Things have been both busy and not. We're still doing post-production on this season's episodes, but that keeps Doc far busier than me. Really I just go in for retakes and the final two days of editing, plus the sound mixes, so I have a lot more time on my hands. Attempting to fill it with side projects, home improvement, and research for a possible non-Venture screenplay, but I'm sort of in that withdrawal phase I go through at the end of any protracted period of intense work--I kind of don't know what to do with my down time and just get depressed and lethargic. Probably my body's and mind's way of telling me I need to recuperate from such a difficult season. So even though a relatively speedy Season 3 pickup is blowin' in the wind (if not official yet), it will probably be a little while before we regroup, get our heads together, and start writing more episodes.
Doc and I have just returned from DragonCon in Atlanta...and boy, are our arms tired. Mostly from signing things and waving to one another from across crowded rooms with one hand while holding a cell phone with the other, into which we're shouting "over here! I'm over here. To the left...Where did you go?!" While not quite as fun and diverse as the San Diego Comicon for me (I'm more of a comics guy than a dragon guy, I have to say), it was once again our pleasure to meet some of our more die-hard fans, particularly the Henchwench herself, founder and purveyor of The People's Republic of Venture. Aside from setting up a Venture fan booth and spreading the good word via all manner of stickers, flyers and lunchboxes bought on her own dime, she took the time to make us each a little care baggie filled with fattening snacks and hard to find soft drinks. We also received gifts of drawings from several fans, took pictures with dozens more, and had our picture taken with a guy dressed chillingly accurately like Doctor Venture, who seemed blessedly ignorant of our identities and more than a little put off by our intrusion upon his DragonCon duties (for overblown coverage of this minor event, go to adultswim.com).
We did a pair of well-received panel discussions--one solely for Venture Bros. (which I barely made it to, having missed my earlier flight down there and gotten on standby for a later one) and one en masse Adult Swim panel with a bunch of the other creative minds behind all of your other favorite snarky late night cartoons.
The highlight of the convention was definitely the needcoffee.com film festival on Saturday night--a marathon of strange short films and cartoons orchestrated by Honorary Astrobase Cadet Ken Plume, in which we unveiled to a ravenous crowd the splendor that is "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills," an upcoming Venture Bros. episode that won't see air for several more weeks. Aside from that, we enjoyed hanging out with the Williams Street kids on their own turf, and thrilled to Dana Snyder's tales of skullduggery and racketeering down in the "Walk of Fame" (the room where dozens of C list actors peddle their signatures for $20 or more). My greatest score was a t-shirt featuring an drawing of character actor Tom Atkins and simply the word "Atkins," which Tom personally fetched from the display wall behind him at great personal risk atop an unstable folding chair.
I don't personally have any pictures from DragonCon, but Doc has more patience with this kind of thing than I (and fewer qualms about seeing bad pictures of himself) so check out his myspace "soulbot" page in the next few days, and I'm just betting he'll have culled some from the interweb to display on his blog therein.
ON AN UNRELATED FRONT:
I contributed a fully painted "Dunny" figure to Kid Robot's "Paint Ball" charity auction to benefit the Save the Children Federation. Basically, they send out a bunch of blank, white figures to some "celebrities" and graffitti artists, who then tart them up with spray paint and paint markers and what have you. Then they auction these off. For whatever reason (I have no one to blame but myself), I was under the mistaken belief these things were only like two or three inches tall and thought "no problem." When mine arrived, it was nearly two feet in height. So if you want the only hand-painted piece of Venture Bros. "merchandise" (actually, the only piece of Venture Bros. merchandise, period.) and you'd like to help out a good cause, go bid on it on eBay. Or tell a rich friend who loves charity to do so and then have him/her give it to you because you just gave them a tax write-off.
VENTURE BROS. NEWS:
We're on iTunes!
I know I'm late in pointing this out, but it's been a while since I posted, and that's kind of a big deal. The customer reviews have thusfar been glowing (except for a handful of illiterates who will only be satisfied if iTunes starts selling episodes of Inuyasha) and hopefully we're reaching a whole new audience.
We've recently turned in "Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?" and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills" and are presently editing Ben Edlund's contribution to the season, "¡Viva Los Muertos!" which is a bitch because the first few scenes are very long, continuous pieces of animation, so fixing anything that's wrong with them requires tedious rendering time just to see if our fixes worked. And the overseas studio apparently suffered some sort of massive system crash, so retakes have been coming in slowly.
Just today, however, we received Korea's first take of the season finale episode. Looks pretty good--full of action, secret revelations, surprise guest stars, and all the usual cast of lovable cartoon pals. Spent the day calling retakes, of course, but that's nothing new.
We were back with "Fallen Arches" last weekend, and this Sunday we're premiering "Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?" featuring the return of Bud Manstrong, which nobody asked for, but you're getting it. Then we're in reruns for a week, followed by "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills" and the last three episodes of the season, but good god we're going to be cutting it really close on those last two...so keep your fingers crossed or there could be more reruns in our mutual televised future.
RANDOM RESPONSES TO YOUR RANDOM QUERIES:
In response to some of the queries posted on this journal (and elsewhere) "Victor. Echo. November" was indeed produced before "Assassinanny 911" and it was only later we chose the order the episodes were to run in (we did--not the network--so blame us). For some of them, it was obvious--"Powerless in the Face of Death" had to run first, "Hate Floats" second--but most of the others could run in any old order, with some exceptions along the way. We thought about the storylines, the characters' development, the little bits of season story arc; we thought about which ones packed the biggest punch; we decided to alternate Doc's episodes and mine as much as possible, and to alternate Monarch and non-Monarch episodes to keep him from getting played out. The one little detail we forgot about in regards to these two episodes was Kim, Triana's techno-Goth friend. She's obviously met Hank and Dean already in "Assassinanny 911," which aired a month ago, but is only just being introduced to them in last night's episode. Our bad. Neither of us picked up on it till the former episode aired, at which point Doc, just as guilty as I, cried "foul!" because he didn't want me to get credit for his Fred from Scooby Doo joke, which I'd unintentionally scooped him on...when it was meant as a "callback." Oh, well...
In retrospect, "Love-Bheits" (the first episode produced this season) probably should have aired before "20 Years to Midnight" because of the reference to the Impossible family dressing up as the Fantastic Four, since I doubt they'd be engaging in a whole lot of fun family interaction after the latter's events.
As for your questions regarding "20 Years to Midnight" and Jonas Jr.'s "sourpussin'," the answer is: he feels guilty for taking advantage of a junky and writing him a fake prescription just to get what he wanted out of him. There were originally a couple more lines to that scene which explained that a little better, but the episode was a good deal over time and we had to cut something. We thought his moral dilemma was self-explanatory, given the ruse he and the Captain put on in their prior scene, but I guess not. To put it in perspective, that script was 6 pages over the limit; the original audio slug was about four minutes too long; and the finished animation was about a minute too long. Something had to go, and now we've got two scenes for the "deleted scenes" special feature in the season 2 DVD.
SPEAKING OF THE SEASON 2 DVD...
We just started talking to the network about the dvd project and are tossing around special features and packaging ideas with an eye toward a March release, I think (don't quote me on this...these things always change). The deleted scenes should generally be a bit more compelling on the next set than they were on the Season 1 set, since Doc's being really good about saving all the original animation in separate files this time for just that purpose. Also, Dave Paterson has been doing full 5.1 Surround Sound mixes for each episode in addition to the standard TV stereo mix, so the DVDs should sound great, as God intended them to.
Lastly...I'M AN UNCLE!
This li'l pink dynamo came into the world last Friday, and though my brother claims she looks like neither him nor his wife, her baby pictures, to me, are strikingly similar to both his and mine. Pray she doesn't inherit whatever recessive gene granted me my forehead...
We love you,
P.S. Check out the movie Brick, which just came out on DVD or is about to. It's pretty great.