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

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Buzz Dixon had one story related to stock shots that he wanted to use to demonstrate how crazy television censorship could be. He said the Tarzan series used a lot of rotoscoping to make it flow smoothly and said it was innovative for Saturday morning. The rotoscoped Tarzan would throw villains and they would put different costumes on the guys he threw. One season they had him throwing a conquistador and CBS said that was fine. The next season, they used the exact same footage with a Roman centurion costume and CBS had a strong reaction, saying it was too violent.

Haig added on saying there was an instance of that in Jason of Star Command. They were shooting a scene and someone from Standards and Practices was on set. The character of Jason had done something to thwart Dragos, “for the 800th time.” Haig slammed his fist on the control panel and yelled, “Jason!” in a very short, angry burst. S&P told them that was too violent and scary. What they accepted was Haig delivering the line, “Jason…” as a low pitched growl. No one in the panel or audience seemed to see much difference between the two, and the low pitched growl was certainly more menacing. Haig shrugged and told the audience, “Go figure.”

Tataranowicz said that by the time he had gotten to Filmation, he had to deal with Scheimer and Nadel Standards and Practices. Occasionally he would put things in shows or movies that Scheimer would make him take out or Nadel wouldn’t care for. That was their form of self-policing. There were several scenes that he had to delete and redo, such as Tex Hex being spit into space. He told the audience about one situation with the BraveStarr movie that triggered a really big discussion. Tataranowicz was in charge of rotoscope and stock scenes, with one of BraveStarr walking away from the camera for a traveling shot. He gave it to an animator and told her to make his walk from behind really sexy because it was, “for the girls in the audience.” That’s what he had perceived that kind of shot for. Scheimer was less than happy with how it came out and he had to redo that scene. Tataranowicz said that there were any number of things that they had to talk about over time and that was one of them.

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