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Times Square Battle Ghosts were a group of ghosts led by the Ring Leader Ghost, which served Rowan North. During the Ghost Invasion, some of the stronger ghosts in Times Square organized at 43rd Street and Broadway to repel the Ghostbusters. They appeared in the 2016 movie.

History

As the Ghostbusters approached The Mercado Hotel, Rowan decided to give them a proper New York welcome. He unleashed blue P.K.E. from his hands then welcomed them to the glory days of New York City. He told them to have fun and laughed. Times Square's ads, store fronts, restaurants, and bars morphed into older ads, stores, restaurants, and bars from bygone eras. The Ring Leader Ghost marched past the Ghostbusters and took a position between them and the Mercado. A P.K.E. fog materialized near the ghost as well. Erin Gilbert admitted she was never good in a fight. Abby Yates believed her chance to work on that was coming up. Jillian Holtzmann reminded everyone they had Proton sidearms to use. Abby told everyone to power up. The Ghostbusters opened fire with their throwers on the ghosts that energized from out of the P.K.E. fog. The Ring Leader growled. A ghost hurled a tomahawk. Patty Tolan yelled at Holtzmann to get down. Patty and Holtzmann landed on the street. The tomahawk struck the chest of another ghost. Abby wrangled it and hurled it into other ghosts. She called it a slap shot.

Gertrude Aldridge flew in and joined the battle. Erin fired at more ghosts. Gertrude picked Erin up from behind and dropped her into the arms of a Ghost Pilgrim. Erin didn't find it to be very Puritan behavior. Abby armed a Proton Grenade (Air Filter) and tossed it up at 7 seconds then tried to bat it with her thrower but missed. Abby kicked the grenade over. The grenade went off and neutralized the Ghost Pilgrim. Erin landed on her feet and shot the pilgrim back into the mist. Erin was happy she was getting the hang of it. Abby whooped but was grabbed by Mayhem in front of a Nathan's. Abby yelled she lost her glasses. She realized they were in her hand. Erin blasted Mayhem. Abby dropped on the hood of a car. She put on the Proton Glove and fought several ghosts. Erin batted with her thrower. Rowan was impressed. Mayhem eyed Holtzmann. Patty holstered her thrower and got out the Ghost Chipper. Patty remarked it was chipping time and proclaimed he was getting what was coming to him for sitting on her. Mayhem was chipped. Erin sidestepped the remains that exited the Chipper. Holtzmann thanked Patty. A ghost shoved Patty into a van. The Ghost Chipper was stomped to pieces.

Abby and Holtzmann chucked grenades at ghosts. Gertrude and Electrocuted Ghost charged. Erin got out her Proton Grenade Launcher and fired. They went flying backwards. The Ring Leader pointed and deeply growled. Ghosts charged out of the mist at Holtzmann. She holstered her Particle Thrower and twin Proton Pistols emerged from her Proton Pack. She licked one then fired at several ghosts point blank then whipped many at once by twirling her pistol as she fired. The Ring Leader advanced on Holtzmann itself. She continuously blasted it with both pistols and dispersed it right before it could grab her. She released the pistols and they automatically went back into her pack like a seat belt being released. Holtzmann declared it just got Holtzmanned. The P.K.E. fog receded and the path to the Mercado cleared up. Abby berated the ghosts as they walked past. Erin told her to reel it in tighter and save her energy. Abby realized Erin "killed" a Pilgrim.

Members

Trivia

  • The Times Square battle started out as a stunt viz sequence created by stunt coordinator Walter Garcia. Working independent of production, Garcia produced an entire choreographed fight sequence with a stunt team, who became the four leads' stunt doubles, complete with effects done in Adobe After Effects. Paul Feig and visual effects supervisor Pete Travers were impressed but the battle was in the script at that point.[1]
  • On July 15, 2016, Luci Romberg posted a photo of her with Melissa McCarthy doing splits on the Times Square set surrounded by the actors portraying the ghosts.[2]
  • On September 8, 2016, Kyle Brown posted concept art for three ghosts - a Butcher Ghost, a Hare Krishna Ghost, and an Afro Ghost.[3]
  • The ghosts are basically the people who died in various eras in the last few hundred years.[4]
    • Press invited to the set described extras dressed as Pilgrims, old-timey sailors, Revolutionary War Redcoat spirits, a couple of zoot-suited gangsters, 1970s pimps and hookers, hippies, Civil War soldiers from the North and South, vaudeville performers, and the Victorian-era upper class.[5][6] [7]
  • The first ghost fought was inspired by Bowery Boys leader, William "Bill the Butcher" Poole.[8]
  • In an earlier version of the script, the battle was a much smaller fight involving Prohibition Era ghosts.[9]
  • The VFX team had to maintain complexity and multi-layered facets to the ghosts such as their auras, the smoke, the Proton Streams, and contact lighting interactions. The team also added additional sparks, dust, reflections, shadows, and flares.[10]
  • The battle of Times Square was shot on green screen in Boston. The actors portraying ghosts all wore LED tracking markers. They were many more ghosts planned to appear but it was scaled down in the final version of the movie.[11]
  • There were originally a lot more ghosts but they just standing around while on three at a time attacked the Ghostbusters. It was decided the logic was off and the extra ghosts were relegated to a fog from which the ghosts energize out of.[12]
    • The Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) effects team removed the background actors and rotoscoped the Ghostbusters from the background completely. In the final version of the movie, everything but the actresses are digital.[13]
    • Most of the background actors were replaced with smoke. The SPI team had to employ a deep compositing pipeline and depth compositing approach.[14]
    • The battle scenes were filmed twice. It was first filmed with the stunt women on wire rigs. A couple days later, the scene was filmed with the actresses. The prop packs were replaced in post by the visual team.[15]
  • The Times Square battle accounted for almost half the total number of shots that Sony Pictures Imageworks completed for the movie.[16]
  • The fight was going to be four and a half minutes long. Sony didn't want to pay for all of it because the VFX required was expensive. The scene was done to AC/DC's "Shoot the Thrill" but Teddy Shapiro added a score instead.[17][18]
  • On page 30 of Ghostbusters Annual 2018, the ghosts emerging from the mist is similar to the mist in the Times Square battle of the 2016 Movie.

Appearances

References

  1. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "The sequence with the Ghostbusters fighting one on one started out differently and much shorter. The origin of the Times Square fight sequence started with the stunt co-ordinator Walter Garcia. The veteran stuntman took it upon himself to produce a stunt viz sequence with the stunt women who would end up being the actual stunt doubles for the lead actresses. Garcia is extremely experienced having done complex fight choreography on X-men Apocalypse, Ant-Man, and most significantly with Ghostbuster’s director Paul Feig's film Spy. Working independently, Garcia produced an entire choreographed fight sequence complete with fairly impressive effects done in Adobe After Effects. An impressed Feig showed the stunt viz to visual effects supervisor Pete Travers who agreed, asking "wow, but where does this go in the movie?" The sequence at that stage was not in the script at all."
  2. Luci Romberg instagram 7/15/16
  3. Art Station Kyle Brown "Ghostbusters (2016) Ghost designs" 9/8/16
  4. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "In the new version of the script, the girls fight a complete array of ghosts from many different eras. It was "basically anyone who died in New York in the last few hundred years," explained Daniel Kramer who headed the team at Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) that completed the fight."
  5. "The new Ghostbusters will be facing some all-time bad guys" Entertainment Weekly 12/29/15
  6. IGN "What we learned on the set of the Ghostbusters Reboot" (2 pages) 4/28/16
  7. The Verge "I Visited the Set of Ghostbusters" 4/28/16
  8. Comic Book "Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown & Times Square Ghosts Concept Art" 8/27/16 Line reads: "As for the concept art, which was illustrated by Kyle Brown, it features designs for a couple of the Times Square Ghosts. Brown wrote, "The idea was that Ghosts from all of New York's history populate Time Square for the final act." The first ghost was inspired by Bowery Boys leader, William Poole (a.k.a. Bill the Butcher); however, you probably identify him as Daniel Day-Lewis's William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting, the character that was based on Poole in Martin Scorsese's 2002 film Gangs of New York. As for the second ghost, it is of a New York flasher exposing himself. Brown tried several variations, but director Paul Feig went with a less risqué version. Brown shared, "The Flasher does show up for a split second, sans some more questionable features."."
  9. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "Fieg ended up replacing a much smaller fight that had been scripted with some prohibition-era ghosts with the new much more dynamic hand to hand combat scene."
  10. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "All the ghosts were complex and multilayered. They react to the environment and have their own emanations which manifested as an almost bioluminescence aura around them. In addition to this, the sequence had a large amount of smoke and the very strong light sources of the proton beams and contact lighting interacting between them. Each ghost had both an external presence or form as well as glowing internal skeletons or light sources that come and went during the shot. On top of all of this the team added additional sparks, dust, reflections, shadows and flares to make up a final shot."
  11. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "All the live action was all shot on greenscreen. As filmed, there were many more ghosts planned for the fight (see below) and thus there were many more actors in the background of each shot (all with LED tracking markers)."
  12. EMPIRE Online "Empire Podcast: Ghostbusters Spoiler Special with Paul Feig" 28:49-29:27 7/27/16 Paul Feig says: "We had in that fight, we had a ton of extras that were dressed in amazing period clothes and everything but what happened was when we're putting it together, we realized we had the situation where as an audience, it was that thing when you're watching a Kung Fu movie and guys are surrounded by a bunch of guys but only three go in at a time. Why don't they all run in and wipe them out? So we're going, 'Actually, it does look weird they're standing there...' so we created more of that smoke where they just energize out of the fog which I think is just a cool idea so we brainstormed that as we put together the VFX."
  13. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "As it was decided in the edit to make the fight more personal, the SPI team had to remove all of these secondary background actors and roto the hero actresses from the background completely. This translated to everything but the actresses being digital in the final shots, even the Proton Packs"
  14. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "From the environment of Times Square to the smoke and of course the ghosts, everything was replaced. Given there is so much complex volumetrics surrounding the actors, SPI employed a deep compositing pipeline, embracing the depth compositing approach more completely than they had on any previous picture. The final shot. Everything except the actresses are digital (even their Proton packs)."
  15. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "The scenes were filmed twice, once with stunt women standing in for our heroes battling stuntmen on wire rigs and then filming was repeated again a couple of days later with the hero actresses. To make things even more complex, even then the portable 'positron colliders' or proton packs were just stand in prop packs on the day for safety reasons. All the proton packs were tracked to the actresses and added later in post."
  16. fxguide "Who you gonna call? Call Illoura, MPC, SPI, & Zero VFX" 8/10/16 Line reads: "The Times Square sequence grew to be almost half the total number of shots that SPI completed for the film."
  17. EMPIRE Online "Empire Podcast: Ghostbusters Spoiler Special with Paul Feig" 28:49-29:27 7/27/16 Paul Feig says: "We had in that fight, we had a ton of extras that were dressed in amazing period clothes and everything but what happened was when we're putting it together, we realized we had the situation where as an audience, it was that thing when you're watching a Kung Fu movie and guys are surrounded by a bunch of guys but only three go in at a time. Why don't they all run in and wipe them out? So we're going, 'Actually, it does look weird they're standing there...' so we created more of that smoke where they just energize out of the fog which I think is just a cool idea so we brainstormed that as we put together the VFX."
  18. EMPIRE Online "Empire Podcast: Ghostbusters Spoiler Special with Paul Feig" 29:58-30:25 7/27/16 Paul Feig says: "My only regret is that we couldn't do the longer version of it. We just... the studio didn't want to pay. The cost... it was a very expensive scene to do the VFX for but the original fight was about four and a half minutes long. It was also done to AC/DC's "Shoot the Thrill" which was, that was my favorite version of the y'know it was crazy then Teddy Shapiro went in and did that amazing score for when Holtzmann's running the gauntlet with her pistols."


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