With the help of Star With (the Xerox Department Supervisor) and Allison Leopold (the Ink and Paint Department Supervisor) , I was able to create my next favorite funky fun thing...
Working at Hanna Barbera in the pre-digital world was like a dream come true because they had all their original artwork onsite! I created the piece above by using the original model sheets, xeroxing them onto a cel, and borrowing a paint station in the Ink and Paint department (after hours of course!). I later got it signed by Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Don Messick (the voice of Scooby Doo), and Casey Kasem (the voice of Shaggy). It's basically a stock pose of Scooby and Shaggy superimposed in front of an image of the Mystery Machine.
Yes, the Mystery Machine. Mystery Inc.'s signature mode of transportation.
Even Batman loves the Mystery Machine!
Animation Art had a real life Mystery Machine (which was awesome!) custom made for signings and appearances to draw crowds. There was a bit of grumbling from some of the artists when they unveiled it because it wasn't made from a vintage Ford, VW, or Corvair van, but I didn't care. It was the Mystery Machine! It was so cool driving in to work every day and seeing it in the parking lot. So when we were producing interstitials for "Johnny Bravo" I, of course, asked to do my interview inside, where else...?
One time, back in 1997, Butch Hartman, Seth MacFarlane, and I got permission to bring the van out to Glendale for a school visit with Mae Whitman and her elementary school class.
The interesting part was, when we pulled into the school parking lot, we were followed in by a police car! (You would think they would be in front of us as escorts, but fat chance there!) As a hoard of kids ran up to the chain link fence to see all the commotion, we started to stress out about the ramifications of getting a ticket in a vehicle we didn't own. When the officers pulled up beside us, I asked, "Is there anything wrong, officers?" One of them nonchalantly answered, "Nah. We just wanted to see if Shaggy was in the back."
Seth and I grabbing some Carl's Jr. after the school visit.
In 2003, I was able to use the Mystery Machine one last time during our wrap party for the fifth season. We had them drive the van out to Loyola Marymount University where we parked it out in the middle of their Sunken Gardens and used it as a photo op.
"Seriously. Why rent a photo booth?"
The Mystery Machine is a definite crowd pleaser and Warner Brothers often uses it when there's something eventful going on. For example, here's a pic of Jay Bastian (the head of development for Warner Brothers) and I during the unveiling of the Hanna Barbera relief statue at the Academy Of Television Arts and Sciences in 2005.
So it's fair to say that I've taken my share of pictures with Mystery Inc.'s mobile of choice.
There are several vans now. Most of them created specifically for the live action movies. One of them is on permanent display at the Warner Brothers Studio Lot so now everyone can take a picture with it! Scooby Doo is now a Warner Brothers property and is a part of their lineup as you can see by the WB mural on the corner of Olive and Pass Avenue.
Whatever your feelings are about that, it's nice to know that he's being well taken care of after all these years. You can especially thank them for this swanky DVD box set...
Besides being a big fan of Scooby Doo, I'm mentioning it because I did an on-camera interview for the DVD featurette, "Scooby-Doo The Whole World Loves You" which, according to Amazon.com, "focuses on Scooby's continued popularity and fans continued love of the character. Features interviews with various writers, directors and actors who have worked on Scooby TV and Movie projects over the last 40 years. (20 mins)" For me, it was a tremendous honor to be a part of it because I'm such a huge fan. I can't really say I'm the "ultimate" fan because I don't dress like anybody from the show and I haven't named my kids Velma or Fred. But I have been known to say "Jinkies!" so I got that going for me.
For the DVD, I mostly talked about my work on our "Bravo Dooby Doo" episode and Mr. Barbera's involvement in the show. The most random anecdote about my interview is that I wore a shirt with green stripes for the interview. Why is that interesting, you ask? Well, whenever they do these interviews, they do them in front of a green screen so they can lay down whatever images they want to in the background by altering anything that's green on camera. (I don't want to go into too much technical details when we have Wikipedia for that.) Anyhow, I ended up changing shirts with one of the crew members who happened to be my size. It was just another reminder of why it's important to shower before you leave the house. So, if you're watching the featurette and thinking, "Man, that Van sure is a fancy dresser," then I apologize for misleading you into thinking I'm so fancy.
That was really the only anecdote I have from the recording session. Besides the fact that they put some man makeup on me before the shoot. At least that's what they said it was.