Doc and I have just finished writing episode 39 of The Venture Bros., which, if you do your math, is the finale of Season Three. So we're done with the writing for a while, though, thanks to a number of intriguing plot developments in this last episode, we find ourselves uncharacteristically enthusiastic about starting up the next season as soon as possible. The past month was grueling--hence no posts here for a while--but rewarding. While we were writing the last two episodes at night, I was spending my days revising the storyboards and editing the animatic for the premier episode. Needless to say, the alpha and omega of any season are terribly important, so obsessing over getting both right at the same time with only so many hours in the day in which to do it was a challenge. Fortunately, I was not alone in either endeavor. Doc wrote heroically, and the storyboard team really busted their collective hump. Thank you, guys and gals.
Other than that, production's going pretty well. A little bit behind schedule, as always, but everyone is turning out great work. We're presently designing ep. 39, editing the animatic and coloring for ep. 33, storyboarding eps. 37 & 38, and we're set to record ep. 36 this week. I'm looking forward to being a full-time director and having my nights free for a while, but post-production will be starting up in about a month and a half, when we start seeing footage from Korea--screengrabs of which I'll undoubtedly post when the time comes. We've never edited HD footage before (did I mention The Venture Bros. is being made in HD this season?), so it should be interesting and full of unforseen technical dilemmas.
Now that I can look back on a full 13 scripts, I can truthfully say it will be a weird season. We dug deeper than we have before, told richer stories, took some chances (we'll see if they pay off), and, as promised in the commentary for the Season Two DVD, made no intentional Star Wars references. I think we managed to hit just about every semi-important character who's appeared before (with the exception of Baron Ünderbheit--might as well tell you now), including some Season 1 favorites who didn't get much play in season 2. And we introduced plenty of new ones, adding multiple layers of backstory (and forwardstory) to the Team Venture saga. And though we wrote more "stand-alone" episodes than usual, there is definitely an arc to this season. Long time viewers will undoubtedly get more out of it than newer ones, who we'll probably alienate altogether. One thing I can promise you is this: if you're a fan of the show, and at some point mid-way into this coming season you start wondering to yourself things like "How come they never __________ anymore?" or "Whatever happend to __________?"...just wait. It's coming.
With that, I offer you some more full-color glimpses of previously undisclosed areas of the Venture Compound, courtesy of Liz Artinian, Chris Fischer, and Deo Pangandoyon:
Hallway (with view toward the Rocket Observatory)...
The Venture Surveillance Room...
The Venture Lobby...
We Love You,
• Since it's been so long since I posted, I never got a chance to properly thank those of you who attended DragonCon in Atlanta and passed on gifts to me via Doc. So...thank you all. The snacks and care packages got me through many a late night writing session this month, and the "AstroBase BMX Dinosaur" t-shirt has become a staple of my wardrobe and the envy of my friends.
• Congratulations to my pal Phil Rynda, who received an Emmy last month for his character design work on a Billy and Mandy special.
• Somewhere in the midst of all that stuff above, I found time to read Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, which I recommend checking out if you're a fan of The Venture Bros. or any of the things in this popular culture stew of a world that inspired it.
• To Whomever Hit My Car (when it was PARKED): DICK!!! Come on, man. $1,400 of damage and you don't leave a note or anything?