RAJQ Behind the Scenes No. 3
Today's subject: "Thoughtscape": My second journey into VR. Again, I wanted to avoid
the "Deadly Video Game" stuff, so I came up with the "Virtual Voyage" idea. Surd
could smuggle a whole army right inside Jessie's head.
We were beginning to use VR for more than games and the VR stories started getting
better. ("Cyberswitch": Body snatching, "Other Space": Interdimensional Exploration,
"Thoughtscape": Brainwashing, "Edge of Yesterday": Time Travel, etc.) The CGI footage
is also improving by leaps and bounds.
Originally, all the Jessie's mind stuff was supposed to be VR but again, production
problems changed this at the last minute. So we planned out the show with traditional
animation, THEN we found out that four minutes of CGI was required anyway. ARRRGH!
What to do? The transition sequences. They were concocted by Producer Larry Houston
and Storyboard Supervisor Vic DalChele. The Opening theater sequence was also Larry's
idea and execution. The thing is, in THIS case, I'm glad the Mostly CGI fell through
because this show has lots of character acting sequences which don't work as well
in Computer animation. Also, Mook did an especially good job of drawing the characters
in this one. I really like the way they look.
1. The movie billboard says:Doug and Ellen in: "Courtney & Lance". A double
bill with "Cold War". Doug and Ellen are of course the Wildeys. "Cold War" was an
unused title for "General Winter" Again, Larry's doing, that rascal.
2. It's subtle, but when Jessie drives through the house, she damages IRIS and shorts
out the Mansion Security. (all part of Surd's plan) You can hear IRIS being cut
off mid-word as the RV drives through. This damage allows Lorenzo to breach the
3. The destruction of the "Grandparents style" Quest Stream RV was deliberate. I
4. The Maine Mansion gets a good working over for the same reason. Davis noticed:
"You REALLY don't like that place." I replied "Wait 'till you see my final script"
5. There was a beat cut for time where Race insists on going into Jessie's head
but Dr. Quest orders him to stay and "bodyguard" while they are in VR. Race reluctantly
sees the wisdom in it, saying: "but I still don't like it!" I wanted to point out
that Dr. Quest IS the boss when it comes down to it. (Like Kirk to Spock) Of course,
Benton was right. If Race went and he stayed, Surd might have won.
6. I'm fond of doing the "butt-kicking Dr. Quest." He'll do this again. Race DID
train him after all. I thought DeLancey was GREAT in this show. Those torture sequences
give me the creeps. His "tough guy" beat was well played too. Just right
7.The Ghostly image of VR Surd leaving Wheelchair Surd (sold seperately!) was his
VR body program being erased for all time. He's REALLY stuck like that forever.
(unless someone undoes it later, but I hope not. It's just the right end for him,
don't you think?)
8. I must give credit here: My original Surd fate was to have him real tiny in Questworld
while an infinite barrage of giant (to him) VR Jessies nearly trample him, unnoticed.
He's like an unseen bug, forever in motion to avoid being stepped on. I thought
this was a humiliating fate for an ego like Surd's, then Davis said: That's soooo
cruel. How about if we just make him a cripple in VR too?" As soon as I heard this,
I knew it was the way to go. MUCH crueler I think! The ending's the best part. Wish
I thought of it!
9. Jennifer Hale (Jessie's voice) hugged me when she showed up for recording (This
is a GOOD thing. Reward enough in itself!) and thanked me for the story. Of course,
moments like this, (and BritGriff's letter) make all the hard work so worthwhile.
10. Rob Paulson plays Lorenzo AND Hadji. He was having a conversation with himself!
That's all I can think of at the moment. next Behind the scenes: "Race against Danger"
I'll do it over the weekend. By the way, I hope we've seen the last of those "You've
made Jessie a wimp" comments.Thanks for watching!