In one of the coolest promotions I’ve heard of, the Daily Express newpaper in the UK joined up with Fox Kids to
give away DVDs with some cool cartoons. Fans could pick up the paper, clip a coupon, which they could redeem at
any Woolworth’s for one region 2 DVD with three cartoons. Over the 6 days of the promotion, fans could collect 18 cartoon
episodes. The Real Ghostbusters episode “Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream” was available on the Tuesday, May 10th. Also available
were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-men, Robot Wars, etc. For more info,
Some people have reported that the disc promises that the series will be coming out on DVD, but there is no information on that
Stopped to briefly talk about DVDs, Harold Ramis had a couple of things to say about working with Bill Murray and
on the Ghostbusters movies.
“Running around Manhattan in New York in those Ghostbusters suits, and driving that ambulance around. That was a lot of fun.”
For the entire (rather short) interview, go here.
Leo Zahn, like many of the people I’ve been lucky enough to interview, has a very cool job. Leo directs commercials. Specifically, Leo, through his California based company Picture Palace, directed a commercial for Trendmasters. The product was Trendmasters line of Extreme Ghostbusters toys.
Busy as he is, Leo took a moment to answer a few questions for Proton Charging.
PC: First some background. When was the commercial shot and about how long did it take?
SH: The Ghostbusters spot was shot in May/June 1997 in St. Louis. Trendmasters holds the license for the toy line of Extreme Ghostbusters. I shoot quite a bit for them. They are one of the largest toy companies in the U.S. (“Independence Day” ” Godzilla” etc). Usually, a 30 sec spot is shot in 2 days.
PC: I’ve always wondered; what are commercials shot on? I’m guessing they’re not all on film.
LZ: All [my] spots are shot on 35mm film.
PC: How did you get involved with doing the Extreme Ghostbusters ad? What did you know about Ghostbusters going into the shoot?
LZ: I knew a lot about Ghostbusters, having been a fan of both movies. I was not aware of the animated TV show. I feel in love with the design of the toy figures, and especially the design and look of the car.
PC: What’s the trick to selling Extreme Ghostbusters to kids? Was there a particular angle that Trendmasters was trying to get across? Suits on the set trying to explain their vision for the product?
LZ: The beauty of working for Trendmasters is the fact that they welcome a director’s input, and there are no “suits” on the set. Their product managers are very creative people with good ideas, who act as creative directors on the set. [There was] no ad agency involved.
PC: When you were shooting the EGB commercial were you using production toys or prototypes? Did you have any trouble with the product?
LZ: We shot mostly with production product. There were problems.
PC: Ah ha. Your company site separates the commercials for girl toys from the commercials for toys for boys. What’s the trick to selling toys to boys using a commercial spot on TV?
LZ: Boys to spots are usually aggressive, battle oriented spots. There is constant attack and destruction. As a director, you need to be sble to maximize the impact, while staying within the Federal guidelines for toy advertising.
PC: How do you think the commercial turned out? If you could have done anything different,would you? Or would you leave it as is?
LZ: I’m very pleased with it, and it’s on my boys toy reel.
As you might have heard, there’s been word that Columbia would be releasing a special edition of Ghostbusters on DVD. Well it’s all true. Proton Charging had the opportunity to talk to A.H., producer for the project, and huge Harold Ramis fan. The paraphrased conversation is as follows:
PC: When? WHEN!?
AH: There’s no official street date yet, but at the moment Columbia is aiming for summer 1999.
PC: Is this to coincide with a theatrical re-release of Ghostbusters into theaters?
AH: I’ve heard the same rumours as you, but I can only comment on the DVD.
PC: What can fans expect from the DVD edition?
AH: It will be in widescreen format from a remastered print with remastered sound. We’ve got access to a lot of material, like storyboards and conceptual art. We also have a lot of extra footage. With DVD, we have the opportunity to do some creative stuff with all the “making of” materials that is out there. It might take you a long time to get through the whole thing, but there won’t be much having to do with Ghostbusters that isn’t on this special edition.
PC: Trailers? How about the Ray Parker Jr. video?
AH: We’re looking into getting the rights. We’ve also been interviewing the filmmakers about the movie. We’re making it a point to work very closely with the the filmmakers. I have already met with Ivan Reitman and his team, as well as with Richard Edlund [visual effects creator] and they each gave me boxes of materials used in the making of the film.
PC: Harold Ramis?
AH: He is such a nice guy! I was talking to him about sitting a bunch of the cast and crew down together to record them watching the film for the first time in 15 years and he said “try 15 minutes.” His kids have just discovered the movie, and they love it.
PC: So this is a 15th anniversary kind of deal?
AH: We want to make a DVD that will be accessible to the kids who will be discovering the movie for the first time, but still make a DVD that will make the hardcore fans drool.
PC: Any of the cool stuff you can talk about?
AH: I do have some special surprises for those of you who thought you had seen and heard everything, but you’ll have to wait until summer.
PC: It wouldn’t be as exciting without some mystery. I think it’s time for me to get a DVD player!
AH: Yep, time for all Ghostbuster fans to start saving up for that DVD player, ’cause what we’re doing on this DVD just won’t transfer over to VHS.