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Episode 1: Tears


Quick Overview
February 28th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

So, Episode One, if you read Original Concepts, you know that it's the most faithful to the original idea. You also know there's a good bit of differences that existed back then and now. Tears was designed to really play up the whole "buddy misadventure" thing with Sonic and Ivo and also designed to show what kind of character Iizuka was.

I opted for "collecting the tears of Sonic fans," to play up just how evil Iizuka was. it took this route to explain why the games were so terrible, give the feeling of a zany environment for the two, and crack a bunch of jokes at the franchise and fans. Given this is the first script f the entire series and I just now started a connection with Martin, not too much has really been tampered with. The script is mostly spoken word for word (bar the typos which I didn't change before making public too keep it authentic as possible) and not many concepts were dropped (aside from a handful of movements and camera angles.)

Most ideas I had made it into this script. The only new idea that wasn't planned was the inclusion of Sally. That was actually provided because my then-girlfriend wanted a role somewhere. Her favorite female character was Sally, mostly due to her relationship with Sonic. I gave her that role just to throw her a nice gesture. It was small, really insignificant. She was a director and assistant to Iizuka. Anybody could have taken that spot, a HL2 model could have done it.

However, we decided to keep Sally, her role and expand on her personality. Of course, my ex doesn't play her anymore, that goes to the talented Axus who is doing a splendid job.

The Making
February 28th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

Right, so this is incredibly embarrassing for me. But two years ago, I BELIEVE mid-late 2014 (Youtube doesn't like to give exact dates and I have to go by email timestamps) I messaged Martin asking for his voicework having heard him in this particular video. I also wound up contacting SpiritOfTheBlue, who was the featured Sonic voice in that video and then TheBlueEyedFox, as SpiritOfTheBlue's channel had worked with her and she was also pretty talented.

Martin got back to me fairly quickly. Said he'd love to do the work. I heard nothing for SpiritOfTheBlue and TheBlueEyedFox replied and accepted much later. I won't get into detail, it's not my place -- this is a private matter with Martin Lis and those two, but I will say that TheBlueEyedFox has reasoning for not working on SEZ again, and SpiritOfTheBlue obviously never wanted to work on the series in the first place. However, LJ naturally oozes with talent and took the Sonic role and Meredith is wonderful at Tails.

Anyway, back on track -- after about a week or two of being lazy, I wrote a script and sent it to Martin. He, having known SpiritOfTheBlue informed me that he wouldn't be working on SEZ (of course, I pretty much guessed it by that point) but recommended LJ who was far more than a adequate replacement. I got a few voice files in after some time, Martin did all the heavy lifting of having to find the VAs which was a godsend considering I my experience with voice actors was not the best. In my experience, I had to scrounge around for them having to parkour through schedules, no-direction and distrust. The only time I had a very positive experience was back in an old Newgrounds flash animation crew where I could keep the same VAs but even sometimes, it wasn't great.

Martin brings something new and far more organized method of voice work. He even introduces Skype groups to have actors bounce off one-another and they have a lot of fun with it.

However, with all that, you'd think I have jumped right on it, right? Wrong. This is what is embarrassing for me: I didn't start on the actual episode until one damn year! One damn year! I hate that it took so long, I mean, I did make a stupid quick animation in the interim, for what it's worth, that had Martin voicing Motobug, but shit, there's no excuse for this level of laziness...

I suppose there is some positives to all that, I did hone my craft a little more, but still, no excuse. I put up a video telling people I'd finish the first episode as just a way to push myself -- since I promised it so publicly, I felt that would pressure me to complete it. And it did. It took several days working day and night, hours and hours, pretty much nonstop except to eat, sleep, drink and defile the bathroom. I had to fight slow internet speed and a storm in a leaky, ran down house with my computer in the living room on the final day. Any moment, the power could go out and kill my progress.

Near completion, I emailed Martin after a year-long silence:
Marin, wanted to let you know that I'm finishing the final scene of that animation I had you and a few of your friends voice last summer. It isn't a project that simply wound up not happening, it is being completed now. Once finished with that scene, I'll need to work on a fixing it up, adding more facial expressions, better lighting if needed, background stuff and rendering it (which may take a few hours for good quality) and then fixing up anything I need to do in a video editor.

Wanted to thank you for getting the extra voice and also wanted a quick rundown, again, who did all the voices so I can credit them appropriately.

I'll also send this as a skype message so I'm sure you get it.

We continued discussion on Skype, I shared a few test clips and finally uploaded August 9th, 2015.

It took too long for that to be completed, but I did it. Since then, I was offered to meet with LJ and eventually Pink and a few others to work on Episode 2 and we developed a strong working relationship. Things changed in the course of what was to happen but all for the better.

The Canonicity of Tears
February 28th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

Obviously, Tears is different from the rest of the series due to having different intentions of why it was made and what SEZ evolved into. It's a pilot and just getting its feet wet. Sonic is less of a dick there, Ivo is more positive, and a few other things. So, is it still canon?

Yeah. Well, somewhat... We're writing SEZ where most points of Tears still happened in one way or another.

The important bullet points are:
  • Tears takes place sometime in 2014 or 2015
  • Canonically, Sonic was more of a dick than the animation showed, Ivo was more pessimistic
  • Iizuka had Sonic and Ivo collect Tears of Sonic fans
  • They completed the first jar with depressing news and filled the second jar with pain tears
  • Sally still retained her role
  • Sonic attacked Scout

Tears still happened with pretty much the same plot points but personalities are a little different. Remaking Tears would a bit of a waste of time just to show this, as again, plot points are pretty much the same, but I did want to note there are a few changes.