Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Space Madness Gets Extra Credits

This was an episode where I had to go back to Vanessa and ask if we could give more credits upfront. "Oh, John...This one time only!" was the response. Then later I did it again for a couple other episodes.

Original notes from lunch with Jim and John about space episodes above, then turned into a simple premise below:

I had to rewrite the "crazy talk" speech about 5 times to get Nick to approve something. This is one attempt

Jim Gomez wrote up a more detailed premise, then I fleshed it out to a long outline and went through many passes and revisions with Nickelodeon. It's a particularly long detailed outline or I would scan it to show you.
I wish I could find the notes where they told us to "drop the space episodes. We don't like space." Richard, do you have them?Jim designed the look of the future for the show studying old Popular Science pulp magazines and books about the Streamlined decade and 40s vacuum cleaner catalogues. The Spumco book will have lots of his art.

Chris did some great designs while he was storyboarding at the same time. He did the long vertical pan of the weird machine in the History Eraser Button room for one.

Oh, and David Koenigsberg did the cool waving credits and fx at the beginning of the cartoon-the old fashioned way, under a camera with ripple glass!

Henry Porch picked out Dvorak's "New World" for the opening music, which lent the cartoon a very serious ominous atmosphere.

Bill Griggs did a phenomenal job editing the music and Tim Borquez killed himself coming up with all the cool old style science fiction sound effects.

Mike Fontanelli did the layouts of Ren and Stimpy at the end for the History Eraser Button Sequence. Maybe I have some frame grabs somewhere.

A lot of other good artists all worked on the show. A cartoon like Space Madness could never be made as an independent film - or even at another studio with all the same people. It took a lot of top talent, a production system designed for talent and a sympathetic creative director who urged the best from everyone - oh and a network executive who allowed it to happen. More than what we all thought we were capable of, I'm sure.