LMW Retrospectives – Episode 1 (Pinwheel “Clock Man” Short)


Hey guys, dycaite here. So, this is the
first installment in a new little series I’m gunna try and do called LMW
Retrospectives, where I just recount, from my personal perspective, the lost
media searches that I’ve been involved in. I chose today’s topic for the first
episode as I feel that we are hot on the heels of finding it at this point, but
just now really need to focus on spreading the word and making as many
people aware of this thing as we can and that thing is the Pinwheel Clock Man
short. It was in mid to late 2013 that I first heard of the Pinwheel Clock
Man short and the search effort for it that had kicked off a year earlier, but
that had sort of petered out by that time. Funnily enough, this one came onto my
radar not long before the Crack Master search came to an end, which, this search
almost feels to me like, for lack of a better phrase, a spiritual successor to
the Crack Master search. You know, creepy kids’ cartoon, barely anyone remembers it, people think it’s fake but it ends up
being real and surfacing (or, at least that’s how I’m hoping this one ends up
going down), but having said that I’m of the utmost confidence that it IS real
and I’m really hoping that this video helps to dispel the doubt that I know a
lot of people out there have in terms of whether this thing actually exists, or is
just another creepypasta or something like that. Before I go any further, lemme
just backtrack somewhat, just for those who are unfamiliar, back to the post that
started it all in 2012, on bungie.net’s off-topic board The Flood. A user by the
name of Commander Santa, in early 2012, posted a thread on The Flood about
an animated short he had seen on Nickelodeon’s Pinwheel as a child. He
described the short as featuring a young boy in bed, late at night. As the wall
clock above his head strikes midnight, a discoloured man emerges from it and
snatches the boy away, taking him (via some sort of elevator) on a terrifying
adventure, before returning him home. Despite only having this short
description and a small comic strip rendition by Santa, the search caught on
pretty quickly and it didn’t take long for word of the Clock Man to spread to
other online communities. Anyway, cut to January of 2014. The Crack
Master search (and many months of intense detective work) had come to an
end for me and I really began setting my sights on the Clock Man short, At which point I wrote an article for it
on the Lost Media Wiki. In the year that followed, I attempted to contact various
outlets like Nickelodeon and TV stations that had aired Pinwheel, in the hopes of finding
more info on the Clock Man, but had no success, often putting the search to the
side, due to just the sheer lack of information and the crushing
disappointment that that can bring, which is something that I was, you know, very
familiar with coming off of the back of the Crack Master search. Now, by this point, as
I mentioned earlier, the initial search for Clock Man had pretty much petered
out, though there still remained leads that had not been contacted, most notably of all, a man named Michael
W Howe. Now, a decade earlier, in 2004, in an animationnation.com forum thread on
scary animations (said forums now being accessible only via the Wayback Machine),
the aforementioned Michael W Howe described a short uncannily similar to
that of Santa’s Clock Man description, with a few notable differences. In
Michael’s version, the protagonist is a girl, who is given a pair of red shoes
by her mother and told not to lose them. She inevitably does lose them however
and decides to ask a local wizard for help. He helps her retrieve her shoes on
the condition that she tell her mother the truth that she
had originally lost them. She neglects to tell this to her mother
though and the wizard is shown appearing in various floors of the girl’s
house, as eerie music plays. He emerges from the wall clock above her bed and
takes her away, demanding to know why she didn’t keep her end of
the deal. To make up for this, she ends up sewing stars into the night
sky, before being returned home. On the surface, these descriptions are actually
quite different, but both contain one very crucial thing, which is,
of course, the man coming out of the clock. Now, upon first reading
Michael W Howe’s post, it became clear to me that there was some short out there
where a man eerily comes out of a clock and steals a child away, whether or
not Santa’s recollection of events was 100 percent accurate, these posts
were made almost a decade apart, as I said, so it was just so apparent to me
that this wasn’t some quick creepypasta someone had just whipped up on a whim. So, I hear you ask “what makes people so
sure that this is nothing more than a creepypasta?” Here’s the thing: Commander
Santa made an update to his original thread at one point, alluding to the
notion that Pinwheel used to hypnotise children and that the Clock Man may have
been a false memory as a result of that. The thing is though, I’ve asked Commander
Santa personally about this and he has confirmed that it was nothing more than
him having a bit of fun, probably not the best time or place for
it, but what are you gunna do. Another reason for the doubt was Commander Santa’s
sudden departure from The Flood. As it turns out, he had (in his own words)
banished himself from the forums until such a time that the short was unearthed,
in a sort of show of commitment. This made things evidently more
difficult for me in terms of tracking him down, but I was able to get onto
him via NintendoAge in early 2015. We passed various bits of info
back and forth, but in the end we didn’t really have anything new to go on, so I
decided that I would try and contact Michael W Howe. I was successful in
tracking down who I had deduced to be him (and I would later find out that it
was indeed him), though every time I tried to contact him, either via Facebook or his
blog (his blog, by the way is called The Entertainment Nut, go check it out,
it’s good stuff). But, yeah, when I initially tried reaching out, he didn’t respond. Now,
fast-forward to September of 2015 and I have just released Rapsittie Street Kids
for Found Media Week. I thought it would be fun to just Google “Rapsittie Street Kids” and see if there were any new, like, reviews of it, or anything that had gone
up since I posted it and the most amazing thing happened. I came across a
2011 blog post on the film that I had come across earlier in my searches, but it
was only then that I made the profound realisation that the person who had
posted about it was none other than Michael W Howe, at The Entertainment Nut. So, I posted a link to the upload on said
page and he promptly responded, curious as to how I got it… But, ah, that’s a story
for another time… Anyway, I told him he could email me
about it and that I also had something I wanted to ask him about Pinwheel. He
emailed me shortly thereafter and, to my delight, knew straight away which
Pinwheel short I was referring to (I guess he’d been asked about it before, because
Commander Santa had modified his 2012 Flood post to include Michael’s
description as a likely contender). He also confirmed that he hadn’t
responded to my original reach out posts because he didn’t recognise
me and, hey, fair enough; there’s a lot of crap on the internet, so
I don’t really blame him. So, Michael was very kind and went on to give me the
most comprehensive, in-depth rundown of the short to date, which I
will now read verbatim: So, yeah, that was the extent of Michael’s rundown,
but it was very extensive. Now, as Michael was born in 1980, this places his
recollection of the short airing between 1985 and 1987. With this new
information in hand and my enthusiasm for the search rejuvenated, I decided to
send the rundown to Commander Santa, who confirmed that it was indeed one and the
same as the Clock Man short he had originally described, but that he must
have misremembered certain parts of it. Now that we had a solid, in-depth
description to go off, I decided to reach out, once again, to people involved with
the making and airing of Pinwheel, this time, however, I decided to contact the
creators individually, rather than the studio that produced it and the stations
that aired it, and I was almost immediately successful. A very kind man by the name
of Michael Karp, who worked as a writer, director and voice actor on Pinwheel,
responded to a message I left on his Stage 32 page. He went on to say the
following: Michael then went on to
tell me that he had had correspondence with Tippy some years ago via email and
that he may be able to get me in touch with her. Shortly after that, he followed
through with Tippy’s email address, who I forwarded the info onto. Tippy Fortune (aka
Lois Fortune), executive producer on the show, was also very kind and promptly
responded with the following: Now, I did manage to get in touch with
one of those organisations, but they were unable to help me, sadly. Other Pinwheel staff
members that I contacted were James Colistro (who sadly didn’t reply)
and also Louis Phillips and Bob Perlman, who were also both kind
enough to reply, but sadly weren’t really able to provide me with anything
I hadn’t already found out via Michael and Tippy. So, that’s pretty much where
we’re at right now. I’ve posted more or less all of the info I currently have on
hand in a thread on the LMW forums, if you wanted to check that out and/or
participate in the discussion. I’m now convinced that the key lead in
getting this is Coe Films. Sadly, Bernice Coe passed away in 2001, though I was
able to find the contact information of her daughter Jane, who I emailed about
the search a few months back, with all the information currently at my disposal. She replied favourably and sounded
enthusiastic about helping, but, sadly, as of this recording, she hasn’t sent me any
follow-up emails, though I did send one a few weeks back, just in case my previous
one went into her spam folder or something, so, I’m really hoping that
something comes of that. Either that or people with old recordings of Pinwheel, I
think is gunna be the way that we get this (IF we get this). My friend Bedhead
Bernie and I have scoured through and catalogued every morsel of online
Pinwheel footage we could get our hands on, but sadly, the Clock Man was nowhere
to be found. If you know anyone who might know
ANYTHING about where to find Clock Man, ANYTHING at all, maybe you know someone
who collects VHS tapes that might have recorded some Pinwheel, or maybe you know
someone who works at Nickelodeon, ANYTHING like that, please pass this information on. Also,
please refrain from contacting anyone that I’ve already contacted about this, the last thing I want to do is inundate them
with emails. So, Jane Coe, Tippy Fortune, all the names that I’ve mentioned here have
already a) given all the info they have, or b) not yet responded, in which case I
feel it’s best to just wait it out, be patient and see what happens. Now,
speaking of Bedhead Bernie, why don’t you go and check out his Animation
Warehouse episode on Clock Man, also released today, where he covers the short in
a much more historic and concise manner, as opposed to having to wade through the
long-winded ramblings of a madman like myself. This has been an LMW Retrospective, if
you enjoyed it, please do give the video a like and/or consider subscribing, for
future LMW Retrospectives. Next time I’ll finally be spilling the beans on how I got
Rapsittie Street Kids, so keep an eye out for that. I’m dycaite, hope to catch you then. *electricity buzzing*
*light bulb shattering* What the hell? *thud*

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