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SDCC2012: Panel Report - Filmation and Lou Scheimer: Celebrating a Generation of Animation and TV Heroes

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Mangels asked Darrell McNeil to talk about his first Filmation Experience. McNeil’s first experience was playing a kid in Archie’s Funhouse. The episodes were filmed in bulk (to save costs) at an old movie theater in San Diego, where a whole lot of kids looked at a blue screen and yelled, “Hey, Archie!” Lou Scheimer added, “He paid me to get that job!” McNeil replied, “And I’ve been paying for it ever since!”

Mangels then showed a picture of the second Filmation Studios with the 1980’s logo. Tom Tataranowicz spoke about a seven foot tall Tarzan cut out on the second floor landing of that studio. Once when there had been a break-in, they called the police to check it out. When they entered, the police saw a giant naked guy at the top of the stairs. They realized it was a cut out, but almost shot Tarzan before doing so.

Mangels showed some pages from a Filmation catalog which featured some of their most popular shows and then played a clip from Jason of Star Command, which featured Sid Haig as Dragos. In the scene Jason attempts to outsmart Dragos, who tries to distract his foe with multiple holographic copies of himself.

Sid Haig spoke about the experience, which this took place before green screens and CGI. There were little dots on the floor and the camera was locked off to the point of having scaffolding holding it in place so that it wouldn’t move an inch. They would shoot each part of that scene in each of those spots. Haig said it was crazy going through that experience. Mangels asked Haig to do his Dragos laugh for the audience. He did quite impressively to audience applause. Someone on the panel told him his laugh was getting better and Haig responded by telling him he’s working on it.

Mangels asked Haig to talk about another role he got based on his work as Dragos. Haig had been at Rob Zombie’s wedding and reception, talking to his brother. The brother said, “This is weird.” Haig responded by saying, “What, the wedding?” Rob Zombie’s brother said, “No. Standing here next to you!” Haig, confused, asked, “What the hell are you talking about?” The brother then told him, “When Rob and I were kids, we would get up every Saturday morning and watch Jason of Star Command.” He had been following Haig’s films for years and wanted to get Haig in a film if he had the opportunity to direct, which is how Haig got his role in House of 1000 Corpses. Haig ended the story by saying, “Just proves, watch what you’re doing because it can either give you a gift or bite you in the ass.”

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