Monday, May 30, 2011

Power Rangers: SPD in Japan!

To celebrate Super Sentai's 35th Anniversary in Japan, Toei Channel will air Power Rangers SPD, dubbed in Japanese! The American version will be re-voiced by the original DekaRanger cast members! All 38 episodes will air beginning next month, and Toei has been using this trailer to promote it:


I was really excited to hear about this. I know Bandai and Toei are very protective of their property, and rarely do they ever bring any of the American franchise back to Japan. I have always been proud of our work on SPD, and I am even more so knowing that it has been so widely received around the world.

I personally think the trailer is really good, too. I found it interesting, the elements they chose to focus on. Sam in particular, and Z as a child. It's a short piece, but action packed. It stirred a lot of memories, as they seemed to have crammed all the emotion of the season into that one minute.

So I've decided I would celebrate SPD, too. I'm going to blog about what I consider the greatest team of Rangers there has ever been!
Photo 1: Admittedly, I'm biased, but you have to admit, these guys were pretty good Power Rangers. I thought that as both a team and a cast, they brought a wide range of personality and interest to the show. I spent a lot of time with Brandon, Chris, Matt, Monica, and Alycia while I was producing and directing the show, but I also had the good fortune to become very good friends with them on a personal level. We did so much together even off the set, and there are so many stories to tell. Too many for any one blog. So I think I will show you some Behind the Scenes of SPD one Ranger at a time. We'll count backwards from 5...

Photo 2: You may recognize her as the Pink Ranger, but if you run in to her in real life, cal her Alycia! Miss Purrott was actually the first person to audition for Syd, and she nailed it immediately. 300 other girls read for the part, but our conversations always came back to Alycia.
Photo 3: The key to Alycia's approach that made her so perfect for the role was the way she acted unfazed by the situations surrounding her. She didn't play it as a dumb blonde, or a snobby sorority girl. She was just Syd, perfect in every way, perfect at everything, but never thinking less of anyone that can't quite keep up with her.

Photo 4: Syd decides to join the SPD academy because she feels that she has conquered everything in life and needs a challenge to keep balanced. Her character was important to me, because I wanted to show kids that even the people who seem to move through life effortlessly still need to work for things. People may perceive Syd as spoiled, but she worked hard for what she had, and worked hard to be part of the team. Alycia really captured the essence of that.

Photo 5: Alycia also worked really hard to portray the character. The show was months of grueling conditions, foul weather, long workouts, insanely early mornings bleeding into painfully late nights. And there was no ramp up period, either! It was just a few days into filming when I had the team shoot the obstacle course scenes for episode 3!

Photo 6: The mud was fun until everyone got really cold. But they had to stay muddy for continuity! But you know what I always say: If you're gonna shoot with Chris Violette, get'em muddy! (Sorry, that's actually a Labou joke!)

Photo 7: All the hard work paid off, though, and Aly, uh, or Syd, finally got to be the Pink Ranger. She had an opportunity to be the leader of the group, but she really preferred the color pink. I took this photo the very first time she tried her spandex suit on.

Photo 8: When you weren't working hard on set, you were waiting to work hard. Which is very hard. I personally would rather constantly be working that waiting around, and I think that is the very thought Alycia was having as I snapped this shot.

Photo 9: There were only a few breaks in the shooting schedule, but we all made the most of them when they arrived. One holiday weekend, everyone decided to take a trip up north. Most of the group booked flights, but New Zealand is such a beautiful place, Alycia and I decided to rent a convertible and drive across the North Island (on the wrong side of the road. And the car...). It looked like Jurassic Park! The view around every corner was straight out of a dinosaur book I had as a kid. Oh, and we stopped at "Sheep World". Yes, we did.

Photo 10: One of the main questions I get after any project is "How much is the actor like the character?" In the case of SPD, there are a lot of astonishing parallels. Partly because we searched the world over for the perfect actors to fill out the characters we created on paper, but mostly because the actors so strongly influenced the way the characters developed over the season. Like Syd, Alycia is strong willed, independent, amazingly beautiful inside and out, and determined to be successful at everything she does. She is, by all rights, a princess.

Photo 11: If I had to pick one quality Syd has that Alycia doesn't: A singing voice! She did not like having to record her song!

Photo 12: I know so many of you who read my blog are SPD fans, and I've posted a bunch of BTS pix before, so I thought it would be different to show you some more casual or unusual moments from our year in NZ. I'll never forget this one: Alycia and I were playing video games at a local arcade in Auckland, and her purse got stolen! She lost everything, keys, ID, phone. We ended up standing out in the rain for hours as she tried to get it all sorted out. She was like, "Why are you taking pictures!?!" I don't know, so maybe someday I can blog about it?

Photo 13: The best thing about Alycia, even when times are tough, she's always smiling!

Photo 14: We had many an adventure together. Again, I could go on for hours, but I'll save some for the panels.
Photo 15: After all the fun, it was time to put the uniform back on and get to set!

Photo 16: While working, everyone was very serious.

Photo 17: Until it was time for Alycia to play dead, and the laughing fits started!

Photo 18: Posted without comment for the fans.

Photo 19: Even after all the filming was done, there was still lots of work to do. Here's a rare photo of Alycia doing ADR for a Pink Ranger fight scene.

Photo 19: One of the statistics Disney gave me was that SPD raised female viewership in Power Rangers. I think Alycia and Monica were responsible for that. Girls always gravitate to the Pink Ranger, and I think Alycia gives them a real life role model they can look up to.

Photo 20: SPD was a great experience, and I had some of the best times ever with Alycia. It is an honor and a pleasure to have her in my life. I'm lucky to have ended up with her in the show, and I think we all benefited from her participation. She is true SPD. When it comes to Pink Rangers, Alycia is, as she would say, "My all time favorite!"

Going through my archives recently, I've shifted through over 50 hours of never before seen BTS video I took in New Zealand. I thought you might like to check out a few of my favorite Alycia clips...

video

14 comments:

  1. THANKS for sharing! Hopefully we can get the entire cast for Power Morphicon 3 if not sooner! You planning to be at Anime Expo in July for the Power Rangers Reunion?

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  2. Thanks for the great pictures and behind the scenes. SPD is by far my favorite Power Rangers series and it was thank to the hard work you, the crew and actors did. Can't wait to see more of SPD behind the scenes!

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  3. I bet she wished she could morph for real when she got robbed!

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  4. Hey Greg! Thank you so much for sharing these behind-the-scenes goods. I've recently been rewatching SPD since they announced the Japanese dub and it's still my favorite season of Power Rangers ever. I love reading about your other projects, of course, but I'm always especially excited to read your blogs on SPD! I'm so happy the show has a new life overseas. Thanks again to you and the whole crew and cast for a great season.

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  5. Big thanks for sharing your incredible talents with us. Next to MMPR, SPD has been my favorite, both for cast and characters. And it was lovely to see a behind the scenes look not only into the show, but into memories that made you and the cast so obviously close. You guys rocked, and I miss watching your work. Thanks for the memories Greg!

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  6. Hi Greg! SPD is the best Power Rangers season ever! You have done great job! Everything was fine, but many fans expected to see a romance between some Rangers. Especially, between Syd and Sky, because for many fans they are the cutest couple in PR series. But now it’s too late. Maybe, one day in Power Rangers: S.P.D. The Movie. I hope that one day you will make that movie, with the original cast of course. I wish you all the best!

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  7. Gureggu_Aronouittsu

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  8. Greg, you are one amazing individual. I'm sorry for not commenting earlier. I've shared this post with all of my close friends and family. I miss SPD and will cherish that year for the rest of my life. Thank you for making the experience even more incredible for myself and the rest of the cast. The season would not be what it was if it weren't for your hard work and crazy talent! I honestly teared up watching the videos and looking through the pictures. What an amazing year! I miss you tons and truly hope to reunite with you and everyone from SPD soon! Much love, Aly Purrott

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  9. Just let you know shout factory bring this show and full seasons of the powers rangers to DVD. So spread the word and support shout factory.

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  10. SPD is my second favorite series of PR. My first is Time Force

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  11. hello i have searched all over the internet but i can't find a streaming for the japanese dubbed power rangers spd , can anyone tell me if there is a site where i could watch it ?

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  12. Can you continue the profiles of the characters please! I'd LOVE to find out about Michelle Langstone and more about the behind the scenes stuff 'cause I can't find anything good behind the scenes on youtube OR google and this site is PERFECT!!!!

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  13. Greg, will you be taking part in the SPD reunion project by Matt Austin?
    See https://twitter.com/mattyaustin & http://spdlastpatrol.com/. It would be awesome if you could be a part of it!

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