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So with all these discussions of group projects and the like, it really has put the bug in me to do a web series of some sort. Before that however, there needs to be an idea and some designing. Now in short, right now I'm sorta just designing a character and seeing if more blossoms from it. Essentially what I'm trying to do, is re-design an old character of mine, Captain Heroic. This time, I'm really trying to go for a simplistic, stylized, adventure hero type look. So with that said, I'm kind of stumped tongue.gif This is just a quick sketch I threw together and hopefully it can be a launchpad for ideas. It would be very helpful and nice if some of you creative folk here could help get my creative juices flowing and throw in some of your two cents. And really, be critical (constructively of course) I'm not really partial to the design or anything, at least not at this stage.

Also, something has stuck out in my mind regarding the conversations we've had and I forget who said it, but it was something along the lines of animation now really being used as a substitute when real people could have just been used. I would be interested in seeing if this character has the potential to morph into a manner where real people may not necessarily be an option or a better choice than animation.

If anyone's not familiar with Captain Heroic, I'm pretty sure I put a link in my sig to my Youtube page which should have the Captain Heroic's somewhere smile.gif
Here's a Quick recap and Pitch Outline (general framework) taken from your post.

Captain Heroic web series

Captain Heroic: a simplistic, stylized and adventure-type hero
This quick sketch represents an initial look at the character (general direction)

Goal: Use Captain Heroic in a manner best suited to animation (not live action)

Task 1: Explore the Idea and the Design
Task 1.1: Focus on redesigning the Character (as we are not partial to the current design)

Task 2: Expand the Main Idea
Task 2.1: Collect Feedback (constructive of course) to set the stage and determine parameters for the show.

As I see it there are two approaches that can be taken more or less simultaneously. One can be locked down while the other has no practical end to it.

From one angle you've got the realities of math. (X number of webisodes at a specified length and frequency with a given number of people producing the show)

While the math is usually considered the most boring it is the easiest and the most important in that it gives the parameters within the show must work.
The beauty in this is that the math helps to channel creativity into the space that will eventually be occupied by the completed shows.
The math will outline/dictate/reveal the extent of the production workload and help in outlining a schedule for it.

The second angle is from the Storyteller's POV so much of that relies on and awaits further clarification of your vision and intepretation of who the character is... and isn't. Exploring who he is and what motivates him will ensure everyone is interested in knowing more about his story.

Key Considerations:

Marketability (The key idea of the show):
Why will anyone pay to see this show?
Disregard for a moment that you expect not to charge anyone to see the show... pretend for a moment. What will make that audience want to watch and and then return again for the next show. While they may not pay money to see it they'll need to pay attention to keep a web series viable. Are you able to take the key idea all the way to the audience (or bring them to you) and deliver consistently on schedule?

Primary Obstacle: Consideration of how many other characters are also named 'Captain Heroic' and associated costs of securing the trademark.

Primary question to answer: Who is Captain Heroic?

Not everyone has seen the Youtube Captain Heroic adventures. Don't make anyone go look for them.
Link those reference in so that others can easily consider them. Especially link in those references you deem critical to the direction of the show.

Brainstorming Suggestion: In addition to 'word pictures' collect reference images for Look Development. (Google)
Oh wow!

I'll tackle the last one first. Already did, got mostly pictures of Indiana Jones.

As for Captain Heroic, here's the best of the episodes produced:

Now, the best way to tackle some of the other items is to outline what the original series goals and ideas were back in the day.

Captain Heroic (there was once a comic by the same title online but that disappeared when I checked last about 6 months ago). Do note, the name as well is subject to change should a better one come up!

Ok, Captain Heroic originally was supposed to at least pay a little bit of tribute to the sci-fi cartoons of the 60s (thus its poorly executed somewhat retro style). Heroic was supposed to be a sci-fi adventurer/hero of sorts who would travel around in his ship and save people and get into situations. Best analogy is Doctor Who meets Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, most of my inspiration at the time followed the plot lines of Doctor Who a little too closely, ie, Heroic is from an ancient race that has since disappeared due to a massive war fought with Heroic's arch-nemesis Lordship Goriath (also of his people so a large scale civil war). Since the war, most of the advanced tech from his race has disappeared and all that really remains is his little ship (which is more powerful than it looks). Sound familiar? Yep, that's the plot of Doctor Who post 2005.

As for the math, the original series outline was each season containing 6 episodes. Each episode was around 10 minutes in length and the Season Finale was supposed to end in a cliffhanger to lead into Season 2. Never completed the full season for the old series.

So for this one, time has made me cautious though I still retain my ambition despite all the failures or incompletions, so right now, the math would be a single pilot episode of 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops because it's the pilot. Depending on how well that goes over/is received, would like to do 5 more episodes at about 5 minutes per episode. Also, I would very much intend for it to be free and getting viewers is of course a skill in and of itself, so really, I'm looking more at being personally content that I made something from start to finish tongue.gif

With all that said, answering who is Captain Heroic is indeed a tricky one. With such a short format a simpler character might be beneficial (not certain). Regardless of what depth he has and no matter how anti-21st century this is, Captain Heroic I would like to be a clear cut good guy. Not that he doesn't have flaws or make mistakes or anything, but like Tintin, he's a solid character with a good set of moral values, there for the needs of the galaxy, there to help and stand up against evil. Again his primary antagonist would be his arch-nemesis Goriath.
Interesting bit o' trivia: Did you know that Indiana Jones is based largely on a film character almost exactly like Indiana Jones?
What you are doing here is following in the path that George Lucas and Steven Spieldberg took before so you are in good company and Indiana Jones is certainly a good starting point. There will be a lot of references and inferences to be found. Fun! Adventure! Action!
The Challenge will be to differentiate your character in such a way that he is not Indiana Jones.

Background (original series goals and ideas):
Captain Heroic pays tribute to the sci-fi cartoons of the 60s (Doctor Who meets Indiana Jones)
Sci-fi adventurer/hero of sorts who travels around in his (space)ship saving people and getting into (interesting) situations

The Author (that'd be you) was originally inspired to follow the plot lines of Doctor Who a little too closely and Heroic was determined to be from an ancient race that disappeared after a massive civil war fought with Heroic's arch-nemesis Lordship Goriath. After the war most of the advanced tech from his race disappeared and the only remaining relic is his little ship (which is a lot more powerful than it looks).

Short term:
A single pilot episode of 5 minutes (Not longer than 10 minutes)
Feedback will dictate additional episodes
Distribution: Free (to encourage viewers to support the series)
Distribtion Method: Youtube, A:M Films, etc. (anticipated)
Goal: Produce a completed pilot (Start to Finish)

Mid term (as greenlit):
Each season: Min (5 episodes) Max (6 episodes)
Each episode: Min (5 minutes) Max (10 minutes per)
Season Finale (the 6th Episode): A cliffhanger leading to (and partially resolved in) Season 2
Distribution: TBD
Distrubiton Method: [Targeting critical technology at the opportune moment]
Goal: Personal contentment with being able to successfully tell Heroic's story.

Long term (Post Mortem): Unk
[Suggested Outcome: Disney so highly values Heroic's tale they agree to license the property on your terms. You turn them down but discuss options for other properties you'd like to see move forward. They agree and produce those features but continually strive to get you to agree to modified terms with Heroic included. You grow to a comfortable old age and die before a contract is signed so your family now has to make that important decision for you. Because you were thinking long term you already talked with them about this and even put it in your will so they know exactly what you want to do with Heroic. With the final contract signed, a new generation soon thrills to an all new episode of the continuing adventures of Captain Heroic. ]

So, who is Captain Heroic?
A simple and clear cut adventurer whose flaws and mistakes cannot keep him from being true to his character and never compromise his morals. Heroic will serve the needs of (the people of) the galaxy as he stands against tyranny in all its forms... especially against the threat of Goriath, his evil arch-nemesis.

As for Captain Heroic, here's the best of the episodes produced:

Checking them out.
I know for a fact I have seen them before... it's a vague memory... so I'm interested in seeing what my memory has recorded in comparison to the actual episodes. With luck I should be able to watch them tonight. I'll put my action adventuring glasses on.
I like the look. The thin arms and legs will be easier to rig. He looks a bit top heavy but that's been true of cartoon characters for a long time.
Yeah, I think I'm kind of inclined to inspiration from the visual style of the Incredibles as the Incredibles definitely pulled on that retro yet modern look at the same time, which is kind of what I'd like to go for, at least a little.
Here are my initial impressions after reviewing a few of your old Captain Heroic episodes:

- You put a lot of thought (and work) into these and it shows.
- If you are able and willing to 'ruin' these older tales by returning to them, extracting the most important scenes from them might form the basis of a new animatic for Captain Heroic.

- In the episodes you linked to there wasn't a whole lot revealed about Captain Heroic. This didn't appear to be because he was mysterious but rather because the plot simply did not call for it.

- There were a couple of things that caught my interest in Episode 4. The human equation (I've formulated some questions because of this relative to Heroic) and a curiosity about the 'nastasis'. (apologies to you as I know I've spelled that wrong)

- I watched the beginning of episode 5 but stopped because I really liked the initial premise (For some strange reason I am drawn to the idea of Heroic entering this world/ship/faciity with the floating corpses) and I wanted to hold onto that suspenseful imagery for as long as I could. There is something there worth exploring. What it is I'm not entirely sure.

It is my opinion that there is an underlying question related to the human element that you must answer (even though it might not be revealed to the audience) and that is that of Heroic's connection to the human race. This is a intrinsic problem with all alien heroes and it is approached in various ways by authors. Superman is the prototypical example in superheroes. Although said to be of alien origin, for all intents and purposes Superman is human. To my knowledge the underlying relationship/common origin of these alien races is never explained to the audience although it can be assumed be be known by the original authors and simply reserved/set aside as something 'unknowable' within the conceptual framework. In other words, to reveal the backstory would be to break the spell... and therefore ruin... the ongoing story. In the chronicles of Superman we are firmly planted in Act II of history.

So what to do here about the human equation?
I have thoughts on this but am more interested your take on who Heroic is.
For what it is worth, it may help to understand that the term Heroes itself comes from the legendary lovers of old.
Any modern day hero is presumed to have been borne of or at least gifted by those Eros of olde.
This race so closely relates to us and yet is so unlike us in our experience; supremely talented, full of knowledge, wielding great influence, gifted of the gods before them and, it is said, nearly as immortal. Their tales are familiar to all of us because they are so regularly told.

If Heroic is truly alien to us this truly represents a writer's dilemma. How does one begin to relate to an alien who appears in and presumably prefers a human form? How do we explain the evidence we observe in the physical and mental similarities in both alien and human forms? Tune in to the next exciting episode!

It may be that Heroic is not human but if not then perhaps he is a copy of the original... or a copy of a copy of a copy... or we are.

What does it mean to be human?
What does it mean to be heroic?
This is not a particularly difficult problem.
Being the creative type, you already know.
Well, I was young, or at least younger, guess it's only been like 6 or so years since I made the last one. By comparison I find them archaic and sloppy at best, but it usually takes forever (or never) before you become appreciative of one's first works. I do remember do several re-writes of scripts though and being beat for ideas. Episode 3 took frigging forever to write as I couldn't get the idea formed right.

More trivia, the episodes were made out of order, I do believe they were made as episode 1, 2, 5, 4 and 3, mainly because Halloween happened and I wanted to do a special, but it didn't fit in the 2 part timeline of Planet of Insects. Furthermore, Planet of Insects was supposed to be 3 parts instead of two and this cybertron fellow wasn't behind any of it originally. Also, (this may be the most interesting trivia tidbit or any actual interest or significance) but episode 6 of Captain Heroic is why I bought AM. I had decided that what I wanted to do for episode 6 and beyond wouldn't work well with Anim8or, so I bought AM and then never made episode 6. And now like 5-6 years later, here I am!

Now to stuff of more story consequence, I'm intrigued by certain ways you've put things, the human element, heroes and legends, the gods etc. An interesting albeit semi cliche idea would be to follow along this mythic sort of lines ie the "gods" deemed Heroic's race as the guardians of the galaxy but after something happened, Heroic is all that's left.

On the note of the human element, you are very correct, the audience needs to connect. Something of further interest is I read a while back an article regarding Doctor Who, I can't remember who it was by, perhaps it was Steven Moffat, can't be sure. Anyways, whoever said it said the reason the Doctor needs companions is so that the audience can connect with the show. On his own, the Doctor is actually so coldly alien that a human audience could never fully connect to a show that revolved around the Doctor alone. Like the Doctor, the audience needs the human companions to connect and to feel a part of it. As there are many similarities between the Doctor and Captain Heroic, this would hold true for Heroic as well. If he's not a human and this mary-sue like super hero of sorts, how does the audience connect. I think the common method these days is by giving the hero all sorts of human flaws and corruptions (look at BSG, they are the good guys and heroes, but they suffer from drinking problems, depression, marital problems etc)

So again, that brings up the question of how. I don't think I'm all to partial to the idea of a sidekick or anything like that but I think perhaps he could be somewhat human by nature, compassion and all that, but not without all of the dark flaws. Someone like MacGyver. MacGyver's a good guy, he's a hero, does the right thing but overall doesn't really have much for corruption or flaws. Sure he can make mistakes, Heroic can too, but I think he could probably still be connectable without having some dark character trait to bring him down to our level.
You've obviously spent some time thinking about the character and the situations surrounding him.
I hesitate to type anything for fear of spoiling the core elements in your ideas.
So, I'll try to stay somewhat generic and around the periphery.

Because there are so very few compelling mysteries in life (i.e. the ones we think we haven't figured out yet) when it comes to Heroic I think it important to chart how who is gets released to the audience. What I mean by that is to say that there are multiple character arcs to his story (as there is with every character of course). The question concerning this arc of revelation is whether you want to reveal who he is up front or not. My thinking is that regardless of the approach you are still serially releasing the facts behind Heroic. On the one hand you'd be laying clues as to who He is, while on the other revealing how he got to where he is now. My own thought with regard to a steadfast character is that you are playing with the perception of the audience who may think they know something until you reveal that they do not. Knowing the beginning and end of Heroic's arc you then are free to move anywhere reasonable within the current plot.

An example of this might be that during one episode you are showing Heroic going into typical heroic action. He is masterly performing and at the top of his game when he is confronted by an anomoly... something that he can't quite see... but sense that is not right. For a moment he begins to worry that he may have become too overconfident and let down his guard. He decides to confront this adversary and disappears into the darkness (or perhaps some kind of alien blob). Silence ensues... for far too long... until at last, Heroic emerges disheveled but triumphantly! It is not clear what occurred and Heroic clearly does not want to talk about it. Even weeks after the battle Heroic is like his normal self. He starts second guessing himself, makes careless mistakes, forgets things easily and becomes dangerously distracted. The doctors cannot find anything to explain his problem.

So Heroic has changed and he is sliding down a slippery slope toward being decidedly unHeroic. This is not the Heroic we know and love.

Can you guess what returns Heroic to his normal character arc?

Tune in next time to find out!

Yeah, that was always one of the major plusses of serials, being able to continue the arc with repeated to be continued's. Something I think I forgot to mention with regards to the human thing and this actually gets me to thinking a bit, but in the originals, it was unspecified as to where the series took place. In my mind it was in another galaxy or a distant part of this one, so in episode 4, it's a freak accident that blows him across the universe to meet humans for the first time. If you watch all of the episodes, with the exception of Episode 4, other than Heroic, you won't see anyone else that looks like a human, everyone else is alien. I think this is where it starts to get into that territory of animation not just substituting real actors because if everyone but Heroic looks alien then it kind of makes sense to do it all as animation.

I've always been partial to not giving the info up front, I always like to build up to the penultimate episode...well, have always wanted to, I've never made a full series before, kinda been one of my loose dreams in life if I have any at all tongue.gif The trick will be doing this and having what appears like random adventures in a 5 minute interval. Or perhaps this is too complicated and each episode should specifically deal with the seasonal story arc?
Oh my goodness, I forgot a key element! I'm glad I started re-watching Moon of Evil, I'm amazed at how much I had figured out back then! Definitely some decent material that has potential for exploration that could answer some of who or at least what is Captain heroic!
If it makes it any easier, at this point I am mostly just curious as to why people call him 'Captain Heroic'. smile.gif

I assume there must be some some history behind both the title and the name.

In a way some of this exploration of character relates to what I might call 'the Wolverine factor'.

One of the things that really launched Marvel Comics character Wolverine to fame (other than the fact that he was kind of cool looking and the anti-hero in a significant way) is that he was such a mystery in comparison to the other characters. Little hints were dropped in every issue of the comic book and readers loved guessing how all of the pieces fit or did not fit in place.

If you read the interviews from Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Dave Cochrum, Lein Wein and others involved in Wolverine's characterization they all had different and varying ideas about who the character was. Most admit they were largely winging it until they could more fully flesh out the character. They were all refining who who was page by page by page. This perhaps more than any other factor is why ideas that are not fully formed work well with serialization. In a completed work we cannot reveal something that isn't already there. Serially we can.

This is not generally the best way to form a character but it is probably one of the better ways when you don't know who a character is. The general idea being to reveal something and see how well it sticks to the character. As inconsistencies arise, be creative in writing those inconsistencies away.

For the reveal from the last episode select the following invisitext:
"Captain Heroic was not himself because he was replicated and replaced. The text actually states this even going so far as to say, 'This is not the Heroic we know and love'. That's because whoever this creature is... it isn't him."
Interesting idea, definite arc potential!

Originally the name actually derives from the fact that during the civil war with his people, he was a captain and his "wing name" so to speak was Heroic. That was the original idea but not sure if I'll stick with that. However, here is more of the significant idea I had come up with eons ago.

Captain Heroic's race wasn't like typical life in the galaxy, divided by what they called sentient and non-sentient. The sentients were basically most humanoid like life (including humans). Heroic's race however was known as non-sentient life forms. Heroic's race was born like normal life except that the distinguishable difference was that they could control their life entity (usually referred to as essence). This essence was incredibly long lasting and gave the race an almost appearance of immortality, not just because of the incredible life span, but because while this essence inhabited a body, the body was seemingly indestructible, or at least had considerable resistance to most common forms of injury. The essence of a non-sentient could actually remove itself from its body and go to another one if it was skilled and strong enough. Now most of Heroic's race wasn't capable of this, but Heroic was naturally one of the gifted ones who could actually do it. So was his arch nemesis Goriath.

In a plot premise I came up with a few years ago, the penultimate episode for the season would have ended with Goriath discovering a way to extract the essence from Heroic to use it to power his mega-weapon which could destroy, convert or control all sentient life in the galaxy. The episode was to have ended with Goriath succeeding in doing this had having extracted Heroic's essence, destroyed Heroic's physical body. If you watch the original episodes, this is loosely where it's heading as Goriath makes his first attempt at this (but fails) in episode 1. In episode 3 we see a new space station designed by Goriath which was supposed to be attempt number 2. Again he was to fail as Heroic destroys the space station yet actually be oblivious as to what its true purpose was and what was to be in store for him by Episode 6, when Goriath would have amassed the largest space fleet since the Civil War and launched his assault on Heroic and finally succeed in extracting Heroic's essence and controlling the galaxy.
Did a bunch of doodling for both male and female designs. For this batch I've gone with a significantly higher retro look to it as you can tell by the flared gloves and stuff. Also, I believe I've invented a new character (roughly) which could help with the human element for Heroic. Essentially we have the hero, we have the villain so what's needed is the love interest. I'm thinking (if going with the heavier retro design) that this is the "damsel in distress who isn't quite in distress" that Heroic always comes to save, but for no real reason as she can very much take care of herself. I'm not thinking of her as a travel companion though, more like someone who pops in and out again throughout the series or something. I dunno, just some musings is all.

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