SDCC2012: Panel Report – Filmation and Lou Scheimer: Celebrating a Generation of Animation and TV Heroes
Mangels shifted to the next topic to Filmation’s contribution in bringing live-action to Saturday Mornings in really innovative ways. He mentioned Space Academy, Jason of Star Command and Ark II as looking a little cheap by today’s standards, but having been cutting edge back them. He asked Sid Haig to speak to having been cast as Dragos and the idea of working in children’s television during a time when most of the other offerings were even more over the top than Haig was.
Haig said that his involvement in Filmation was a testament to, “never saying never.” At one point he had said he would never do a kids show. He told the audience it was a great experience for him and repeated the idea that it was a family. He said, “If there was anything anybody else could do to help, they were there.” Haig regarded his memories of Filmation as “great”, “fond”, “poignant”, “funny” and then proceeded to share one with the audience.
The studios where they shot Jason of Star Command was in an industrial park area. Haig said that those places traditionally have salesmen that come by all the time. There was one gentleman who kept coming to Filmation and asking the receptionist, whom Haig regarded as, “very sharp”, if he could speak with the owner. She would tell him the owner wasn’t in, but the salesman would keep coming back anyway. One day Haig was coming through the front of the building in costume, with the helmet, cape, six-inch platform shoes, and laser beam eye. That same salesman saw him and asked the receptionist who he was. She told him Haig was the owner. They never saw that salesperson again.
He went on to tell the audience that they shot fifteen episodes in five weeks. They shot everything that happened in the control room during the fifteen episodes at the same time. He called it the most mentally challenging thing he had ever done because he had to remember who he was and what story he was doing and who was doing what to who. While he was relating the anecdote, Scheimer yelled, “Don’t look at me!” to which the audience and Haig laughed. Haig followed up by saying he had an amazing time and it was one of the greatest memories in his fifty years of acting. He called everyone a class act all the way down the line, calling Lou a great guy and a testament to following one’s passion.