Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Inspector Gadget Series Will Be "Slightly Reinvented" But "True to Its Roots" According to Episode Director Bill Gordon

I can be terribly late with reporting them, but: New news about the upcoming TV series is always welcome here. A few hours ago, I came across an article from The Chronicle Herald about the Halifax division of DHX Media - in other words, the division making the new Gadget series. The piece, titled "DHX Media digs in with The Doozers", is strangely not dated, but the mobile version of the site tells me it's 3 days old. So this is pretty fresh stuff. Anyhow; three paragraps in, we get a few words about the Halifax crew's work on their Inspector Gadget series, by now deep into production:

(...) The Doozers is just a small fraction of what DHX produces out of its Downtown Halifax studios. 
Today, the computer screens at the DHX studios are lit up with 3D animated images of Inspector Gadget. DHX has secured the license to the series and it will be produced entirely out of Halifax. “The show will be slightly reinvented, but will maintain the old Gadget feel and be true to its roots,” says episodic director Bill Gordon. Production manager Karen Yetman is excited to see the show evolve. 
“I watched Inspector Gadget as a kid and it’s fun seeing these shows come back to life,” she enthuses. DHX is building incredible momentum. Only 60 people worked there last year, and they anticipate growing to at least 170 employees by this summer. DMX Media is proud to foster local talent and the company often calls on students of NASCAD to join the team, sometimes before they even graduate.

Right here and now, this is sounding pretty good to me. I like director Bill Gordon's statements about the tone and feel they're aiming for in the new show. This is what a reboot of the franchise needs, I think -- enough of the 1983 series' essence to appeal to older fans, but at the same time develop the concept and try new things. Finding the balance between those elements is the challenge, of course, and I'm really curious to see how they pull it off. Just another reason I'm eagerly anticipating this series. Hey DHX, how about releasing a trailer sometime soon?

Also, I like the part about how the entire series is being produced in-house in Canada at the Halifax studio. It creates an interesting contrast to the original 1983 series, which had its animation done overseas at Japanese and Taiwanese studios. Of course, at the time, the show being outsourced was also a big reason why many episodes ended up looking so good, as they were often handled by very talented Japanese animation crews. So the issue has many sides to it. But ideally, I'm thinking an in-house production could lead to a stronger communication between crew members and a stronger sense of direction for the show, and I hope that's the case here.

Oh, and while we're at it: Here's a picture of the new CGI Gadget which you haven't seen on this blog before! WHOOO! I'm really spoiling you today!

(The image is old news, really, as this recruitment ad popped up several months ago on the site Canadian Animation Resources. I guess you can say it reflects how DHX has been ramping up recently for Gadget and other large, in-house productions. In fact, if you check the career section of DHX's site right now, there's still a number of job positions available at the Halifax studio. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those positions are for the Gadget series...)

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