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INTERVIEW: We chat to Adrian Finney, the man bringing The Real Ghostbusters back to the masses

September 8th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Adrian Finney is, like us all here at FTN, a massive Ghostbusters fan – so massive in fact that he runs White Rose Ghostbusters, his own chapter of the boys in grey in the UK.

Even better though, he’s taken upon himself, with a gang of talented up-and-coming voice actors, to bring to life the old UK Real Ghostbusters comics which are familiar to UK fans like myself, but are new material to fans in all other parts of the world. He’s doing this by restoring the original artwork and turning them into what the industry likes to call a motion comic.

You can check out the trailer below and some of the art and, as always, we here at FTN will keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and when the episodes will be available to watch.

Anyway, on with the interview.

FTN: Firstly, why not tell us a bit about yourself.

AF: Heya. I’m Adrian Finney and I run a Ghostbusters Franchise based in Sheffield, England, called The White Rose Ghostbusters.

FTN: Why is Ghostbusters so important to you?

AF: It’s just that movie that’s always been there. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just… I’ve felt a connection to the franchise since before I can even remember.

FTN: Real Ghostbusters was a massive part of my childhood, is it true to assume that it was to you too? Or were you a late-comer to the series?

AF: Ghostbusters has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan. I was born in 1982, so it’s just always been there. Back in 1987, for my fifth birthday, I got the Kenner Real Ghostbusters figures along with the Ecto-1.

So even before the movies, it was the cartoon that got me hooked. I think there are plenty of people around my age who are the same.
The first film had its UK tv premier on Boxing Day 1987 which would have been the first time I saw it but I was already hooked by then thanks to the cartoon.

FTN: Obviously the ending of RGB left a big hole in our little fandom’s weekly schedule all those years ago that has never been filled – where did the idea come from to bring the series back?

AF: The idea for doing these shorts just kind of grew organically. Thanks to Covid I’ve been off work since March, and I’m not due back until November, so that left me with a lot of free time.

So I started teaching myself some image editing skills and it just grew from there. The early results was way better than I was expecting and way better than I thought I was capable off. So it went from being a proof of concept project for myself to being a motion comic.
Then I thought why not get them voiced too? In for a penny in for a pound and all that…

“Ghostbusters has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan. I was born in 1982 so it’s just always been there.”

FTN: Why did you decide to us the UK RGB comics – I have some very fond memories of these stories, so I’m looking forward to seeing them return.

AF: I chose the UK stories for a few reasons.

Firstly, is that the majority of the run only ever saw publication here in the UK, So these are new to most people who view our page (which you can find here).

Secondly, is that the vast majority of these haven’t ever been reprinted.

Marvel UK, the original publisher, folded back in 1995, so, at the moment after doing some enquiries no-one is even sure who, if anyone, currently has the rights to these. I didn’t want to adapt anything that was still either currently, or had recently, been in print. I didn’t want to step on toes of companies like that.

All that also ended up inspiring the project’s title The Lost Adventures because, unless you’re a British Ghosthead in their late 30s, these stories are new adventures but they’ve been lost in time.

FTN: How many episodes are you planning?

AF: I’m currently planning eight episodes, I’ve finished the first three, and I’m well on my way with animating four.

They cover the 1990 Real Ghostbusters annual and the Halloween special. The annual is a group of related stories that document a trip by the Real Ghostbusters to the UK so, as a Brit, it felt like a natural starting place.

FTN: Talk me through producing an episode.

AF: Producing an episode is fun but it’s hard to put into words without it sounding incredibly dull. The short version is, it’s a case of working from scans of the original comic, restoring the art and then doing my best to bring it alive.

I went with a motion comic format for a few reasons.

Partly, as it’s easier to animate, but mostly as I wanted to be faithful to the original artists and writers. They’re all credited after each episode, so seek them out and support them.

This art has been around for decades now and for at least the last 25 years has been out of print, so it’s sad really as it should be put on display for new fans to enjoy.

Their work from 30-odd years back is as much a part of Ghostbusters lore to a lot of us as Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray.

One creative touch I’ve done is that for this project each of the guys has a different coloured proton stream based on the old Kenner toys.

“I’m currently planning eight episodes, I’ve finished the first three, and I’m well on my way with animating four.”

FTN: The voice cast are a lot of fun, who are they and how did they end up becoming the new boy in grey?

AF: The voice cast are all up-and-coming voice-over talents. It was only after I’d started the casting that I realised the weight of responsibility. I mean, who gets to cast the Ghostbusters? That’s huge! I was also unsure if I could get voices to do them justice.

I also had to make a decision about whether I wanted to be as accurate to the cartoons voices as possible or whether I wanted to take a few liberties and be accurate to the characters. In the end, I went somewhere down the middle.

The very first reply I got about voicing was from Gordon McLeod who said he could voice Slimer and his Slimer audition was as close as it humanly possible to Frank Welker’s original performance.

It also turns out Gordon is a fellow Yorkshireman from just up the road in Leeds.

“It was only after I’d started the casting that I realised the weight of responsibility. I mean, who gets to cast the Ghostbusters? That’s huge!”

Next came Lance Goodman, who is a radio DJ over in the Philippines, and he is our Peter Venkman. He’s very much a Dave Coulier style Venkman – Coulier took over from Lorenzo Music in the role for the last four seasons of the classic cartoon.

I did initially want a Lorenzo Music voice but there is almost no-one on the planet who can do his voice and act at the same time.
Lance has the inflections down amazingly.

Winston is the Everyman of the group and giving him is Lee Justice Hall. He’s great at giving him that warm, friendly vibe that sums Winston up. More so than any of the others. Winston is the most human and ‘normal’ of the group and I wanted a voice to reflect that. A reassuring voice that the guys will triumph over evil.

Next cast was Ray. For that, the initial Ray I cast was really good and close to Dan Aykroyd. I loved his read on the lines but as the project progressed his more ‘realistic’ take didn’t quite work with the more ‘cartoony’ tone of the rest of the story.

If I ever did an audio drama with more film-based voices for the guys (note to self, don’t get any more ideas!) that first Ray is who I’m gonna call.

I got Corey Whelan whose take is closer to Frank Welker’s who voiced Ray in the show. It’s definitely a unique take, but it’s in that vein.

Egon is Christoopher Power (not typo, his name really is Christoopher, not Christopher) who is a Canadian voice actor much like Maurice LaMarche in the original. Canada Pride eh? He’s got that deadpan delivery that works so well for the character but is more of a fresh and unique take.

And finally our Janine. For that we’ve a relative newcomer to Voice-over work and that’s Stephanie Baumann. I heard her line read, a pitch-perfect take on Annie Potts from the film, and that was it. Cast on the spot.

Janine doesn’t feature as much in these episodes, as she’s back in New York whilst the guys are touring the UK, but she’s a fun part in Episode four.

FTN: If the series picks up –  and I believe the GB community will embrace these with open arms – where do you plan to go next? I know you say you’re avoiding the reprinted comics but is anything off limits?

AF: If they prove popular I hope to carry it on with a Christmas special and maybe go with either a new episode a month or do them in batches of eight like these and release them as mini-seasons.

I’m honestly not sure. Lots of plans though going forward.

In terms of material, the comic ran for over 170 issues. Some of the later issues featured reprints from the American Now Comics but having a quick look through there are about 100 – 150 stories like these out of print and in a rights limbo just waiting.

FTN: On behalf of the GB community of which I’m proud to count my self among, thank you for this, I look forward to strolling down memory lane with the guys and you.

AF: Thanks man!

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….