NOTE: The following contains spoilers for one of the most beloved animated films from 2017. If you don't wish to be spoiled, skip this by master-building a plane and flying out of here.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE ROUGH CUT 3 NOTES
Hello! Thank you so much for your swift turnaround on our last round of notes. We really do appreciate it here. While the show is getting more and more focused, we do feel that we have a long, long, long, LONG way to go before we are set. The biggest problem we are having right now is clarity. Is this Batman's story? The Joker's? Also, we desperately need a bite pass and a chyron pass. Without these, everyone's motivation seems muddled. If Batman really wants to be left alone to do his thing, he needs to tell me this in a bite. if it doesn't exist in a bite, then I don't know what he wants. And since there are no bites in this cut, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HIS MOTIVATION IS! Or anyone else! Once we get a bite pass, then we'll give time coded notes.
So we open with some scary voiceover from Batman about how great shows start in black with scary music. Are we married to that? Starting with just VO and logos and our main person off camera is really just jarring. Let's scrap all this and start with him back at Wayne Manor with a bite like "I'm Batman, aka Bruce Wayne. I've been fighting crime in Gotham City for a while now. I'm a big hero and everyone knows it!" Get this in his own words and verbatim.
Per legal, Batman can't claim that he wrote the Man in the Mirror quote. (You know the Michael Jackson estate won't okay this). Has he done another take with his own quote? Something he can live tweet as we air? Double check our interviews and let us know!
JOKER'S PLANE HEIST
When the Joker scares the pilot by saying "always comes to work with a smile", this is just begging for a bite! Ugh, come on, guys! Put in a bite from the Joker like "I'm the Joker, one of the most feared and dangerous villains Gotham City has ever seen! Highjacking this plane full of explosives is one of the most diabolical plans I've ever concocted. This will definitely impress my girlfriend Harley Quinn and my arch-nemises Batman, who never seems to give me the respect I deserve!" (Get this verbatim, please but also make sure it's organic and natural.)
When the pilot says that Batman will always beat the Joker, please put in a flashback montage of the Batman beating the Joker. Otherwise, this line doesn't have any context.
POWER PLANT FIGHT
The Joker is listing a lot of villains helping him at the power plant. Please make sure to lower third to each one so we can tell who is who. (You can't expect a single mom in Kansas City to tell Killer Croc and Calendar Man apart without a little bit of help) Oh, and great Heinz product placement with Condiment King.
Whoa, Batman cross-dresses and pretends to be the Mayor? Or is he in disguise AS the mayor so he can defeat the Joker? I bet it's the latter! Let's add a pickup scene of Batman saying he's going to dress up as the Mayor. Otherwise, this comes in out of nowhere and the audience will be confused. (I was!)
Let's add a bite from the Joker saying how hurt he was that Batman doesn't think he's his greatest enemy. Sure, I could infer from the pained look on his face that Batman really hurt his feeling but unless he says it in a bite, there's NO way anyone could ever know for sure.
Great shot including the sign "Orphanage" at the Orphanage. It's a great way of showing the audience where we are. Please also add a lower third that says "Orphanage" as well, just in case if some members of the audience aren't sure.
When Batman lands in front of the orphanage and Dick is watching from the sign, this is a great opportunity for a big intro package from our parent-less lad. Have him say something like "I'm Dick Grayson. I was part of an acrobat circus group with my parents. They died during a performance one night and now I'm here at the Orphanage. One day I hope to be adopted by someone who's really wealthy. I'm also a big fan of Batman. I hope to meet him one day and we can hopefully be friends!" (Have him say this in his own words).
Please make sure we have a materials release for all of the stuff coming out of the Bat Merch gun.
BATMAN AT HOME
Thank you for the lower third on Wayne Manor Island. Let's do that for the rest of the show so the audience knows exactly where they are at all times. Now THAT'S storytelling!
Side note: do we have any extra footage of Batman and Alfred making some of Batman's vehicles? We smell a possible "Monster Garage"-esque spinoff here. Double check your footage and let us know!
I don't think we have the rights to footage from "Jerry Maguire."Instead, use some public domain rom-com we can use instead, one that is easily recognized by our target demographic of suburban moms 35-48. That has to be something there, right? If not, let's make this a snap-in.
Alfred is a great presence on this show but he's not getting the set up he deserves! Let's give him a big intro package with a bite like "I'm Alfred Pennyworth, and I've working for the Wayne family for over 40 years. I think of Master Bruce as like a surrogate son. I'm hoping he'll embrace a new family, as that is his biggest fear." (Get this in his own words, please. That accent is catnip for our audience!)
Please add a trigger warning about snake clowns. Otherwise we're angling for a lawsuit.
JIM GORDON'S RETIREMENT PARTY
I think Bruce is smitten by Barbara on her entrance to the party. He's completely distracted by it and inadvertently adopts Dick! That's funny. I say "I think Bruce is smitten" because he doesn't actually say it. So, yet again, WE. NEED. A. BITE. Keep in mind that our audience is viewing this as a second screen so we need to SHOW what's happening and TELL the audience as well. If they can't follow along our story while looking up Lobster Thermador recipes on their iPads then we are not doing our job as ace storytellers. Fix this. Now.
I love the montage showing Barbara's accomplishments, especially at Harvard For School. Please add an intro bite from her as well talking about how excited she is to be here and taking over for her father. If she doesn't say it, how are we to know?
As Barbara is going through the crime stats of Gotham City, throw up some lower third infographics so the audience can get some take-home information. They love hearing about crimes and murders. Let's get into some of that "Making A Murderer" magic and aim for the stars!
Wait, the Joker and all the villains arrive and the crowd freaks out? I'm so confused. Oh right, because he tried to take over the city! Let's add a flashback of the Joker highjacking the power plant so the audience is on track, story-wise. The more we spell things out, the better our story!
OFF TO THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
Per legal, please drop the scene where Dick gets slammed into the dashboard of the Batmobile due to the lack of seat belts. If we air that, our liability insurance will go through the roof. (Maybe a web extra?)
Let's add a bite from Bruce reiterating why he wants to steal the Phantom Zone projector. Sure, we can infer that he's doing this so he can stop the Joker's nefarious plot, but we don't infer in reality TV. That's what scripted is for!
EVERYONE ESCAPES THE PHANTOM ZONE
Please make sure every evil monster in the Phantom Zone has signed a release.
As the villains are wreaking havoc all over Gotham City, let's throw in some bites from them about how they feel. I'd love to her Voldemort's take on this, don't you?
Batman, Robin, Alfred and Barbara are flying to escape the villains and there are Gremlins all over the Scuttler. Are Gremlins bad? Do they pose a big threat? The one way to fix this is to -- yes, it's true -- add a bite! Add a few bites in here from all four of them setting the stakes! If our people don't tell us this is dangerous, then it won't be dangerous to the audience.
We need to lose some time. Do we have to see Batman go into the Phantom Zone and make a deal with Phyllis? We think this could all be conveyed with a montage on a bite. Maybe make it a web extra?
Seeing everyone in Gotham get together to save the city is very inspiring. In order to really sell this and give us the end we've been building to is a big bite! Let's get bites from Barbara, Batman, Dick and Alfred about what this all means to them (and don't make it too bite-heavy.)
It's 7pm now. Please turn these notes around by 10am tomorrow with responses. Thanks a bunch!