March of 1993, my boss at Disney, Gary Krisel, became fascinated with comic books -- mostly because his sons were collecting. At the time, no one was more successful than Tod McFarlane. He had launched SPAWN, and for awhile at least was bringing in multi-millions of dollars per month. WOW. I had worked briefly with Tod at DC Comics in the mid-eighties, when he was penciling INFINITY INC. for Roy Thomas, and I was Roy's Associate Editor on the book. At the time, Roy was a huge fan of Tod's. Most everyone else at DC thought his work was too eccentric. What did they know?

So anyway, Gary had me contact Tod. He wanted to see if he could get Tod interested in participating in GARGOYLES. We arranged a meeting at Tod's new home in Oregon. I prepared yet a tenth pass at the pitch, and Gary and I flew up north for an hour meeting with Tod. I did pitch the show, but Tod was way too focused on SPAWN to have any real interest. He and Gary talked about strategies for turning Spawn into a movie, and then we flew home. Nothing ever came of it. But here's the pitch, I pitched Tod:

GARGOYLES McFarlane Pitch
Semi-Modified Tenth Pass (Weisman / 3-4-93)

I. Trio of typical stone GARGOYLES.

"These are GARGOYLES. Ugly, stone statues that squat on the roofs of old buildings. But there was a time, one thousand years ago, when gargoyles were real, living creatures. During the day, they slept...frozen in stone."

II. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER. Proud and Noble.

"But when the sun went down, GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER would lead his gargoyle-warriors in defense of the king's castle."

III. HUMANS scorning the Gargoyles.

"For these efforts, Goliath received no reward, no thanks or even kindness. In fact, the people of the castle treated all gargoyles with nothing but contempt."

IV. The Gargoyle-Master alone in the throneroom.

"Still Goliath could no more stop guarding the castle than breathing the air. It's part of a gargoyle's nature to be territorial, protective. And so for years, he maintained his lonely vigil. Then one night, Goliath was betrayed and lured away from his post."

V. SORCEROR curses Goliath and the other gargoyles on the castle ramparts.

"The castle was overrun and sacked. Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were unfairly blamed. The kingdom's SORCEROR laid a curse upon them, and they fell into a stone sleep--that lasted a thousand years."

VI. Castle on the skyscraper.

"New York City, 1994. A rich and powerful man has decided there's a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Scotland. He's moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan."

VII. Police Detective ELISA CHAVEZ.

"All of which means absolutely nothing to New York City Police Detective, ELISA CHAVEZ. She doesn't care about castles, and she doesn't believe in curses. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

VIII. She's ambushed on a rooftop by multiple THUGS. She's got the drop on most of them. But someone's about to nail her from behind. (And from another rooftop, someTHING is watching in the shadows.)

"Too bad that trail leads her right into an ambush. But thank goodness, a shadowy figure sees what's happening and decides to help."

IX. Reveal THE GARGOYLE, determined, as he dives into fray from above.

"Thank goodness for THE GARGOYLE."

X. Gargoyle lifts a badguy with either hand. While a third shoots at him, the bullets glancing off his stone-like hide.

"Goliath benchpresses two badguys easy. And that stone-like hide of his makes him practically invulnerable..."

XI. Romantic shot in moonlight. Close in. She reaches up to touch his face gently. He looks handsome and noble and just a bit uncomfortable and sad.

"...To everything but Elisa's kindness. She is the first human being who's ever offered him understanding and friendship, hope..."

XII. From atop the skyscraper, she shows him Manhattan. The city as fortress. This is our showpiece card.

"...And a sense of purpose. She introduces him to his new home, Manhattan, and asks for his help in protecting it against modern day barbarians."

XIII. HUDSON. (One pose, plus two headshots.)

"Fortunately, our hero isn't alone. This is Goliath's old friend HUDSON, a Gargoyle-Warrior long past his prime. Hudson helps out by keeping an eye on the young Warriors-in-training..."

XIV. Trio of young Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. Same as card 1. (But in color, perhaps?)

"...BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. (Uh, they picked their own names.)"

XV. BRONX, the DOG. (Multiple poses.)

"And then there's BRONX, the Gargoyle-dog. He's not a big fan of adventure."

XVI. Bronx (two poses) chewing on a fire hydrant and flying.

"He just likes to eat a lot, sleep a lot and make a general mess."

XVII. Goliath and Elisa try to be inconspicuous on the Subway.

"Goliath has wider interests, but it can be hard for a seven-foot medieval monster to squeeze into the modern world."

XVIII. Interior of Gargoyle lair.

"Sometimes he just needs to retreat back to the old castle and let time stand still. Of course that can be tough too..."

XIX. XAVIER.

"Especially with XAVIER around. Rich, powerful and arrogant, Xavier bought the gargoyles' castle. Now he thinks he owns the gargoyles too."

XX. ROBOT climbing building toward Gargoyle.

"If something rotten is happening in New York...odds are Xavier's behind it."

XXI. DEMONA with BIG GUN.

"But Goliath's greatest foe is the evil gargoyle DEMONA."

XXII. Demona vs. Goliath, above the city.

"Once she and Goliath were friends. Now, she's his sworn enemy, and she won't rest 'til she controls the night..."

XXIII. Stone version of our Gargoyle. Looking vicious and scary. Daylight.

"And the night is all that matters, because the gargoyles still sleep as stone statues during the day, finding an outdoor ledge just before sunrise and striking a pose that could give you nightmares."

XXIV. Night. Goliath, handsome and noble again, on top of a skyscraper with the full moon, Elisa and the other Gargoyles right behind him. Gothic mood, but clearly set in the present.

"But when the sun goes down, they're our only protection from the city's dark terrors."

XXV. Title Card: "GARGOYLES".

"They are the GARGOYLES."

XXVI. KID at Disneyland.

"Joining the Disney Family in 1994."


Bookmark Link

Chapter XXIV: "City of Stone, Part Three"

Time to ramble...

So the sun rises on the next day. Elisa IMMEDIATELY starts talking, even though she's facing the wrong way, putting to the lie all those nice fans who tried to make excuses for why she was animated facing that direction.

It's also kind of cool to watch Goliath and Brooklyn turn to stone and then see Owen turn from stone to flesh. He's got that URGENT-Owen tone going there for a sec, then quickly regains his usual Owen composure. It's fun.

There's a line in here about mixing magics, which was supposed to be a vague, vague cover for later revelations that Owen is Puck. Owen suggests getting the Grimorum from Goliath. X responds it wouldn't do any of them any good since none of them are sorcerors and MIXING MAGICS is supposed to be dangerous. That last phrase is REALLY a reference to a notion in X's head, that Puck might be able to help. X than rejects the notion himself. He's right about mixing magics, but that isn't the main reason that Puck won't help. Puck won't help because that's not the deal that Owen made with Xanatos.

I like Xanatos' casual confidence though: "We'll just have to set the sky ablaze."

Travis scene is fun for me too. Gives me one of those oblique opportunities to semi-break the fourth wall. A woman comes up, tells Travis the truth. He discounts her story, nominally because she doesn't watch television. Anyone who doesn't watch television must be a kook. Now a report on Mass Hypnosis... (That last bit is in there to explain in passing what the world response to the City of Stone events is likely to be.)

FLASHBACK TIME: Duncan has a beard. "Some cousins are not that close." I love how Neil Dickson read that line. And I love Duncan's genuine surprise when Mac saves his life.

Mac saves Demona again. Proving what a good, loyal guy he is.

And then we bring in the Weird Sisters, in the most SHAKESPEAREAN scene in City of Stone.

But first let's talk about the title. I LOVE that title. "CITY OF STONE". I think it was one of mine. But I have to admit it's flawed. Though it's spooky and evocative it really only covers the present day story. The present day story is certainly important, but I think we'd all agree that the real juice in this four-parter is in the tenth and eleventh centuries. And the title doesn't really cover that stuff at all. I didn't notice it at the time, because the importance of the flashbacks snuck up on me. At first I thought they would simply inform the action in the present. But it wound up being more of the reverse. Still I like the title. It sounds like a Movie title to me. What do you guys think?

Anyway, we bubble, bubble, toil and trouble it a bit. I love the nasty expressions that Canmore and Luach shoot each other. [I also love J.D. Daniels work as Canmore. He's such a little nasty. Great contrast to his work as the goody-good kid Tom.]

I'm fairly certain that we screwed up on Luach's name. The name should have been Lulach. But a typo got us stuck on Luach. At first I thought maybe either name would be accurate, like Malcolm and Maol Chalvim. But now I think we just blew it.

I love Luna's line: "You would lecture US on fate."

Erin, my six year old daughter, began to get very annoyed with Duncan here. "Why doesn't he give Macbeth one chance? He just saved his life! Duncan is a fraidy-cat. And stupid." I love a good judge of character. When Bodhe ("Be reasonable, Macbeth") tells Mac that Duncan's after him, and Mac can't believe it, Erin felt quite vindicated, "See, [Mac] just asked the same question that I did."

I like Mac's sad line to Gruoch: "The Journey will be brief."

And I like D and Mac's exchange:

Mac: "You are the answer."
D: "I'm uninterested in the question."

Ben, my three year old son, was having a little trouble with how fast everyone was aging. He didn't always get that the flashbacks weren't taking place right after each other. He got the difference between past and present. But not that we kept leaping forward from say 1032 to 1044 etc. "That's a different Demona," he would say, before I explained that she was just getting older. It then occured to me that I'm not even sure if he knows that white hair specifically signifies old age in a cartoon. After all, Brooklyn's hair is white. So's Luna's, in all her forms. (It's supposed to be silver, but it looks white most of the time.)

Mac is surprised, and not a little freaked out, to hear that there's still a Hunter out there. With Gill dead, he has no clue who it could be.

He offers an alliance, and Demona -- clearly thinking of the Captain of the Guard -- says, "You sing an old song." That, for me, helped tie in our Wyvern flashbacks to the whole Mac/Demona story. I was always afraid they weren't really related enough.

The whole thing with the Sisters looking different depending on the point of view, was another idea of mine that most people thought I was nuts about. (Like having characters unaware of the change in themselves in "The Mirror".) It worked just fine, and in many ways is clearer than any alternative I can think of. But man, I had to WORK to convince people.

The sisters are pretty tricky here, they use the barest excuse of an offered trade to more or less enforce their will on Mac and D. Bending Oberon's law without breaking it. That's not too important here, but will obviously be important in later episodes.

The clues of course are planted in the spell. "Forever and eternal bound and each the other's pain resound." How many people got the implication here as opposed to figuring it all out when the sisters explained it near the end of part four?

Seline handing Mac that magic ball was another instance of us cheating a bit. We were sick of using the fall to the death shtick. But we couldn't just have Duncan skewered. So this was an S&P compromise. The good news was it looked pretty cool. Brief but scary. It even seems to scare Mac.

When Gruouch says that she's afraid Mac's made "a bad bargain," she was supposed to touch his hair to give a visual reminder that he had given up his youth to protect his clan -- and that it scared and saddened her more than a little. I gave that note over and over, but somehow it never got in there. It still works, but I really wish she had run her fingers through his hair there.

D likes Mac and Gruoch here. Look at her face. Maybe she sees a bit of herself and Goliath in them. (With Gruoch as Goliath, of course.)

I like the battle too. It's very economical staged, yet it feels kinda epic to me. Very smartly story-boarded. I really like Demona's clean sweep of Duncan's cavalry off their horses.

Mac says: "You fight like a demon." Laying the groundwork for Demona to get named. This was a bit of an argument with S&P. "Demon" was supposed to be an off-limit word for us. I convinced Adrienne Bello it was important to justify Demona's name. And my bosses backed me up. (That never happens anymore, by the way.)

There's a character in here that we never name except in the credits. He's Duncan's right hand man and Demona appears to brain him by flying him head first into a big rock. He's called MacDuff in the credits. Obviously, another name from Shakespeare. I think maybe he didn't die, but became an ally of Canmore's in part four. But I'm not sure. I know that in part Three, Charlie "Travis Marshall" Hallahan did his voice. In part Four, the character I'm thinking of (both of whom have red hair at least) is voiced by Jeff Bennett.

M&D find the mask with Duncan, and Mac says, "so the battle is truly over for us both." Which is majorly ironic, since we know the battle will continue for at least 900 years.

Bodhe comes out from the background only after "THE NIGHT IS WON!"

Bodhe, though contemptuous, is a very fun character to write. I love his little aside about Canmore: "He'll be trouble; slay him now." We like Mac better that he won't kill a child. But you'll notice that Demona won't kill the kid either.

The coronation is fun. That whole naming sequence is fun.

M: "They will learn to respect you."
D: "I'd rather they feared me."
M: "They'll do that too... 'Demona'"

A nice bow tied on that "Know her?!! I named her!!" line from way back in "Enter Macbeth".

Now as we prepare to segue back to the present, Erin recognizes the three sisters as serving wenches "Because of their hair". To which Ben says, "Me too". But when we get to the present, neither realize that the sisters are also posing as cops. Mostly, because they're police hats largely cover their hair.

Now finally, back to Elisa. Confused as hell, but beginning to catch on at the mention of PackMedia Studios. She heads for the Eyrie. X's response: "Ah, the charming Detective Maza." Love that guy.

Owen and Elisa do their little dance and we get to play a gargoyle recurring bit with them as they freeze into stone mid-argument. At this point my kids catch on to the basic rules. (All of which might have been clearer if we hadn't had such a big gap between watching part two and part three). Erin: "So the humans are the opposite of the Gargoyles. When they turn to stone, the others wake up."

Xanatos starts explaining the plan, and my son turns to me and says, "Daddy, I have to tell you something." [Which is how he starts most conversations these days.] "I had a lot of dreams about fire in the sky." I'm not sure if I believe him, but it was a nice conversation piece.

I like the way Goliath looks at Elisa when he says, "This has to work." Feelings showing.

Then everyone leaves to go pass gas. :) [I know. I'm really mature.]

Bronx goes after the tapestry. We wanted to keep that subtle so that we weren't tipping our hand. Did anyone wonder about that or did it just slide by? Did anyone remember at the cliffhanger that Bronx had been left behind to save Elisa?

Anyway, there's my ramble. Where's yours?


Bookmark Link

FOCUS TESTING

Perish the thought that a yes answer can just be a yes answer. We had approval to proceed, but the powers that be at Disney were still not sure about doing this kind of cartoon at Disney. So they decided to focus test it with kids. Of course, we didn't have an episode produced yet to focus test. So they decided to put the pitch on video, and here I was doing a "Modified Ninth Pass" on the pitch, for this test.

In a focus group test, for those of you who've never heard of one, they pull a bunch of kids more or less off the streets (or out of malls) and put them in a room to watch a cartoon or something. Then a moderator asks questions, while we watch behind a one-way mirror and/or on closed-circuit t.v. The process, from my point of view, is WAY less than scientific, as one strong personality can push an entire group into saying almost anything. Some kids try to guess what answers the moderator wants, and try to make him happy or piss him off. The mere fact that they try this skews the results whether they're successful or not. Also answers get confused, particularly with kids. A kid will say, for example, that he or she "didn't like the villain." That might mean that he or she thinks it's not a very scary or interesting villain. Or it might mean they think it's a GREAT villain to hate.

Personally, focus groups are fascinating to watch in the way a train wreck is fascinating. You can't take your eyes off it. But as feedback goes, I don't hold much store by them.

GARGOYLES FOCUS GROUP VIDEO-SCRIPT
Modified Ninth Pass (Weisman / 1-29-93)

1-A. Trio of typical stone GARGOYLES.

"These are GARGOYLES. Ugly, stone statues that squat on the roofs of old buildings. But there was a time, one thousand years ago, when gargoyles were real, living creatures. During the day, they slept...frozen in stone."

2-B. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER. Proud and Noble.

"But when the sun went down, GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER would lead his gargoyle-warriors in defense of the king's castle."

3-C. Goliath reading in library, sitting on small gargoyles.

"And if there was no battle to be fought, he'd retreat to the library to read and learn, all the while making sure that the other gargoyles stayed out of trouble."

4-D. HUMANS scorning the Gargoyles.

"For all these efforts, Goliath received no reward, no thanks or even kindness. In fact, the people of the castle treated all gargoyles with nothing but contempt."

5-E. The Gargoyle-Master alone in the throneroom.

"Still Goliath could no more stop guarding the castle than breathing the air. It's part of a gargoyle's nature to be territorial, protective. And so for years, he maintained his lonely vigil."

6. Close-up of Goliath.

"Then one night, Goliath was betrayed and lured away from his post."

7-F (and/or 7-Alt). SORCEROR curses Goliath and the other gargoyles on the castle ramparts.

"The castle was overrun and sacked. Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were unfairly blamed. The castle SORCEROR laid a curse upon them, and they fell into a stone sleep--that lasted a thousand years."

26. Xavier.

"Now it's 1994. A rich and powerful man has decided there's a better place..."

Pre-8. Castle.

"...for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Scotland."

8-G. Castle on the skyscraper.

"He's moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan."

9-H. Police Detective ELISA CHAVEZ.

"All of which means absolutely nothing to New York City Police Detective, ELISA CHAVEZ. She doesn't care about castles, and she doesn't believe in curses. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

10-I. She's ambushed on a rooftop by multiple THUGS. She's got the drop on most of them. But someone's about to nail her from behind. (And from another rooftop, someTHING is watching in the shadows.)

"Too bad that trail leads her right into an ambush. But thank goodness, a shadowy figure sees what's happening and decides to help."

11-J (and/or 11-Alt). Reveal THE GARGOYLE, determined, as he dives into fray from above.

"Thank goodness for THE GARGOYLE."

12. Gargoyle lifts a badguy with either hand. While a third shoots at him, the bullets glancing off his stone-like hide.

"Goliath benchpresses two badguys easy. And that stone-like hide of his makes him practically invulnerable..."

13-K. Romantic shot in moonlight. Close in. She reaches up to touch his face gently. He looks handsome and noble and just a bit uncomfortable and sad.

"...To everything but Elisa's kindness. She is the first human being who's ever offered him understanding and friendship, hope..."

14-L. From atop the skyscraper, she shows him Manhattan. The city as fortress. This is our showpiece card.

"...And a sense of purpose. She introduces him to his new home, Manhattan, and asks for his help in protecting it against modern day barbarians."

15-M. HUDSON. (One pose, plus two headshots.)

"Fortunately, our hero isn't alone. This is Goliath's old friend HUDSON, a Gargoyle-Warrior long past his prime. Hudson helps out by keeping an eye on the young Warriors-in-training..."

16-N. Trio of young Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. Same as card 1. (But in color, perhaps?)

"...BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. (Uh, they picked their own names.)"

20-O. BRONX, the DOG. (Multiple poses.)

"And then there's BRONX, the Gargoyle-dog. He's not a big fan of adventure."

21-P. Bronx (two poses) chewing on a fire hydrant and flying.

"He just likes to eat a lot, sleep a lot and make a general mess."

23-Q. Trio uses Bronx to play trick on Hudson.

"All in all, it's a lot for Hudson to handle."

24-R. Goliath and Elisa try to be inconspicuous on the Subway.

"Not that Goliath has it any easier. It's hard for a seven-foot medieval monster to squeeze into the modern world."

Pre-25 (and/or Pre-25-Alt). Exteriors of castle.
"Sometimes he just needs to retreat back to the old castle..."

25-S. Interior of Gargoyle lair.

" and take it easy. Unfortunately, he doesn't get much time for relaxation..."

26. XAVIER.

"Not with XAVIER around. Rich, powerful and arrogant, Xavier bought the gargoyles' castle. Now he figures he owns the gargoyles too."

30. ROBOT climbing building toward Gargoyle.

"If something rotten is happening in New York...odds are Xavier's behind it."

31. CATSCAN is discovered by Goliath and Elisa.

"Then there's CATSCAN. A scientist mutated by his own experiments..."

32. Catscan, in full pose and "Night Vision" head shot.

"...Into a bitter criminal with deadly Night-Vision."

33. DEMONA with BIG GUN.

"But the toughest villain of them all is the evil gargoyle DEMONA."

34. Demona vs. Goliath, above the city.

"Once she and Goliath were friends. Now, she's his sworn enemy, and she won't rest 'til she controls the night..."

35-T. Stone version of our Gargoyle. Looking vicious and scary. Daylight.

"And the night is all that matters, because the gargoyles still sleep as stone statues during the day, finding an outdoor ledge just before sunrise and striking a pose that could give you nightmares."

36-U. Night. Goliath, handsome and noble again, on top of a skyscraper with the full moon, Elisa and the other Gargoyles right behind him. Gothic mood, but clearly set in the present.

"But when the sun goes down, they're our only protection from the city's dark terrors."

37. Title Card: "GARGOYLES".

"They are the GARGOYLES."

38-V. KID at Disneyland.

"Joining the Disney Family in 1994."


Bookmark Link

Still at work on the pilot...

This is still us trying to work out the story we wanted to tell with the first writer we hired for the project (one previous to Eric Luke and two previous to Michael Reaves). I remember this writer felt that having the gargs turn to stone EVERY night was too limiting. He asked us to drop that. I didn't want to, but checked with my boss Gary Krisel for confirmation. Gary agreed with me, so the first order of business was confirming that rule.

Much of the rest of this is a repeat of stuff that already got said. The fact that I had to keep repeating myself was probably not a good sign that we had the right person for this particular project. (I've mentioned before, that I very much admire this writer; it was simply two people seeing things two different ways.)

GARGOYLES 1-22-93
Notes on First Part of multi-parter.

GENERAL NOTES
The following combines (in as coherent a form as we could manage) the General Notes of all concerned.

--First off, we raised the issue of the stone/day - alive/night rule and the problems it can potentially cause. The consensus was an acknowledgement of the difficulty, but a real desire to keep that element. Gary, in particular, felt very strongly that it was one of the main appeals to the concept: an automatic ticking clock to every story, kryptonite, etc.

--Though we all agree that the ECLIPSE would make a great episode some day, we're very concerned about establishing the gargoyle rules here in the first part. We don't want to confuse the issue with an eclipse.

--We want to keep the story largely from Goliath's point of view. His problems. His tragedies. But we don't want him to be a morose character. He's optimistic (until the very end). He believes that in time humans and gargoyles will learn to get along better. He has a sense of humor. He's heroic not dour.

--The-not-yet-named-Hudson is Goliath's aide and advisor. He is NOT a baby-sitter to the kids. In fact, if Goliath requested him to act as baby-sitter, he'd probably refuse. From his point of view, Goliath's the gargoyle-master, and the kids are his responsibility.

--Anyway, we'd like to establish the kids independence from the get-go, to help establish them as being more teen-age in nature than real young. They don't need a chaperone. They're cocky and gung ho.

--We also felt strongly that the castle should be home to both the gargoyles and the humans in 994 A.D. We discussed the following back-back-story as rationale:

Long before 994, there was a gargoyle rookery high on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. Medieval man sought out these rookeries as prime real estate for building their fortresses or castles. For one reason, the cliffside protected there backs, and the only accessible wall was easily manned by archers, etc. Secondly, medieval man knew that the gargoyles were instinctively territorial and protective of the rookery's inhabitants, whether those inhabitants were gargoyles or humans. If the humans of the castle could put up and co-exist with the gargoyles they'd have a built in group of warriors at night. And it was mutually beneficial: the gargoyles received human protection during the day.
Though not as rare in Europe as, say, the giraffe, even then Gargoyles and their rookeries were scarce. A castle-builder who couldn't find one to build on might carve stone gargoyles to fool and thus scare away would-be attackers. (Back then everyone knew about gargoyles.)
But our castle in Scotland was built on a rookery. And the gargoyles and humans have coexisted there for years. But as our story opens, relations are tense. Humanity as a race is taking on airs. To the humans, the gargoyles are uncouth. Grotesque. Ill-mannered. Nocturnal, and therefore noisy at night when humans are trying to sleep. Considered, at best, a necessary evil.

STORY NOTES
--The following "outline" is only designed to track the story and lay out the serious, emotional underpinning. It still needs to be injected with fun, humor, exciting action, etc. It comes to a tragic conclusion, but we aren't looking for 22 minutes of depressing tragedy. Obviously, it can be improved upon. Also, most of these scenes can be very quick.

ACT ONE
I. Open with peasants struggling on foot up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. It is minutes from sunset.
A. Intro ROBBY (a peasant boy) and ROBBY'S MOM. She's hurrying her son along (with other peasants) so that they reach the safety of the castle walls before the advancing army of MARAUDERS.
1. They enter the castle. The gates are closed.
B. CAPTAIN of the Guards has all his archers at the ready on the castle battlements. We establish hideous stone gargoyle statues.
C. Outside the castle, just out of arrow range, the Marauding Army waits for sunset. It's a large force.
1. LOCHTER, purely evil leader of the Marauders, is keeping his men in line. (Perhaps violently.)
2. One MARAUDER asks Lochter why they wait: "What about the Gargoyles?"
a. Lochter tells him that every castle in Scotland claims to have Gargoyles. Most are just statues. Soon it'll be dark. The archers won't be able to pick them off. They'll attack.
D. Darkness falls. Silently, the marauding horde climbs the hill. The Captain tells his men not to waste their arrows.
1. Marauders attack, perhaps with grappling hooks and ropes, their own archers, etc. Perhaps one grappling hook flies toward the largest of the stone gargoyles.
a. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER, suddenly comes to life, catching the hook. Play up the transformation big time. (Maybe as he awakens, he shatters a thin outer layer of stone, like shedding a new skin every night. Then again, maybe not.)
2. Goliath flies down upon the marauders, closely followed by many GARGOYLE WARRIORS. Fun action.
a. Maybe it looks for a moment as if Goliath has been dragged down by three or four marauders, but soon he's shrugged them off.
3. Prominent among the warriors is [DEMONA] a FEMALE GARGOYLE, that Goliath seems to favor.
4. Intro ELDER Gargoyle [HUDSON], who coaches from the battlements.
5. Also intro TRIO of "teen-age" Gargoyles [BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY] and their GARGOYLE-DOG [BRONX]. One in particular [Lex] can't wait to be a gargoyle warrior himself.
a. The trio participates in action, but the way they fight brings in humor. More prankish. They make fools of enemy.
E. Gargoyles rout the Marauders who sound the retreat. The battle is over.

II. In throne room, intro the spoiled, beautiful, young QUEEN and her rich, foppish court.
A. Intro semi-dottering old WIZARD. Sweet, but largely ineffectual. Establish that his powers are on the wain. He needs to have his books of spells in front of him to perform any magic.
B. Captain enters with Goliath. They report the victory.
1. Though the Queen is polite on the surface, we can tell she took the victory for granted. We can tell she takes these two for granted. In fact, holds them in contempt.
a. Captain may be a bit of a pig. Tobacco-spitting kinda slob. Queen assumes Goliath's just like him.
b. Queen might also suggest that after this Marauder episode is done with, the Captain will be reporting to LORD FOPWORTH over here. Captain's clearly steamed.
2. Captain and Goliath exit, but before they're out of earshot, they hear the queen make snide, contemptuous comment about Goliath and Gargoyles.
C. Outside the throne room, the Captain and Goliath are joined by the old one [Hudson] and the female [Demona].
1. Captain is really burned up about the way Queen treats Goliath. Wants to know why Goliath puts up with it? Why he stays?
a. Female agrees.
b. Goliath responds on another level. He has the patience to wait for a better day. He sees a lot that's positive about humanity. And he's proud of his own race. Someday, things will get better. Besides, this is his ancestral home. The castle was built on Gargoyle Rookery. Gargoyles are instinctively and atavistically territorial beings. Where would he go?
c. Old Gargoyle is satisfied with answer. He and Goliath walk off.
d. We see that neither the Female nor the Captain find the situation satisfactory.

III. In open courtyard, where peasants are "camped out", we see Gargoyle dog and trio of young 'goyles wreaking havoc. A. They're waking people. Eating food, sloppily. Making a general mess. But not maliciously. They're just having a good time. (This should be a real fun, good time scene.)
1. It looks like fun to Robby the young peasant boy, and he moves to join them.
a. Robby's mom pulls him away. Gargoyles are dangerous and untrustworthy.
b. This really hurts the de facto leader of the trio [Lex]. He decides to live up to the gargoyle reputation and scare them.
c. He succeeds. Robby now believes Gargoyles are bad.
d. Goliath intervenes. Maybe even disciplines. (Though he's not humorless.) It's getting close to sunrise anyway.
2. Gargoyles all move to the battlements and strike a pose. They freeze into stone at daybreak. (We need to really play this up too.)

IV. Daytime in Lochter's camp. Marauders are nursing their wounds.
A. Lochter is visited by a mysterious shrouded figure who wants to make a deal. (Maybe to misdirect the audience, we will put this stranger in the voluminous robes of the Wizard.)
1. In exchange for a fair share of the profits, stranger promises to secure entry for Lochter and his men.
a. And they won't have to worry about Goliath or his Gargoyles.

ACT TWO
V. That night, Captain talks to Goliath, Female Gargoyle and Old One. (Perhaps in front of Queen, as well.)
A. Captain urges Goliath to take all his Gargoyles and chase Lochter's army out of the county.
1. Goliath doesn't like the idea. He basically believes in DEFENSE, not OFFENSE.
2. Captain, with some support from Female, argues that the best Defense is a good Offense.
a. Besides, Goliath doesn't have to battle Lochter's forces, he just has to put a good scare into them so they'll never come back.
3. Goliath reluctantly agrees, but he's not going to take all the gargoyles with him. He'll go alone.
4. Female takes him aside. It isn't safe. He could never fight off all of Lochter's army alone. She's worried about him.
a. But Goliath has no intention of fighting. And he can be plenty scary enough, by himself. (Makes a scary gargoyle face to prove it.)
b. She says, at least, let me go with you for back-up.
c. He claims he needs her (his best warrior) to stay behind at the castle. (But it's clear that truthfully, he doesn't want to put her at needless risk.)
d. To make her feel better, he agrees to take Old One with him, in case something goes wrong. But the rest will maintain their nightly vigil.
5. Goliath and Old One take off after Marauders.
B. Lochter gets word from the traitor: there's been a slight change in plans.

VI. Intercut between the following:
A. Goliath and Old Gargoyle follow the tracks of the Marauders by starlight.
1. Goliath is impressed by how fast the army has traveled in one day.
B. Another fun scene with the Trio and their dog, before they are chased off by frightened and annoyed humans.
1. They explore the bowels of the castle and find the ancient caverns of the Gargoyle rookery that the castle was built on.
C. The Captain is giving some odd orders to his night guards. Sending them away from weapons' room. Etc.
1. He is examining their bowstrings, etc.

VII. Goliath and Old Gargoyle catch up with "army", only to discover it is a small band of men running abreast without equipment.
A. Goliath realizes something's definitely wrong. He and the Old One head back to the castle. But it's almost dawn.
B. The sun comes up.
1. Goliath and Old One are frozen, en route back to castle.
2. Trio and Dog are frozen in bowels of castle.
3. Gargoyle warriors are frozen on parapets.
4. Archers take up their stations, unaware that their bows have been sabotaged.
5. The captain (i.e. the traitor) gives the signal for Lochter's men to attack.

VIII. Lochter and his army attack.
A. Each bowman gets off one shot, before their bowstrings snap. (The Captain had tampered with them.)
1. Soon the castle is overrun.
2. And it doesn't help that the Captain opens the gates as well. This is probably all we see. The rest [in brackets] is just for story-tracking purposes.
[ 3. The battle is short.
B. The castle is sacked.
1. Anything worth anything is taken by the marauders.
2. All the humans including the Queen and the Wizard and Robby and his mom are put in chains and dragged off.
C. Lochter's men begin to destroy the stone Gargoyles with maces.
1. Captain tries to stop it. This wasn't part of the deal and isn't necessary anyway.
a. If Marauders leave territory with their slaves and booty, the gargoyles won't follow. It's not in their nature.
2. Lochter isn't taking any chances. All the gargoyles are destroyed.
a. Ultimately, the Captain has no choice.]

IX. Fade to sunset. Goliath and Old One awaken and hightail it back to castle.
A. They arrive long after Lochter has left. A small fire still burns here and there.
1. The castle has been sacked of all valuables.
2. There are no people.
3. And worst of all, the Gargoyles have all been destroyed, i.e. murdered.
a. They lie in stone rubble all around him. Partial pieces, etc.
b. There is no particular sign of the female; Goliath assumes that she is among the rubble. Big time FURY.

ACT THREE
X. The trio and dog emerge from rookery caverns. (Maybe they were temporarily trapped there by damage done during the battle.) They are torn up by what they find.
A. Goliath and Old One are relieved that someone survived. But that doesn't abate their anger.
1. Together, the six gargoyles fly off to get their revenge.

XI. Lochter's army has encamped for the night.
A. We see our Marauder taunt Robby and his mother outside in chains.
B. Inside his tent, Lochter and the Captain discuss how much ransom they can get for the Queen.
1. They figure the wizard is probably worthless.
a. Wizard wishes he could just get his hands on his books of magic.
b. Lochter taunts him with the books, burning them one by one. (Only one left.)
C. Outside the gargoyles attack. Lots of fun and action here.
1. Gargoyles are way out-numbered.
2. Old one is old. But he picks up a sword and holds his own.
3. Trio and Dog have little fighting experience.
a. Trio leader [Lex] makes use of some of the "scare" techniques that worked on the peasants in act one.
b. [Lex] saves Robby's mother from Marauder.
c. Robby saves him from one too.
4. Goliath is a holy terror. Wading into the hordes. Tossing them aside. Scaring the stuffing out of them.
D. Lochter and Captain hear the noise and look outside.
1. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Gargoyles are winning.
2. Captain says they better get out now.
3. Lochter dumps the last magic book and grabs the queen.
a. Wizard tries to stop him, but is pushed aside.
b. Lochter says he'll never see the queen again.
c. Wizard assumes they're going to kill her.
4. Lochter and Captain flee with Queen in tow.
5. Goliath sees them go. Follows alone.
E. Wizard stumbles out of tent with last magic book.
1. Battle is winding down.
a. Freed peasants and guards are now helping gargoyles.
b. Marauders retreat, scatter.
c. Queen is nowhere in sight.
2. Irrational Wizard blames gargoyles for causing the queen's death.
a. Using his spell book, he curses them. [See spell options below.]

XII. Goliath catches up with Captain and Lochter.
A. Captain tries to reason with Goliath.
1. Tells him he never meant for Gargoyles to be destroyed.
2. Besides, what does Goliath owe the queen anyway. Now he can return to his rookery and be left in peace.
B. Goliath rejects Captain's excuses.
1. The Captain had taught him to go on offensive. "See what your lessons have wrought." Etc.
C. Goliath defeats (kills?) Lochter and Captain.
1. Rescues grateful (and much changed and matured) Queen.

XIII. Goliath and Queen return too late.
A. Though it is still night, the other Gargoyles have been turned to stone.
B. Wizard feels like garbage when he finds out the truth.
1. But he can't undo the spell. Lochter burned his other books.
C. Queen says that her people will not return to the cursed castle. They will start a new life/build a new castle elsewhere in the kingdom.
1. She sincerely invites Goliath to join them.
D. Goliath says no. He will return to the rookery.
E. Only gift that Wizard can offer is to cast the same spell on Goliath that he cast on the other gargoyles. (Or perhaps a slight variation.)
1. Goliath agrees to this.

XIV. The stone Gargoyles are perched on the abandoned castle walls by the humans. Robby waves goodbye.
A. One DAY, 1000 years later.
1. XAVIER is looking over his newly purchased ancient castle.
a. "Terrific," he says, "Now move it to Manhattan."

END OF PART ONE

[NOTE: DEMONA's story tracks as well. Like the Captain, she hates to see the way Goliath and the Gargoyles are treated by the spoiled Queen. She and the captain make a deal. They will convince Goliath to temporarily remove the Gargoyles from the castle. Lochter will sack it and take away the humans as slaves, leaving the empty castle for Demona, Goliath and the rest of the Gargoyles.
Goliath screws up the plan by refusing to take all the Gargoyles away. Captain says, no problem. He'll sabotage his archers and the attack can take place during the day. He promises to protect the frozen Gargoyles.
Demona agrees, but just before dawn she gets nervous and flies away to hide.
She returns at some point (though Goliath won't see her). She sees the destroyed 'goyles and realizes that Goliath would never forgive that. She flies away to find a new life. Somehow, she will survive into the twentieth century, by which time, three factors will have turned her bitter and evil and eventually make her Goliath's worst enemy. (1) Her largely negative and criminal experiences since she last saw Goliath. (2) Goliath's inability to forgive her, (as much as he might wish he could). (3) Goliath's modern loyalty to humans, particularly Elisa Chavez.
In light of this, we should probably bring her back in @part Four of five-parter. She eventually teams up w/Xavier, raising the stakes, and tying part one to the rest of the story. However, though we should plant the clues, we shouldn't give any real indication that she was part of the Captain/Lochter conspiracy in Part One. All the revelations about her roll in the betrayal should wait until we see her again in 20th Century.]

SPELL OPTIONS
For initial spell that Wizard casts upon Old One, Trio and Dog in anger...
1) Frozen in stone for 1000 years.
2) Frozen in stone 'til castle rests in the clouds.
3) Frozen in stone so long as this castle stands on this ground.

For spell Wizard casts upon Goliath, as the best he can do for him.
1) Same, or maybe the slight variation of 999 years, giving Goliath a headstart, and an ability to see if it's safe.
2) Same.
3) Same.
4) He will continue his endless cycle of sleeping as stone in day, guarding the castle and his friends at night until either 1), 2) or 3) occurs.

Advantages and Disadvantages to various choices:
The main question, is whether or not Goliath has been awake and alone every night for a thousand years. (Goliath option 4)). If he has, it would allow him to be at least passingly familiar that modern technology exists. I.e. when we get him to NYC and he sees an airplane, he won't think it's a dragon. Plus there's the tragedy of that much loneliness. And the possibility down the road of one or two flashback episodes (Goliath fights in WWII or something). Disadvantages include that it adds a layer of complication to the spell. And maybe we like the idea that he thinks an airplane is a dragon. (Although keep in mind, we can always play those beats with the other 'goyles.)

As to the other gargoyles, the main issue is when do you want them to wake up. If it's not until after the castle is installed at the top of the skyscraper, than option 3) doesn't work. 1000 years makes a nice round number, but is it a stiff coincidence that the 1000 years ends in NYC? Probably no more so than the Castle in the Clouds curse, though the latter may have more ambience.

And again, if we want Goliath awake BEFORE the castle arrives in NYC, i.e. on the boat, than we have to vary the spell with him to some degree or else it won't be possible.

Right now we're leaning toward Goliath Option 4) "the endless cycle" coupled w/ Option 2) "the castle in the clouds". There is some concern that the Wizard casting two spells may be awkward though. So it's still open for discussion.

That's it.


Bookmark Link

I'm losing my touch...

I'm feeling like my smart-ass responses just haven't been very sharp lately.

So appropos of nothing, I'm taking a poll.

If you've got a few minutes, go through the smart-ass response archive and copy and paste your favorite one.

Maybe if you guys point out the "classics" to me, it'll help me redefine my mission on this score.


Bookmark Link

I'M TRYING!

Hey guys,

For the last couple hours, I've been trying a new system wherein in addition to my responses/answers/rambles/rants being placed in there appropriate subject-based archives, I'm also supposed to automatically add them to a chronological archive. In this case "RESPONSES 2001 - 2 (Feb)"

Unfortunately, I didn't start this first thing this morning. It was a good idea that came later in the day from one of your fellow fans. So some early-in-the-day responses won't make it into this new archive.

And, unfortunately again, I'm trying to learn a new habit here. It isn't literally automatic. I have to remember to do it. And I've forgotten to click that button on a couple of messages. Sorry.

I'll try to do better.


Bookmark Link

At work on the pilot...

We were still working with the first writer on the pilot story. This was a story that those of us at Disney, who had been working on this show since 1991, felt VERY strongly about. So I was taking a much stronger hand than I normally would (or should) as a development executive. Though I wasn't yet conscious of it, I was already moving toward being a producer of the series.

Among other little details, you'll notice that our enemy is "marauders" at this point. Not Vikings. You'll notice that we still have the personalities of Lex and Brooklyn switched, and in general they come off more as kids than young teen warriors. Tom is called Robby. (Later, I'd use the name Robby for the Captain.) Princess K is a queen. And the Magus is old and dottering.

GARGOYLES 1-20-93
Notes on First Part of multi-parter. (Weisman)

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
I. Open with peasants struggling on foot up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. It is minutes from sunset.
A. Intro ROBBY (a peasant boy) and ROBBY'S MOM. She's hurrying her son along (with other peasants) so that they reach the safety of the castle walls before the advancing army of MARAUDERS.
1. They enter the castle. The gates are closed.
B. CAPTAIN of the Guards has all his archers at the ready on the castle battlements. We establish hideous stone gargoyle statues.
C. Outside the castle, just out of arrow range, the Marauding Army waits for sunset. It's a large force.
1. LOCHTER, purely evil leader of the Marauders, is keeping his men in line. (Perhaps violently.)
2. One MARAUDER asks Lochter why they wait: "What about the Gargoyles?"
a. Lochter tells him that every castle in Scotland claims to have Gargoyles. Most are just statues. Soon it'll be dark. The archers won't be able to pick them off. They'll attack.
D. Darkness falls. Silently, the marauding horde climbs the hill. The Captain tells his men not to waste their arrows.
1. Our Marauder reaches the foot of the wall and tosses a grappling hook tied to a rope up toward the battlement. Toward the largest of the stone gargoyles.
a. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER, suddenly comes to life, catching the hook.
2. Goliath flies down upon the marauders, closely followed by many GARGOYLE WARRIORS.
a. Prominent among the warriors is [DEMONA] a FEMALE GARGOYLE, that Goliath seems to favor.
3. Intro ELDER Gargoyle [HUDSON], who coaches from the battlements.
4. Also on the sidelines, intro TRIO of "teen-age" Gargoyles [BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY] and their GARGOYLE-DOG [BRONX]. One in particular [Lex] can't wait to be a gargoyle warrior himself.
E. Gargoyles rout the Marauders who sound the retreat. The battle is over.

II. In throne room, intro the spoiled, beautiful, young QUEEN and her foppish court.
A. Intro semi-dottering old WIZARD. Sweet, but largely ineffectual. Establish that his powers are on the wain. He needs to have his books of spells in front of him to perform any magic.

B. Captain enters with Goliath. They report the victory.
1. Though the Queen is polite on the surface, we can tell she took the victory for granted. We can tell she takes these two for granted, particularly Goliath.
2. Captain and Goliath exit, but before they're out of earshot, they hear the queen make snide, contemptuous comment about Goliath and Gargoyles.
C. Outside the throne room, the Captain and Goliath are joined by the old one [Hudson] and the female [Demona].
1. Captain is really burned up about the way Queen treats Goliath. Wants to know why Goliath puts up with it? Why he stays?
a. Goliath responds on another level. True, it saddens him that his loyalty means nothing. But this is his ancestral home. Explains castle was built on Gargoyle Rookery. Gargoyles are communal, territorial beings. (Perhaps explain here why Goliath is the only garg. w/a name.) He cannot leave. Where would he go?
b. Old Gargoyle is satisfied with answer. He and Goliath walk off.
c. We see that neither the Female nor the Captain find the situation satisfactory.

III. In open courtyard, where peasants are "camped out", we see Gargoyle dog and trio of young 'goyles wreaking havoc.
A. They're waking people. Eating food, sloppily. Making a general mess. But not maliciously. They're just having a good time.
1. It looks like fun to Robby the young peasant boy, and he moves to join them.
a. Robby's mom pulls him away. Gargoyles are dangerous and untrustworthy.
b. This really hurts the de facto leader of the trio [Lex]. He decides to live up to the gargoyle reputation and scare them.
c. He succeeds. Robby now believes Gargoyles are bad.
d. Goliath intervenes. It's getting close to sunrise anyway.
2. Gargoyles all move to the battlements and strike a pose.

IV. Daytime in Lochter's camp. Marauders are nursing their wounds.
A. Lochter is visited by a mysterious shrouded figure who wants to make a deal. (Maybe to misdirect the audience, we will put this stranger in the voluminous robes of the Wizard.)
1. In exchange for a fair share of the profits, stranger promises to secure entry for Lochter and his men.
a. And they won't have to worry about Goliath or his Gargoyles.

ACT TWO
V. That night, Captain talks to Goliath, Female Gargoyle and Old One. (Perhaps in front of Queen, as well.)
A. Captain urges Goliath to take all his Gargoyles and chase Lochter's army out of the county.
1. Goliath doesn't like the idea. He basically believes in DEFENSE, not OFFENSE.
2. Captain, with some support from Female, argues that the best Defense is a good Offense.
a. Besides, Goliath doesn't have to battle Lochter's forces, he just has to put a good scare into them so they'll never come back.
3. Goliath reluctantly agrees, but he's not going to take all the gargoyles with him. He'll go alone.
a. Female balks. It isn't safe. He could never fight off all of Lochter's army alone.
b. But Goliath has no intention of fighting. And he can be plenty scary enough, by himself. (Makes a scary gargoyle face to prove it.)
c. He agrees to take Old One with him, in case something goes wrong. But the rest will maintain their nightly vigil.
4. Goliath and Old One take off after Marauders.
B. Lochter gets word from the traitor: there's been a slight change in plans.

VI. Intercut between the following:
A. Goliath and Old Gargoyle follow the tracks of the Marauders by starlight.
1. Goliath is impressed by how fast the army has traveled in one day.
B. The Trio and their dog are chased off by frightened and annoyed humans.
1. They explore the bowels of the castle and find the ancient caverns of the Gargoyle rookery that the castle was built on.
C. The Captain is giving some odd orders to his night guards. Sending them away from weapons' room. Etc.
1. He is examining their bowstrings, etc.

VII. Goliath and Old Gargoyle catch up with "army", only to discover it is a small band of men running abreast without equipment.
A. Goliath realizes they've been fooled. He and the Old One head back to the castle. But it's almost dawn.
B. The sun comes up.
1. Goliath and Hudson are frozen, en route back to castle.
2. Trio and Dog are frozen in bowels of castle.
3. Gargoyle warriors are frozen on parapets.
4. Archers take up their stations, unaware that their bows have been sabotaged.
5. The captain (i.e. the traitor) gives the signal for Lochter's men to attack.

VIII. Lochter and his army attack.
A. Each bowman gets off one shot, before their bowstrings snap. (The Captain had tampered with them.)
1. Soon the castle is overrun.
2. And it doesn't help that the Captain opens the gates as well.
3. The battle is short.
B. The castle is sacked.
1. Anything worth anything is taken by the marauders.
2. All the humans including the Queen and the Wizard and Robby and his mom are put in chains and dragged off.
C. Lochter's men begin to destroy the stone Gargoyles with maces.
1. Captain tries to stop it. This wasn't part of the deal and isn't necessary anyway.
a. If Marauders leave territory with their slaves and booty, the gargoyles won't follow. It's not in their nature.
2. Lochter isn't taking any chances. All the gargoyles are destroyed.
a. Ultimately, the Captain has no choice.

IX. Fade to sunset. Goliath and Old One awaken and hightail it back to castle.
A. They arrive long after Lochter has left. A small fire still burns here and there.
1. The castle has been sacked of all valuables.
2. There are no people.
3. And worst of all, the Gargoyles have all been destroyed, i.e. murdered.
a. They lie in stone rubble all around him. Partial pieces, etc.
b. There is no particular sign of the female; Goliath assumes that she is among the rubble. Big time FURY.

ACT THREE
X. The kids emerge from rookery caverns. They are torn up by what they find.
A. Goliath and Old One are relieved that someone survived. But that doesn't abate their anger.
1. Together, the six gargoyles fly off to get their revenge.

XI. Lochter's army has encamped for the night.
A. We see our Marauder torment Robby and his mother outside in chains.
B. Inside his tent, Lochter and the Captain discuss what to do with the Queen.
1. They figure the wizard is probably worthless.
a. Wizard wishes he could just get his hands on his books of magic.
b. Lochter taunts him with the books, burning them one by one. (Only one left.)
C. Outside the gargoyles attack carefully.
1. They are way out-numbered.
2. Old one is old. But he picks up a sword and holds his own.
3. Trio and Dog have no fighting experience.
a. Trio leader [Lex] makes use of some of the "scare" techniques that worked on the peasants in act one.
b. Saves Robby's mother from Marauder.
c. Robby saves him from one too.
4. Goliath is a holy terror. Wading into the hordes. Tossing them aside. Scaring the stuffing out of them.
D. Lochter and Captain here the noise and look outside.
1. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Gargoyles are winning.
2. Captain says they better get out now.
3. Lochter dumps the last magic book and grabs the queen.
a. Wizard tries to stop him, but is pushed aside.
b. Lochter says he'll never see the queen again.
c. Wizard assumes they're going to kill her.
4. Lochter and Captain flee with Queen in tow.
5. Goliath sees them go. Follows alone.
E. Wizard stumbles out of tent with last magic book.
1. Battle is winding down.
a. Freed peasants and guards are now helping gargoyles.
b. Marauders retreat, scatter.
c. Queen is nowhere in sight.

2. Irrational Wizard blames gargoyles for not protecting castle in first place and for starting this fight which caused the queen's death.
a. Using his spell book, he curses them. [See spell options below.]

XII. Goliath catches up with Captain and Lochter.
A. Captain tries to reason with Goliath.
1. Tells him he never meant for Gargoyles to be destroyed.
2. What does Goliath owe the queen anyway. Now he can return to his rookery and be left in peace.
B. Goliath rejects Captain's excuses.
1. Captain taught him to go on offensive. "See what your lessons have wrought." Etc.
C. Goliath defeats (kills?) Lochter and Captain.
1. Rescues grateful (and much changed and matured) Queen.

XIII. Goliath and Queen return too late.
A. Though it is still night, the other Gargoyles have been turned to stone.
B. Wizard feels like garbage when he finds out the truth.
1. But he can't undo the spell. Lochter burned his other books.
C. Queen says that her people will not return to the cursed castle. They will start a new life elsewhere.
1. She sincerely invites Goliath to join them.
D. Goliath says no. He will return to the rookery.
E. Only gift that Wizard can offer is to cast the same spell on Goliath that he cast on the other gargoyles. (Or perhaps a slight variation.)
1. Goliath agrees to this.

XIV. The stone Gargoyles are perched on the abandoned castle walls by the humans. Robby waves goodbye.
A. One DAY, 1000 years later.
1. XAVIER is looking over his newly purchased ancient castle.
a. "Terrific," he says, "Now move it to Manhattan."

END OF PART ONE

[NOTE: DEMONA's story tracks as well. Like the Captain, she hates to see the way Goliath and the Gargoyles are treated by the spoiled Queen. She and the captain make a deal. They will convince Goliath to temporarily remove the Gargoyles from the castle. Lochter will sack it and take away the humans as slaves, leaving the empty castle for Demona, Goliath and the rest of the Gargoyles.
Goliath screws up the plan by refusing to take all the Gargoyles away. Captain says, no problem. He'll sabotage his archers and the attack can take place during the day. He promises to protect the frozen Gargoyles.
Demona agrees, but just before dawn she gets nervous and flies away to hide.
She returns at some point (though Goliath won't see her). She sees the destroyed 'goyles and realizes that Goliath would never forgive that. She flies away to find a new life. Somehow, she will survive into the twentieth century, by which time, she will be bitter and evil and Goliath's worst enemy.
Which again raises the question, are we sure we don't want her teaming up with Xavier in parts 2-5?]

SPELL OPTIONS
For initial spell that Wizard casts upon Old One, Trio and Dog in anger...
1) Frozen in stone for 1000 years.
2) Frozen in stone 'til castle rests in the clouds.
3) Frozen in stone so long as this castle stands on this ground.

For spell Wizard casts upon Goliath, as the best he can do for him.
1) Same, or maybe the slight variation of 999 years, giving Goliath a headstart, and an ability to see if it's safe.
2) Same.
3) Same.
4) He will continue his endless cycle of sleeping as stone in day, guarding the castle and his friends at night until either 1), 2) or 3) occurs.

Advantages and Disadvantages to various choices:
The main question, is whether or not Goliath has been awake and alone every night for a thousand years. (Goliath option 4)). If he has, it would allow him to be at least passingly familiar that modern technology exists. I.e. when we get him to NYC and he sees an airplane, he won't think it's a dragon. Plus there's the tragedy of that much loneliness. And the possiblity down the road of one or two flashback episodes (Goliath fights in WWII or something). Disadvantages include that it adds a layer of complication to the spell. And maybe we like the idea that he thinks an airplane is a dragon. (Although keep in mind, we can always play those beats with the other 'goyles.)

As to the other gargoyles, the main issue is when do you want them to wake up. If it's not until after the castle is installed at the top of the skyscraper, than option 3) doesn't work. 1000 years makes a nice round number, but is it a stiff coincidence that the 1000 years ends in NYC? Probably no more so than the Castle in the Clouds curse, though the latter may have more ambience.

And again, if we want Goliath awake BEFORE the castle arrives in NYC, i.e. on the boat, than we have to vary the spell with him to some degree or else it won't be possible.

GENERAL NOTES
Finally, the following combines (in as coherent a form as I could manage) the General Notes of all concerned.

--First off, I raised the issue of the stone/day - alive/night rule and the problems it can potentially cause. The consensus was an acknowledgement of the difficulty, but a real desire to keep that element. Gary, in particular, felt very strongly that it was one of the main appeals to the concept: an automatic ticking clock to every story, kryptonite, etc.

--Though we all agree that the ECLIPSE would make a great episode some day, we're very concerned about establishing the gargoyle rules here in the first part. We don't want to confuse the issue with an eclipse.

--We want to keep the story largely from Goliath's point of view. His problems. His tragedies.

--The-not-yet-named-Hudson is Goliath's aide and advisor. He is NOT a babysitter to the kids. In fact, if Goliath requested him to act as babysitter, he'd probably refuse. From his point of view, Goliath's the gargoyle-master, and the kids are his responsibility.

--Anyway, we'd like to establish the kids independence from the get-go, to help establish them as being more teen-age in nature than real young. They don't need a chaperone.

--We also felt strongly that the castle should be home to both the gargoyles and the humans in 994 A.D. We discussed the following back-back-story as rationale:

Long before 994, there was a gargoyle rookery high on a rocky promintory overlooking the sea. Medieval man sought out these rookeries as prime real estate for building their fortresses or castles. For one reason, the cliffside protected there backs, and the only accessible wall was easily manned by archers, etc. Secondly, medieval man knew that the gargoyles were instinctively territorial and protective of the rookery's inhabitants, whether those inhabitants were gargoyles or humans. If the humans of the castle could put up and co-exist with the gargoyles they'd have a built in group of warriors at night. And it was mutually beneficial: the gargoyles received human protection during the day.
Though not as rare in Europe as, say, the giraffe, even then Gargoyles and their rookeries were scarce. A castle-builder who couldn't find one to build on might carve stone gargoyles to fool and thus scare away would-be attackers. (Back then everyone knew about gargoyles.)
But our castle in Scotland was built on a rookery. And the gargoyles and humans have coexisted there for years. But as our story opens, relations are tense. Humanity as a race is taking on airs. To the humans, the gargoyles are uncouth. Grotesque. Ill-mannered. Nocturnal, and therefore noisey at night when humans are trying to sleep. Considered, at best, a necessary evil.

That's it.


Bookmark Link

Chapter XXIII: "City of Stone, Part Two"

Time to ramble...

Xanatos again does equally well as hero and villain, as he opens the episode saving his and Fox's lives.

He's got some nice lines here too:

Another reprise of Launchpad McQuack's old: "Any landing you can walk away from..."

"At least she's not chipped."

"Demona and I need to have a little talk."

"No sense hailing a cab." Or stealing one. I'm not sure if it's clear, but we wanted to give the impression that traffic was hopelessly stalled by all the stone people behind the wheels of their cars. And that Xanatos would have to hoof it.

And then it's back to the clock tower where my favorite line is Brooklyn's as he's looking at what he thinks is a statue of Elisa:

"The nose is all wrong." Gotta love a critic.

Goliath doesn't objectively know that the statue is really Elisa, but his instincts are clearly firing up early warning signs.

Meanwhile, my daughter Erin is busy advising all of us: "They should make sure... cuz that's really her!" and "I bet they're going to Elisa's house." Which they weren't.

CONTINUITY
Originally, we had planned to (as usual) leave Hudson behind with Bronx. But we switched it to Broadway, so that Hudson could come with and reestablish his fine relationship with Robbins. I should point out that we BEGAN work on City of Stone before Lighthouse. We knew we needed a blind man for City. That blind man was then developed for Lighthouse, making for a great scene in City. Sometimes, things just seemed to work.

Brooklyn still hates Demona intensely. Forcing Goliath to compensate.

My son Ben was all nervous that "They're gonna turn to stone again." He was vague on who the "THEY" were.

Demona's reign of terror on the statues presented us with interesting S&P problems -- and some bizarre but VERY FUN solutions. Adrienne understood the necessity of having Demona blow up and/or smash a few of the stone humans. Even though the implication was death for those people. She was okay with it on the condition that we didn't spell it out, because, at worst, the death's were so fanciful, they certainly weren't imitatible. But she did want us to limit the number of deaths. So at one point she nixed the idea of blowing up yet another statue, but allowed us to blow up the shopping bags (and hand and arm) of one. This seemed less harsh to her. Of course, bloodthirsty lot that we were, we loved it. Because if you think about it, it was certainly more horrific come sunrise.

I finally saw the two statues that people thought were Brendan & Margot. Certainly, they looks like them a bit. But trust me. Two different people got destroyed. That woman was a brunette. And the guy was wearing a toupee.

At this point, Benny became as concerned as Goliath that Demona would shoot Elisa.

Then we segued into our flashback and Benny was still trying to figure out why Demona scratched Gillecomgain in the previous episode. Erin, meanwhile, wanted to know why Gille was wearing a mask.

Me, I'm still fascinated with Bodhe for some reason. I love how he talks big at first, until Mac makes it clear that he's not going to obey. Then he goes into pleading mode.

I also love the scene with Gruoch on Lunfanan Hill. Very heartbreaking and romantic. Did kinda make me wonder what would have happened if Macbeth had just said "Screw it!" and spirited Gruoch away with him. What would there lives have been like then?

The Weird Sisters are fun at the wedding. I like the line: "Certainly not our hero." It's one of those self-aware-tv-moments-that-ride-the-edge of which I'm so fond.

I also really like Duncan's scene with Macbeth after the wedding. He's such a manipulative bastard.

And now we begin to parallel similar scenes in City One. The Weird Sisters again go to Demona to get her to ally with Mac.

Demona: "Ally with a human. Never Again." Well, obviously Demona should never say never again, but in this context she's thinking about her alliance with the Captain and the tragedy that led to.

There's a nice little beat with Gruoch's rose. Gruoch seems cold to her new husband Gillecomgain. We wonder if we should feel some sympathy for a man who has married a woman who loves another. We wonder if he has feelings for her as he gently takes up the rose she was sniffing. But then he crushes it underfoot, so basically we feel okay about hating him again.

Erin asked: "Why'd he step on it?"

And I didn't want to answer, because the writers are trying to manipulate you.

Ben answererd for me: "Because he's a bad hunter." A much cleaner explanation, don't you agree?

Notice here that Mac is not yet the fighter that he someday will be.

Notice also if you watch all four parts of City of Stone together that Emma Samms who voiced Gruoch -- but had never done voice work before -- gets progressively better with every episode. She's somewhat stiff in City One. As with many live-action actors, she's unused to using her voice alone to project subtleties. She's a bit better here. But by City Four, she's rockin' the joint with some really powerful work. I can't remember when I've ever seen any performer push the learning curve that quickly. Most either get it or don't. A few of those who don't, slowly improve with practice. Emma just revved UP.

Did anyone else feel that we went to the well with that long drop from the Terrace at Castle Moray once or twice too often? Again, we were trying for parallelism, but I hope it didn't get boring.

Erin: "I like Macbeth when he was a little boy. I don't like him when he's a grown up." (I think she meant she liked the younger red-headed heroic Macbeth in general in these City flashbacks. Didn't like him as a present day villain in Enter Macbeth, etc. This actually pleases me a great deal. It's the ability to create sympathy in villains that separates Gargoyles from many of its rivals.)

I love that moment when Demona rips the mask off. Gille indicates his scars, "'Tis you're handiwork, remember?" And Demona honestly and simply answers "No." And he goes BERSERK! Bad enough she scratched him and altered the entire course of his life. But that the event was so insignificant to her that she doesn't even remember it...! Now THAT pisses him off.

Gillecomgain should have known: "Live by the drop, die by the drop." As he follows Findlaech's course to doom.

I also like the little moment o' connection between Mac, Gruoch and Demona. Demona actually says Thank You to a human.

And another wedding. Two in one episode. Bodhe introduces: "Lord and Lady Macbeth!" I wanted to get the designation 'Lady Macbeth' in here somewhere. Just to provide more obvious contrast between our version of Gruoch and Shakespeare's.

I also get a kick out of the chilling little scene back in the present with Brooklyn & Goliath. Brooklyn bringing up the "Massacre at Castle Wyvern". Fearing that Elisa could wind up a victim too. This sets Goliath off to the point where he is CLEARLY thinking that he needs to KILL Demona now. "Once and for all." And then those creepy little stone Weird Sisters. Yikes.

Then Xanatos has finally made it across town and is back in hero mode. He saves Owen. And shuts off the broadcast, clearly thinking that that will break the spell. At least, I hope that was clear. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was. I wanted the audience to think that would work. Then be surprised when it doesn't. Did that work for anyone?

The "Hunter" shows up. Demona at first recognizes only the mask. How many times must I destroy you?! she says. A hint to events in the past of both City and Hunter's Moon. But than when she sees him feeling her pain, she knows exactly who's behind that mask. I'm curious how many people picked up on that. This was the first time we showed them feeling each other's pain. The first time we had them in real proximity to each other.

Their fight is kinda cool. There's a neat moment when Macbeth is flying Demona like a kite. And he's very gutsy throughout, leaping after her. Of course, he's semi-suicidal, so it's no surprise he's fearless. But we don't know that yet.

And finally, our cliffhanger. X is so sanguine. "You want vengeance or a solution?" And we end on a surprising image: Goliath and Xanatos shaking hands. Now, it's like no big deal. They ended up teaming upfrequently. But I thought that then, it would be startling.

WHAT DID YOU ALL THINK?



: « First : « 100 : « 10 : Displaying #1001 - #1010 of 1232 records. : 10 » : 100 » : Last » :