Surely there’s more fodder to be had in this vein.
A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Surely there’s more fodder to be had in this vein.
There was a recent article in Variety regarding the Disney film about gargoyles that’s in development. Disney has chosen new writers for the project, David Elliot and Paul Lovett. Elliot and Lovett have several writing credits under their belt, but the one that many are sure to make special note of is their work on G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
When reading news about this untitled film project the words “gargoyles” and “Disney” are profusely exercised. Now we have a pair of writers who took an animated series and adapted it into a live-action film associated with this Disney project about gargoyles. It should therefore not be unexpected that people believe this new Disney film will be a live-action adaptation of the animated series Gargoyles. The problem is this film has absolutely nothing to do with the animated series. The Variety article explicitly states this, but in a world of messages limited to 160 characters that particular detail gets left out and the news of a Gargoyles live-action film spreads. This confusion bothers me.
Gargoyles Abridged is a series of videos on YouTube by Evil Chicken that provide a short-hand form of each episode lasting typically under eight minutes. The videos use original footage from the show, but provide new dialogue and a tiny bit of editing to put a new slant on things. It’s incredibly hilarious and refreshing and worth a few minutes out of your day to watch it.
Gargoyles Abridged #1
Currently there are seven episodes and there will probably be many more to come. There’s no single playlist that I can link you to at this time so I’d suggest heading over to Evil Chicken’s uploaded videos and search for Gargoyles to find them all. At the time of writing there are seven, here are links to each one:
A couple more videos went up the other day from the Gargoyles panel at Dragon*Con. The first video is the opening from a different angle.
And the page Jonathan Frakes is reading from is IMDB’s plot summary page which can be seen at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108783/plotsummary.
This next video has new material from the panel where Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis talk about voice acting.
I totally get Marina Sirtis’ comment on the impact grunts. The radio plays we’ve had at past Gatherings have usually included those noises in the script which the actors would have to perform.
“The Last” is an episode of Team Atlantis that was never completed due to the series being canceled halfway through production, but the voice acting for the episode was recorded and it included Marina Sirtis in the role of a female “Gorlois” (a thinly-veiled incarnation of Demona).
The voice track and some partial storyboards from that episode were auctioned off at the 2003 Gathering. Vashkoda, with the help of fellow fans, worked to animate the entire episode including background music and sound effects. At each Gathering since fans were shown the episode with new animation and sound being added each year. It appeared to be complete at the last Gathering in 2009. However it’s not available for viewing online.
But in the beginning it was just the voice track with no background music or sound effects. This meant there were large chunks of just voice actors (including Marina Sirtis) making impact and grunting noises. With the visual aid of the animation and added sound effects and background music you don’t really notice them, but when it’s just the voice track they become very noticeable and, without context, are extremely hilarious.
Dragon*Con was held this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. During the con Jonathan Frakes (voice of Xanatos) and Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona) hosted a panel on Gargoyles. Word is the room was packed and the discussions stuck mostly to Gargoyles.
YouTube user DragonEarthPart2 has uploaded some clips from that panel.
It’s been a while. Let’s get reacquainted.
I’m Gorebash. I run s8.org. And the reason 99.9% of people visit s8.org is for this Gargoyles web site. Gargoyles is a dramatic animated television show produced by Disney that ran from 1994 through 1997. Fans of the show have come together to form a strong online community. Out of this online community came several important things. First was that we attracted the attention of series co-creator Greg Weisman who still interacts with fans of the show through the online question and answer site Ask Greg. Soon fans started organizing an annual convention called the Gathering. Conventions were held every year from 1997 through 2009. The fans were quite vocal in their support of the show which probably lead to the release of the first season of Gargoyles on DVD in 2004, the 10 year anniversary of the show. The DVD includes a vingette about the convention which included interviews with fans and members of the production. The first half of season two soon followed on DVD, however the second half of season two has yet to be released. The reason most cited for Disney not releasing the rest of the series on DVD is poor sales of the previous DVD sets.
In 2006 a Gargoyles comic was published by SLG Publishing, written by series co-creator Greg Weisman and with artwork on a few of the issues being done by fans of the show who have become professional artists. The roots of this comic can be directly traced to the fandom itself as it was a fan of the show who, at one of the conventions, brought up the idea of a comic and began to investigate its feasibility which lead to an interested SLG who secured the rights from Disney to produce the comics. A total of 18 issues of Gargoyles was produced; 12 “Gargoyles” comics and a 6-issue mini-series called “Bad Guys” which showcased several of the villains within the series.
Bowen Designs released a sculpture of Goliath, the main character in Gargoyles, in 2009. The sculpture is a life-like depiction of Goliath rather than in a style similar to the cartoon. Pictures of what this sculpture look like can be found in this Flickr gallery.
Last year it was announced that Electric Tiki would release their own Goliath sculpture, but that this one would be in a style similar to the cartoon. Greg Weisman was invited to preview the sculpture with its creator Ruben Procopio which you can see in this Flickr gallery. The sculpture is currently available for pre-order with an estimated shipping date of sometime in early 2011.
This site is just a very small corner of the entire online Gargoyles community. There is a list of other web sites you can use to start your journey through the fandom, or click on the phoenix gate icon on the right of the page’s masthead and let it take guide you to your next stop.
There is a bit of a back story to this statue. Unfortunately I’m not entirely clear on it. I believe Randy Bowen had originally created this sculpture around 2000 or so and pitched it to Disney. Disney passed and the few prototypes he’d made collected dust. At least one found its way onto eBay and I got to see it in person (and unpainted) at, I believe, the 2004 Gathering.
I believe Bowen later tried to market the sculpture as simply “Randy Bowen’s Gargoyle”, but Disney stuck their lawyers on him before he could produce it.
For whatever reason Disney and Bowen recently (within the last year) came to terms and Bowen Designs was finally able to produce the sculpture.
The sculpture has a limited run of 750. Mine is #67.
It looks great.
And I’m glad I bought it.
Saturday I was up before 10am and headed down to the registration desk and hung out for a bit. At 10 I decided to catch the Asian Ball-Jointed Dall panel run by Andrea Zucconi. I’d seen pictures of her dolls and figured I’d check them out in person. The big thing about these dolls is just how customizable they are. Not only are there different parts to swap out, but you can even reshape parts and paint them to look any way you want. Andrea does this for a living and she showed some of her work; it was pretty impressive. Then the cost of these things came up and my jaw hit the floor when prices starting at $250 (for a “cheap” doll) and going very high up ($1000) were thrown out. Tony, Andrea’s husband, was sitting next to me and I offered him my sympathies.
After the doll panel I got in line to get Marina Sirtis’ autograph. $20 a pop, which is a bit awkward, but when the hell am I ever going to meet her again? I got two, one for myself and one for a friend. I had no clue what to say to her. I’m sure she’s heard everything a thousand million times before, so I just thanked her for coming out and taking part in the con.
I helped out at the registration desk for a bit so Patrick could go eat and catch bits of the Gargoyles voice acting panel. Sarah showed up and took over as she knew what she was doing. I just knew how to smile and say “let me go find someone on staff”. A few con guests arrived while I was at the table, including Michael Reaves. I didn’t expect to see him at the con and was excited to see him. He needed a con badge made up and the label printer decided his name was too long. Patrick arrived just in time to push the one button needed to shrink the font size down a notch and make the name fit.
I caught bits of the Gargoyles voice acting panel, which included Marina Sirtis and Keith David. It was a bit surreal to see Demona and Goliath sitting next to each other. That panel broke and was immediately followed by the Spectacular Spider-Man voice acting panel. I was able to catch most of this panel. The room was too narrow to fit all the cast and wrapped around on the sides a bit. We had pretty much the entire cast there at the panel. I asked Vanessa Marshall (voice of Mary Jane Watson) to say “Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot” several dozen times. At least that’s what happened in my head. Her voice is pure sex. It’s like Laura San Giacomo’s (Fox) voice. Put the two of them in a scene together and forget about it. A million pants will need to be changed.
The whole Spidey cast were very, very cool. Very friendly, willing to share stories and talk about the business. They seemed to be happy and having fun with the whole thing.
After the panel, and in the same room, was the radio play rehearsal. Out of 40 or so fans who auditioned, only 13 slots were open and I was fortunate enough to get one. All the pros were there and given their respective on-screen characters to voice. I was cast in the role of Matt Bluestone. The radio play was an original script — a cross-over between Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man. Greg wrote the thing in three days with very little rest (I don’t think you can call it “sleep”) during that time. He said he was a bit nervous about the script, but it was great. Tying the two shows together actually seemed to go pretty smoothly. And thank you Greg for finding a way to get Obsidiana into the script. I could never get tired listening to Elisa Gabrielli do Obsidiana.
After a quick read through it was time to do the show in front of an audience.
To be able to say I acted alongside the likes of Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Phil LaMarr and so on is crazy. How does that happen? It was very cool. Listening to Marina Sirtis voice Demona was surreal. It didn’t take her long to get back into form and *poof* there’s Demona. And she’s twice as scary in person. (That’s not a knock on Marina, it’s a compliment to her voice acting.) Darran Norris doing J. Jonah Jameson (LOUDLY) was spine tingling. The whole time I keep saying to myself “holy crap! it’s J Jonah Jameson! right there! RIGHT THERE!! HAH!”. It took everything to keep myself from giggling like an idiot when I had a scene with Marina Sirtis (as Margot).
The radio play went well. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, including the cast both pros and fans alike. I’m told Marina Sirtis expressed that she had a lot of fun and was disappointed this would be the last Gathering.
After the radio play I went to the hotel bar with a few people (Susan, Joe, Rebekah, and a couple others I’m totally blanking on like an idiot) and had some beer. I intended to have real food as well but the Blue Mug panel was fast approaching and all I had for dinner that evening was a few Sam Adams. Which may have something to do with my behavior at the Blue Mug.
Early in the panel I was asked about getting on the interwebs and hooking into the projector that was in the room. Nothing had been set up and the panel had already started. No worries. I asked Scott, who was at the panel, if he could start setting things up while I went to my room and grabbed my netbook. When I came back it was a simple matter of plugging the projector’s VGA cable into the netbook and setting up the wireless connection on my machine. All went well and before long we had the Blue Mug Productions web site up and running. Just in time as BMP director Edmund Tsabard walked into the panel to talk all things blue. I walked through the site while Edmund talked about what it was all about.
It was pretty convenient, that tiny netbook. I could cradle it in one arm and play it like an instrument with my free hand. It didn’t take long to get into a groove. At some point Edmund left, but I was a bit busy with the pictures. Just as I was really hitting my stride showcasing the goods Greg Weisman popped back in. Oops.
The panel was light. A bit blue here and there, but nothing terribly raunchy. I just sat back and watched Nikki and Mara draw naughty bits.
After the panel was over Scott informed me of a secret plan to connect Rock Band up to the projector and sound system in the room and rock out with insane bass (until the hotel staff kicked them out an hour later), but I was wrecked. I headed up to the 24th floor with Tony to hang out for a bit with Greg, Jen, Tony, Mara before crashing.
Friday morning I was up and downstairs a little after 8am helping put the framework used to hang artwork for the art show up. Patrick is a master of organizing PVC.
I hung out in the space around the registration table with a bunch of other fans as we waited for things to start around 10am. We just talked about random stuff.
First out I hit up the Costuming Basics panel run by Cindy Kinnard. Having zero experience in anything remotely related to creating costumes I learned quite a lot. I was surprised at how simple materials like felt and foam were so heavily used to create all sorts of leather and metalic looking costume pieces. Lots of gluing and sanding and layering. It seemed a lot like making fiberglass or carbon-fiber panels (if that makes sense). The panel made costume building feel like something I could actually do myself.
Got in line for the radio play auditions. Greg has used the same sides for all the previous radio play auditions, but some Spectacular Spider-Man sides were included in this one, so I had to do one of the new sides. I couldn’t decide who to read, Venom or Harry Osborn. I only decided on Venom when I was let into the audition room and Greg asked who I was reading. It went okay. After my first crack at it Greg asked that I try and mix up the reading a bit. I had done the whole thing in a cool, in control manner. Greg suggested I should lose control or let the anger slip through a bit on a couple lines and I gave it another go.
Later, during the radio play, I found myself paying very close attention to how the pros handled their reading. Every line they would read would have different emotion or feel than the previous. It was much more interesting to listen to. I think it gave me a new appreciation for voice action and a realization of just how good these pros really are (and just how not good I was).
After the auditions I hung around the registration table for a bit and talked with lots of people. I saw some of the con guests arrive and it finally started to sink in that we really were going to have a ton of guests this year and how cool that was.
I attended the Ben Diskin mug-a-guest later that day. Ben is the voice of Eddie Brock and Venom in Spectacular Spider-Man. Ben talked about how the voice for Venom is done. First he reads his lines as Eddie Brock, then re-reads them in his Venom voice. The two are layered together to produce what you hear in the television show. No computer tweaking of his voice, that’s all Ben Diskin. And because he has to read through his lines twice he’s often left at the recording studio after all the other actors have gone to record the Venom track. Ben was cool; he seemed like a normal guy.
After the panel I ran into Scott outside. Scott did all the A/V stuff for the con and I was also sharing my room with him. It turns out he went to elementary school with someone named Ben Diskin, but he wasn’t sure it was this Ben Diskin. As Ben walked out of the panel Scott went over and talked to him and, sure enough, this was indeed the Ben Diskin he went to school with. They chatted, Ben shared an embarrassing story about Scott, and Scott was left wondering how the hell Ben had remembered that story after so many years and, dammit, why’d he have to say that in front of other people.
I helped Scott setup the ballroom for Opening Ceremonies with Seth and Sammy. We had about an hour to setup and Scott really needed an hour and a half. By 5:30 we were ready (it was scheduled to start at 5), the doors were opened, and the Opening Ceremonies began. Lots of the usual. The con staff were recognized for the insane amount of work they put into the con and how awesome it turned out. Patrick and Jen were given special prints of their characters and awarded fan guests of honor (immensely deserved). Greg talked about Gary Sperling and the huge impact he had on the show and introduced Gary’s family. He then presented them with a copy of Bad Guys and a piece of artwork done by Karine (artist on Bad Guys). A very touching moment. And then it was on with the usual array of Gargoyles videos and stories by Greg. Since this is probably the last con it’s probably the last time we’ll get to see some of those videos.
After opening ceremonies I had dinner at a place in City Walk that served, I think, Cuban food? I had a BBQ chicken salad which was really good. Even though they gave me salad dressing for it, you really didn’t need any — the BBQ provided a ton of flavor. Although I’m not a huge avocado fan I still downed all the big avocado slices in the salad.
Later I went back up to the 24th floor where a bunch of the con staff and friends were hanging out. Just friends talking and having fun. It was cool and a nice way to unwind at the end of the first day of the con. I crashed a little after midnight, which I noticed was 3am Eastern according to my watch. I reset my watch for Pacific time before I went to bed.
GargWiki.net has answers for all your Gargoyles questions.
Features include episode commentaries by series co-creator Greg Weisman, interviews with the cast, and a documentary on the annual convention.