Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PMC 4: What I learned at Power Morphicon 4

UPDATED 8/27/14 5:30PM EST
Writing Power Rangers Panel with Doug Sloan, Tony Oliver, Jackie Marchand, Mark Litton and John Tellegen (I think).

Things I learned from the Writing Panel:
  • Doug Sloan (who was Executive Producer for Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder and wrote for MMPR) said Disney did want to create their own Power Rangers (film original footage in New Zealand) without Toei but made calculations and it wasn't cost effective. Jackie Marchand said it goes down to Megazords, those sequences are very expensive, that is why there is very little original battles lately (save for SPD).
  • Doug Sloan said when he ran the show, he tried to go what was popular with kids lately. He liked Extreme Sports and he chose to go for that with Ninja Storm. He said Emma Lahana didn't quite fit the bill for Tori but they noted she had a great voice so they chose to go with her for Kira in Dino Thunder. Doug Sloan said Avril Lavigne was popular as the time so that's why Kira was a singer.
  • Jackie Marchand is the longest running veteran on the show since Judd Lynn, whom she shared co-writing duties with until he left at the end of Power Rangers: Time Force. Taking a break from the show after Time Force, Marchand contributed to Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder. She has been promoted several times during the course of the last two seasons, becoming the story editor in Mystic Force, and serving as co-producer of Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury, and RPM.
  • I spoke to Jackie Marchand briefly about female characters. She did mention at the panel that Power Rangers is considered a Boy's Brand. I asked her if it was conscious decision to make female characters strong and smart. She said it was and she tried. She mentioned Jen was one of her favorite characters. I applauded her for making her 'bad ass' in the Wild Force teamup.
  • In Dino Thunder, who I believe is John Tellegen (I missed the introductions)--he said he had an idea for Ethan (Dino Thunder) to have a puppet that would become a mini Blue Ranger, it was thrown out.
  • Doug Sloan says Disney planned an animated version too but that fell through. I have mention this before on the blog.
  • I forgot who said it but someone said why they picked a 'street' voice for Alpha 6, because the voice actor left and they wanted something different. And for the Space voice, same there.
Doug Sloan is tall!
AmeriToku Panel
It was about VR Troopers, Beetleborgs, Masked Rider, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight and Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. In the panel, there was Brad Hawkins (Ryan Steele of VR Troopers), Christopher Cho (Nukus of Beetleborgs Metallix), Doug Sloan, Tony Oliver, Marshall Hilton (Les in Beetleborgs), Matt Mullins (Len of Dragon Knight Dragon Knight), Troy Slaten (Amp of Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad) and Robert Hughes (excecutive producer of Masked Rider, Beetleborgs and Mystic Knights)
  • Because he was a producer for VR Troopers and Masked Rider, Robert Hughes had a chance to create Mystic Knights. Because Xena and Hercules were about Greek gods, he decided to do things of Irish mythology as he is of Irish background.
  • Robert Hughes says that Kenner was chosen to make the toys of VR Troopers because the original toy maker Bandai (of Metalder, etc.) said the toys were too old and they would not sell so they were not interested. Kenner is now owned by Hasbro so he kept calling them Hasbro. As you know, VR Troopers was originally called Cybertron and starred Jason David Frank. Cybertron was copyrighted by Hasbro. But I think the reason they couldn't use it is because Kenner wasn't owned by Hasbro yet.
  • Toy sales are important so that is why Grid Mode was created for VR Troopers to sell more figures.
  • According to Doug Sloan and Robert Hughes, VR Troopers was NOT doing well in toys by Season 2, that is one of the reasons they didn't continue it for a third season. Because I had asked them why not use other Space Sheriffs and Metal Heroes like Sharivan, etc. Brad Hawkins whispered to me that the series was a hit. Wink Wink.
  • Troy Slaten (Amp) of Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad left the show half-way through and I asked why. He said he was asked to sign a contract for 4 or 5 years (Ironically it only lasted one year) and he didn't want that sort of contract. His last episode they said he was an alien. He says he had no idea his character was an alien. He says that he did many shows in the 90's and he is remembered most for SSSS.
  • Matt Mullins (Len) of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was asked mostly about if the show was going to have a second season, that why it didn't succeed and Kamen Rider Abyss from Kamen Rider Decade. Matt said they only had the rights to the Ryuki footage. He says they were talking about a second season but it would be a continuation of the first one, of Ryuki, not another Kamen Rider series. It never happened as the show was not popular.
  • Matt Mullins says the show was ahead of its time and it wasn't properly advertised.
Suits and Stunts (1 and 2)
Part 1 was Friday and had Barrie Evans (who has do stageshows in Japan as Kamen Riders and Ultraman), Jason "Buckaroo" Ybarra (Babboo in MMPR), and Denny Logan who played Monsters and was an alternate for Elgar. Part 2 on Saturday had Sophia Crawford (MMPR), Jeff Pruitt (MMPR), Jason Ybarra, Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Super Sentai stunt actor from Ginga Green to KyoryuBlack), Hiroshi Maeda (Red Hawk, Tyrannoranger, MMPR Red to RPM Red) and Barrie Evans.
  • Jason Ybarra was an extra and was picked to be Babboo as he was 'skinny.'
  • Jason Ybarra declined a stunt job on "Lost" while he was in "Alias." Alias soon ended.
  • Barrie Evans moved to Japan after high school in the 70's and got into Sentai and Kamen Rider. He got a job thanks to friends that led to suit acting. He has done stageshows since then. He was offered to go to the US for Power Rangers but declined at the time. His favorite job is his favorite, Ultraman Taro.
  • Jeff Pruitt (MMPR Stuntman) spoke of the difference between Japanese and Americans. The Japanese were shy and reserved, the Americans more chilled. They soon picked up their own habits. Like the Japanese always took smoking breaks and the Americans picked this up. One time when a big wig from Japan came, he was serious and saw that the Japanese stunt men were lax and hanging out on the floor.
 Zyuranger Panel
Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Super Sentai stunt actor from Ginga Green to KyoryuBlack), Hiroshi Maeda (Red Hawk, Tyrannoranger, MMPR Red to RPM Red) and Yuuta Mochizuki (Geki/Tyrannoranger) were together with a translator. I got to meet and talk to Yasuhiro for a bit and we went over the Rangers he played and he did some of the poses which made me giddy inside (like Bouken Blue, Ginga Green, Hurricane Yellow, Gokai Green, etc.). In fact, I did the Gokai Green pose along with him (wiping hands on pants).
  • Yuuta Mochizuki (Geki) hasn't seen his team in a long time. They recently met but it was five of them, except for the actor who played Burai/Dragon Ranger. He mostly keeps in contact who plays Dan/Tricera Ranger.
  • Yuuta said he accepted being in Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters because he was excited about green screen and new technology.
  • Yuuta says that current Sentai are more pretty-looking or how I say, they look like Twinks (gay slang for skinny young pretty men).
  • Hiroshi Maeda said he did Jetman and Zyuranger and was offered to go to the US to be in Mighty Morphin Season 2. His last season in the US was Wild Force. Then he was asked to go to New Zealand. He says he liked the US more than New Zealand. Ultimately he was busy when Saban took over so his last season was RPM.
 It's Not Easy Being Green
Reggie Rolle (Lost Galaxy), Jack Guzman (Wild Force) and Richard Brancatisano (Mystic Force) were present.
  • Reggie Rolle says that he, Danny Slavin (Leo) and Archie Kao (Kai) were offered the Galaxy Cycles that were 'supped up' Honda cycles. They had to pay for them but he regrets it because now they are up for a lot of money.
  • Richard Brancatisano is now in "Chasing Life" on ABC Family, they shoot on the same soundstage they shot the original Power Rangers in the USA.
  • Lost Galaxy and Wild Force were mostly shot in Valencia, California.

 Villains Panel
I forgot to put this! They had Kerrigan Mahan (Goldar), Hilary Shepard (Divatox), Carol Hoyt (Divatox), Barbara Goodson (Rita), Vernon Ballesteros (Pineapple the Clown), Jennifer Yen (Vypra), Amy Rolle (Trakeena), Ilia Volok (Master Org), and Rajia Baroudi (Jara in Beetleborgs).
  • Vernon Ballesteros says he was a clown at the time and that was his costume, the PR crew did not design it. The show hadn't come out yet and he didn't know about it but he was told to be evil so he took it as a really bad abductor. Once the show aired, kids were scared of him at his shows so he retired the costume. He says he lost a bet to be at the show. We told him he scared us and he kept trying to scare me.
  • There were much other insights as the majority of the panel was dominated by fans asking who they would fight against and what comic book characters they'd team up with. Kerrigan Mahan clarified he didn't read comics. And fans wanted to know who on the panel they'd team up with but they never knew each other's characters. Also Amy Rolle did not meet Jennifer Yen on the show as Amy Rolle was not in the Lightspeed/Lost Galaxy teamup. 
Rajia Baroudi did clarify that they had to scream many times in the voicing sessions and she gave us tips like drinking honey and tea and not using your voice too much when you need to scream that day.

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