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Monday, February 16, 2009

Video Flashback: Operation Blue Line



After a rainy-day visit to Circuit City's store closing clearance sale, I now have the much-anticipated ability to capture video from my VHS collection onto my computer. With this useful new ability I am launching the Ninja Pizza YouTube Channel. The inaugural video for this new channel is called "Operation Blue Line" (and had I scanned the video cover earlier in the night than I did, it wouldn't have rabbit teeth marks in it).

"Operation Blue Line" is a promotional video that was produced to advertise a new light rail system that runs between Long Beach and Los Angeles. As incredibly cheesy as this 10-minute video is, it surprisingly holds some weight as all four Turtle voice actors from the original cartoon--Townsend Coleman, Barry Gordon, Rob Paulsen, and Cam Clarke--are featured in their respective roles.

So enjoy, and watch this space, 'cause there's lots more to come!




UPDATE! Edward Langer, who worked in the SCRTD marketing department and helped in the production of this video, has written in with some additional information.
I was the original project manager on this video. The SCRTD marketing dept. under Tony Fortuno and Alice Wiggins wanted to create a video to be distributed free through a local supermarket chain to all residents along the route. Additional copies were sent to large businesses, too. I assembled my team and we each contacted different companies to see if they would provide funding and some kind of theme or character for the video. One team member, Sherry, hit pay dirt at one of the local TV stations and got permission to use the Turtles. Since Sherry had made the contact, she took over the project. I was reassigned to the ride share program where I made use of the video to promote public transit. That is the USC Marching Band at the end of the video. The USC band has been most generous in allowing the SCRTD to use them in their promotion of public transit. Also, if you watch carefully, you will see Sherry in the film as a couple having a picnic.

We had borrowed the turtle costumes, but they had to have them back for a promotion. Sherry had picked them up and had to get them dry cleaned over a weekend. Not something easy to accomplish. I forget how she did it, but they were clean on Monday. All [of the] main actors were professionals: April, Gridlock, and the Turtles. Everyone else is an unpaid volunteer from the SCRTD. The little girl near the end of the film was some kind of spokesperson for the SCRTD, but I forget why. I think she was a model or actress who gave us support. I believe I had worked with her in a promotion in Long Beach, but that was a long time ago. As I was not the project manager of this program my name is way back in the credits. Basically, all employees of the marketing department are in the credits.

The story is kind of dumb, but it worked. Many of my ride share companies played it in their cafeterias to alert their employees. Ridership did take off.

6 comments:

  1. -->> NOW THOSE ARE THE COSTUMES TO USE FOR TMNT 25 !!


    **

    AND YOU BE SURE TO USE THE BLUE LINE SO YOU DON'T CROAK Ya' Alls !!

    We Don't WANT GRIDLOCK TO COME BACK!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh man, where to begin!?!

    So who knew April and the Turtles moved to LA? Those are great costumes and the original voice cast is always very impressive.

    Speaking of impressive, did the USC Marching Trojans make a cameo?

    If Mike and Donny hadn't gotten their skirts mixed up, I think this video would have been perfect. This would convince me to get on board with the Blue Line bandwagon. Did this ever air on local TV?

    Can't wait to see what else you've got.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had to cut off the credits due to YouTube's 10 minute limit, but that is the actual USC marching band. I don't know the history of how/where the video was actually used, though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ninjatron demands Gridlock fanfic.

    Sayonara.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gridlock is using a prop from GHOSTBUSTERS 2... lol

    ReplyDelete