RollBots Recap: 109 "Two Left Feet"

MCMSaturday, April 11, 2009

Every week, I’m going to try and give you some inside information about episodes of RollBots, so you can see the things that went into producing each story. You should probably watch the episode first (probably won’t have a choice, since these posts won’t go live until after the episode airs).

109 is one of those episodes that I dreamed up early in the production process, when I was trying to imagine what kinds of silly problems RollBots could get in to. Initially, the idea was to have OddBall misplace a leg and drag Spin on a sleuthing trip around the city, trying to retrace his steps. The only idea I really had was that OddBall went to some pretty freaky places on his way to the FCPD, and that would give us a bit of comedy.

The only problem was that there was absolutely no conflict to it, and it felt like a side-story. You can't have an episode without conflict, so something had to be done. The first idea Vito (the writer and story editor) had was to make one of the bad guys go around stealing limbs from bots, and that turns out to be what happened to OddBall. But in the end, we decided it was important to have an element of danger to the story, so Vito came up with the Massive Power Siphon. If Spin doesn't get on top of things fast enough, the entire FCPD is toast.

One of the best parts of this episode is the evolution of OddBall... I had no clear idea in my mind about how he should sound, but Vito gave him the most insanely-constructed dialogue. More than that, Gary Chalk's voice works wonderfully (especially when you consider he's also Captain Pounder... two characters not at all alike). I don't know if the words he's speaking are grammatically correct (or even real), but they sure are fun to listen to.

Below, I've stuck a YouTube clip of the fight sequence, starting with our leica version, and then the fully-rendered one. It's interesting to see how things evolved. You may notice some not-real voices in the leica... that's what happens when the directors come up with cool lines after the voice record is done (the voice record typically happens a week or two before the leica is cut). So Spin and Manx get to trade up their voices temporarily, and then the actors pick those up later.

Next week is "The Do Right Module", one of mine, and I think I'm going to try switching to a PreCap schedule for a bit. Today's recap is late due to unforeseen difficulties with children and vomit, and I don't want to be accidentally late again. So yes. Stay tuned, and keep telling your friends to watch!

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