It all started in 2015, when Jarrod came home from school. Jarrod told his dad, Ryan Nead, he had joined a film class in school. Curious, Ryan asked what sort of things they would have to do for the class. Jarrod explained to his father they would be required to make a trailer, a commercial, and for their final project, something really big. Ryan was excited to help his son create something fun and special. After filming all the scenes, they set about editing the pieces together to what would become a Ghostbusters movie filled with special effects, complete with costumes and everything. It was after completing this project with his son that Ryan realized how much he enjoyed video editing.
As a fun idea, he thought about what he could work on next. Ryan remembered how many of the old animated shows he grew up with had often re-used animated sequences, such as in Filmations’ Star Trek, He-Man, and She-ra. He became inspired to take that idea and try to piece together the final episode that had never been officially produced past the script, “Requiem” from Dungeons & Dragons.
Using inspiration from the fan comic by Reinaldo Rocha, Ryan extracted each episode from his DVD set and started going through each one as fast as he could to get certain types of animations he would need to recreate the script into animation. Whether it was Hank running, Eric upset, Sheila mad, or Diana upset, running, jumping, flipping. He would gather these scenes and try to organize them into a timeline in the video editing software. However, the tv series did not have everything he needed to create the scenes. So he began to extract pieces from other animated series. He would edit each scene, cutting out what he needed, using up two phones to death in an app called Autodesk Sketcbook, with a stylus (I’m guessing it was a Samsung Note phone), as well as editing the clips and pieces on the computer.
It was a year into this project when he realized he needed help if he was ever going to finish this. He uploaded a sample clip on his youtube channel, and soon found help from someone named Marshall Hubbard. Marshall is a life long artist who had never animated anything in his life. After Ryan showed him how he was doing the animation, Marshall helped in any way he could. For the rest of this journey, he did artwork and gave critiques on anything that could be improved.
Ryan used as many clips he could to show characters doing what they needed to do to act out a scene. And this included the voices. Using as much of the radio show as he could, he soon ran into problems with the background sound effects not lining up with what was going on, and some of the voice work were causing a bit of a struggle to get right with what he was creating. In the end, Ryan was able to redo 4 of the 8 voices so they would sound as clean and clear as possible. Katie Leigh reprised her role for Sheila and also voiced Bobby. Katie’s daughter Laura was just 14 years old when she voiced Diana on the radio show. Now in her 20s, Laura still sounded the same. So she was able to replay the voice of Diana. Ryan’s 15-year-old son Jarrod redid all the lines for Presto, which was particularly important since he had extra lines at the end that were not in the script.
The script ends at a cliffhanger. What do the kids decide to do? Go home? Stay? Ryan felt like he had an obligation to give fellow fans an actual ending, while also not wanting to appear as though he was trying to improve upon Michael Reaves’ script. He wanted to respect the script and the characters. After much thought and careful consideration, he added about 2 minutes worth of extra scenes at the end, starting at the 28 minute mark. He also added some things during the credits to give the story a more completed ending.
After 52 months, 4 years and 4 months, the project was complete. Ryan uploaded the completed episode to his youtube channel in 2020. After 9 hours the video had amassed 10,000 views. After 12 hours, Ryan was sent subtitles of the entire dialogue in Portuguese and English from a fan named Arthur Barbaro, from Brazil. The fan episode exploded into popularity from as far as Brazil, Spain, France, Ukraine, and Russia. The episode has even been listed on IMDB complete with credits to all who worked to bring the episode to life.
Here is the finished fan-created episode. What do you think? Does it look like a final episode that could have been created in the 80s?
Ryan Nead, and all those who helped him throughout the years, did not do this for profit. It was done with love and admiration for a story that’s touched millions of kids young and old. It gave them hope, encouragement and an adventure of a life time to experience.
This was a creation done for the fans, by the fans. And nothing less.
This is an interview with Ryan and Marshall that goes into a bit more detail about how the fan creation came to life. I recommend you listen AFTER you watch the fan-episode Requiem, as there will be spoilers for the ending:
Here are some interesting tidbits Ryan shared in the fan group on Facebook, explaining some of what he used as sources to create the scenes for the episode:
There is a tree that appears when Diana does her first swing at the hydra head (right before she turns to see Dungeon Master standing on the ledge) that tree is from a 1935 Disney cartoon called “The Old Mill” it was creepy looking and I liked it, so I cut it out, hollowed out the knots and put in the weird glowing orange membrane.
The salt flats come from an episode of Ben 10. I dont know if they were supposed to represent salt flats in the original episode. But I felt they captured a alien look rather well. Funny thing is, I frequently had to place the kids in positions so they would cover up some elements from Ben 10 that had creeped into the backgrounds. Therefore, if you could shift Hank out of the way a bit, you would see a piece of Ben 10s head.
The plain of dreams where Venger and Dungeon Master make their wager is constructed from the Stonehenge like structure called Mount Anguish in the Doomgaze episode of Thundercats. Recolored to match the stone look from Reinaldo Rochas comic book first page.
The campfire scenes, they all come from various episodes of Gargoyles. The water is a shifting woodgrain effect my video editor does.
That pirate ship, most of its components come from an episode of Scooby doo. The ship was always in the water and never flew, so I found another cartoon with a flying ship (that wasnt acceptable to use in entirety) and cut away its hull, then blended the lower hull onto the scooby doo ship.
The volcano’s all come from He-mans 2002 series. I love how those background scenes looked. Almost like a moonscape.
The cenotaph is a hodgepodge of so many different castle pieces, I could never begin to remember them all. The outside however is the Tower of Traps from Thundercats. With a new base and door installed.
You can read more details on this post thread in the Dungeons & Dragon Cartoon Tv Series Facebook fan-group.