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Publick Nuisance

The secret files of the Ventureverse

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Eighth Episode Jynx...

The long hiatus from posting journal entries should tell you something about how smoothly this production is going. We've now reached that incredibly stressful point of the season, when I start getting late with every task and I get no sleep and no days off (or nights for that matter) for months on end and I start wigging out and wanting to cry all the time. I look like hell and feel worse. Doc actually had to hug me to calm me down the other night. Somehow I found the time to get hooked on "Lost," thanks to the season 1 dvd that came out a while back. But anyway...

PRODUCTION UPDATE: Since the last time I posted, Doc and I have turned in a script a piece. Mine finds Team Venture (whoever they may be these days) at a White House dinner and brings Bud Manstrong back into the fold, and Doc's is the continuing story of Orpheus and his search for an arch enemy, with the help of some colorful friends from his past. We're currently finishing up the tenth script of the season--another joint effort, which of course was due a week ago--which introduces a mysterious woman from Dr. Venture's checkered past and the Monarch's attempts to move on with his personal and professional life. Ben Edlund is supposed to turn in the eleventh script of the season in this coming week, which I can't really tell you about since I've only heard snippets of the plot (which sounds funny, of course). After that, Doc and I will only have two more episodes to write to finish out the season, one of which of course has to be some sort of fantastic season finale. It's hard to believe we're already at this point. Despite the crushing pressures of the production, things have gone by terribly fast this year.

I flew out to Los Angeles last weekend to record Patrick Warburton's Brock lines for the 6th-9th scripts (formerly called episodes 206-209, they're now forcing us to call them episodes 21-24, which is confusing as all hell). As usual, he was great and it was great to see him. I also recorded Brendon Small for a few different supporting roles, and once again his rambling improvisations proved hysterical enough that I'm now trying to figure out what to cut from the scripts to accommodate them, time-wise, in the episode. Ron Lynch, one of Brendon's Home Movies cohorts and a talented stand-up comedian of note, also dropped by to lend his dulcet tones to a beloved character. And last but not least, mighty Dana Snyder, Master Shake himself, kicked ass as not one but two characters, one of whom is a member of a team from Doc's last script which deserves its own spin-off series. It was a long but thoroughly entertaining day of recording, followed by a fun night out at Brendon and Ron's weekly (I think) comedy cavalcade at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. And to top it off, the gothampublicworks kids I met at Comicon took time out from their busy toga party schedule just to stopby and say hi to me, which is always a pleasure.

Currently, our character/prop/background designers are working on the episode we're still writing. With deadlines looming and passing by like ships in the night, we're stuck giving them a list of the designs we'll probably need for whatever story we're writing. Which sucks for them when the final draft comes in and we've cut stuff they worked very hard on due to space and time constrictions. We try not to make a habit of it. These guys (and gals) are doing an amazing job this season, and they've done it, like everyone else on this project, under loads of pressure. The color department kicked into gear about a month and a half ago and are blowing me away. They're currently working on the third episode, the script for which is perhaps a little too close to my heart, and they're blowing me away with what they're doing with it. I may have mentioned in a previous post that we're taking a slightly different approach to the background style this season. It's more painterly and closer to the style of the pilot than to the first season--out with the comic-booky black outlines, in with something that evokes both the old Jonny Quest/Scooby Doo look and the jazzy advertising art from the 60's I love so much. I leave you now with two quick glimpses of their work for the first and second episodes respectively:

A hallway from Castle Ünderbheit...

...and the never-before-seen bathroom in the Venture compound's living quarters (presumably where Dean practiced "being a boyfriend" way back when).

Good night...we love you...


P.S. King Kong!

We love you too! I'm learning how to work in the animation industry, and from what I've been through so far I guess I'm just getting a taste of the production grind. It's worth it though, right. Right?

Go Team Venture!

Yeah...of course it's worth it. Time pressures suck but hard work never doesn't pay off. And the bottom line is I get to make stuff up for a living, occasionally draw and occasionally scream into a microphone. I can't think of much better to do with my time than that.

Good luck surviving the crunch! The artwork looks beautiful.

Jackson.... why are you using my grandparents bathroom for your cartoon show? Seriously, that green toilet is making me cringe in fear and nostalgia.

I for one, can't wait till the new season is out. Maybe then these horrible shakes will stop.

Because Dr. Venture has terrible taste. And everyone who sees that picture says "holy crap, I had the same _________ (insert "bathroom," "wallpaper," or "toilet") when I was a kid!"

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love the avocado bath & toilet. even better is the wallpaper! spot-on with the vibe of the times, man. mmmm, bad interior design nostalgia.

That bathroom is straight out of lileks.com.

Also, it's hard to imagine The Monarch "moving on." After all, he's been arching Venture for who knows how long. (Well, you probably do.)

I'm so exicted about this new season! I just can't wait!
I'm also getting a feeling I've been in a bathroom like that before...

<3 Brendon and Ron. Good frigging call.

Just get Jon Benjamin next and you've got a license to print money. That man has the greatest voice in the history of cartoons.

Got 'im once already...might be getting him a second time to reprise the same character...we'll see.

Oh god.. the bathroom flashbacks.. I think every single piece in there I have seen in various family members' homes.

Can't wait to see Season 2! The episode numbering is very odd though, I thought the 1##, 2## style numbering was the standard for TV shows. Did they give a reason why they wanted you to change it?

uh...not sure. I guess it was confusing to them the other way or something. And I have no idea what they call the Christmas special...it's best not to try to understand...

I should say something more productive than "I just can't wait," but, yeah, I can't wait for these episodes. Thank you for sharing these notes; the amount of voice talent coming in this season has me giddy.

I'm in new york right now trying to get a tour of noodle soup. some cool cat named ben just said to call when i got there.

Really looking forward to the new season and the dvd. I hope there is alot of behind the scenes stuff.

Did you really post this comment on November 20? I JUST got the email notification from Livejournal tonight, I swear.

sighs I remember the 70s. Avacado and butterscotch. No wonder I was always so hungry.

Thank you for all the fabo updates. I love hearing where you're at in production and how it all works. But what about HELPeR? Does he have a room or a broom closet?

you know, I have some thoughts about H.E.L.P.eR. but they never manage to make it into an episode. Just about everyone in this show has an elaborate backstory and I'm beginning to wonder how much of it we'll ever get to see, barring a spin-off "Tales from the World of Venture" anthology series.

Glad that Small and Lynch will have cameos as various people as well as Dana Snyder. I take it Dana improvized right?

The drawings look hella awesome. Nice touch of the toilet seat being up.

Omg. Omg. Form of: Hyperventilating fangirl!
PS- I'll see it for the X-3 Trailer.

I just can't wait for the new season. Heck, I can't wait for the first season to come out on DVD. The new backgrounds look amazing. I especially love the bathroom. It looks less painterly than the hallway but it looks straight out of an acrylic painting. Both are really cool. Are the characters also going to have the same kind of look to them this season?

I thought that the show was done using flash, kind of like Harvey Birdman, but its cool that you can get such a polished, and now painterly, style.

It's so awsome that you let us (fans) see the process that the show goes through. It's so awsome. :)

P.S. King Kong's trailer makes me love is all the more.

We only did the pilot in Flash (which is what your avatar is taken from). The entire first season was done traditionally.

The characters' models were all readdressed, yes, but if you mean "will they have the painterly look of the backgrounds?" the answer is no (that would be incredibly difficult to animate). Most likely the changes to the character models will be undetectable to the home viewer. Mostly we streamlined them a bit and constructed them better because the original model sheets were done so quickly and left a lot of information about the characters' appearances open to interpretation. My own drawing skills probably improved over the last couple of years and some of the storyboard artists, in interpreting the characters, added their own stylistic flourishes, which I liked and wanted to officially incorporate into the designs.

Can't wait, man! And the pics look fantastic and the episodes promising. :D