Transcript:Commentary:A Flight to Remember

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Transcript of commentary for
"A Flight to Remember"
Transcribed bySvip
Commentary participants
  • Note: One question mark in bold (?) means that the speaker was not identified by the transcriber.
  • Note: Three question marks (???) means that the word in proximity to the question marks is a suggested word, but not necessarily correctly identified, or if there is no word near the question mark (a space away is not near), then no suggested word was provided.

Matt Groening: Welcome back, planet pals. This is Matt Groening.

Scott Vanzo: Scott Vanzo, director of computer graphics.

Eric Horsted: Eric Horsted, writer and co-executive producer.

John DiMaggio: This is John DiMaggio, voice of Bender and other characters.

Peter Avanzino: I'm Peter Avanzino, I directed this episode.

David X. Cohen: I am David Cohen, the executive producer.

Rich Moore: And I am Rich Moore, the supervising director of the series.

EH: This was show ten of the first season, when it was actually aired as the season premiere of the second season. So you can see how, sometimes, production seasons and air seasons don't match up.

DXC: Actually, it affected the reception of this show, probably. 'Cause when this episode was conceived, it was right after the movie Titanic was out, and it was a giant hit. And of course, over the year a it would have taken anyway to produce this, it would have gotten a little behind the times, but then the additional delay by holding it over the summer may it sort of nostalgic remembrance of the movie, the Titanic.

JD: I miss the cold opening.

RM: The cold opening was meek– I think, on the audio track it was like two or three stings. We looped it to about eight for that. The big– the cut arounds.

DXC: And we ended up keeping it just as you delivered it. And we even left the stings in, it was temporary stings that were so corny, that we—

RM: I think we got the same stings on every tape over and over.

DXC: I believe that scene replaced about 10 minutes of material that we originally wrote. It was far too long to go on the—

MG: We asked Leonardo DiCaprio in this upcoming scene and– he was busy, so– well, you'll see what we did.

RM: The number 9 man.

DXC: What's the story with that man with the number 9 on his shirt?

DXC: Oh, wait, there's Leonardo DiCaprio, hang on. Hah! Take that.

DXC: You were saying about the number 9 on the shirt?

RM: I think... Matt, weren't there going to be people that wore gowns with numbers on them?

MG: The original idea was that there was a caste system in the future and people were known by their numbers. There were different levels and mutants and submutants, which ended up getting around to, but we sort of dropped the idea of gown-wearing zombie slaves.

SV: The Titanic is one of the more complicated 3D models that we had released at that point of the series. I think it turned out pretty well.

DXC: I love all those reflections in the floor. Clear glass and those kind of subtle details like that—

SV: That was a scene that really took advantage of the computer compositing, 'cause it was very flat, when it first came back and we were able to change the reflection floor from wood to marble.

DXC: It's John DiMaggio vamping there.

RM: So, if you wrote this episode today, Zoidberg would probably not be receiving a stately room.

DXC: He got a lot poorer since we wrote this.

DXC: I am one of the five people in the world that did not see the movie Titanic. So I– I don't know what this was all in reference to.

EH: I had to watch it to write the episode, otherwise I– God, I cried.

?: How was that created?

?: A little 2D warp.

JD: Oh! A little 2D warp! Far out!

?: Standard household 2D warp.

?: You can't give away all the secrets.

?: Yep, it's true.

?: Or we can't bore you with that.

?: This is the first visor vision, isn't it?

DXC: I think so, yeah.

JD: I really like this.

SV: Those are 3D dice.

DXC: Those look 4D to me, sure they're 3D?

SV: Nah, just the 3.

EH: Little tribute to the Love Boat. "Ah yeah".

DXC: Phil LaMarr as iZac. Yet another use of the copyrighted Apple Macintosh, logos and iMac, iZac. Similarity there.

JD: Countess de la Roca voiced by Tress MacNielle.

DXC: Named after producer Claudia de la Roca on the show.

JD: Yes.

DXC: I think, or is it a coincidence.

EH: It was a total coincidence.

SV: You can see Zapp there.

RM: I like how the wheel's just spinning there.

DXC: There was a scene there where, there was nothing in the scene but a character and a button.

JD: That is science-fiction.

EH: You're on the edge of your seat, "what's gonna happen?"

DXC: So many possibilities.

DXC: This episode is pretty unusual, in that we follow about– five different stories, maybe? Four or five? Usually we limit to two or three or one.

JD: It's Lauren Tom talking to herself with Billy West, right there.

EH: Not sure he was the best guy. The sniffing we heard.

SV: We made a lot of different coloured nebulas on the show. I know Peter–

?: Peter ??? are ready.

SV: Yeah. We keep on changing it from red to blue to green.

PA: Red is hard colour.

DXC: There is one of those extra syllables, Billy puts in the end. "Reboun-the".

R: Brian and I designed a special mouth chart for him when does that, where he talks through his teeth.

?: Wow.

RM: But it was my idea to use it there.

DXC: Just for the viewer at home, if you want to make an episode like this, you mix one part Titanic, two parts Love Boat and one part Three's Company.

RM: Let me get that, one part Titanic. Got it!

JD: Who did- who decided that Leela was gonna show her naval in this scene? That's adorable.

MG: That was a group decision.

DXC: A lot of the clothing of the future has revealing holes in it.

RM: You made us cover up the nipples.

DXC: You've never forgiven us for that.

DXC: There's a great callback to this jewel in episode– in season 3.

RM: The Amazon...

DXC: It's the– yes, the episode 301, they go to the Amazon planet, there's a flashback about the Titanic. And we see an extra scene which we never saw here, in which Bender throws that gem in a trash can.

JD: I'd like to ask you something, if– is that a magnetic bowtie?

DXC: Yes, magnets on Bender's chest are fine.

JD: Ah!

DXC: On his head, they cause a failure of his inhibition unit.

JD: I see.

MG: May I point out, that you said you've never seen the movie Titanic, nor have I. Nor have I seen the Love Boat, nor have I seen Three's Company.

?: What about Star Trek?

MG: No. So I don't get anything in this episode.

DXC: I really like this episode, just because there's so many things going on. It just feels really lively to me, every time I see it.

DXC: It's Dawnn Lewis as LaBarbara.

RM: This is getting into story number five.

?: Yet another.

DXC: Hey, if I say this now, I won't forget, I think we should do an episode that centres on Hermes taking up limboing again. Competitive limboing.

?: It is the best crack.

JD: That is– most bone crunching crack. I– my knee hurt when that happen.

RM: That guy's black hair in the background doesn't work well against outer space.

?: And?

?: It looks like a huge crack.

DXC: See! Just by looking at him you can see it wasn't causing any problem, I don't know what the confusion was.

SV: This is 3D Bender, 3D countess, 3D ship.

DXC: Another thing I like about this episode is the music.

?: Yeah.

DXC: Christopher Tyng's score for this really makes it for watching the movie.

DXC: Epic shots. Epic music.

?: Big chicken.

PA?: One thing that was difficult about this show, was we always had stars in scenes and they are always panning in a certain direction, so we animators made sure they hooked up from scene to scene. And figuring the point of view for each scene was sometimes kind of difficult, when you're kinda working on these scenes out of order.

DXC: In a TV show when people lean near each other, no one else can hear them. It's one of the laws of TV acoustics.

DXC: Many people did not know that anytime we have like hum a song, sing a song, we have to pay a fortune for the rights. It's why you rarely hear any songs on a sitcom like this.

JD: That's why you hear when Bender whistles, it's always [whistles]. That doesn't—

DXC: And when he sings, "Comin' Round the Mountain" or any other song who is 99 years' copyright has expired.

?: Never "Happy Birthday".

?: Camptown Races.

DXC: Now we invented our version of "Happy Birthday" in a later episode, also saved us the trouble of paying for the real one. Also makes some sense that it would have changed over a thousand years.

SV: The black hole was hard in this episode, because we don't want it to look completely realistic, but we wanted it to look cool at the same time. It was kinda difficult to get it balanced, we wanted to fit in with the cartoon stuff, but look cool at the same time.

RM: Realistic would be a black hole, right?

DXC: Actually.

RM: Against?? stars.

DXC: There often is a disc of material, the accretion disc flowing a circle around the black hole, so I think you did a pretty realistic job, personally. Am I right, guys?

SV: And it looks cool.

JD: The most over-qualified staff in television.

RM: Well not me.

?: Not me either, I—

EH: I often go look on the web after these shows and the only thing I read every time is that people are upset that Fry and Leela haven't kissed yet.

MG: I love this gag.

SV: I am glad they did that in 2D.

PA?: I think the music really took off in this third act, just adventure.

DXC: The huge wides– huge wide shots like that, it– you really believe you're in a big space, it's really great.

PA: This scene, from the whole fire thing, if you look at how they are fire lit in every shot and Bender jumps in, he jumps into the fire light and when the fire goes out here, it fades off of them. Just– it's really amazing.

?: Oh, where's the family?

JD: Here comes the yacht– the yacht shot as more 2D orbs.

SV: We did– we did all these water effects that kinda make it look like they are under water. But we're also like behind the propeller, turbulence.

DXC: Oh wait, that's in an upcoming scene.

SV: Oh, I gave it away.

DXC: Guess what—

SV: That's right. They're gonna drown, actually.

?: That's part of what was cut, Scott.

DXC: Yeah, now we get the suspense going again.

RM: I love that music here.

DXC: Unless this some kind of cartoon, he's out of luck.

?: What happened to that tray of platters?

?: Zoidberg ate it.

SV: That's all 3D. They're all inside the broken ship.

DXC: I've never noticed that before, all the different floors of the ship.

DXC: Why aren't seeing the professor's head right now? Oh!

PA: That was kind of a tight close up.

DXC: It's interesting, it started as just a joke that her parents set up Amy with Kif, now it has guided the direction of Kif and Amy's roles in the series in later seasons.

SV: That shot was also in 3D. The ship warping. We worried that he model wouldn't hold up.

[Shareware joke.]'

DXC: Still proud of that one, Eric?

EH: It holds up.

DXC: Then again, what other show would do a joke about shareware? We get extra points for that.

SV: Bender is all 3D as well as the capsule.

DXC: Our first really sad ending, I think. We did a few since then.

MG: Do you remember the original version of this? There was an intelligent slot machine.

DXC: Yeah, Bender was playing the slot machine so much that he fell in love with the slot machine. And that was the origin of the countess.

JD: And that was the countess' real boyfriend or—?

DXC: There was a few variations, I think there was a bomb in the slot machine.

MG: No no, the slot machine always made Bender lose.

DXC: Oh right.

MG: And they decided to play the slots one last time to see who would be sacrificed.

DXC: That's right.

MG: And the slot machine sacrificed himself and his love.

JD: So does that mean that Bender—

DXC: That's right, in the original one the slot machine had a heroic role and the sacrifice—

MG: Well, the twist at the end– I didn't think you realise the slot machine was intelligent and the last thing the slot machine said was "I love you" to the countess.

DXC: And think we did it better with this one. Our options would have been limited with the talking slot machine. Unless you were talking about cherries and apples.