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I know you've stated multiple times that in the original sort of series outline, Broadway was going to be a female named Coco, but that got changed due to several different factors (fear of showing an overweight female, target demogaphic, action figures, etc). After you decided to change Broadway's gender, was there ever any move/idea to make any of the other Manhattan gargs (Brooklyn, Lex, Bronx, or Hudson) female? If so, why didn't it happen?
There was no thought to do that.
And here is the rest of the 4th Hunter's Moon Memo...
Michael, the above represents my ideal Part Two. I think it paces down nicely from Part One, (and you'll note that the changes it requires to Part One are negligible). The Elisa/Jason relationship is allowed to build in a more natural, slower and step-by-step manner. Then it ends as planned, topping anything we've ever done before by blowing up the clocktower. I have two (probably obvious) concerns. One minor, one not so. The minor concern is that the middle is pretty talky for a stand alone episode. Not much we can do about that and still have all three parts play as one piece. So I vote to make each talk-scene as tight as possible, playing up the tension in the middle and otherwise not to sweat this minor concern. The major concern is that it's probably too long for one twenty-two minute episode. If I was being honest, it feels to me like we've got four acts worth of material instead of three. Call me about this either way. If you feel you can fit it in then go for it. If not, here's plan B:
PART ONE CHANGES:
Beat #12 would have to end with the following:
It's only after injuring Angela that the Hunters seem to realize that Angela is not the "demon" they've been hunting. Not that they're remorseful -- just surprised that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Robyn says this revelation explains the reports of numerous sightings of gargoyles in the Manhattan area, which is what brought them to town in the first place. Hunter/Jason is furious that the "demons" escaped and determined to hunt them down and exterminate them all. Hunter/Jon questions whether this is the correct course. They know the "demon" is evil. But these other gargoyles might not be. Hunter/Jason quickly and semi-violently reprimands his compatriot. As far as he's concerned the only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle. And the only consolation from tonight's fiasco is that he's pretty sure he nailed one of them.
And at the beginning of beat13:
The trio and Bronx are already there when Hudson, Goliath and Angela make it back to the clock tower. They are horrified to see Angela's condition.
PART TWO CHANGES:
Should end on the Hunter's tirade about wiping every last gargoyle off the face of the earth -- not on Demona gliding away.
Basically picks up where the revised beat 13 left off, with the trio already there and Angela dying. This beat is combined with beat 18 to form one uninterrupted beat. No act breaks.
This beat is combined with beat 17 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break. Also, just before the gargoyles turn to stone, Elisa would promise to find out everything she can.
(Stay with me, 'cause this is complicated.) If there's room for beats 20 and 24 to stay as two separate beats, then beat 19 can stay the same. If not beat 19 can be cut here to show up later at beat 23A.
If there's room for beats 20 and 24 to stay as two separate beats, then beat 20 can stay the same. If not beat 20 can be cut here and combined with beat 24.
Mostly stays the same, but at the end of the beat, we'd need to show the container of D/I-7 and the Borgia Tablet at Nightstone.
Only necessary if you are combining beats 20 and 24. This is the former Beat 19. Elisa comes down stairs to find Matt (who would now just be coming on-shift as opposed to off). Matt's talking to reporter Jon. Elisa runs out alone. Jason follows her.
No change, unless you need to combine it with beat 20 to save more space. If so, it combines as follows....
Outside by Elisa's car, Jason catches up to her. He can tell she's upset: "You didn't rush us out of there just so you wouldn't have to answer questions about gargoyles." Of course not, she replies. Gargoyles? Are you kidding? How silly. She's about to get in her car, but he puts a hand on her arm and stops her gently, but firmly: "Then what is it?" She hesitates, then tells him that a dear friend was violently attacked recently. She came very close to dying. He asks if they know who did it? No, not yet, and she feels so... so... He knows what she means before she can say it: "You feels frustrated. Helpless. You wants to nail the guy who hurt your friend." That's it, she says. That's it exactly. How did he know? Because he's been there. He's still there. She looks at him. He asks how her friend is doing now. Elisa says something like no news is good news, I'm sure she's all right. Jason: "And what about you? Are you all right?" She says sure, don't worry about me. I'm a rock. Feeling awkward, he turns to go. She hesitates, then surprises herself by asking if he's free for dinner. He considers it. Actually, there was something he was supposed to do, but...sure. He'd love to.
After Goliath witnesses the kiss, we fade to black and end the act.
Picks up where we left off and finishes out the former Beat 25.
Instead of the blimp, Goliath finds and heads for the Hunter's High-Tech airship.
Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn breaks into the airship. No immediate sign of a trap, but they soon runs into Demona inside the airship on a similar errand to erradicate the Hunters. This beat is combined with beat 28 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break.
This beat is combined with beat 27 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break in between them. Demona is surprised to see Goliath, who physically attacks her demanding to know her connection to the Hunters. She tries to explain that she is their prey. But he doesn't listen. At least he doesn't listen until all four gargoyles are captured by Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Robyn. Act Break.
The Hunters are waiting for their leader to show up. They imprison the gargoyles, (and Hunter/Robyn has the opportunity to plant a homing device on Goliath, though we don't know that she's done this yet). They leave them alone in their cells, giving Demona a chance to explain that the Hunters are gargoyle-haters who first appeared in the 11th century. They destroyed the last clan of gargoyles in Scotland. Only Demona escaped, and the Hunters have been hounding her ever since. Goliath tells Demona that the Hunters nearly killed their daughter Angela. Demona burns with cold fury. As much as she hates Goliath, Demona refuses to let the Hunters slay even one more gargoyle. She offers to help them escape. Goliath doesn't want escape, he wants vengeance. Finally, Goliath is sounding like a true gargoyle to Demona. Unfortunately, he's also sounding like an idiot. Vengeance will come, she promises that. But now they've lost the element of surprise on the Hunter's home turf. They must escape. And somehow, by working together, they do, seemingly taking out Hunter/Robyn and Hunter/Jon in the process.
Safely outside the airship, Demona is pleased. Perhaps she and Goliath are not so far apart. Perhaps not, Goliath agrees grimly. Demona veers away. Brooklyn cannot believe that Goliath is just letting her go. But Goliath: "She was not our enemy tonight." Oh, yeah?! What about the D/I-7? We'll worry about that later. Let's go home. They veer off for home. Time cut.
Time has passed. Hunter/Jason has arrived on the airship and has clearly just been filled in on the night's events: "You LET them escape?!!" (We are beginning to see distinctions between the Hunters' personalities. Hunter/Jason is the fiery, passionate leader. Hunter/Robyn is coldly efficient. Hunter/Jon has some major doubts and is definitely not into this as much as the other two.) Hunter/Jason is furious that H/Jon and H/Robyn let the gargoyles escape -- particularly the "demon". That was the best chance yet to destroy them. Hunter/Jon still isn't sure that they're doing the right thing. They heard the gargoyle's in-cell discussion. The only reason they're attacking us is because we hurt the big one's daughter last night. H/Jon even suspects that the "demon" and the other gargoyles were at odds until our opposition united them. If we hadn't attacked them, they might have even been our allies against the "demon". Hunter/Jason can't believe his ears. He turns to Hunter/Robyn. He knew their brother had some weird ideas, but what's the story with her. She calmly points to images of Brooklyn and Lex on a monitor screen. These are new gargoyles. Different from the ones they faced last night. There's no telling how many more there might be. They had to allow these gargoyles to escape so that they could follow them back to their lair, otherwise we could waste our whole lives tracking them down. Hunter/Jason: So what? It was good enough for our father. H/Jason doesn't care how long it takes to exterminate this evil race of monsters. Hunter/Robyn comments wryly that she'd rather get it over with tonight, if H/Jason doesn't mind. H/Jason calms down a bit. So what's the plan?
This changes completely. Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn arrive at the clock tower. Everyone else is already there. Goliath tells the others that the Hunters have been dealt a major blow. Brooklyn and Lex exchange concerned glances.
Inside the airship, the trio of Hunters have locked onto Goliath's homing signal. Hunter/Jason is a bit concerned that they didn't plant a homing device on Demona. But Hunter/Robyn believes that the demon would never have let her touch her without noticing the plant. Besides Hunter/Robyn is confident she knows where to find the "demon". They track Goliath's signal to the clock tower. They know it's above the precinct house and may even be impressed that the gargoyles were clever enough to hide in such plain sight. H/Jason prepares to go in. H/Robyn stops him and begins to activate weapon systems instead. There could be a clan of thirty or forty gargoyles in there. H/Jon doubts if there's more than six. He can't believe what she's preparing to do. There's a building full of people in there. She's confident she can target the tower with some precision. A squeamish H/Jon fumfers, but suggests they wait a couple hours until sunrise. The gargoyles will be stone and can easily be destroy then . But H/Robyn shakes her head. We cannot count on that. She puts a picture of Demona on a monitor screen, side-by-side with a picture of Dominique. She then uses a sophisticated computer program to demonstrate that Demona/Dominique are one and the same person. Dominique has never been seen after dark, and since no one's ever spotted a gargoyle in broad daylight, H/Robyn correctly surmises that the "demon" transforms into Dominique every morning at sunrise. H/Jason wants to know how this is possible? H/Robyn shrugs. How is it possible that the demon has lived as long as she has? The obvious answer is sorcery, and if Demona/Dominique has shared this sorcery with the other gargoyles, then they could easily sneak out of the precinct house in the morning disguised as humans, and we'd never find them. H/Jon is still against the still unstated plan. Both turn to H/Jason for his final decision. Do it, he says. But let's make sure that none of them escape. It ends tonight.
Lex notices the homing device stuck to Goliath's skin. Quick cut.
In anticipation of my ramble on "Hunter's Moon, Part Two", here is the first half of Memo #4 from back in the day...
"But wait!" you're asking, "What happened to Memo #3?!" Well, I have it -- on paper. But not on my computer for some reason, and I don't have either a scanner or the time to type it up afresh. So you'll have to settle for jumping ahead to Memo #4. This is my beat sheet breakdown on the first two parts of Hunter's Moon.
The whole memo was too long for one post, it seems, so I'll be posting the second half shortly.
Notes on "Hunter's Moon" Outline...
Please note that any changes to the Beat Sheet for Part One will be in bold type.
1. PROLOGUE - SCOTLAND, 994 -- HUNTER'S MOON
We open with YOUNG GILLECOMGAIN confronting DEMONA (in either new footage or re-use from "City of Stone, Part One"). Very mysterioso at first. Then we realize that Demona is simply scavenging for food in Gille's barn. He surprises her and winds up scarred for life. She leaves.
Continue the scene. Hearing Gille's screams, GILLECOMGAIN'S FATHER comes rushing into the barn after Demona has left. He is largely unsympathetic, even a bit of a jerk toward his son. He sees the scratch marks and tells his son to suck it up, basically. It sounds to him like his son was attacked by a gargoyle looking for food. But Gille insists it was a "demon". And swears that she will pay along with her entire evil race.
MANHATTAN, 1996. - NIGHT ONE
2. A blonde woman (SALLI ROBERTSON actually ELISA MAZA in disguise) is alone on a subway platform. A real seedy place. Very scary. Suddenly a THUG appears out of the shadows. Invades her personal space. She tries to move cautiously away, but a SECOND THUG cuts her off. And then a THIRD, a FOURTH, a FIFTH. They don't attack her, but they do seem to be taking some real sadistic pleasure in intimidating the hell out of her. All are wearing long trenchcoats, which might or might not conceal weapons.
The subway finally comes. She gets onto a car which is sparsely populated by an OLD LADY, BRENDAN & MARGOT, a burly WORKER, etc. And we think she's safe, but at the last second the thugs also enter the car. The subway exits the station.
As the train races through dark tunnels, the thugs pull out Xanatos/Dracon particle beam weapons and demand all valuables. (Major overkill on the part of the thugs.) Maybe the burly worker gets brave, and although Salli tries to stop him, he gets hurt (but not shot) for his pains.
The train exits the tunnel onto elevated tracks. And to make a long explanation short, this is where the gargoyles (GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY and ANGELA) get involved. The fast-moving el-train should add to the challenge of stopping five heavily-armed thugs. At a crucial moment, Salli/Elisa should slam Thug #1, who had a bead on Goliath. She pulls off the blonde wig, revealing herself, saying that she doesn't like anyone messing with her best friend in the world. Everyone is saved. Though as usual, the passengers are more afraid of the gargoyles than the thugs. The gargoyles leave the moving train just before the next stop, promising to touch base with Elisa later. The train pulls in. MATT BLUESTONE, MORGAN and other COPS are waiting, (they've been trying to catch this gang of thugs for weeks). Matt (who knows about the gargoyles) sees the unconcious thugs, and says something like, "Had a little help, did we?" "No more than usual," she replies with a smile. Or something like that.
3. We catch up with the gargoyles in flight, who are pretty proud of themselves. Even Goliath. They've gotten this protection thing down. Stopping evil stone cold, etc. They glide in for a landing at the clock tower. HUDSON and BRONX welcome them back. Hudson fusses a bit as Brooklyn has a very minor injury from the subway encounter. But Brooklyn considers it a badge of honor, and besides the stone hibernation will heal him. Life is sweet. The sun rises and they all turn to stone. (Play this up for the video audience -- it's still one of our coolest trademarks.)
4. Downstairs in the precinct house a bit later, CAPTAIN CHAVEZ informs Elisa that she's being reassigned to the dayshift to show a new detective the ropes. Both Elisa and Matt protest. Why break up a good team? (Elisa's simultaneously thinking of Matt and her nighttime-only forays with Goliath and the gargoyles.) Chavez tells her it's temporary and in any case it wasn't a request. The new detective enters. It's JASON CONOVER. He's a big, rugged guy. Sort of a human Goliath. Elisa and Jason size each other up. And though neither would say it yet, they like what they see. At any rate, Matt notices that Elisa has suddenly stopped protesting the reassignment.
5. Dayshift with Elisa and Jason. She's showing him the city in her Fairlane. She asks him about himself. But he's subtly evasive and keeps turning the conversation back toward her. In particular asking what it's like to be a cop in the Big Apple. He's heard some weird stuff about alligators in the sewers and other urban myths. She smiles. She could tell him stories.
Suddenly, there's an explosion at a nearby XANATOS ENTERPRISES chemical storage warehouse on the East River. They call it in, head over, and it looks like they've caught two MASKED THIEVES who each have their hands full carrying containers of stolen chemicals marked D/I-7. They order the thieves to put down the containers, which they do. But the thieves had BACK-UP, and now it's Jason and Elisa who appear to be surrounded and in big trouble. It looks bad, and there ain't gonna be any gargoyle rescue at high noon.
6. Jason doesn't hesitate. He shoots one of the chemical containers. It blows up and in the resulting chaos, the thieves grab the remaining container and take off in an unmarked panel truck. Elisa and Jason pursue in her car. Cool car chase. He's as impressed with her driving as she is with his shooting. All done fearlessly while under fire from the bad guys. Point is, they make a good team. Anyway, the good guys eventually capture all the bad guys (except THIEF #1, who escapes) and confiscate the D/I-7 without knowing what the theft was all about.
7. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED. It's twilight. Company president DOMINIQUE DESTINE is interviewing for a new personal assistant. The candidate is one ROBYN CORREY, who immediately impresses Dominique with her Owen-like efficiency and smarts. A man enters who we may or may not recognize as Thief #1. He's about to start blabbing in front of Robyn, but Dominique tells him to shut up and wait. Dominique turns to Correy and tells her she has the job. Correy is prepared to start right this minute if necessary. She's not afraid of long hours and happy to work nights with the boss if that's required. Dominique smiles. Correy may indeed work nights, but Dominique never does. She needs her beauty sleep. Robyn can start first thing in the morning. Correy exits and Dominique and the thief open a secret panel into a high-tech command center. The thief lets Dominique know that they didn't get the D/I-7. She's furious and comes close to doing something really nasty to him. But through a large (one-way) bay window she sees that the sun is about to set. She tells him he's lucky to work for such a kind employer and kicks him out. Well, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. The sun sets and Dominique transforms into DEMONA.
8. At the clock tower, Elisa arrives just as the sun sets on our gargoyles. They EXPLODE out of their stone shell. A sight that still impresses her no matter how many times she sees it. (Again, play up this series trademark for the video audience. Also make a point of showing that Brooklyn's minor injury is healed.) Elisa fills the gargoyles in on the attempted chemical theft. She speaks highly of Jason, and when Goliath notes that she seems highly impressed with her new partner, she stumbles all over herself to say that he's just o.k. Even she doesn't yet know why she got so flustered. But it doesn't escape Goliath's notice or Hudson's or Angela's. Elisa's just finished working a double shift and has to head home for some sleep, but she's afraid that whoever was behind the theft might try again tonight. Either at the same East River warehouse or at another one on the upper westside where computer records show Xanatos also keeps D/I-7. The gargoyles agree to split up and stake out both locations. But Goliath is suspicious. If Xanatos is involved.... Elisa knows exactly what he means. She wanted to question Xanatos herself, but (because Elisa is admittedly irrational in her hatred of Xanatos) Chavez said no and sent Matt instead.
9. At the Eyrie Building, Matt is almost done questioning XANATOS about the theft. Xanatos is clearly more interested in playing with his baby son ALEXANDER, than in answering Matt's questions. He has no idea why anyone would want to steal this particular chemical. D/I-7 is a potent concentrated disinfectant, newly invented by Xanatos Enterprises, but hardly worth stealing unless you have a very big and very dirty house that needs cleaning. Matt's sure Xanatos is hiding something, but leaves when OWEN enters with Xanatos' next appointment: newspaper reporter JON CARTER. Xanatos hands Alexander over to Owen and tours his castle with Carter. (Note: Owen still has a stone fist. He can either keep it in his pocket or not. I don't care, but don't forget about it.) Carter asks Xanatos about the castle and the gargoyles that were part of the itemized price. Xanatos says something about them not suiting his aesthetic tastes and having them destroyed. Carter questions whether Xanatos would really destroy such ancient works of art. Xanatos: "If you brought them in front of me now, I'd pulverize them to dust right here." Carter asks about the gargoyle urban myths that have everyone in New York claiming that their best friend's uncle's dentist has seen real live gargoyles. Xanatos comments that he thought the only paper interested in that kind of "scoop" was The Daily Tattler. Somewhere in here, before he leaves, Jon drops his pencil and picks it up.
After the reporter's exit, Xanatos and Owen watch a replay of Jon Carter's little pencil drop which was picked up by hidden camera. They see that he picked up a sliver of stone -- most probably a left-over piece of exfoliated gargoyle stone. Xanatos takes his baby from Owen and says something like: "This Mr. Carter could cause a bit of trouble for our old friend Goliath." At this point it's ambiguous whether Xanatos is pleased about this or not.
10. Goliath, Hudson and Angela are staked out across from the East River Xanatos warehouse that the thieves hit earlier that day. A high-tech flying vehicle arrives on the scene and three figures leap out of it (two male and one female). Each wears a black mask with three stylized red slash marks painted diagonally across it. The masks completely obscures their faces, but we'll soon learn that these are the three HUNTERS (HUNTER/JASON, HUNTER/ROBYN and HUNTER/JON). The gargoyles assume that these are the thieves and attack, Angela impetuously taking the lead. The Hunters (whose voices are electronically filtered by their masks so that we don't immediately recognize them) are strangely not surprised to see the female gargoyle Angela (who they at first mistake for Demona) but are very surprised to see Goliath and Hudson. They thought there was only one "demon" left alive. No matter. They'll destroy them all. The battle is joined.
11. Cut to the second warehouse on the westside, where Brooklyn leads Broadway, Lex and Bronx on a second stakeout. Demona breaks in to steal the D/I-7, leaving tell-tale claw marks at the break in point. She wasn't expecting to see the gargoyles, but she's not unprepared for a fight. It's quite a battle, but Demona manages to get away with one container of D/I-7. (I'll leave the details to you, Michael.)
12. Back to first East River warehouse. A furious battle between Hunters and "prey". Hunters seem completely prepared to fight gargoyles specifically. Angela is very badly injured, and Goliath and Hudson are barely able to escape with her. It's only after injuring Angela that the Hunters seem to realize that Angela is not the "demon" they've been hunting. Not that they're remorseful -- just surprised that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Jason is furious that the "demons" escaped and determined to hunt them down and exterminate them all.
13. Hudson, Goliath and Angela make it back to the clock tower. Angela's in a bad way. If she can make it to dawn, she'll be healed by the transformation to stone. But dawn is hours away. It doesn't look good. We've NEVER seen Goliath so angry. (Which doesn't mean he's over the top. It can be internalized to the point of near-combustibility, but we need to know how deep the fury goes.) Hudson tries to calm him down. But Goliath swears that he will hunt down these Hunters. And he will KILL them.
END PART ONE
14. PROLOGUE - FLORENCE, 1496 A.D. - HUNTER'S MOON
Demona steals an already ancient MYSTIC TABLET from the home of the BORGIAS, only to be pursued by a RENAISSANCE-ERA HUNTER, hunting the last of the "demons". He wears a version of the stylized Hunter's mask, wields an impressive cross-bow and other weapons and chases after Demona in a flying machine designed by LEONARDO DA VINCI. We have a cool action sequence, but Demona ultimately cripples the Hunter's "vehicle" and escapes with the Borgia tablet. The Hunter shouts after her that the battle isn't over. His family has hunted her across generations for 500 years. If he fails, then his son will take up the hunt. And his son's son. It may take another five hundred years, but the Hunt won't end until the last of the gargoyles is wiped off the face of the earth. We watch as Demona glides off in the distance and RIPPLE DISSOLVE TO:
MANHATTAN, 1996. - NIGHT TWO (CONTINUED)
15. Demona carrying the container of D/I-7 glides in for a landing at her Gramercy Park Mansion. She enters her study and places the chemical container next to the Borgia tablet. It's taken her 500 years but her plan to destroy the hated humans is finally coming to fruition. Now she must prepare for the coming day. "Dominique" has much to do before the Hunter's Moon.
16. We're at what appears to be the gutted shell of a condemned tenement building in the South Bronx. The Hunters' high-tech vehicle flies in and we realize that what appeared to be urban decay on the outside is actually an elaborate camouflage for the high-tech Hunter's Lair. The Hunters disembark (but do not remove their masks). We begin to see distinctions in their personalities. Hunter/Jason is the fiery, passionate leader. Hunter/Robyn is coldly efficient. Hunter/Jon is definitely not into this as much as the other two. Hunter/Robyn immediately checks their computers. Police radio calls indicate that while they were at Xanatos' East River warehouse, D/I-7 was stolen from Xanatos' upper westside warehouse. Probably by the "demon" herself. Hunter/Jason is frustrated that they missed a perfect chance to destroy the "demon". But all of them are still stunned at tonight's discovery that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Robyn says this revelation explains the reports of numerous sightings of gargoyles in the Manhattan area, which is what brought them to town in the first place. Hunter/Jason is determined to hunt down every last one, but Hunter/Jon questions whether this is the correct course. They know the "demon" is evil. But these other gargoyles might not be. Hunter/Jason quickly and semi-violently reprimands his compatriot. As far as he's concerned the only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle. And the only consolation from tonight's fiasco is that he's pretty sure he nailed one of them.
17. At the clock tower, the trio come in for a landing with Bronx. Before they're through the clockface door they're already calling inside about how Demona got away with the D/I-7. But they shut up fast when they see the grim situation inside. Angela's bandaged up, but she's having trouble breathing, and it's very touch and go. Goliath tells her to hold on. Sunrise will come soon and heal her. But Angela's not going to make it until then. She suddenly goes into cardiac arrest. She has stopped breathing, and her heart has stopped beating.
18. Suddenly Elisa is there, pushing past the other gargoyles to perform CPR on Angela, saving her life. It's pre-dawn now, just enough time to fill Elisa in on the Hunters and Demona. Just enough time for Goliath to reiterate his vow of vengeance against the Hunters. And then everyone turns to stone in a tableau around Angela. A disturbed Elisa is left alone to head downstairs.
19. Down in the precinct house, reporter Jon Carter is questioning Matt Bluestone (who's just coming off shift) about gargoyle sightings. (Including maybe witness reports of gargoyles helping to bust up the subway bandits the night before and/or breaking into a Xanatos warehouse last night.) Matt tells the reporter he doesn't believe in gargoyles -- but U.F.O.'s on the other hand, now Matt has plenty of theories about them. (Did you know the statues on Easter Island were modeled after space aliens?) Elisa sees her new partner Detective Jason Conover watching with some amusement as Matt makes a fool of the reporter. She grabs Jason and marches him out the door. She's in no mood to sit for an interview right now, and besides, they have a crime scene to investigate.
20. As Elisa drives across town in her Fairlane, Jason can tell she's upset: "You didn't rush us out of there just so you wouldn't have to answer questions about gargoyles." Of course not, she replies. Gargoyles? Are you kidding? How silly. They pull over in front of Xanatos' westside warehouse. She's about to get out of the car, but he puts a hand on her arm and stops her gently, but firmly: "Then what is it?" She hesitates, then tells him that a dear friend was violently attacked recently. She came very close to dying. He asks if they know who did it? No, not yet, and she feels so... so... He knows what she means before she can say it: "You feels frustrated. Helpless. You wants to nail the guy who hurt your friend." That's it, she says. That's it exactly. How did he know? Because he's been there. He's still there. She looks at him. Then they get out of the car and go inside.
21. Inside the westside warehouse crime scene, Owen is taking inventory of what was stolen. Elisa sends Jason to check the point of entry, so that she can speak to Owen alone. She's hostile. She suspects Xanatos of being in cahoots with Demona. Owen attempts to assure her that Xanatos has had no contact with Demona, and that in fact Xanatos still feels he owes Goliath a debt of gratitude for helping save his son Alexander. If there's any way that either Owen or Mr. Xanatos could be of assistance... No, thanks. She's had enough of Xanatos' help to last a lifetime. (Now, ironically, Owen is telling the truth. But he should relate it all in such a superior Owenesque manner, and Elisa should respond to it with such incredible suspicion and contempt that Elisa and our audience will be quite convinced that Xanatos is -- as usual -- up to no good. And for his part, Owen doesn't care if Elisa feels that way.)
Jason calls Elisa over. He's found a set of Demona's clawmarks at the point of illegal entry and asks Elisa what she makes of them. Elisa plays dumb. Jason comments that they look like claw marks. But what could be strong enough to leave clawmarks in solid stone?
22. Nightstone Unlimited, bio-labs. Dominique introduces her assistant Robyn Correy to Nightstone chief scientist DOCTOR ANTON SEVARIUS. He's demonstrating a new CARRIER VIRUS. Extremely contagious, very-fast acting, but harmless. (It'd be great if we could demonstrate this in some visual way that doesn't totally tip our hand.) Dominique tells her assistant that the virus can be molecularly bonded with curative medicines and thus be used to counteract epidemics. Robyn points out that it could just as easily be bonded with a disease and cause the epidemic in the first place. There's an uncomfortable moment of silence, but Robyn does not seem upset by the prospect she's outlined. "Either way," she continues, "A most profitable endeavor." Sevarius and Dominique exchange a glance, and Dominique smiles at her new assistant: "I think you're going to fit in just fine."
23. Sunset at the clocktower and the gargoyles EXPLODE from stone. Everyone's first concern is for Angela. She's all healed. Maybe just a bit tired still. Goliath is still determined to get vengeance on the Hunters. The other gargoyles agree, including Angela. Goliath is concerned for her, but she doesn't want any kid glove treatment. She's the one that they hurt. She wants her chance for revenge too. At the moment, this is logic that makes sense to Goliath. They split up in groups of two (Broadway & Angela, Lex & Brooklyn, Hudson & Bronx) to search for the Hunters. (And yes, Goliath is conspicuously without a partner.) Goliath gives strict orders not to engage them in battle. Find them and come back to report. All the gargoyles leave. And a few seconds later, Elisa comes up the stairs to find the tower empty.
24. Outside by Elisa's car, Jason catches up to her. He asks if there's any word on her friend. Elisa says something like no news is good news, I'm sure she's all right. Jason: "And what about you? Are you all right?" She says sure, don't worry about me. I'm a rock. Feeling awkward, he turns to go. She hesitates, then surprises herself by asking if he's free for dinner. He considers it. Actually, there was something he was supposed to do, but...sure. He'd love to.
25. Elisa and Jason arrive at her apartment. Elisa didn't feel up to facing a crowded restaurant. Besides, she has one of the best stocked refrigerators in the county. (With a friend like Broadway, it's safer.) She brings him a soda in the living room, spills it, etc. They kiss. A soul kiss, as Joe Jackson would say. (And that's when we see Goliath, watching the whole thing from Elisa's rooftop terrace window. He's just standing there like he's been hit in the head by a brick and expects another brick to come along any time now.) Elisa pulls away from Jason. What's wrong, he wants to know? Well, we're partners for one thing. He doesn't buy that excuse. That's a temporary assignment. In a week, she'll be back on the night shift with Bluestone. She doesn't respond. Jason asks if there is someone else? She says yes, but then after a long, long pause, she changes her answer to no. (And for Goliath, that would be brick #2. He glides away.) Jason is really sympathetic. He realizes he's been rushing things. He also realizes that he hadn't known how lonely he had been until he met Elisa. But he knows she's vulnerable now because of her "injured friend". He doesn't want to take advantage. He leaves Elisa alone -- and more confused than ever.
26. Goliath is gliding through the sky, and as he comes around a building, he can't help but spot a big black blimp with three huge red claw marks painted across it. (Note: this is not the Hunters' Hi-tech airship. This is a blimp, Gothic in design, but slow-moving and relatively low-tech.) Goliath's not the only one to spot it. Lex and Brooklyn glide up along side him. Brooklyn assumes that Goliath is going to want to go back to the clocktower for the others, as planned. But Goliath's in no mood to be patient. He glides toward the large undercarriage cabin; Brook and Lex follow.
27. Goliath glides alongside an outer cabin door, digs his talons into it and rips it off. (It plummets down and lands on VINNIE, the guy who once hit Goliath with a banana cream pie. Vinnie gets a concussion. Spends a few years in physical therapy and then begins to hunt Goliath with a hot fudge sundae. No, just kidding.) The three gargoyles enter the cabin. As soon as they do, a laser grid activates, covering the doorless entrance with pinpoint beams. No one's in the cabin, and all three realize it's some kind of a trap. An explosive one, as Lex points out. The laser grid is hooked up to a whole lot of plastique. If the light from any of the laser beams on the grid is interrupted, the blimp blows to kingdom come. They cannot exit. (Make it clear that the rest of the hull and even "windshield" is beyond their ability to pierce.) Brooklyn: It's a flying roach motel, and we're the roaches. "Very astute," says Demona, who glides up alongside the open door.
28. Goliath demands to know Demona's connection to the Hunters. "I'm their prey," she says. We all are. She explains that the Hunters are gargoyle-haters who first appeared in the 11th century. They destroyed the last clan of gargoyles in Scotland. Only Demona escaped, and the Hunters have been hounding her ever since. Goliath tells Demona that the Hunters nearly killed their daughter Angela. Demona burns with cold fury. As much as she hates Goliath, Demona refuses to let the Hunters slay even one more gargoyle. She offers to help. Lex is tearing down control panels. The blimp's clearly being operated by remote control. He can't figure out why the Hunters haven't blown them up already. Brooklyn suggests that maybe they don't want to blow the blimp up while it's still flying over a city full of people, which may also explain why the blimp is already heading slow but steady toward the river. Lex needs more time. Demona buys it for him. She glides up to the blimp's rudder and physically forces it to turn back toward the city. Inside, Lex is recrossing wires, etc. Very tense. One wrong choice and that's all she wrote. Finally, he's got it licked. Now he controls the explosives and the blimp. Goliath wants to know if he can figure out where the remote signal was coming from. Lex can't name the location, but he can send the blimp there. Make it so, says Goliath.
29. In their faux-tenement H.Q., Hunter/Jason enters the control room, apologizing for being late. Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Robyn are already there, studying monitor screens that show various angles on the blimp and the gargoyles. Hunter/Jason sees Demona on a monitor. It's the "demon". Blow the blimp up now; Demona's gliding too close to escape the explosion. Hunter/Jon says it's too late. They've lost control of the blimp. Then why did you wait? Because the blimp was still over the city! So what?! Hunter/Jason is furious that Hunter/Jon missed their best chance yet. He turns to Hunter/Robyn. He knew their brother was a softie, but what's the story with her. She calmly points to Brooklyn and Lex on another monitor screen. These are new gargoyles. Different from the ones they faced last night. There's no telling how many more there might be. They have to allow these gargoyles to escape so that they can follow them back to their lair, otherwise we could waste our whole lives tracking them down. Hunter/Jason: So what? It was good enough for our father. He doesn't care how long it takes to exterminate them. Hunter/Robyn comments wryly that she'd rather get it over with tonight, if H/Jason doesn't mind. H/Jason calms down a bit. What's the plan? First, she says calmly, we let them blow us to smithereens.
30. The blimp is closing in on the Hunter's Lair. On Goliath's orders, but with some reluctance and uncertainty, Lex has everything ready. All four gargoyles flee and watch from a nearby rooftop as the blimp smashes into the Bronx tenement H.Q. and BLOWS UP REAL GOOD. It's Hindenburg time. Nothing could survive that inferno. Demona is pleased. For once, Goliath is acting like a true gargoyle. Perhaps she and Goliath are not so far apart. Perhaps not, Goliath agrees grimly. She departs. Brooklyn cannot believe that Goliath is just letting her go. But Goliath: "She was not our enemy tonight." Oh, yeah?! What about the D/I-7? We'll worry about that later. Let's go home. They depart. And after they're gone, the Hunters' Airship, rises out of the flaming wreckage like a dark phoenix.
31. Inside the airship, the trio of Hunters have locked onto the three gargoyles. Hunter/Jason is a bit concerned about letting Demona get away, but Hunter/Robyn assures him that she knows where to find the "demon". None of them much care that the H.Q. was sacrificed. It'll be worth it, if they can destroy the gargoyles. From a distance, they track Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn to the clock tower. They know it's above the precinct house and may even be impressed that the gargoyles were clever enough to hide in such plain sight. H/Jason prepares to go in. H/Robyn stops him and begins to activate weapon systems instead. There could be a clan of thirty or forty gargoyles in there. H/Jon doubts if there's more than six. He can't believe what she's preparing to do. There's a building full of people in there. She's confident she can target the tower with some precision. A squeamish H/Jon fumfers, but suggests they wait a couple hours until sunrise. The gargoyles will be stone and can easily be destroy then . But H/Robyn shakes her head. We cannot count on that. She puts a picture of Demona on a monitor screen, side-by-side with a picture of Dominique. She then uses a sophisticated computer program to demonstrate that Demona/Dominique are one and the same person. Dominique has never been seen after dark, and since no one's ever spotted a gargoyle in broad daylight, H/Robyn correctly surmises that the "demon" transforms into Dominique every morning at sunrise. H/Jason wants to know how this is possible? H/Robyn shrugs. How is it possible that the demon has lived as long as she has? The obvious answer is sorcery, and if Demona/Dominique has shared this sorcery with the other gargoyles, then they could easily sneak out of the precinct house in the morning disguised as humans, and we'd never find them. H/Jon is still against the still unstated plan. Both turn to H/Jason for his final decision. Well, he says, they blew up our home. The least we can do is blow up theirs. But let's make sure that none of the gargoyles escape. It ends tonight.
32. Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Jason exit the ship on sky-sleds, and swing around to guard the clock tower from the air in order to make sure no gargoyles escape what's coming. Below him, Elisa's Fairlane pulls up in front and Elisa goes inside. Hunter/Jason spots her, whispers "no, not now" and after some hesitation, takes his sled down and right toward the front door of the precinct. Hunter/Jon spots him going down and calls out, "You fool, what are you doing?!!"
33. Hunter/Jason smashes through the precinct's front door on his airsled. As cops and perps dodge out of the way, he makes a bee-line for a stunned and surprised Elisa.
34. Up in the tower, Goliath has just finished describing tonight's events to the rest of the gargoyles. They have nothing more to fear from the Hunters.
35. And onboard the airship, Hunter/Robyn presses a button.
36. A missile is launched from the airship, it targets the clocktower, blowing it to hell and gone.
END PART TWO
In anticipation of my Ramble on "Hunter's Moon, Part One," here's the second relavent memo I have. One thing to keep in mind is that I don't have everything from those days. And I certainly don't have electronic copies of everything. So the record I'll present in this and following posts is WAY less than complete. This is just stuff off my computer that I sent to Michael Reaves, but doesn't reflect all the hard work that HE put into things.
Anyway, note the date. This memo was produced in March of 95, months after the one from my previous post. At this time we still thought it was going to be a direct-to-video movie.
Notes on "Hunter's Moon" Outline...
Michael, in the interest of getting these notes to you sooner rather than later (and yes, I realize that to a great extent that boat has already sailed) I'm just going to give you a number of broad notes to think about and incorporate into a second draft that may wind up being fairly different from your first draft. I'll toss in a few specifics along the way as they occur to me. Feel free to call me to discuss any aspect of these notes, after you've absorbed all this.
(Incidentally, I noticed that there were a few departures from our final approved premise that seemed to reflect earlier drafts of the premise. I just want to make sure we're working off the same document. Unfortunately, the final premise isn't dated, nor is the draft number listed, so there's no quick way of checking.)
GOLIATH vs. the HUNTERS
The story seems to be too much about the Hunters (and Elisa) and not enough about our lead GOLIATH. I know this is a particular concern of Gary Krisel's. We need to emphasize that this is Goliath's story, first and foremost. It's about his struggle with feelings of vengeance and how he overcomes those feelings.
We can help drive the story towards Goliath by keeping the Hunters more mysterious for more of the story. If we don't know who they are or why they hate gargoyles until much further along, then Goliath becomes more important.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE
This is another way to keep Goliath's emotions at the forefront of the story. We should really make more of this. Elisa is falling for this new guy Jason. Instead of treating it like she's an unattached female who now has a shot at a new romance, she should feel conflicted, because she's deeply in love with Goliath!! She might sublimate those feelings at times. Even deny them to herself. Because after all, she realizes that her relationship with Goliath is doomed to be platonic. She knows that a future or a family or anything normal is an impossible dream with Goliath, but that doesn't mean that her feelings for him aren't just as real. What does it mean to her when someone else starts to press those buttons? Does Jason remind her of Goliath in some ways? The quiet brooding intensity? The poetic heart? The tragic background that he doesn't like to talk about? His feelings about the importance of family? Or keeping his word? His sense of mission? Jason is in fact a human, but twisted version of Goliath. That realization may sneak up on her, or she may notice it immediately, but she should certainly be conflicted about her feelings for him.
And what of Goliath? Certainly, he'd be "happy" for her. But how does he really feel? Jealous? Frustrated? Lonely? Does his frustration over "losing" Elisa help to fuel his anger and thoughts of vengeance against the Hunters? Then when he thinks she's dead he goes berserk.
And if Jason discovers that Elisa has feelings for Goliath, what's his first response? Revulsion?
Even the other gargoyles would recognize it's a touchy subject. They're not blind to Goliath and Elisa's feelings for each other. Hudson in particular must see how Elisa has replaced Demona in Goliath's heart.
And the fourth side of the triangle: Demona? It's a minor point in this story and God knows we've done it to death in the series, but we shouldn't ignore the dynamics of Goliath and Demona's past relationship. Demona would love the revelation that Elisa's dating a Hunter. It would prove everything she ever believed about Elisa.
I honestly don't know how on the head we should be with it, but obviously, we shouldn't slide over this triangle. It's classic stuff.
DEMONA AND THE VIRUS
If Goliath is the heart of this drama, Demona is definitely the engine. And in general, I think we need more Demona driving this story. We don't have to spell out her plan right away, but we need to involve her more. She was largely absent in this draft and the story felt like it rambled a bit without her. Let's make her evil plot the throughline for the whole story. It should build slowly but steadily. Everything else can sattelite around that.
One problem we have with Demona is that there are two facts of her existence that we are stuck with but which can't be explained by gargoyle-business-as-usual. One is her immortality, which is central to the concept of her opponents the Hunters, and the second is the fact that she turns into a human during the day. We don't want to get into the whole City of Stone/Corsican Bros./Macbeth thing to explain her immortality, nor do we want to have to explain Puck/the Children of Oberon/Titania's Mirror to explain her transformations. And fortunately we don't have to. All we need to do is use the one word "Sorcery" to explain it all.
But "Sorcery" doesn't play a part in the story we have here, so even that one word explanation sticks out for me like a sore thumb, unless we use sorcery as part of her plan with the Virus. I'm reminded of the poison that the Archmage used on Prince Malcolm in "Long Way To Morning", which was "made virulent by a magical spell". I think we can use something along those lines here. If Demona's plan could combine modern science with ancient sorcery it could accomplish a number of goals. For one thing, it introduces sorcery as an element in this world, letting us skate past Demona's transformations and immortality smoothly in a line of dialogue. Secondly, it gives her a long-term plan. Something she could have been working on throughout the centuries as she dodges the Hunters.
For example, I think we should add a flashback in 15th century Florence, where Demona steels some magic spell or talisman and is pursued by a 15th century Hunter armed with da Vinci inspired technology (very high-tech for the time). It could give some scope to the whole project.
Then if we want, for the 1980 Paris Notre Dame scene it's not simply a fight between Demona and Jon Canmore, but Demona is there for a purpose, she's gathering the second ingredient she needs.
Thus by 1996, modern technology has finally caught up with black magic. Demona (in her human identity as Dominique Destin) has her own company, Brimstone Inc. (which she owns with Thailog, though we definitely don't need or want to bring him up here). She can be developing the virus herself. With every intention of using it on an unsuspecting humanity in combination with the magic she stole in the earlier flashbacks. Maybe she needs to wait for the Hunter's Moon to cast her viral spell.
By the way, Demona's threat to release the virus at the end is hardly empty just because Goliath knows she plans to do it anyway. What's to stop her from doing it right there and then? (This raises another question. Would the virus affect Gargoyles? If it did, would Demona care? Would it affect her? Is that why she needs to use magic with it so that she can control who it does or does not kill?)
I really think we need to open the whole video with the 994 flashback to Gillecomgain and Demona's initial confrontation in the Scottish barn. We should even exagerate the scene to emphasize the petty way the feud between Hunters and Gargoyles began. Demona doesn't even remember the incident, it was so insignificant. And the Hunters, I believe, should have no idea about the reason the feud began. We tip the audience off at the head. Demona was stealing dried fruit from a barn. A peasant boy tries to catch a thief. Demona lashes out and the boy is scarred for life. The pettiness is a comment on the fruitlessness of revenge and vendetta. Later, when Elisa asks Jason how it all got started, Jason will explain about the Hunter tradition and his father. (We get this Paris flashback out of his conversation with her. Not out of his conversation with his siblings which saves on them having to relate things to each other that all three already know. This also keeps the Hunters more mysterious, for longer.) But the Paris tragedy doesn't begin to answer Elisa's real question. She wants to know how the whole feud got started in the first place. And when Jason realizes that he cannot answer that question, it may be the slow beginning of his realization that life as a Hunter is not the right way to go. The irony will be that even though NONE of our players know how it all got started, the audience does. And it was an incredibly petty conflict to begin such a tragic course.
Another advantage to putting it at the head is that it introduces the idea of Demona. In the current version, Demona never even gets mentioned until she first appears as a human in scene 15.
GOLIATH AND THE HUNTERS
Goliath has no prior knowledge of the Hunters at all. Only Demona does. Remeber, Goliath never saw Macbeth in the Hunter's mask. By the time he arrived at the Macbeth/Demona fight at the end of "City of Stone Part IV", Macbeth had already removed the mask. So we don't need to mention Macbeth in this story at all. In fact we can treat the whole concept of the Hunter as if it is a brand new story element. By using the Gillecomgain barn scene and the Canmore last name, we've given the connection to viewers who've seen City of Stone. They can figure out for themselves how these new hunters fit our episodic mythology. But we don't have to go into that here.
And new viewers won't need any more complicated backstory than what we've presented in our three flashbacks. The barn scene acts as the catalyst for the feud. The Florence scene demonstrates that a Hunter has been hunting Demona throughout the ages. The Paris scene sets up the specific motivation for our three new Hunters. Anything else that regular viewers know about the origins of the hunters and/or Macbeth's use of the mask is just gravy for them, but would be distracting here.
AN OUTRAGEOUS REQUEST
Would you mind terribly if we named Jason's siblings Robyn and Jon and gave the name Charles to their father? This is silly, I know, but by coincidence you chose the names Robin for the sister and Jon for the father. My younger sister is named Robyn and my younger brother is named Jon. If we put a "Y" in Robin's name and we trade the Father and brother's names, then it would be a great kick for my siblings to have sibling Hunters named after them. I realize that seems to identify me with Jason. But think of it this way. You get to horribly paralyze me at the end.
SPEAKING OF JASON, ROBYN AND JON
We need to give Robin/Robyn and Jon/Chas some more screen time to add to the mystery and ultimately to get to know them better. We obviously won't reveal this right away, but when the three Canmore siblings arrive in NYC, each is given a mission. Jason is supposed to infiltrate the precinct where police reports on "gargoyles" have been filed and find out all he can there. (Please keep in mind however, that neither Elisa or Matt are going to admit that they believe the gargoyles exist. They're going to poo-poo it as tabloid stuff. They aren't going to say that gargoyles show up whenever there is trouble.)
I'd suggest that instead of Human Demona infiltrating Gen-U-Tech to get the Virus, we can have Robyn/Robin infiltrate Brimstone Inc. to try and get a bead on Demona and/or what she's up to.
And we need to find something for Jon/Chas to do as well.
Also we probably shouldn't reveal to Elisa early on that Jason has a brother and a sister. That absolutely gives away Jason's identity long before we're ready to be that definitive.
We've compressed too much into this final battle. In the premise this was two separate sequences and I think it works much better that way. Jason and Elisa should fall to their deaths before the climactic battle. Goliath must believe that Elisa is dead. (This again heightens his emotional conflict. Makes him more the main character.) Robin/Robyn and Chas/Jon must also believe that Jason is dead. The audience must believe it too, for a while at least. We have some downtime where everyone mourns and swears further vengeance.
In between, after we've mourned the dead but before the final confrontation we might want to reveal the truth. Show Jason and Elisa at the hospital or something. Give us that last revealing Paris flashback. Plant the seeds of doubt. Get him in a wheelchair. Though he's in no condition to go anywhere, he leaves with Elisa pursuing. But is Jason leaving to kill the gargoyles or to reconcile with them?
We might also choose to divide this Elisa/Jason scene in half. Put part of it as a verbal confrontation that comes after Elisa figures out that Jason is the Hunter but before the action sequence where they physically "fall to their deaths". Elisa's asked Jason's some tough questions but he's not prepared to turn over a new leaf yet. Then he goes and gets paralyzed and he's blown his chance to "walk away" clean.
If we do that, we might be able to skip the Hospital scene entirely and thus Jason and Elisa's arrival at the climactic battle in the next paragraph can be a real surprise. (I know, I know, so many options....)
Anyway, in the climactic battle, largely because of Elisa and Jason's "deaths" things have escalated between Gargoyles and Hunters just in time for Demona's final push. At just the right moment, paralyzed Jason and Elisa show up. And Jason has finally learned his lesson. That's enough to calm down Goliath, the gargoyles and Robyn/Robin... but Demona and Chas/Jon are way too far gone. (This also helps explain how Chas/Jon could get so far gone. He had time to freak out about Jason's death. Jason's paralysis doesn't serve to calm him down.) All this at the final crisis point. Chas/Jon and Demona should maybe even "die" here. (An escapable death, but a good one.) We don't want to underestimate the cost of vendettas. Or we can send them both off still swearing vengeance on the other's respective race.
I don't know if we should send Jason and Robyn/Robin off at the end. Feels too tidy to me. Maybe events have put distance between Jason and Elisa. Maybe events have brought Goliath and Elisa closer. Or maybe there's still a chance for Jason and Elisa now that the secrets are out. Which leaves Goliath alone. Whichever way we choose to go, I think we should keep Jason around. His need to adjust to his chair and/or try to help/find the AWOL/"Dead" Chas/Jon are not mutually exclusive with him still being a factor in Elisa and the gargoyles' lives.
Also, do we want the gargoyles to plan on moving back to a rebuilt clock tower? Or do we want that era to have past?
A FEW MORE SPECIFICS...
I think you better include her. She'll have been a regular for months by the time this thing comes out.
We keep leaving him out. I think we've discovered in the World Tour that he can be useful both in battle and in storytelling. I'm NOT saying we need to drag every gargoyle around in every scene (in fact we should probably find excuses to split them off into teams so that we are dealing with fewer at a time), but we shouldn't artificially disinclude Bronx either.
ELISA ON THE DAYSHIFT
There were some logistical problems caused by Elisa having to be on nightshift with Jason, and in the same night having to interact with the gargoyles. Same with Jason having to play Hunter on the same night he was working with Elisa. If Chavez insists on a temporary reassignment for Elisa, it might actually help us if that reassignment was to the day shift. I'm not mandating this, but it might make it easier.
The mugging is o.k. Since it's purpose is to show status quo. I am a bit concerned about the location and the complete lack of threat that these teams of Muggers provide. Perhaps we should set it somewhere with more gargoyle-access, someplace that doesn't force this woman to first escape on her own. And maybe we should give the muggers (or street gang) the Xanatos/Dracon Particle Beam Weapons to up the stakes a little.
But the other crimes began to feel too random and meandering. I think we should find a way to tie them into our story more directly. Maybe involve them in Demona's plans.
THE CLOCK TOWER
Blowing it up was Gary Krisel's idea, and I'd like to do it. But we've got a logic problem. Jason knows that it's the precinct house. And he knows that most gargoyles turn to stone during the day. If they can track them this easily, and know that they haven't left the tower, why not wait til they turn to stone rather than blow up the police station. If Robyn/Robin is in charge at that moment it might help. Or if they've discovered by this time that Demona doesn't turn to stone at night, they might feel they have no choice. (It's that incredible tracking ability that makes believing the decision tough. Maybe that's what we should get rid of.)
MATT'S FBI BUDDY
Rather not involve him, since for our regular audience he's compromised as a member of the Illuminati.
Do we want him to get a "good shot" of Demona on video? Maybe, if we really want to blow things wide open. GARGOYLES -- FACT NOT LEGEND! Film at eleven! I don't know if we have room to deal with the ramifications in this story, but it does fit Gary Krisel's mandate to "shake things up." It appeals to me.
SEALAND AMUSEMENT PARK
Just a little nervous about making the climactic battle take place here, given the end location of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
AND FINALLY, DEADLINES...
We're really under the gun here. The time I set aside to work on the outline was long past by the time it got turned in. Which means, obviously, that these notes are coming to you VERY LATE. (Sorry about that, I just got bogged down.) So we need another draft fast. I'm hoping that after the second draft, I'll be able to give you just a few cosmetic changes for a polish. And then we'll take that polished draft to Gary Krisel for his notes. And he always has notes. If we're lucky, he'll send us to script with those notes and we won't get too far behind. If we're not lucky, we may be going through a couple outline drafts with him. (And I'll emphasize that I believe it will have a lot more to do with luck than with any skill or talent or lack thereof on our part. Which is not to say he won't have good notes. His notes are generally right on the mark. It's just sometimes he trusts us to execute them. Sometimes he doesn't. And it'll just be luck (good or bad) as to whether we get him on a trustful day or not.)
In any case the first draft script is due before the end of this month on March 22nd. The final draft isn't due until mid-May, but we don't want to eat up April because we'll have to go through the same process on the script as we are on the outline. Only there'll be even more scrutiny because the script is the blue-print, not the plan for the blue-print.
So basically, I'm just urging you to make up for the time that both of us lost on the project. Obviously, you can only do your best, but I felt obligated to point out how far behind we already are.
In anticipation of my Ramble on "Hunter's Moon, Part One," here's the first relavent memo I have. One thing to keep in mind is that I don't have everything from those days. And I certainly don't have electronic copies of everything. So the record I'll present in this and following posts is WAY less than complete. This is just stuff off my computer that I sent to Michael Reaves, but doesn't reflect all the hard work that HE put into things.
Anyway, note the date. This memo was produced in July of 94 (TWELVE YEARS AGO, YIKES!) before the series had even premiered. At the time we thought it was going to be a direct-to-video movie. My boss, Gary Krisel, had rejected CITY OF STONE as a direct to Video because he felt it focused too much on the villains and not enough on the heroes, i.e. Goliath and the Gargoyles. (He was fine with us doing City of Stone as episodes though, so we knew we'd be building off THAT.)
Greg Weisman 7-25-94
NOTES ON HUNTER STORY
Open in @1980.
Father and his three teen-age children: Boy, girl, boy.
He's after "The demon" that his ancestors have been hunting for a thousand years.
His own grandfather died fighting the demon.
His own father spent his whole life searching for the demon.
Now he's found her: Demona.
Oldest son is very gung-ho.
Middle Daughter is more neutral.
Youngest son doesn't like the idea.
Father puts on Hunter's mask and battles Demona. He gets Killed.
All three children now swear vengeance. Oldest son is still the leader.
In present, these three hunters still pursue Demona.
When they stumble upon Goliath and Co. they make no distinction between good and bad gargoyles.
One (or more) of gargoyles is very badly injured. (Though healed during daytime hibernation.)
Goliath swears revenge.
We need to involve Elisa in someway.
Oldest boy is eventually paralized from waist down by Demona.
He and his sister eventually come around to theme that the Price of Revenge is too high. Goliath also gets this message.
Demona and youngest son don't learn.
Probably want to show the original Hunter (Gillecomgain) in a brief flashback or two. Don't contradict anything that's in City of Stone, but don't reveal any details about his fate or who the second or third Hunter's were.
And that's all I've got....
In preparation for my next ramble, here are my notes on the outline for Turf... written after story editor Gary Sperling turned in the episode's outline but before work began on the script itself.
You'll notice that I didn't finish my beat outline. Didn't have time. But I got the ball rolling, and Gary was so good, he didn't need me to do the rest...
Notes on "Turf" Outline...
She can't be a cypher. Nor can she be naive of the Trio's attentions for very long. She can miss it for a beat, then be flattered at first. Then annoyed at their presumptions. We can play the whole range, except non-responsiveness. Also, we'd like to make her fun in her own right. New York (and even the modern world) are still very new to her. Situational excitement can distract her from the Trio's antics. But lets try and get a sense of who she is outside of the context of her parentage.
Also, I feel that we need to know who Angela will wind up with in the long run (assuming there ever is a long run). Gary Sperling and I discussed it, and came to a semi-consensus that Angela and Broadway would make a nice couple. This should NOT be objectively reflected in this episode, and Broadway can make just as big an idiot of himself as Lex and Brooklyn, but if we keep it subtle, I wouldn't mind if viewers were able to look back to this episode and say, "you know, it really started here."
Independent of his romantic prospects, his appetite seemed overwhelming here. No arguments that he likes to eat. And I have no problems depicting him eating, but I don't want his appetite to ever overwhelm his common sense. No hunting for jalapeños when he's on a covert mission. Food does not become a priority when Elisa or the gargoyles' lives are at stake. And per Gary Krisel, we don't even want him to be talking self-consciously about food. It's a background element to his personality, not a defining element. He's imaginative. He likes to roll play. To have a good time. He likes pop culture. He's a fierce warrior. He's sensitive. Kind to animals. Protective. And, yes, he likes to eat.
I'd love at some point (that's that elusive long run mentioned above) to do a story about corruption. But I don't want to depict casual corruption in a story that doesn't have room to deal with it. Xanatos was in prison in "Thrill of the Hunt" and "Enter Macbeth" and got no massive privileges, except maybe a private cell. He ate prison food in the common room, etc. And he was in for a considerably lesser charge and has considerably more wealth at his disposal than Tony. So I don't want to see Dracon bribing guards or living the high life. Again, if our story was about that I wouldn't hesitate. But it's not. So prison is tough and cold and unpleasant. Dracon can have a private cell, a privilege he loses in the epilogue, and he is still running things via communication with Glasses. But he ain't having fun.
When the story opens, she's already in with Brod. In fact from her point of view, the first scene was designed to be the end of her undercover operation. She leads Brod to hit one of Dracon's illegal operations and the cops bust both sides. The plan is screwed up when she is knocked out before the cops arrive. She comes to later and has to improvise from that point on.
Brod's not a secret. This is an open turf war between two gangsters. Everyone, Dracon, Glasses, the cops, etc., know who the combatants are. The dilemma for the cops is that they cannot afford to let either side win. The winner would become too powerful. Putting Dracon away is embarrassing evidence of that. His operation is still in place. Elisa and the cops want to take the opportunity that the turf war presents to decimate the operations of both sides.
1. Some Dracon operation is raided by rival gangsters led by Brod. Brod's second-in-command is a woman (Elisa/Salli). Brod's men have the drop on Glasses and company, but "Salli" is knocked unconscious in the first early struggle. Suddenly, the raid is raided by the cops led by Chavez and Bluestone. (Morgan can be there too, but Elisa is conspicuously absent.) The cops nail henchmen on both sides, but Glasses and Joey escape (probably via some escape route that was in place for just this kind of police raid). Brod also escapes with the unconscious Salli, maybe to some extent because the cops don't want to fire on "Salli". (Though obviously, we don't want to reveal that here.)
2. In the hovercraft, Salli comes to. What happened? Brod explains that her plan to get the drop on Dracon's lieutenants worked -- until the cops showed up. Brod is generally suspicious, though not paranoid. The cops may have stumbled onto this thing on their own. Or one of Dracon's men might have betrayed the operation, and the Brod raid was just a case of bad timing, an unlucky coincidence. But Brod does not like coincidences. It's very possible that one of his people snitched. He still basically trusts Salli. (The fact that she got knocked out probably doesn't hurt her credibility.) But he doesn't trust anyone 100%. So for the time being, he's not letting anyone out of his sight.
3. Glasses visits Dracon in prison. Dracon orders a counterstrike against one of Brod's new operations.
I don't know when I'll get around to rambling on Future Tense, but as it's up next, I'm posting my outline notes on that episode to Story Editor Michael Reaves.
The thing you need to know is that there was much discussion back then of doing the episode (or at least sections of it) in 3-D. Now I do NOT mean CGI. I mean the 3-D glasses kind of 3-D. So many of the notes below reflect that.
Notes on "Future Tense" Outline...
Michael, I know this is exactly the kind of document that drives my story editors nuts. I apologize, but in the interests of time I believe this is the best solution.
I also want you to know that I considered your suggestion that we replace one of Cary or Gary's episodes with a from-scratch 3-D affair. But after reviewing the schedule it just wasn't practical. Aside from the fact (and budgetary concern) that those guys are already underway on those stories, we just don't have time to come up with a new story from scratch and get Gary Krisel's approval on it and still make all relevant deadlines.
I believe that what I've beated out below preserves all the essential stuff from Marty and Bob's outline, but gives us more opportunity for 3-D action in cyber-space. As usual, none of it is etched in stone. If this approach works for you, you can go right to script. If there's anything you, Marty or Bob want to discuss, that's cool too.
GENERAL NOTE ON 3-D ACTION IN CYBERSPACE
Please remember the nature of this particular 3-D process: some elements push backward or forward depending on their assigned color. You guys don't have to worry about assigning the colors. Leave that to the art director. Nor do you have to sweat the foregrounding and backgrounding. We'll leave that to the board artists, art director, line producer and Frank. What you do need to be aware of though is that this particular 3-D process only really works with characters and objects. They should not be interacting with the environment or backgrounds. That's not to say that Cyber-Xanatos or whoever can't form any specific object out of the "ether" or something. But we don't want scenes of Goliath tearing up Cyber-walls or Brooklyn being swallowed up by the cyber-ground or whatever. Energy beams might work, but "energy fields" could be problematic. If this is unclear, we can set up a meeting with our technical expert, Rob Hummell.
I. Streamline and combine your beats 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Open on the skiff and the mist with some specific line from Goliath, where he's saying that the odyssey they've been on has been rewarding, but that he really is starting to miss the clan and Manhattan, his adopted home. He feels woozy for a second. Then he sees the Statue of Liberty. (The wooziness is being done in the interest of fair play. Don't make too much of it. The audience will forget about it until the end of the episode, at which point, they'll think: "Of course.")
Combine the blowing up of the skiff with the capture of Elisa and Angela by the Steel Clan robots, (we don't need uniformed human sentries). Goliath and Bronx are rescued by Matt. As they make their way to rebel headquarters we can get Xanatos's brief big brother (3-D) message. We can see the statue of Hudson and find out he's dead. Meet the hostile Brooklyn.
II. Combines your beat 5 & part of beat 6.
Meet the Blind Broadway. And bring up the Phoenix Gate. Make sure Goliath states definitively that "HISTORY CANNOT BE CHANGED". The line about 'time as a river' is a good one, but don't count on that to be clear enough by itself. Intro Good Demona and establish that she is mated (as opposed to married) to Brooklyn. Don't forget to plant another "fairness clue" with our audience. When Goliath says that he thought Demona was in love with Thailog, it takes her a flustered minute to explain that Thailog also died fighting Xanatos. Or something like that. Also I think we can let the more sophisticated members of our audience see the irony that Demona is finally good again only to be lost to Goliath forever. We don't have to state that in dialogue. It raises a lot of complicated issues.
Suddenly Cyborg-Lexington enters and announces that Talon, their inside man, is transmitting all-important data even as they speak. He turns on a monitor and we see Talon getting his butt kicked by Xanatos (in 3-D). While they are watching this, Goliath should ask where this battle between Xanatos and Talon is taking place. All Lexington knows is that it was coming from somewhere inside the Eyrie Pyramid. Xanatos gloats about his plan to do to the entire planet what he has done to Manhattan, then he destroys Talon and the transmission is cut off.
III. Combines just a bit of your beat 6 and both of your two beat 7s. (Don't feel bad. This late in the season, I'm having trouble counting too.)
We don't need the attack by the Thailog Stormtroopers. Brooklyn states that it's now or never. We have to launch a pre-emptive strike on Xanatos' lair. They'll divide into ground and air forces. Brooklyn, Demona, Cyborg-Lex, Blind Broadway and Goliath will wait for Matt and Bronx and the rebels to create a diversion downstairs. Then they will go in above.
As the five gargoyles wait atop a nearby building for their cue, Demona and Brooklyn again try to prevail on Goliath to use the Gate.
IV. Combines your beats 8 & 9.
Matt and Bronx's diversion begins. The gargoyles fly in, but Lex reports with his cyborg-sight that both Matt and Bronx have been killed. Brooklyn is determined that they won't have died in vain.
They get in, but Lex is quickly taken prisoner and Broadway dies. Goliath, Brooklyn and Demona make their way to Computer Mainframe/Banquet Hall. They aren't looking for any Chief Administrator. They're still looking for Xanatos, not realizing that he no longer exists on the physical plane.
V. Basically your beat 10.
Except instead of a VR helmet, have Goliath, Brooklyn and Demona digitized into (3-D) Cyber-Space ala TRON. No physical bodies left outside. If you die in there. You dead. Obliterated.
VI. Your beat 11, greatly expanded to fill most of the act.
Xanatos has been holding Elisa and Angela prisoner inside cyber-space, anticipating Goliath's arrival. We get our explanation. Our fight. And the destruction of Brooklyn, Demona and Angela. Goliath finally manages to take out Xanatos, which causes the whole cyber-world to dissolve.
VII. Combines and abbreviates both of your beat 12s.
Goliath and Elisa are re-digitized in the real world. Only to discover that Lex used the opportunity to activate Xanatos' plan. Now he'll rule what's left of the world. Goliath lashes out at Lex, which knocks him back into the main frame and the whole thing starts to blow. Castle is destroyed taking out Lex. (No redemption possible.) Goliath barely manages to save Elisa, but he's broken by it. And Elisa tries to get the gate from him. She fails and melts into Puck. In fact the entire world seems to melt into her to become Puck.
VIII. Your beat 13.
Puck reveals what it has all been about. (Make sure to specifically mention that Oberon has begun "The Gathering".)
IX. Your beat 14.
Make it clear that Goliath passed out right after he said his line about missing his adopted home. So the audience in retrospect can place the exact moment when Puck's little adventure began.
And that's it. Feel free to call with questions or concerns.
And here are my notes on the second draft outline... note we were approaching ever closer to the correct big cat.
Notes on "Leopard Queen" Outline...
Hi, Brynne. Well, I'm at it again. Basically, I didn't feel we were there with the last draft of the outline, and given how far behind things are, I felt that it was necessary to beat it out here. My main problem was a lack of true jeopardy. The poachers were never any real threat to our gargoyles. In the end, neither were Tea or Fara Maku. The traps in the lost city had no effect on either Tea or the Poachers, so it was hard to believe that they would give Goliath and Co. a hard time. I just felt we really needed to escalate the situation, so I've added in the only character from African Mythology that I know anything about: Anansi the Spider. (And of course, I have no idea if Anansi is part of Nigerian myth, and unfortunately no time to check.) And just so you know, I wasn't secretly hoping you'd add Anansi. But he was the only thing in my head that felt authentic when I addressed the Jeopardy problem myself. Giant Spider. Worked for me. I tried to preserve what I felt was best from all the various versions we've had of this story. In reworking the legend of Kara Digi to include Anansi, I went for an animal folk tale feeling, instead of a curse, since you told me that African Myth tended in that direction. As usual, if you have problems with all or part of this thing, just call me.
I. RIVER WILD SEQUENCE.
II. On landing safely, no one is completely sure where they are.
A. Africa maybe, ELISA thinks, but she's not sure. She and her brother and sister came here as a child with their parents. Her mother's side of the family is from Nigeria.
B. ANGELA makes some semi-bitter comment about how she wishes her father would talk to her about her roots. GOLIATH gives the gargoyle company line in response. But it's clear that Angela wants something more personal from G.
C. Suddenly they spot something horrifying. We don't see what it is, but we can tell from their faces that it is something disgusting. Goliath is appalled. He cannot understand why any hunter would skin, defang and declaw an animal, only to leave the meat behind. Elisa explains that these jungle cats weren't hunted; they were obviously poached. An illegal practice, that's destroying the wild. Goliath thinks that may be the reason Avalon sent them here. To stop the poaching. They move off into the jungle. We do not follow them. We cut away.
III. Tribal clearing. A woman (DIANE) is telling a story to a bunch of native children. A few adults are gathered too (including FARA MAKU who has a claw mark tatoo or scar on his shoulder). In a cage nearby, a black leopard paces back and forth. We segue into her folk tale, told in arealistic "primitive" animation.
IV. The Tale of the LEOPARD QUEEN and ANANSI THE SPIDER.
A. The Leopard Queen was the most beautiful creature in the
1. Beautiful black fur. Razor Sharp Claws. Huge white
B. But she was also very vain.
1. She mocked the Hippo.
2. She mocked the Crocodile.
3. Then she made the mistake of mocking Anansi the
C. Anansi weaved a magic spell in his web that transformed
the Leopard Queen into the first human.
1. No beautiful fur. No sharp claws. Puny little teeth.
D. The Leopard Queen begged Anansi to return her to her proper
1. He promised he would on one condition.
2. That she build him a great city shaped like a giant
3. She agreed.
E. But she could not do it alone. So she gave birth to the
human race to help her build the city of Kara Digi.
1. They followed Anansi's plans to the letter.
2. Anansi was very pleased.
F. When the city was built, Anansi kept his promise and
weaved a spell that returned the leopard Queen to her
1. With the beautiful fur, sharp claws and big teeth.
(Keep emphasizing these three elements.)
G. But Anansi had tricked the Queen. For now she was lonely
for her children.
1. She asked Anansi to turn her children into leopards.
2. He refused, because they tended his city.
3. But he told the Queen that if she hunted for him and
brought him food, she could choose one of her
children by marking him, and Anansi would turn
that child into a leopard.
H. So the Leopard Queen hunted for Anansi and brought him
1. Anansi got fat and happy. He promised to grant her
2. The Leopard Queen made her mark on her oldest son,
who was the wisest, bravest and most handsome
man of the tribe.
3. Anansi didn't want to let this great man leave his
city, but he had given his word.
I. Anansi called the Prince to him and told him of his promise.
1. The Prince did not want to become a leopard.
a. He had been born a human and wanted to stay
2. He asked Anansi if there was any way to escape this
3. Anansi told the Prince that if he killed the Leopard
Queen, Anansi would no longer be obligated to her.
J. So the Prince hunted the Queen.
1. But when he found her, he saw the beauty of her fur,
the sharpness of her claws and the hugeness? of
2. And he realized that she had chosen him out of love.
3. He decided not to kill her.
4. And so Anansi was forced to transform the Prince into
a Black Leopard.
K. Anansi was so furious, he banished all of the humans from
1. But that was foolish, because now he had no one to
tend his needs.
2. And so the spider went hungry.
V. As the tale ends, we see that Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx have been listening from just beyond the clearing. They are enraptured by the story.
A. We get Angela's line about: Who is that woman? Magus?
1. Elisa responds definitively: "No, that's my mother."
2. Probably at some point someone should remark on the
coincidence of her mother being there when our
travellers arrive, and someone else should point
out that with Avalon it is no coincidence, it is fate.
Maybe not here, but somewhere.
B. When the story's over, the adults (except for Fara Maku and
Diane) lead the children from the clearing for the
festival meal in the nearby Hauka village. We find
out that after the feast, the Black Panther will be set
free to honor the Leopard Queen.
C. Once the clearing is empty, Diane asks Fara with some
trepidation whether she told the story well. She'd been
studying to do this for months.
1. Fara praises her.
2. And Elisa steps into the clearing to tell her mother
she did a great job for someone born and raised in
D. That smart-ass remark is followed by a tremendous hug
between Elisa and Diane. Diane is very releaved Elisa is
1. But now that she knows that Elisa is all right, Diane
is furious that Elisa just vanished the way she did.
a. Elisa is surprised that she didn't get the
message from Matt.
b. But Diane can't believe that Elisa didn't call
i. And Elisa's excuse that there hasn't been
time, doesn't cut a lot of mustard here.
2. Diane was so worried she nearly didn't come to
Nigeria for the Leopard festival, even though she
had been preparing to participate for a year. Peter
had to practically force her to get on the plane.
And he had to skip the festival, in case any word
came about Elisa back home.
3. So what is Elisa doing in Africa?
a. Elisa fumfers a lame excuse.
b. Diane recognizes it as lame, and is more pissed.
c. From the clearing, ANGELA doesn't understand
why Elisa doesn't tell her mother the truth.
d. Goliath explains that Elisa has some problems
sharing her secret with people. Though he
agrees that she SHOULD be able to tell her
e. Angela remarks pointedly that Goliath's right.
Parents and children should be able to talk
about anything. Goliath burns but says
E. Suddenly, Poacher's attack led by TEA. (Please find a
different last name for her than MAKA, it's just too close
to Fara's MAKU. We're asking for confusion problems.)
Tea and the poachers want to kill the ceremonial leopard.
(Though for very different reasons.) And we may notice
that Tea also has what we might take as a claw mark
tatoo or scar on her shoulder.
1. Angela is prepared to jump in right then. But the
Poachers have guns which can fire faster than even
the gargoyles can move. Goliath wants to give
Elisa a chance to try to diffuse the situation.
2. Elisa, Fara Maku and Diane obviously have no intention
of letting Tea and her men kill the leopard. Fara
seems to know Tea. He can't believe she's working
with Poachers. This is what comes of leaving the
tribe for the big city. (Doesn't have to be America,
in fact it probably shouldn't. It's a bit distracting.
What's the biggest city in Nigeria or near Nigeria?)
We see Fara's getting very upset by all this.
3. Tea doesn't want to hurt Fara, but he doesn't know
what happened to her when she went to the big city.
And one way or the other that Leopard is going to
die. If necessary, every leopard in the jungle.
4. An increasingly agitated Fara places himself in front
of the leopard. The poachers are getting angry.
Let's just get rid of them all. We don't want
witnesses anyway. Things are reaching a boiling
point, and left with no choice, Goliath is just about
to go in.
5. When Fara Maku transforms into a HUGE black leopard
-- at any rate, considerably bigger than the
ceremonial leopard in the cage.
VI. All hell breaks loose. Tea says something like "It was you!!". The poachers panic and start shooting at Fara, who attacks and is wounded. Goliath, Angela and Bronx wade into the battle. Short work is made of the poachers, but Fara/leopard flees into the jungle pursued by Tea. (We still think Tea is a villain at this point.)
Diane is stunned at all that's happened. And the appearance of the Gargoyles doesn't help. But the straw that breaks the camel's back is that Elisa clearly knows these monsters. Elisa is quickly able to convince her mom that Goliath and company are friendly, but that only raises more questions. How long have you known about this? Why didn't you tell me? Etc. Elisa doesn't want to deal with this, so she changes subject. What's the deal with Fara's transformation? Diane doesn't know. She thought the legend was just a legend. Goliath says that in his experience most legends have a seed of truth in them. At any rate, Fara's in obvious danger from that Tea-woman. They need to protect him. Elisa wants her mom to stay behind. Fat chance, young lady.
Just before they leave, they free the ceremonial panther and put the poachers in his cage.
VII. In the jungle, Tea hunts the Fara/leopard like a woman possessed. We get a sense that she and Fara once cared for each other and that for some reason she feels betrayed by him. She nearly kills him, but is prevented by Goliath and co. But when they try to apprehend her, she too transforms into a HUGE black leopard (though she seems to be trying to fight the transformation in a way that Fara didn't earlier.) Tea/leopard escapes, still pursuing the wounded Fara/leopard.
VIII. With Bronx's help, our intrepid band track Fara and Tea to the gates of legendary Kara Digi -- home of Anansi the Spider. Diane can't believe it's real, but then again, what isn't real these days? The city is layed out like a spider's web. Bronx seems confused. There are multiple cob-web filled pathways, and he seems conflicted between two of them. Angela realizes that Fara and Tea must have gone down separate paths. Angela, Elisa and Bronx will follow one path. Goliath and Diane will follow the other. (Elisa probably wants Goliath with Diane so that the big guy can keep mom safe.)
IX. The two teams split up. But both fall into death traps. Spider-themed death-traps ideally.
X. Both groups separately escape their respective death traps and continue pursuit.
XI. Along the way, Angela has a discussion with Elisa, that chastens Elisa. (Angela wishes that her father would talk to her the way Diane seems to want to talk to Elisa, or something like that). Diane has a conversation with Goliath that chastens him. (As you said, the difference between the human and gargoyle way; the unreasonableness of children, the fact that Goliath treating Angela like a daughter doesn't preclude him from loving his non-biological kids back on Avalon. Diane has three kids, and she loves them all, but that doesn't mean she can't try to be as close as possible to Elisa. You might even get in the fact that Elisa's always been Daddy's girl. In fact, maybe we should run this through Elisa and Diane's whole conflict. Or maybe not. I'll leave that up to you.)
Note: Both Elisa and Goliath should be chastened but unconvinced at this point. Also, plant little spiders throughout their treks through the city.
XII. Anyway, all paths lead to the heart of Kara Digi, the heart of the web. Everyone converges there. Fara arrives first and transforms back into a wounded human. Tea isn't far behind. She too transforms back, and pulls a primitive weapon off the wall to use on Fara. She's intercepted by the several arrivals of all our heroes. And finally we get some answers. Tea was attacked by a leopard just before she left for the big city. Now everytime she gets upset she transforms into a black leopard. Made life difficult in the big city. She knew the Tale of the Leopard Queen and figured that if she killed the Leopard who marked her, it would break the spell. So she teamed with the Poachers. They helped her kill the leopards to get the fur, claws and teeth. She still can't believe that it was Fara that marked her. She loved Fara. Fara protests that he loved her too. That is why he marked her, to force her to come back to the jungle and stay with him. That isn't love, Diane says, that's selfishness. Fara realizes that now, but he really does love Tea. (Man this jungle's just filled with lousy communication skills.) But Elisa doesn't understand. How did Fara get cursed himself. Fara's reluctant to answer....so Anansi answers for him. Anansi lowers himself on a web from the darkness of the ceiling. He is a GIANT INTELLIGENT SPIDER. Fara knew the legends and searched for the city. He found it and Anansi, who was just a hungry little thing. Fara made the old deal. He would hunt for Anansi and bring him food in exchange for the Leopard "curse". Anansi's pleased with the arrangement. He's obviously eaten well. Now Fara begs Anansi to remove the curse from Tea, even if Fara has to serve Anansi forever. Tea's touched, but Anansi figures if one hunter is good, seven might be better. Anansi knows from his little spider children (who "bugged" Elisa and Goliath's respective conversations with Angela and Diane) that each of them has a loved one here. He may send a few of them out at a time to hunt while the others serve him and act as hostages. Of course this doesn't sit well with anyone, so we have a fight. Fara transforms again, so we have gargoyles, Fara/leopard, Tea, Elisa and Diane against this giant spider, and frankly, it doesn't look good for our guys. Fara is still wounded, and Tea has to transform to a leopard to save him at some point. She still loves him. Anansi is ultimately destroyed in some cool way that ANGELA thinks of. But with Anansi gone, now there's no way to remove the curse from Fara and Tea.
XIII. Epilogue. A bandaged Fara and Tea are reconciled. Both have done bad things that they need to atone for. But they are together, and like the Leopard Queen and her son, they choose to stay together out of love. If that means occasionally turning into black leopards to protect their jungle. Well, so be it.
Goliath tells Angela that he is very proud of how his Daughter defeated Anansi. She gets the message and gives him a huge hug, as dawn breaks and they turn to stone in each other's arms.
Diane is once more, suitably impressed. She and Elisa share a nice quiet moment alone. When night falls again, Elisa plans on continuing the world tour with her gargoyle friends, but she promises to tell her Mom EVERYTHING about it when she gets home.
So that's that. I'm not sure about the break between the second and third act. You can move it if you want. And if this doesn't play for you, all or in part, give me a call and we'll talk.
Finally, this may be sticky from an S&P standpoint. I can't really justify the poachers having futuristic guns. Their rifles can be semi-hi-tech, but they can't be laser guns. Also, I want to deal as realistically as possible with Fara's wound. Both as a leopard and as a man. I'm going to copy Adrienne on this. After you've both read this, you might want to confab with her to discuss perimeters.
Below are my notes on Brynne & Lydia's first outline for what would eventually become "Mark of the Panther". (Unfortunately, I no longer have copies of the actual outlines. Just my notes.)
Notes on "Jaguar Queen" Outline...
FOCUS & THEME
"Emotional Distance" would be my best guess.
Goliath and Angela.
What is key issue/theme?
--He treated her more like a daughter before she knew he was her father.
--He is fighting a loving instinct inside himself.
--She doesn't grasp Gargoyle heritage on the subject.
--Distance? Coldness? Heritage? Self-control? Acknowledgement?
Diane and Elisa.
What is key issue?
--Distance? Coldness? Heritage? Self-control? Acknowledgement?
--Elisa is Daddy's girl.
--Is she distanced from her mom and/or her mom's heritage.
--Is mom shocked by Elisa's secret life with gargoyles?
--Is respect the issue?
--How does it relate to G&A arc?
Fara Maku and Tea.
What is key issue?
--Distance? Coldness? Heritage? Self-control? Acknowledgement?
--How does it relate to G&A and/or D&E?
--Do we need another set of parent & child?
Maybe we need to team Goliath and Diane?
--Got to get more happening in Act One.
--Act One currently feels like it's all prologue, except that emotional issues aren't introduced until Act Two.
--Act Two seems too late to bring up Angela's arc.
--And Goliath's side doesn't get any play.
--It seems tacked on, not a dynamic element in the story.
--Must intro emotional arcs by end of Act One.
--Definitively for Goliath, Angela, Elisa and Diane.
--At least hint at them for Tea and Fara Maku.
--By end of Act One we need a jaguar transformation.
--By end of Act Two we need to get to the city if we're going there at all.
--She's not personally from Nigeria. Her ancestors are from Nigeria.
--I frankly don't want to distance Diane & Elisa from the most negative side of the African-American Experience.
--Diane's been to Nigeria before, though.
--Searched out her ancestors.
--Studied there traditions.
--Has Elisa been here before? Probably.
--But how 'into it' is Elisa?
--Can she sense a monsoon coming?
--Much more of a Daddy's girl.
--Diane's an expert on "oral storytelling traditions"
--Not on all things Nigerian.
--Not on healing herbs for example.
--Elisa can't speak it.
--Maybe Angela can, but do we need it?
--Can't it all be in English?
--Ellipsis between 4 Heroes leaving the skiff and there arrival in village.
--We wipe from riverside to the village.
--Start hearing the story.
--Segue to depiction of story.
--When we return from 'telling', we see that the heroes are there and heard most of it.
--Elisa recognized her mom's voice right away, but doesn't tell the others right away.
--Stunned to see her there.
--Lost in the tale. etc.
THE CURSE - Simplify & Clarify
--Jaguar Queen's Logic seems confused.
--Curses conditions seem unclear and "Multiple"
--Why doesn't Tea turn into a jaguar?
--Was she turning into a jaguar in America?
--Does she want vengence on Fara Maku or does she want to kill the tribe's Jaguar?
--If she knows Maku is the jaguar that bit her, why try to kill the tribe's Jaguar?
--If she doesn't know, why does she want specific vengeance on him?
--What initiates Fara Maku's transformation into a Jaguar?
--Greed? Anger? How does it fit the curse we heard about?
--What initiates his transformation back at the end?
--How did he get cursed in first place?
--Do we want him to be the villain?
--Does their love story seems off point? Can we bring it on point?
--His motivation for cursing her seems pretty reprehensible.
--Tia's not bad for wanting to leave, per se.
--His vengeance being motivated by her greed, is fishy too.
--Why can't Tea end her curse by killing Fara Maku?
--How can she keep it from "being passed along"?
--Why do they reconcile?
--Who or what are we rooting for?
--When does Diane first see Elisa?
--How do gargoyles take out poachers without being seen?
--Why does Elisa feel it's necessary to reveal gargoyles at page 8?
--Beware set-ups that don't pay off.
--Straw man dangers.
--Everyone notices and glides or "edges" around.
--Rope bridge - same deal. Whole set up feels artificial since Goliath could have glided over to rescue Tia in first place.
--Settled things that become unsettle.
--P.6 Tea's down, then is up again, with knife.
--Even gets her rifle back.
--Spear in Fara Maku's shoulder.
--Tea's rifle or shotgun at end of show.
--Also discovered too late to not feel tacked on.
--Why is city booby-trapped? What is it protecting?
--A city doesn't only have one way to proceed.
--So why were they helping Tea?
--Was Tea a poacher?
--Has she been killing Jaguars looking for the one that bit her?
These are the notes I gave to Michael Reaves based on his outline for the episode...
Notes on "A Bronx Tail" Outline...
Play a lot of Bronx PoV throughout.
1. Night. Rory and SEANA (Finuala/Banshee) escape coppers. We see that she encourages him to delinquency. We hear about Hound. They split up. We hear Bronx howl. (Seana/Banshee hears it too?)
2. Night. Cut to Bronx howling by riverside. Banshee screech. Some sign of Banshee/Woman for Bronx to sniff.
3. Rory and Mom or Dad (not both). Day.
4. Switch with beat Five. Dungeon. Angela and Goliath wake up. Chained. (Combine Castle and Cairn) Gargs and Elisa in unbreakable chains.
5. Swith with beat 4. Rory leaves home to meet Seana. Bronx pursues Rory. (Tracking scent of Seana/Banshee on Rory.)
6. Rory falls into quarry.
6.5. Unconscious Rory has Vision of Ulster past - still a bit confused. Bronx might still be threat or ally.
7. Banshee attacks G, A, E. in dungeon.
8. Bronx helps Rory out of Quarry.
9. Banshee ceases her assault on G,A, E. Senses that Rory is with Bronx. And/or she gets some info from G, A, E.
10. At bog. Bronx playing Lassie. Rory has a vision of Cairn/Castle.
12. Seana appears. Bronx growls at her. Rory rejects Bronx for rejecting Seana. Bronx attacks. Rory cannot stop him. Seana/Banshee forced to reveal herself to protect herself. Bronx knocked out. Rory is shocked. Afraid of Banshee. Banshee does siren number on Rory. He leaves with her. How ominous.
16. Late Morning, early afternoon. Rory awakens at home probably. Parent bitching, he's a bum who's out all night and sleeps all day. Previous night feels like a good/bad dream. Seana shows up. Doesn't know what he's talking about. But Place from his vision sounds like Cairn/Castle. He insists on going there. She's frightened but she loves him. She'll go with.
17. They arrive after dark. Banshee/Seana is prepared to kill him... She was hoping to keep him from realizing his potential. But if that's not going to work than the ancient battle begins again.
Bronx arrives nick-o-time. (G,E and A hear commotion but can't do anything to help.) Bronx saves Rory, who gets spear and transforms. They battle and ultimately defeat or destroy deathworm. They free G,E and A. Rory returns to normal, but Ireland has a New Hero.