Episode 3 - Running Wild
Running Wild was a good case of starting off as one thing and then winding up completely different. This is going to sound so highfalutin, but sometimes, as a writer, you have an idea that you think is so amazing that quickly takes on a life of its own and morphs into something else entirely. This was one of those stories.
I’ve been a big fan of the old Universal horror films, with one of my favorites being The Werewolf, so I knew a “were-something” story was going to come into play (can you spot The Werewolf reference in Episode 3.2?). In fact, in our series bible, there was a note that literally says “episode about were-creatures…were-hippo? Were-turtle?”
And that is all. That little seed was all that was needed to turn into a full-fledged story about were-bunnies. How did we land on were-bunnies? I have no idea. Andrew and I started brainstorming the most ridiculous animals that we could turn into (amongst a ton of animal puns), and eventually landed on bunnies. Who doesn’t love bunnies? They are so cute, cuddly, and obviously hiding an agenda to slaughter us all.
Andrew did an amazing job with the sound design for this one. I mean, he always does, but I have no idea how he managed to take tons of cute bunny noises and turn them into something terrifying. Those screams and snarls will haunt my dreams for ever, and that line about Easter being ruined forever is semi-biographical because of this.
In addition to getting Jonathan, Buddy, and Ami on an adventure together, which we set the seeds for in Episode 2, I also wanted to explore a tiny bit of the history of the town. We thought starting off with a flashback would be a nice diversion from the usual, and help set the scene for how deadly the bunnies actually are. The first draft had Janice and Ryan attacked by a whole herd of were-bunnies, but Andrew and I spent an afternoon once debating the hierarchy of were-bunny kind and their politics (seriously, we did), and thought it would be better if only the were-bunny king was left alive at the start. Obviously, this made for a much better story, with him using Janice and Ryan as a way to re-populate their race and exist with the human world, while feeding into the Von Schtupper family back story.
We wanted to bring our heroes together, to start to tell their history, but interrupt the proceedings with something so out there, you couldn’t help but laugh. But we really liked the idea of SOMEONE having some sort of urgent problem that took precedence over everything else, and what better plot point than making Ami a were-bunny?
Of course, with the backstory of Jonathan and Ami a mystery, people have already begun to infer what went on between them. But remember, things are not always what they seem in Melancholy Falls. Don’t worry, we won’t always make a point to interrupt their important talk, whatever it may be about. Well, maybe.
This episode also had a LOT more locations than previous ones, exploring more of the town itself. Geography is a funny thing in Melancholy Falls, as you will soon learn in an upcoming interlude, but it was nice to explore its wilds a bit. Who knows what else is out there? (Spoiler: we do)
This episode brought back our very own man of 1,0001 voices, BJ Grip. BJ voiced Victor Bolvin and Carlton Mendelson in Episode 2. As soon as we finished recording that episode, I asked him if he might have a Transylvanian accent in him, and sure enough, he did! BJ is super talented, so you haven’t seen the last of him…or new fan favorite Dr. Villiam Von Schtupper!
Alyssa Rittorno also returned, as Ami. She’s got an amazing voice, so I was bummed that I wrote only a handful of lines for her in Episode 2. However, this was a great “big” debut for her, and she’s going to fit quite nicely into the Return Home family.
We also welcomed two new folks into our cast, Audrey Faith Weaver as Janice and Alexander Echols as the were-bunny king. Both knocked it out of the park, and Audrey especially impressed me with her villainous turn when we were originally recording!
Also, a note about Ryan…sometimes, actors have to bail at the last minute. Such was the case here, and with a deadline, someone had to step in. Unfortunately, that someone was me, with a badly disguised voice! But, it got the job done for the handful of lines, and I hope we managed to fool some of you with it!
That’s about it for now. Episode 4, The Devil In Me, will begin on June 7th, but don’t worry, we’re not taking a week off! May 31st will see the release of another interlude, a bit longer than the last, and making good on our promise of them being stories of the residents of Melancholy Falls. It’s a bit darker, and not supernatural based, but we hope you like it.
As per usual, we love hearing from you, so feel free to contact us!
See you soon…and stay away from bunnies, OK?