Wow. It's been a while. Apparently 11 weeks. I was busy, and then I was a lot less busy, and then I was really not busy at all, and now I'm busy again, having recently returned from my first vacation in 3 years. Went to Rome for a few days, then drove south all the way to Sicily over the course of a week and a half with 2 night stops in Positano, Giuncano, Tropea and Taormina before flying back up to Rome for a couple more days. Am hoping to finally get around to writing that Venture Bros. story that takes place in the Vatican I've been kicking around for years so I can write it all off. Anyway, it was an amazing trip and I actually got enough sun and rest to neutralize the dark green in the circles under my eyes, so now I can almost pass for a normal person who sleeps at night and doesn't feed off the flesh of the living.
ANYWAY...Here's what's going on with The Venture Bros.
So far we've received four "first take" rough cuts back from Korea, and a new one arrives every two weeks...so the hits keep coming. They're looking really good so far. Even though it still takes a couple of days of repeat, frame-by-frame viewings to catch all the mistakes and type up a retakes list, the quality on the whole is very high--higher even than last season which, for my money (or adultswim's to be exact) is pretty damn good. This is the first time we haven't made some huge stylistic change from one season to the next, so we and the overseas studio were able to build on all of the solid groundwork we laid in season 3. Of course we couldn't resist making some minor stylistic tweaks, so we took a new approach to the inking style of the characters, who are looking more satisfactorily (and consistently) comic book-y than ever now, to my delight. So, now that we have some animation...
We have begun editing.
Doc and I (mostly Doc, of course) are currently editing the first episode of The Venture Bros. Season 4.1. "Handsome Ransom" is our fortieth episode (not including the pilot and the Christmas special), features the voice of Kevin Conroy, and for continuity purposes will probably air at least second or third. J.G. Thirlwell has already provided us with the music, and we'll be handing it over to the sound engineer in a couple of weeks--after Doc's had time to work some Final Cut and After Effects magic on it.
A few random, working titles for upcoming episodes: "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel," "The Revenge Society," and "Perchance to Dean" (and yes... I've been wanting to use that last one for years)
We are also writing.
Doc and I are both writing scripts for the "second half" of season 4, which will begin production later this summer (once we have enough scripts to guarantee we won't fall behind again). We even finally caved in to Hollywood style writer's room protocol and purchased a giant Dry-Erase "Big Board" for the Astrobase, upon which we work out our ideas and storylines for many episodes to come. It's already paid for itself in Post-Its savings alone. Personally, I'm still kind of finding my feet in that phase of writing where I have a dozen ideas for halves of episodes and am still trying to figure out which pieces fit together best to form a coherent story with an A and a B plot (and sometimes, it's been noted, C, D and E plots). For this, the Big Board is indispensible. We have some pretty f-ed up stuff in store for these poor Venture bastards, that much I can tell you.
We will also be at Comicon.
Both Doc and I will be appearing at the San Diego Comic Con this year--one by air and one by rail, as is our habit. Don't know what day or what panel format or anything yet, but Mike Sinterniklaas is joining us for sure (you can't keep that kid away), and possibly James Urbaniak (can we get a confirmation, James?) and/or John Schnepp, who co-directed with me this season and who you probably already know and love from Metalocalypse. It is our fervent hope that we're able to concoct some sort of preview/spoiler/clip reel kind of thing from whatever episodes we have done by then to screen at this as-yet-to-be-confirmed panel, so...bring your camera phones and I'll try to look as self conscious and shiny as possible.
I am told the Season 3 DVD has been selling well...
...better, in fact, than seasons 1 & 2 did, which I'm also told is relatively unheard of in the DVD biz. Which means I should thank you all for buying it and apparently spreading the Venture word from season to season.
Other than the above, I've been spending my time watching every episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, reading about gladiators, reading Jason's new graphic novel "Low Moon," helping out with new SuperJail scripts a little bit, enjoying my new Red Dragon e-cigarette, and trying to pick a color for my living room walls. So, you know...busy.
We Love You,
The secret files of the Ventureverse
- La Dolce Venture