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Classic Jonny Quest
RAJQ Behind the Scenes No. 8

Part 8 in Lance Falk's "Behind the Scenes" Series on the Real Adventures of Jonny Quest newsgroup on AOL. Here, he discusses "Diamonds and Jade."

Subj: Behind the scenes # 8
Date: 97-03-22 23:43:35 EST
From: LFMOA

Hi folks, here's the scoop on "Diamonds & Jade." This idea was pitched to me by Shaun McLaughlin, a fellow W B. Employee. Shaun did a stint of writing for DC comics which includes a dozen terrific Aquamans and a Hawkman. Shaun currently serves as a Production Big-Wig on the "Superman/Batman" shows. (I don't know his title, but he has an office which I never did there!)

I loved his Wayang shadow puppet come to life idea. It had a real "classic JQ feel to it. Intrigue, suspense, an exotic locale, a GREAT monster with a link to a real cultural mythology. Add "Jezebel" Jade to the mix and the show is a "Must Do". (One of only two outside story pitches we used for our 26. The other was Bob Goodman's smart-blob idea "DNA Doomsday").

Shaun turned in his work in record time (pretty good, considering his lovely wife, Patricia had their first kid (Hi Lauren!) during the assignment.) For complex reasons, we decided to rework certain plot elements. (this happens all the time, yes, even to me!) Since Shaun had done all the work required of him, I was given the task of doing another draft. (Probably because the classic-type shows are my forte. I wanted to do a Jade show too.)

It ended up using a lot of Shaun's concepts but the plot spun off into another direction. Because of the time crunch, I called in "Chip Baloo" to help me crack some of the new ideas. "Chip" is also a real devotee of the Classic shows and a much needed fresh eye. The good news for Shaun is that he was able to parlay his JQ asssignment into some JQ comic writing. He wrote several of the issues, including his almost sold Vostok story "Countdown to Chaos". Check 'em out. They're great.

I hope Shaun likes what I did with his idea, he's a good friend. My only problem with this episode is it's "anime-ish" look. Probably my least favorite animation of our season. (Though "General Winter" which was my next show, came out perfect. as you'll see when they run it.)

You want Factoids? You got 'em......

1. This was my most research-intensive episode. I had to do a lot of reading on Jakarta and even went to a local College where there was a two-hour Wayang Kulit show. "Chip" and I videoed the whole thing and he interviewed the puppeteer afterwards. It was VERY cool.

2. I took the Jade from the Classic series. (Ignore the TV movie Jade. IT IS WRONG ABOUT HER). Jade's new voice was Tasia Valenzia. She knocked out all us poor, helpless males by exuding feminine grace. Kris Zimmerman, our fantastic voice director noticed this and kept teasing us about it through the recording ("Getting a little warm in here boys? You're all sweating") Tasia was incredibly good and we were happy to bring her back as Jade for "The Robot Spies".

3. All the names are authentic from that part of the world. (D'jalong [which actually kind of means "puppeteer"], Mohasson, Kumar Mukharno, Mantjur, N'Joman [the bodyguard guy].

4. There was a cut line about Jade having some old run in with the local law. (That's why Mantjur is a bit rude with her at first.) A cut bit where Jonny and Jessie manipulate Race and Jade into taking along to the theater: I'll recreate it here because I like it. (though it WAS expendable for time)

JONNY

    Right before we chased that scarfaced creep, we ended up in a theater. There was this guy there, a puppeteer...

JESSIE
(finishing)

    He had a puppet just like that monster....

JADE

    Hmmm... sounds like more than a coincidence to me.

CLOSER ON RACE. He keeps his eyes on the road.

RACE

    Do you remember how to get to that theater?

ON JONNIE AND JESSIE:

JESSIE

    Sure

JONNY
(winks at Jessie)

    But we have to show you in person. We don't remember the name of the street.

WIDER ON GROUP. Race has a frown on his face. He sighs.

RACE

    Okay, okay. You can tag along. I know better than to argue with the two of you.

Race spares a look at Jade. Jonny gives Jessie a thumbs-up.

RACE
(shrugs to Jade)

    They'd just show up anyway.....

    5. Our great music composer, Gary Lionelli used our video tape reference to do some authentic-type wayang music. You can hear it mostly as Jonny and Jessie walk across the courtyard to the theater. Gary's the best. I LOVE his "Outer Limits" stuff for "Other Space".

    6. A related note. The puppets and shadow stage were somewhat simplified from the same Video tape reference, but mostly accurate. (The creature aspect is made up however.) D'jalong's speech to Jonny is nearly word for word from an old National Geographic article on the puppets.

    7. Jade was NEVER engaged to Race. She was lying to Jessie as a way of tricking the girl into liking her and into doing the job at hand. Jessie's very smart, but Jade is a master manipulator. Race's line at the end "Stepdad?" confirms this, but it's rather subtle.

    8. A bit cut for violence. At the police investigation, Inspector Mantjur was supposed to point out some chalk line drawings of the shadow victims. They were in sections. Too gruesome I guess (Hey, I think it would have been funny! but that's me).

    9. The mirror had special properties. That's how it was able to affect the Shadow Warrior (I think a cut line explained this).

    10. This might be the first-ever chase scene with a whole house! (though I sort of got the idea from "Lethal Weapon II")

    11. I take a bit of heat for my Jessie's cattiness, but in Jade's case, I think it is very understandable. The Jade/Jessie Dragonfly hold scene is one of my best, I think. Jennifer and Tasia LOVED playing it. Nailed it in one take, I recall.

    12. Not a factoid exactly, but it was sure fun to do a Classic style JQ after the two VR ones

    I think that's it. If I think of anything else, I'll post it.

    "General Winter" is the next Behind the Scenes feature, but I won't do it 'till it airs.

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