Polly: Do you want to know the secret?

September 5th, 2011 by | No comments

In continuation of last week’s poll I thought it would be interesting to find out if the fans are actually interested in learning what the secret is. So, dear squawkers, do you want to know?

Polly: Do you want to know the secret?

  • Yes! Spill it, Ron! (65%, 40 Votes)
  • No! Keep it a mystery. (35%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 62

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Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie (4)

September 4th, 2011 by | No comments

Let’s say that, through a miracle, you managed to make the third Monkey Island Movie a huge success. Everybody loves it, nobody thinks it’s similar to Pirates of the Caribbean and we’re happy. Hooray.

Good, but, the fans ask for more! They want Escape from Monkey Island: The Movie! So what are you going to do?

Well, besides bringing back the same actors (who, by now, should be filthy rich), you’re suddenly facing a problem: You have more extras than ever before. Well, not exactly extras, more like very unimportant roles but vital to the atmosphere of the movie (for example, the waitress in the LUA Bar).

Ok, let’ say you casted everyone, found an old man willing to play Ozzie Mandrill and Herman Toothrot’s actor is still alive. Good. Also, don’t worry about the old Teacher, Miss Rivers, I can talk with my old math teacher. That woman is a copy/paste phenomenon of Miss Rivers herself. At least, she was when I played the game. Don’t know if she’s still alive though, but we’ll think of something. Moving on!

But what about the scenery? We’re not talking about building a few cottages for the cannibals or renting a hotel for the Goodsoup family scenes… nonono, we’re talking about Planet Threepwood! We’re talking about having a big schoolhouse right on the beach! Did I mention that the same beach should be covered in boulders?

Well, if you had a choice so far, now it’s not a choice anymore: you must go CGI. Just thinking about building all that would cost you more than you could imagine and I honestly don’t see how you could rent yourself the Second Biggest Monkeyhead you’ve Ever Seen. Yes, okay, maybe some of those scenes were used in previous Monkey Island movies but, as a counter-argument, you DO need to make it all look fresh again. Otherwise, the public will be like: “Oh, they ran out of ideas and started re-using sets… boooring!”.

Music, you know what to do… Costumes, you can figure stuff out by now… But you are facing a lot of new effects here, from LeChuck’s constant transformations to the Giant robot Fight at the End! CGI again… I’m starting to understand George Lucas, honestly. CGI is faster and cheaper!

But it still doesn’t make up for bad story-telling.

Overall, you still need the same amount of work (if not even more) as you did for Curse of Monkey Island. Financially speaking, this is starting to look pretty grim, even with all the optimism in the world. The story itself may work in a video game, but as a movie… heh, you will lose money.

Giant Monkey Robot? …hm…yeah, you will lose money.

No worries, after you go bankrupt you still have to make Tales of Monkey Island! Fortunately, the situation is simpler here.

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Weekly Wiki: Jungle Beast

September 1st, 2011 by | No comments

The Jungle Beast of Flotsam Island lives deep within the jungles and is never seen. Only Hemlock McGee seems to believe in it, and his depiction of it hangs in Club 41. He tells the story of how meaty sacrifices are left on the altar in the jungle at night and disappear before the morning, with a foul stench left behind.

Guybrush Threepwood can track the monster by dousing his offering in sugar water, leaving a trail of fireflies for him to follow. The beast turns out to be a meat-eating plant. Guybrush can retrieve a lion’s paw from its mouth; it retains the beast’s terrible smell and is an ingredient in the “Feast for the Senses” used to embiggen La Esponja Grande.

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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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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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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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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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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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