What I'm Doing Right Now

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Son of Stimpy present scene

I'm a pretty avid Ren and Stimpy fan, so I got quite excited when 'Seasons One and Two' came out. I've pretty much watched the shit out of it, and the only one that's left is 'Son of Stimpy'. Here's what happens: at around 16:01, Ren is reaching under his bed and sadly grabbing a present. It then fades to black, replacing a scene. I instantly noticed this, and I thought "wasn't there supposed to be a scene?" I checked out my United Kingdom 'Son of Stimpy' tape, and sure enough, that entire 13-second scene was missing, along with another scene that brought up the total cut length to 20 seconds.

Around this time I met Nick McCarthy. One Friday when we had nothing to do, I brought him in to the lunch room and we watched the cut version of Son of Stimpy. I had to fast forward to the next 15 minutes, and then I paused at the fade to black at 16:00. I told him I wanted to restore a certain scene. At the same time, I brought out the UK VHS tape of 'Son of Stimpy' and showed him the exact scene I wanted to do, and sure enough, we instantly got to work on it.

Here's a screenshot of what we worked with

It may not look so complex, but that's just the bottom middle. Up top is where the real meat and potatoes are. If you zoom in closely, note the end length at 21:30. The original length was 21:16. With the extra scene added, we had to totally remaster the entire damn scene.

First of here's how the drawings and animation went:

- Ren grasps present in hand
- Pushes the present lightly, with his fingers
- As Ren begins to talk, he grasps his Santa Claus hat
- Quote: "Here's your Christmas Present, Stimpy."
- Ren then extends his hand, then pats the top of the picture's frame.
- "W-wherever you are..."
- Puts his face into his other palm, cries briefly
- Ren's little Santa Claus hat falls to the ground
- He then puts both hands behind his back, frowning sadly

The hardest part of revising the scene was the last couple seconds of Ren extending his hand. The first 5 seconds are actually just Ren with his right hand behind his back, then comes Ren putting his hand into his face. His Santa hat falling to the ground, then switching back to having BOTH his hands behind his back.

I think the hardest process of remaking the scene was modifying the brightness of the scene. On the VHS version of 'Son of Stimpy', it suffered from DVNR and interlacing. Since Nick McCarthy is one of our 'revising' champs, he did most of that, my job was to re-animate it correctly, and we split the remastering in half.

The process was just like the episode 'Sven Hoek', where John K and the Spumco crew took control of the scene, but the damned timecode was in the way. That's not to say we didn't mind the cut version of 'Son of Stimpy', I'm just saying it's fucked up that John would lie to us like that. Even worse, he complains that Spike TV made the censors. Yeah, right.

But the overall challenge of the entire scene was actually finding it. Not only is it cut from the current day box set, it's off of Spike TV's Digitally Remastered re-run, the Nicktoons US re-run, the United States version of 'Son of Stimpy', it was also gone from the original air on MTV. The scene was finally brought back on the Nicktoons UK run.

After the project was done, we hosted it on MTV2 on June 2nd of 2009. Our hard work had paid off, and we had a free copy on disc.

We had to make one more change before we aired it on MTV2. We did have to give credit to ourselves, because JOHN K CERTAINLY DIDN'T DO IT. So, we asked them to hold it off briefly until we added in an extra credit at the end of the cartoon. Here's what it looked like:

Yeah, it looked ridiculous, but it was at least credit. And it wasn't at the beginning. Anyways, we didn't restore the 'Stimpy in Bed' scene, but we at least got a big scene. Now on to restoring the further DVDs.


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