Polly: What is the secret?

August 29th, 2011 by | 10 comments

Originally, I assumed the secret in ‘The Secret of Monkey Island‘ was simply the location of Monkey Island. It wasn’t until I got on the Internet in 97 I read all kinds of theories and I realized that most people think the secret is something else like the catacombs beneath Monkey Island and a lot of people think that the secret is that it all takes place in an amusement park.

This is something Ron Gilbert has often hinted at and it is supported by the grog machine in the first two games, the underground tunnels, and occasional dialog like the sword fighting pirates on Mêlée Island saying something like ‘Play along Guybrush, that’s how they talked back then‘. I believe this too, but I still think the secret the title of the original game refers to is the location of Monkey Island. This isn’t about what I believe though, what do you think the secret is?

Polly: What is the secret?

  • The location of Monkey Island (16%, 9 Votes)
  • The catacombs beneath Monkey Island (5%, 3 Votes)
  • Big Whoop (23%, 13 Votes)
  • The giant monkey robot (5%, 3 Votes)
  • It's all an amusement park (21%, 12 Votes)
  • Something else (Write in comments) (30%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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Posted in Polly

Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie (3)

August 28th, 2011 by | No comments

So, you’ve filmed the Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck’s Revenge. Huge success, fans are cheering! Hooray!

But what now? The environments in Curse of Monkey Island are so detailed, you cannot really blame the pixels if your art department messes up. So, you may have to re-think the design of the sets. Whether you are working with a greenscreen (cheaper method) or filming on location (selling-everything-you-own method), Curse of monkey Island: The Movie will look and feel different from everything you shot so far.

Sure, actors are the same… but the costumes get a more cartoony feel to them. Of course, you’re the director, it’s up to you to decide… but if you make them too realistic, you’ll lose that special atmosphere that CMI tends to create. Oh and you need to bring back characters like Lemonhead. Let’s hope the actor still wants to play the part!

Don’t forget to add chickens. At least add chickens. You must add chickens.

Not to mention skeletons! How are you going to do that? Well, your props department (Aunt Brunhilda) may spend some weeks trying to create puppets that you can later on handle on the set. Or you go with CGI which is much simpler and cheaper, but the feeling won’t be so organic. Again, tough decision, your call.

The lighting changes drastically, as you probably noticed. The mood shifts from creepy to pleasant, from mysterious to down right scary! That’s a LOT of lighting-work and your filming hours may double just for that.

Then you’ve got characters that will take a lot of preparations, such as Murray. Wether you choose wires, greenhand (green glove over your hand, removed in post so you can only see the skull moving by himself) or CGI, Murray will be a handful. Also, you may have to get Denny Delk to provide the voice or talk to LucasArts to allow you to use the lines from the game. Either way, it may cost you a lot!

Now, don’t get discouraged. There are some good news too! …actually, there aren’t. Seeing as you added skeletons, you’ll compete with movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean. Sure, yeah, you and I both know where that movie got his inspiration from… but the regular viewev doesn’t and he’ll just take you Curse of Monkey Island as a cheap copy of “the original”. It’s a tough World, what can I say?

Don’t think you can solve the music problem as well. In the game, the tracks fir perfectly. In a movie, you’ve got shots, cuts, close-ups, wide-angles… in short, you cannot just copy/paste the music from the game on top of your shots. It will not fit. The entire soundtrack needs to be re-done. Have fun with that.

Fun fact from Mr. Jared Emerson-Johnson: Did you know that, generally speaking, hiring a small orchestra to record 60 seconds of music will cost you about 1000 dollars?

(I didn’t really ask him this for the article… I just remembered he told me that once. Thanks Jared!)

As you can see, the Monkey Island Series is becoming harder and harder to film, not to mention it may not even be successful on today’s market. Maybe as an animation, who knows, it may just do well… but until we reach that point, let’s hit MI4 next week!

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Posted in Horizons

Weekly Wiki: The spitting Contest

August 23rd, 2011 by | No comments

When there are no new costumes to try on in the costume shop and no one needs a coffin the people of Booty Island like to participate in a spitting contest. The Spitmaster presides over the contest and the grand prize is a charming spit-marked plaque. Guybrush wants this and cheats to achieve the winning spit of course. If you’re good at hawking up a good and creamie loogi then you should stop by the spitting contest on Booty Island.

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Posted in Weekly Wiki

Polly: Do you like the graphics of MI1 SE?

August 22nd, 2011 by | 8 comments

A lot of people like the graphics of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, but there are also those who prefer the original graphics, due to nostalgic reasons or purely because they dislike the new art style. Which side are you on?

Polly: Do you like the graphics of MI1 SE?

  • Yes, they are fantastic. (68%, 51 Votes)
  • No, I prefer the original for nostalgic reasons. (17%, 13 Votes)
  • No, they are horrible and therefore I play with the original. (15%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

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Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie (2)

August 22nd, 2011 by | 1 lonely comment

Well, you finished your masterpiece, Hollywood loved it, George Lucas sent in some funds… Ron, Dave and Tim sent you a nice postcard …and you start planning the Sequel!

Of course, you need to bring back all your actors from the first movie, and pay them double to make sure they keep their roles until the end.

Now, you must cast new actors, find/make new costumes and decide upon new locations.

You will have to make a model (Lechuck’s Fortress) and blow it up. Talk to pyrotechnics. Or talk to some CGI-guys and make it all digital. It’s up to you!

Basically the costs double here and the original script needs trimming. You just cannot include all the little details without making it feel rushed. So you need to take care of the script… also talk to the composer for some new material.

Other than that. the visual style resembles the first Monkey Island game, so keep going with that. It is like filming two SoMI Movies… nothing different here. Oh, just make sure the last part gets the dramatic vibe it needs since it is one of the most dramatic moments in MI history.

Honestly, you’re better off filming The Curse of Monkey Island. It’s shorter, it’s easier and it has less people in it. 🙂 But more on that, next week!

Posted in Horizons

Weekly Wiki: Rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle

August 16th, 2011 by | No comments

One of the weirdest items in the Monkey Island universe is also one of the most well known: the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Originally found in The Secret of Monkey Island, it’s unclear what its exact purpose is at first, even though it has an entire shop dedicated to selling this peculiar product. Later in the game it is revealed it does serve a purpose, however. And perhaps its biggest contribution is that it’s become ingrained into our collective conscience, earning references in other games and even becoming a universal symbol of the joys of Monkey Island games.

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Posted in Weekly Wiki

Polly: In what game did Guybrush sound his best?

August 15th, 2011 by | 5 comments

I’ll be brief and to the point: In what game did Guybrush sound his best?

Polly: In what game did Guybrush sound his best?

  • The Secret of Monkey Island SE (Dominic Armato) (0%, 0 Votes)
  • LeChuck's Revenge SE (Dominic Armato) (9%, 7 Votes)
  • The Curse of Monkey Island (Dominic Armato) (53%, 42 Votes)
  • Escape from Monkey Island (Dominic Armato) (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Tales of Monkey Island (Dominic Armato) (30%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 79

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Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie

August 14th, 2011 by | No comments

I’m sure many of us thought of bringing Monkey Island to the silver screen… but how far did you went with that idea?

Well, I thought of covering each game so far with a simple list that contains all the vital elements for a successful AMATEUR production. (not including post-production stuff like editing, music etc.). Let’s dive into:

The Secret of Monkey Island – Production Notes

First, the actors… you would need Guybrush, Elaine and Lechuck as the main characters. Three main actors. Choose them wisely.

Then you have all the secondary actors like The Voodoo Lady, Stan, Herman, Meathook, Otis, Carla… they need to support the main cast, so don’t go easy on them. A good actor can supplement a not-so-good effect or background.

Oh and don’t forget the “episodic” actors, like the cannibals, the Pirates from the ScummBar, the Outlook… not to mention all the extras (ghosts, random pirates etc.).

You also will need a trained monkey.

As far as locations go… not everybody lives near a tropical island. You can find dungeon-looking-backgrounds easily (basements or some medieval-themed-restaurants). Hm, but you won’t find ships that easily… so you’ll have to think of some heavy greenscreen stuff.

Therefore… greenscreen! Since you also have battles, sword fighting, maybe adding some extra little scenes of your own.. I’d say a 6×6 meters Greenscreen should be enough. don’t forget the lights (one big for the actor, two small for the greenscreen to separate the foreground from the background).

But you can do a little research on that on your own. Mind you… filming on location is super expensive, but is a lot faster than filming at home and editing like crazy in post-prod.

Costumes! Costumes…costumes… yeah, I strongly recommend hand-made stuff rather than bought off eBay. It’s a lot cheaper. I’m not saying to make them from scratch, but you can grab a normal shirt off second hand shops, and cut it… bend it to your will muahaha! You get the point.

Equipment! Some stuff filmed on location (especially the scene with Otis in the dungeon) will require some heavy lighting. In one of my latest videos I used 3 big lights + a chandelier + some wall lights for a scene… and everybody says it’s too dark O.O  Sooo… imagine that you would need to look at some tutorials on youtube regarding how to light your scene.

Always remember, the camera is NOT your eyes. If your eye can see it, your camera may not… and vice-versa. Oh and…buy a camera too ^.^

Great! now all you need is a nice script adaptation and you’re good to go! Tune in next week where we’ll talk about quadrupling your production cost for Monkey island 2: the Movie 😀

Posted in Horizons, The Secret of Monkey Island

Ask Kuestions!

August 12th, 2011 by | 18 comments

Hello friends!

We are getting ready to film the Season 2 finale of Ask a Monkeyologist. Aaaand we kind of ran out of questions for Kauff.

Gustav has some, Dumpling321 has some…even Mahguy Verr has some! But not Kauff, and he is sad.

It is completely possible that we might have missed questions along the way and we apologize for that. Please feel free to submit them again in the comments section of this post!

We’re not talking about the questions from last episodes, those are being answered right now, no worries… but in case you asked something at the beginning of season 2 and we accidentally skipped over your question, just write it again. 🙂

For the season finale we need at least 10-15 more questions. One per Patient, please. Oh and, also, the shorter, the better. 🙂 Kauff likes questions but he’d like to answer ten per episode rather than 1 long story-telling book-excerpt.

We have prepared an extra-special season ending for you awesome people. I cannot reveal more yet… but if it’s taking so long to prepare, you do realize that it’s something special 😀

Thank you!


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Posted in Ask a Monkeyologist

Risen 2 – New Trailer (with Gameplay footage)

August 11th, 2011 by | No comments

Not much to say, except omg omg I want thiiiiis NAU!! o.O

Enjoy 😀

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Posted in News, Pirates of the Caribbean, The games