PRIME EVIL is the main villain of Filmation's Ghostbusters, and he is also the most complicated visual-effect character in film history. He requires at least two actors to play him: a voice actor and a "physical" actor.
The role of the physical actor is twofold: first, he must act the role out with facial expressions in rehearsals, and second, he must wear the long red robes and Chromakey bodysuit on the set.
We use videos of the actor's facial expressions and movements so that we can synchronize the movements of the animatronic head and chest in time with the actor.
Out on the stage, our actor's head, chest, and legs are covered in the Chromakey bodysuit. The animatronic "bust" of Prime Evil is CG'd over the actor's head and chest, and the actor's legs are removed from the finished product so that we have this bizarre visual of legs moving under the robe but nothing actually there. (He's a ghost, get it?) Meanwhile, the actor's arms will be wrapped in mummy-style bandages with some kind of "undead skin" prosthetics applied. He also wears some kind of "cybernetic gauntlets".
Now that we've blown most of our Prime Evil budget on the head and chest, let's focus on the robe. Good, nice and cheap. It's not quite Ming the Merciless opulent, but it still has to be detailed enough to look good on camera AND have good movement at the same time. A material called crushed panne velvet that I saw in the fabric store a few days ago looks like what we need. After getting the basic pattern down, we'll need to age and "rip" the material in order to give us the look we need.
The robe's color scheme is: crimson and red orange.
So far, FGB is shaping up into something along the lines of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, but not quite as noirish.
Another idea I have for it is that Prime Evil's minions are actually pretty intelligent. If they were left to their own devices, they could probably defeat the Ghostbusters. Prime Evil, being the hothead he is, doesn't know this or doesn't care about it. His arrogance actually holds them back!
We reveal Prime Evil, Bratarat and the Bone Troller, and watch him send a multitude of ghosts to Earth.
Flashback to Kong Sr. and Spenser Sr. taking their sons out on a bust.
Flashforward to Jake and Eddie celebrating their graduations.
First reveal of Tracy, Ghostmobile, and Ghost Command. We learn that Kong and Spenser Sr. died in an accident while out on the case.
THE FIRST BUST--we reveal the Skelevator, uniforms, and equipment, as well as one of Prime Evil's hench-ghosts (Fangster?).
THE NEXT BUSTS--introduce Scared Stiff (he's behind the Y2K thing), Scarechrome (the raising of the Yamato--he succeeds), and Sir Trance-A-Lot, whose horse is the Kelpie of Scottish mythology.
Introduction of JESSICA. Just as the Ghostbusters are making the news, she's determined to show them for the frauds she thinks they are. JESSICA'S PROBLEM--her apartment is supposedly "haunted" with the white noise phenomenon. Her television gets a lot of static and she can see a face/hear a voice coming from it. There are times when the face/voice grow clearer and clearer.
Introduce MADAME WHY, who visits the apartment along with the Ghostbusters. She's the first one to suggest that it's not a real ghost; her equipment is receiving different readings.
PRIME EVIL'S TRAP--We introduce Apparitia, who lures Jake into a dimensional trap...his arrogance gets the better of him.
Introduce FUTURA, the "ghost" haunting Jessica's apartment. She comes from the future, where Prime Evil has established a world safe for ghosts. She and Zero (the man who created Tracy and the ghostbusting equipment) have decided that the only way to save the future is in the past. The apartment building where Jessica lives is a stable point in the future; here she can send her signals.
Eddie and Tracy work out where Jake is and mount a heroic rescue.
Prime Evil mounts a full-scale assault on them, but they manage to get through into his dimension.
In a stunning display of "two wrongs make a right," Hauntquarters ends up in our dimension a la Bandora's Palace in Zyuranger!
They free Jake and face Prime head on. Prime manages to defeat them momentarily, but Tracy starts drawing up a Mega Dematerializer.
THE FINAL BATTLE--The Mega Dematerializer runs off all of California's power supply (the brownouts/blackouts) and defeats Prime Evil...but there's still room for a sequel!
Mass cheering and applause; a parade soon follows.
"Jake" breaks character to deliver the moral at the end.
Yeah, about that. The major sticking point is Prime Evil's motivation and plan. The only thing I've got so far is that he has established base in the future and he's wending his way through the past.
I suppose it's more of my love for all things Doctor Who showing up again: in the 7th Doctor story "Curse of Fenric," the Last Great Haemovore (read: vampire) comes from Earth's distant future, "a world dying of a chemical slime."
Just about all I can think of is this: Prime Evil and his ghosts come from that future, or something like it, and he and his cronies encounter Futura, Mr. Zero, Tracy, and [possibly] Belfry on their way backwards through the past. In other words, Futura and Zero aren't the end point!
The future is Hell on earth. Here, Prime Evil rules over the wasteland from his palace, Hauntquarters.
THE FUTURE: 23rd Century, year unknown
Futura and Zero encounter Prime Evil's ghosts and build ghostbusting equipment. The ghosts are way too powerful, and the only option left is to send the equipment back into time and hope someone picks it up. Tracy, a superhuman* gorilla, volunteers to safeguard the equipment. He also takes with him a kind of "expansion pack" that can easily be added to a car. He will need this to create the Ghostmobile. TO BE CONTINUED--I have to get to work now.
Continuing on from where I left off: ------------------------------------------------
THE PAST: 20th Century, 1975.
Tracy arrives in California, having followed a particularly strong PKE trace.
(OK, OK, I know it's not FGB, but consider: even though CGB and FGB take place in different universes, they should share at least a few basic rules.)
Anyway: Further research leads Tracy to track down Peter Kong and Joe Spenser, two ordinary working stiffs whose family trees contain many, many paranormal/supernatural encounters: we learn that a witch-hunter during the Salem Witch Trials went by the name of Edmund Spenser (though he was seen as more of a vigilante) and several of Peter Kong's ancestors dealt with werewolves and other ghosts.
Also, Kong and Spenser show an interest in the supernatural themselves (see the SciFi show Ghost Hunters). This is how the first office of Zero's Ghostbusters begins.
(Author's note: Ideally, the fathers' names are Jake Kong, Sr. and Ed Spenser, Sr. However, the fact that Kong's son refers to himself as "Jake Kong, Jr." is only from the '86 animated series; Kong's first name is never revealed in the '75 series. I ascribe this to a lack of originality on Mr. Scheimer's part, and besides, I never liked the "Sr./Jr." thing.)
THE PAST: 20th Century, 1986
Jake Kong and Eddie Spenser, two recent college graduates, meet Tracy at a bar (they're celebrating their graduation, but it's more one of those Bulldog Drummond things). They learn that their fathers died in an accident while on a case, and that they must take the family business.
Here's a few ideas for the opening logo, depending on who wants to make this movie.
The Universal logo appears as normal, but the Planet Earth turns all slimy and green, and the continent land-spaces have turned black and red, simulating the "wasted future" that Prime Evil occupies. Lightning and ghost-filled clouds arc over the surface of the globe. We zoom in, getting scarier and scarier as we get closer to Hauntquarters.
The WETA-designed Magic Kingdom logo plays out normally, but when the logo finishes, Cinderella's Castle elongates and gets all twisted and evil as Hauntquarters takes over.
PARAMOUNT PICTURES: The Paramountain is grotesque and distorted, and the stars are replaced by skull-like ghosts. The words "PARAMOUNT: A VIACOM COMPANY" fade into "HAUNTQUARTERS: A PRIME EVIL BASE". (Or not.)
The logo plays out as normal, except on a darkened sky with greenish clouds and lightning all over the place. The WB shield looks a bit steampunky, too.
20th CENTURY FOX:
The logo plays out as normal, but the tagline reads "A NEWSBIG EVIL CORPORATION," with "BIG EVIL" seemingly spray-painted on like graffiti. (Rupert Murdoch = Big Evil, geddit? Hilarious.)
Prime Evil's face replaces the "drama" mask at the bottom of the logo.
COLUMBIA PICTURES (I should hope not, but luck favors the prepared) :
Instead of the Torch Lady, it's Prime Evil--he holds his right arm upright giving a "thumbs down" gesture, and he cradles Brat-a-Rat in his left arm a la "Statue of Liberty." We hear Prime Evil's voice boom, "Surprise!" followed by some maniacal laughter. ------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not even mine. I ripped it off from a Looney Tunes cartoon--it's the one where the tabby cats won't let Porky Pig get any sleep.
I've hit another stumbling block, though: their fathers' wives. What do Mrs. Kong and Mrs. Spenser think of their husbands' ghostbusting? How do they react when they have to go on a "business trip" to some haunted location?
Potential answers: they don't know about it because Zero has thought ahead, or else Zero pays them enough that they're able to "bribe" their wives into not arguing.
One thing I'm sure of, Kong and Spenser have promised their respective families that this will be their "last case" and that they want everyone to come along and see how they handle ghosts and other creatures. It's important to make it just dangerous enough that there's a dramatic tension, but also a lot of fun as well. It's a contrast to the very real dangers that Jake and Eddie will face later on, because these earlier ghosts are too 'isolated' to do any real damage like the kind Prime Evil causes.