A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Continuing to post old documents from the series' early development. This is new stuff to you -- and we can thank Jordan Mann for transcribing it. The date is iffy. There's no actual date on the page, but I know this memo comes before the next one, which is dated 3-20-91.
I didn't write this. These notes were written up by one of the development associates who worked with me. Probably Kat Fair (now at Nickelodeon) who's mentioned making her comments. The Gary referred to was my boss Gary Krisel:
LUNCH W/ GARY RE: GARGOYLES:
Beauty and Beast
Science experiment gone wrong
talisman, magic rain, lightening
Look into mythology, keep as much as possible Gary not comfortable with long past history.
Greg: Ancient enemy now 3-piece suit, turned gargoyles into stone
Who is enemy and what is purpose of gargoyles? To help caretaker against her enemies, against their enemies? What is enemy trying to do? Gain power? Gain money? Take over earth to what purpose?
Any gremlin-like qualities? Get bigger when fed, multiply when wet, etc.?
KAT: Gargoyles turned to human by lucky accident when scientist (nerd female) fell asleep and knocked over vials during a lovely dream, or let something overheat and boil over. (It was this happiness and positive feelings that infused the liquids and affected/infected the 'goyles.) Scientist works for evil 3piece/ex-mage who always has her working on new projects he comes up with. Scientist (at first) goes along with these orders because he's the boss. Eventually scientist sees that what boss wants is bad, and works to thwart him at every turn (with the help of the 'goyles.
Gargoyles have been stone for hundreds of years, are now so thrilled to be alive they're goofy, joyous. Always see the positive side to the point of ridiculousness. Just love life and play, because they know that if you don't play you turn to stone - and that's what they're trying to show scientist. Goyles are more human than the human scientist.
THURSDAY - We got lucky in that both Benny & Erin no longer need car seats. They can use these seatbelt adapters, which are a heck of a lot easier to carry around. This may seem like a weird way to start my diary, but let me tell you, it changed the whole tenor of the trip for the better.
We arrived at the airport, checked our bags at the curb and proceeded to our gate, already aware that the flight was going to depart (at least) an hour late. Thom was already there. He had done the same. But we were also flying with Jen Anderson, and she was no where in sight, not even after the time when the flight should have been leaving. We got worried. While Beth took Erin and Ben to McDonalds, Thom and I called Jen on her cell phone. She had brought her bags inside and was attempting to check in at the immense line at the ticket counter downstairs. We told her to go back outside to check her bags and come up to the gate, but she insisted that she was already most of the way through the line. Turns out they wouldn't check her in, and nearly wouldn't check her bags. By the time she got upstairs, the flight was already WAY OVERBOOKED. She couldn't get on. We all felt horrible, but there wasn't anything we could do. We boarded and figured she'd get to Florida some day.
Oh, we of little faith. As I understand it, she claimed to everyone who was in range that Thom was her husband and that they were getting married on Friday. She started to cry. Everyone let her on board. She wasn't able to sit with us, but she was on the plane. Never underestimate that woman.
Anyway, the flight was largely uneventful, which is good when you have kids. They were great. The movie was "Where the Heart Is" or something like that. I was reading "Reinventing Comics" with the earphones on, but not really paying attention. Suddenly, I heard Goliath's voice. I looked up, and sure enough Keith David was on screen. I hadn't even known he was in that movie. I considered it a good omen.
When we arrived in Orlando it was pouring rain. Sara, Kellie and Heather were there to meet us. The Weismans piled into Kellie's car, and she took us to the hotel. O.K., so it was more of a motel than a hotel, and the roof in one of our rooms leaked on occasion. But it didn't spoil my time one bit.
The kids were theoretically still on L.A. time, so we thought we'd take 'em out to dinner, but they didn't want to go, and neither Beth or I saw any point in having two cranky kids along. So Beth, for the first of many times that weekend, stayed with them, so that I could head out with you guys for some dinner.
But first, Thom and I did some grocery and donut shopping for Beth and the kids.
Then about fifteen of us took off for Denny's. But they couldn't seat us in Non-Smoking, so we crossed the street and ate at IHOP. I sat with Becca and Christine and Jen. Tim was there. Thom. Lanny and Derrick. Sara. Heather Rice. Alan? Brooklyn? Oh, hell, I'm forgetting people, which is going to be a curse of this diary. I wasn't taking notes. EVERYONE please accept my apologies in advance. Please.
Anyway, I had an International Passport Breakfast with Swedish Pancakes and hashbrowns. It was great to see everyone again, and I met a couple of knew people. And I was immediately on cloud nine.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel...
I watched some tv in my underwear. And waited for the festivities to begin...
MORE TO COME ON "FRIDAY"...
Continuing my chronological reposting of all the early Gargoyles Development Documents. As you can see here, it's still just a notion... but all good things have to start somewhere:
They've been sleeping for a long time. It's been cramped, damp and uncomfortable up on those buildings. Now, it's time to wake up and PARTY!!!!!!!!
Gargoyles asleep for a thousand years.
Awaken in modern times.
They're the good guys.
We're working on villain.
Opportunity for a lot of broad cartoony, fun characters.
Sorry, I've just been swamped since I got back, but I wanted to at least get the new archive "Original Development File" started by reprinting the first gargoyles document I wrote at Disney...
They've been sleeping for a long time. It's been cramped, damp and uncomfortable up on those buildings. Now, it's time to wake up and PARTY!!!!!!!!
Only one problem: the evil DOCTOR VOMFU, who turned them to stone in the first place, is still out there making trouble for our bat-winged friends.
But, hey, NO BIGGIE. They're GARGOYLES! Vomfu won't know what hit him.
[Once again, "VOMFU" was our nickname for Cindy Chupack, a development associate at Disney who now is a writer/producer for SEX IN THE CITY and EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Notice the proximity of the letters in VOMFU to those in CINDY on a computer keyboard.]
To quote Greg Weisman: "Gathering 2000 kicked ass."
I really want to thank everyone who attended and helped to make it such a success.
First and foremost my thanks go out to the G2K staff, Kellie, Heather, Syrin and most of all, Sara. You guys were just terrific. Thanks.
Also a special thanks to all those people who were so kind to my kids (who had a terrific time by the way).
I'm bound to leave someone out, but...
Kellie, Heather, Syrin, Sara, Jen, Christine, Tim, Karlyn, Lexy, etc.
and of course, Becca -- who deserved to win the juvenal division of the costume contest hands down, but graciously shared the honors with Erin & Benny.
They're still talking about all of you.
Special thanks go out to Thom, Greg and Vic, who were great guests and had a great time (or so they told me). They have already spread the word around Disney. (Brad Rader was very impressed with the $805 sale of the "Mirror" board.) Making it even easier to gather guests for G2001.
Speaking of which, I had a great time with the G2001 staff: Patrick, Kathy, Kenna and of course Jen. (I know I've left some people out, sorry.) To quote Greg Weisman: "2001 is going to kick some major ass." (I'm getting way too fond of saying that.)
Already, however, I'm seeing people apologizing for not being able to make it next year. HEY! THAT'S THE WRONG ATTITUDE!!! It's too soon to decide you can't make it. You've got ten months to figure out a way. I am personally guaranteeing 20 guests from the cast and crew. Panels on writing, acting, character design and storyboards. Separate Q&A panels on Developing the series, Writing, Recording, Art and Producing. Another radio play. More Q&A at the dinner. Etc. Etc. Etc. Our goal is to get 500 people. Yep, you heard me, FIVE HUNDRED people in attendance. If we look like we're closing in on that number, I will invite every applicaple Disney Exec. We'll show them in a concrete way, the bet they are missing by not doing more with the show. If you want to get the show back on the air, there isn't a single thing that you can do that would better our chances than attending G2001 in Los Angeles. We already have SEVENTY-FIVE people attending. Yep. Pre-paid and everything. Don't be left behind.
A website for the con, will be up soon. Keep an eye out. We have tremendous momentum coming out of Orlando. Let's not let it die.
Ahem, back to the thank yous...
Kudos to the "Greg Weisman Players":
Seth, Jen, Thom, Wanderer, Lanny, Mer, Hudson, Durid, Alan, Michelle, Brian, Sara, Pogo, Jessie, Beth, Heather, Amy, Marie Noire, Sarah, Kelley, Ryan, Slash, Bud-Clare and Ann.
You all did great.
It was also great to see and talk to many fans, some who have been to ALL FOUR CONVENTIONS. WOW. I'm bound to forget some, but Hudson, Heather, Amy, Aaron, Kythera, A Fan, Noel, Scott (sorry, I can't make your Hockfest), Lexy, Lanny, Karine, Aimee, Mitch, Duncan, Denis, etc.
And it was nice to meet some new faces: Ashlee, Kelly, Dreamie, Jessie, etc.
And Carol, it was nice to see you there too.
And the costumes... Another WOW.
Anyway, now I'm back. What's up ahead...
Well, G2001, of course. I'm getting even more involved this year than ever before. (See above.)
I'm still over two months behind on ASK GREG. It could take me awhile to catch up, as I may actually be starting a paying job soon. (I'll keep you posted.) But in the coming weeks, look for:
1. My G2K Diary. (Not that I kept one, but I can always make something up.)
2. A new Archive that will be called something like: "Historical Documents". Jordan Mann has scanned a bunch of recently recovered documents into my computer. I'll soon begin reprinting them (mixed in with stuff you've already seen and other documents I already had in my computer) in chronological order. This stuff covers the entire spectrum of the development of the series in prose.
3. The revamped version of GARGOYLES 2158. Which for starters, will be set in the 23rd century at least.
4. More Ramblings on episodes as my family and I watch them at home.
5. Some info on an exciting new project that I'm working on with Gorebash and Doug Murphy (one of our storyboard artists).
6. More G2001 updates
7. And, yes, I'll even be answering your questions. Bear with me.
But finally, thanks to all of you. You always manage to make MY YEAR with this con, and all your kind words at this site. I could never thank you enough. But I'll continue to try.
Whew -- I finally made it through June of 2000. (I thought June 27th would never end.)
I'm still officially over a month behind, but I'm out of time.
Tomorrow I'll be leaving for Orlando for a week. And I won't be answering any more ASK GREG questions until I get back. (And probably not for a couple days after that until I catch up.)
So if you have questions that just can't wait -- come to the GATHERING!!!
Last night there was an outdoor production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We were told it was a very kid friendly production and it was free, so we figured it wouldn't hurt to take the kids. If they got antsy, we could always leave.
As most of you know, I have two kids: Erin (age 5) and Ben (age 3). I asked them if they wanted to see a show with Puck in it. (The only Puck they know is the one from Gargoyles.) They were very enthusiastic about wanting to go. I tried to tell them the story of the play. But it's fairly complex when compressed, and I wasn't sure if they'd gotten it.
There was supposed to be a pre-show at 6:30pm, so we got there in time for that. But there was no pre-show. Instead the show started at 7pm. Since they had already been sitting for a half hour I was sure the kids wouldn't make it through the whole play.
But, man, they loved it! Erin was riveted throughout. Benny had a couple of moments when he was more interested in the stars that had begun to appear as it got darker. He also started to sing to himself a couple times. But he never fell asleep, never got drowsy. Never ran around. Or got noisy or anything. Both of them sat on the grass and watched the show, laughing and applauding until it was over an hour and forty-five minutes later. (Obviously the play was trimmed a bit, but all the language was Shakespeare.) They loved the costumes, the magic, the comedy. When Titania ran through the audience and approached them, they were both beaming.
After the show, they ran up to introduce themselves to all the actors. They gave BIG hugs to Titania. It was pretty amazing.
And for me it represents the first step in introducing them to Shakespeare. We're not exactly there yet. But I've been missing a lot of Shakespeare Festivals since the kids were born, and soon I'll be able to take them along.
My friend and fellow producer Jonathan Klein has just informed me that the TOWER RECORDS OUTLET STORE on Hollywood Blvd (in the mall with the Galaxy Theater, just east of La Brea) has multiple LASER DISK copies of the GARGOYLES animated "movie" available for $7 each.
Now, I never knew they released this on laser disk so I have no idea which of the three versions it is.
It could be the five episodes of the pilot collected together.
It's probably the version of the pilot which we edited for the big screen premiere in Orlando in '94, which was later released on home video.
But it may be the version that somebody edited as a TV movie for syndication.
Or, since it's a Laser Disk, it's possible it contains all three. I don't know. I haven't seen it myself.
But I just thought you'd all want to know.
I have found a cache of documents relating to the early comedy development of the series. Historically speaking, these are fairly interesting. Unfortunately, they are hard copies. I don't have them on computer files. Transcribing them will have to be a LONG-TERM project.
But at least we know they exist.
After our comedy garg pitch was rejected (of which little documentation survives), we searched about for a dramatic version. In the long run, we wound up coming back to many, if not most, of the concepts from the comedy version of our show. But here's the earliest document that I can find on the dramatic version. As you can see, it's largely single character and very different from the final.
[Unedited as usual, except for what's in brackets]:
(Weisman / Summary of meeting 12/19/91)
1000 years ago in barbaric Briton, an evil Wizard wanted to ransack the castle of the good princess.
Gargoyles are stone sculptures that are used to decorate castles. Inspired by this, the wizard creates his own giant (Beauty & the Beast-sized) Gargoyle. He instructs this engine of destruction to fly to the castle tonight, while the wizard's army attacks from the outside.
(Perhaps he gives the Gargoyle a powder that will temporarily bring the other little stone gargoyles to life.)
The Gargoyle, which is stone colored, even when it isn't stone, flies to the castle, intent on destroying it.
He meets the princess who teaches him the error of his ways. He will fight against the wizard. But as the sunrises, he falls asleep turning to stone. A part of the spell he was not aware of.
When the sun sets again, and he awakens, it is too late. The princess is gone (dead?). The castle has been ransacked. Even the wizard has left him behind. Angry at his betrayal...He is alone. Cursed as an outsider, able to function only during night hours. Frozen as stone during the day.
He stays in the ruined castle over the centuries. Making occasional forays to the outside world. Sometimes briefly, to steal books. Sometimes for long periods to fight evil (World War II, perhaps). But always returning to the castle and his loneliness. He despairs of ever finding a true friend. Despairs of ever having a purpose to his life.
One night he awakens, and finds that some repair work has been done on the castle. Each night he finds that a little more work has been done while he slept during the day. Construction equipment has gathered outside the castle walls.
One day, as he sleeps, the castle is lifted, lock, stock and gargoyle and flown whole across the atlantic to New York, by giant airships.
It is placed on the top of the Xavier Enterprises skyscraper.
Xavier is our arrogant villain. Not comic. Evil behind the scenes. Manipulator. Respectable to the rest of the world. Untouchable.
Our Gargoyle finds himself in this strange new world. Here he meets a young idealistic girl (perhaps a plain clothes police detective) who will be his friend and teach him not to despair. That he can help make the world a better place. In New York, the barbarians are at the gate, every night. This time, he can do something about it.
He becomes a de facto super-hero of sorts, though we don't have to flag it.
Xavier can hire other minor villains, plus we need to create some real psychos, and powerful ones at that, for Gargoyle to battle. Plus the ancient wizard could return in some form. Perhaps he has put his spirit in a amulet. Whoever wears it is possesed by him.
Perhaps, our Gargoyle can still temporarily awaken other gargoyles, little mischevious things who aren't too bright, but would try to follow his orders. But when they sleep each day, they have to be awakened by the magic dust each night or they will remain as stone. Only our hero awakens by himself every night.
Does our young girl have a child?
Who else populates this world?
Is the Gargoyle named Gargoyle, or is there another name for him?
cc: Bruce [Cranston], Gary [Krisel], Kat [Fair], Bob [Kline], Mike [Ryan], Fred [Schaefer], Tad [Stones], DoMo [Dolores Morris]