Jcb...are you on Twitter? If so, what is your handle? I have to say I really appreciate you being here and answering questions. I'm really getting excited about the new show! I have a better perspective on it now than I had when I first saw the images.
Will Be Cool SD be available to watch online for those of us that no longer have cable?
I'll honestly be somewhat happy if they finally re-cast Velma. Mindy has done a decent job in her time, but I'd like someone new in the role. I just wish that if anyone had been recast it would've been DeLisle. ANY actress would be better than her for Daphne. I don't think anyone should worry about Mindy not returning though, she's been in all other recent media so why would she suddenly leave?
I hope you will be very pleasantly surprised by Grey in this series. With the changes we've made to Daphne's character, Grey fits her like a glove. She's utterly brilliant bringing this new, eccentric, smart, empathic and funny Daphne to life. In fact, the first time I met her, I was astonished. Zac and I looked at each other and said, "Oh my God, she literally IS our new Daphne!"
The casting of all the characters is perfect and we couldn't be happier.
thanks for taking the times to answer questions jacb. i have a couple questions: 1 Will we see any cameos by Scoobys family? Characters like Scooby Dum, Scooby Dee or Dixie Doo? Scooby has a very large family, as longtime fans well know. Will there be any mentions of them? 2 Will there be any traveling from place to place in the Mystery Machine, or will it be like the old shows where Scooby and gang arrive at (insert town here) as the episode's plot requires? Thanks Scoobnick.
My pleasure, scoobnick. I don't know if we will be seeing any of Scooby's extended family, honestly. Our starting point was the original 1969-1970 classic series and building from there. Many of those newer characters (however beloved they may be to some) were added to "freshen" the show, to add more comedy, etc. Our approach is to take the main Scooby gang and turn them into a fully rounded, dimensional comedic ensemble. Fred, Velma, and Daphne have been given unique points of view as characters and are driving the comedy as much as Shaggy and Scooby, who will always, of course, remain the the heart of the show. We wanted to make a show where everybody will fall in love with the characters, get to know them and their quirks, watch them evolve. Hopefully, everyone will have a different favorite character, Right now, Daphne is mine. She's the most fun for me to write. At the moment, we don't feel a need to bring in these other characters because we've barely scratched the surface of exploring the main characters. That said, nothing is out of bounds, so who knows what the future will bring?
I;m not sure I understand your second question. Isn't the gang showing up at (insert town here) as an episode requires "traveling from place to place in the Mystery Machine"? We're basically going back to the paradigm of the original show: those five characters driving around to different places in the Mystery Machine solving mysteries. The main difference is that the stories will be more character-driven so the our character have more of a personal connection to and stake in the mystery being solved.
3. Yeah, we're playing with using certain elements from Scooby's 40+ years of history, like Elias Kingston, here and there - mostly recontextualizing them and having fun/paying homage. It's not something we're doing a lot of or being too precious about, though. We're really trying to make a brand new show that someone who has never seen Scooby Doo before (as well as someone who LOVES Scooby Doo) can enjoy - but with little winks and nods here and there for the old fans.
Glad to see you back and thanks for the updates! I'm really looking forward to seeing more of the show. It'll be nice when a few previews start showing up. Any idea when we'll get a sneak peek?
Regarding the above, I like little winks & nods myself, but one trend I'm not as crazy about is actually revealing the villains & endings to classic eps newer fans may not've yet seen. Just something to think about. The recent movie Frankencreepy gave away the villains to 4 episodes, 3 from the original series. It was a neat plot element for longtime fans, but spoiled about 1/8 of the original series for new fans. SD:MI did a bit of that too.
One question I might ask, and forgive me if you've already commented on this, but will the show feature 'real' monsters & ghouls, or villains in disguise?
Thanks again for posting here, and look forward to seeing the first ep.
For Prof. Per. - I'm the head writer who helped create and develop the new Scooby Doo show.
Hey ahk - We have no plans to reveal endings to old episodes. While we may play with elements to some old plots as jumping off points to twist and spin certain tropes, all of the stories will be original to this series and we're not really treating the past series as part of our history (apart from the odd wink here and there).
As for "real" monsters, I can't really talk about that apart from saying that we will always try to keep the audience guessing what's real and what's not until the last possible moment. Not always easy and Scooby Doo does have certain classic structures that we like to adhere to, but, hopefully, people will find it satisfying. We're certainly looking for new ways to reveal the bad guys.
I have a few questions if you are allowed to answer them: 1. Can you answer if Mindy Cohn is playing Velma in the series? All the voice actors have confirmed that they will be playing their usual roles except for Mindy. 2. Is the pitch pilot that was placed (and then removed) on Vimeo from the pilot episode, or a different (later) one? 3. Will there be other references to the old series like there were in the pitch pilot (such as the Ghost of Elias Kingston showing up)?
Thanks, and it's OK if you can't answer them.
Hey Doo - Thanks for the welcome. 1. I can't officially answer the casting questions, but I will say that, yes, "All the voice actors have confirmed that they will be playing their usual roles except for Mindy." 2. The "pitch pilot" you mentioned was just a two minute test Zac and I created to show WB what kind of tone we were going for. It was a difficult to get across all the new characterizations in two minutes, so we crammed a lot of stuff in there, throwing it at the wall, to see what stuck. That's all that was and it was never meant to get out online, obviously. The worst part for us was that the final version never DID make it online. Certain things were changed and improved upon and it was a big hit around here. That test is what really moved us forward, sort of "proving" our (mine and Zac;s) thesis about how to approach turning the Scooby gang into a full, equal comedic ensemble. You may see elements from the test in an episode, but no promises. 3. Yeah, we're playing with using certain elements from Scooby's 40+ years of history, like Elias Kingston, here and there - mostly recontextualizing them and having fun/paying homage. It's not something we're doing a lot of or being too precious about, though. We're really trying to make a brand new show that someone who has never seen Scooby Doo before (as well as someone who LOVES Scooby Doo) can enjoy - but with little winks and nods here and there for the old fans.
I was hoping for some occasional updates and Q&A opportunities.
Nah, you guys didn't scare me away. As many have assumed, I've been very busy getting the show ready. It's all going great, just hectic. We don't have an official air date yet, but I'd be happy to answer any questions that I'm allowed to.
We're going back to the original series - those five characters driving around in a van solving mysteries, but this will be a totally fresh, character-driven comedy. We haven't taken away anything from the original - only ADDED new things that will make it a richer, more dimensional, funnier, interesting show. Don't let the look fool you. This is the most multi-dimensional, fully alive, complex Scooby gang ever seen on television. It will be completely its own thing and, like Phineas, we hope to appeal to everybody from 2 to 99. It's everything you love about Scoob Doo - plus a whole bunch of new things you don't even know you love yet. I'm so excited about this show.
Hi SpiderScooby - Yes, it's extremely hard writing for a comedy series like Scooby. Then again, it's extremely hard to write ANYTHING really well, if that's your goal.
Hi Jcb!! I'm so excited about the new series!! I don't know if you're allowed to say or not, but will there be musical scenes similar to the many in your hit Disney series
Hey dangerpronek - I'm not allowed to say, but coming from a musical family and being a songwriter and musician, myself, I always try to put as much music as i can in all my projects. Comedy writing and songwriting are very close in terms of creative muscles one uses - it's all lyrics, melody and rhythm. zi wouldn't be surprised if the new Scooby has a bunch of great new songs in it, as well. No promises, though!
I have one question jcb if you'd be so kind. When writing an episode how do you know when you have written enough for the allotted time for the episode? I guess it would be a pain if the director said 'great story, but I need another 1 minute and 21 seconds of material.
Hi russm! A typical half hour show is actually about 22 minutes of show content with the rest for commercial time. It depends on the style of show, but, typically, most scripts are considered about a minute a page. That's a loose estimate and varies between writers and also style. A bunch of action a writer describes can take up an entire page just explaining it, but, on screen, it could only end up being 30 seconds. Basically, we aim for 30 pages. Normally, the issue is needing to edit, rather than needing to add more. For me, I'd prefer to have the problem of too much god stuff and have to cut something, rather than too little.
Welcome to the forum jcb. We appreciate you being here and answering questions and sharing your thoughts and work with us.
When I first saw the animation for Be Cool Scooby-Doo!, I was disappointed. It's not what we are used to, of course. My first impression of the images I have seen were not good. I read through all of your posts in this thread, and it makes me feel a lot better about the new series. I loved Phineas and Ferb! It was one of the few cartoons my kids watched that I was actually able to watch with them. We always had the best time watching that show! When we went to Disney, we used our picture with P&F for our Christmas card. The writing on that show was phenomenal! It definitely makes me more excited for the new series.
Hi! Thanks for the welcome.
I'm glad you enjoyed "Phineas and Ferb." we worked really hard to make that show something everyone of all ages could enjoy and that we, personally, would find funny and engaging. We're certainly bringing that approach to BCSD. Scooby is, of course, NOT Phineas and Ferb, though, and we have no desire to make it that. What we're attempting, though, is to bring the intelligence, humor, heart and character that Phineas had and make the Scooby Doo show (which we all grew up with) that WE would want to see. A show that a younger audience that has never seen Scooby can fall in love with, that is also the best Scooby Doo show an older audience that knows it well, has ever seen. Ambitious? Yup. Always.
When I was writing "Phineas and Ferb" I loved interacting with the audience, they are a bunch of intelligent, passionate people who truly care about the show. Zac and I did some of my favorite episode of "Phineas" together and are taking our approach into this show.
Oh wow, that raises my interest and comfort level for this new version of Scooby quite a bit. Didn't know you worked on P&F. Not sure why, and not just saying this cause you're here, but that show has been one of the few new animated series' that I really liked. Very witty and intelligent. The plots and interconnecting storylines were so perfectly paced and placed. Of course the fact that I as an older viewer connected with it may not bode well for a series probably aimed more towards younger viewers, but oh well. Looks like this new version is starting off in good hands, and look forward to learning more as the eventual air date nears.
Thanks Mark, that means a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed "Phineas." Our approach was that we were not making a show for children, we were just not EXCLUDING children - by having elements like inappropriate violence or sexuality. The show is for everybody - old and young - to enjoy. In terms of intelligence, sophistication or humor, we had a rule that if it made us laugh, it went in. We were seriously just trying to please ourselves and do the best work possible of which we were proud.
When I was 9 years-old things that were actually funny, were funny to me: Monty Python, early Woody Allen, early Mel Brooks, Airplane, the Mark Brothers. Maybe I was exposed to things most 9 year-olds weren't, but the point is - funny is funny - even to kids. The biggest sin to me and Zac is talking down to kids. They're smarter than you'd ever believe and, just like I didn't get EVERY joke in some of those movies/TV shows, I usually got what was funny through the context or got it later on. Kids love to stretch UP to the humor. I never had a kid come up to me and say he didn't "get" a "Phineas" joke. In fact, most of their favorites were the ones the execs expected would be too sophisticated for kids - or too absurd. And it all derives and flows from character. Building smart, well-rounded characters was the first, most essential step.
To give you a sense of tone and style and care, for that matter, that we wanted to bring into Scooby, Zac and I did (as director and writer) episodes like "Phineas and Ferb's Christmas Vacation" (the Christmas special), the "Monster of Phineastein and Ferbgor" (our first Emmy nominated episode), "Put That Putter Away" (one of my favorites) and I wrote most of the 22-minute episodes ("Chronicles of Meap" "Lake Nose Monster" "Nerds of a Feather" "The Beak") and the TV Movie "Phineas and Ferb Across the Second Dimension."
"Phineas" was written and directed by a lot of different people all with different comedic voices, styles and approaches. I had a certain personal "voice" as a writer that I developed writing comedy for the stage, where you CAN develop your own personal comedic voice in a pure environment without exec notes and grow confidence in that voice by watching audiences react to your work night after night. I wrote a long, interconnected semi-sketch show called "Play Things" that Dan Povenmire (creator of "Phineas" and old friend) saw and based on that, he asked me write for his new show that he had just sold to Disney ("Phineas," of course). He simply liked what I did and how I did it, so I was really left alone to just write like I write on that show and it's the same voice and approach that Zac asked me to bring to the new "Scooby." The comedy can get silly/smart and absurd, but it's grounded in character. It's seriously Character-driven stories and comedy from which the comedy flows organically - no matter how out there and irreverent we decide to get with it.
Zac and I care so much about the same things and have a clear idea of the show we want to make. The television process is fraught with challenges and constant baton handing-offs, so much can always go wrong in the process, but if we can actually get the show we want to make to the screen. We know people will love it.
Yeah, the relationship stuff in SDMI was pretty bad and dragged down the great aspects of the show. It's good to know this one will be relationship-free. Also, welcome to the forum, jcb! It's pretty awesome knowing someone who works on the show visits places like this! I hope to see you around for some actual questions on the writing process/decisions when the actual show has started airing on TV!
Thanks, Soph. The romantic relationship angle in MI was certainly a brave choice and interesting experiment, but not for everybody. Zac and I feel there are other ways to explore and make the characters more dimensional, so we're focusing on, like Zac mentioned, making the show a comedic ensemble, where each character has a unique point of view and storytelling can be based on knowing those characters so well we can say, "Oh, wouldn't it be great if Daphne was in this situation..." or "Oh, how funny would it be if this happened to Fred..." Like you would if you were writing "Friends" or any multiple-character comedy where the audience knows and loves the individual personalities of each main character. Relationships (not romantic, specifically, but just the way the main characters interact with each other) and characters develop and form organically over time that way.
When I was writing "Phineas and Ferb" I loved interacting with the audience, they are a bunch of intelligent, passionate people who truly care about the show. Zac and I did some of my favorite episode of "Phineas" together and are taking our approach into this show. We'll see how much time and energy I have to keep up around here, but thanks for the welcome!