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Old July 2 2009, 06:30 PM   #1
Turd Ferguson
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Ghost Busters Timeline

So I watched my brand spanking new Blu-Ray copy of Ghost Busters last night, and started wondering something while watching it.

What was the timeframe that the Ghostbusters were in business? I don't think it was that long based on some dialogue.

First off, they get the loan from the bank. Shortly after, Stantz buys the hearse and Dana comes with her refrigerator demon, with Ray working on the Ecto-1. When Venkman returns, they're eating and toast their first customer, then get the call for the hotel, whereby the Ecto-1 is finished.

After the Ghostbuster montage, Jeanine is bitching that she's "been working for two weeks without a break and you promised me you'd hire more help." We can assume this two weeks is since the hotel incident and also around this time is when Winston Zeddemore is hired.

Now after Walter Peck shuts down the power grid, and they go talk to the mayor, Winston says he's "only been with the company a couple of weeks." They then go off to fight Gozer.

Now, adding this time up (and taking into account Ghostbusters II where they were sued and essentially shut down) it seems they were only in business for one, possibly two months, max.

Does this sound right, or is the Ghostbuster franchise one of the shortest success stories of all time?
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Old July 2 2009, 07:56 PM   #2
captcalhoun
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

sounds about right to me.
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Old July 2 2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

The narrative flow and events referenced therein make little sense. Going off memory, Louis mentions very early on in the movie that he is having a part for clients suggesting that it was relatively soon which, when finally shown, takes place after Dana's fridge incident, the Ghostbusters' rise in popularity, and the day before they get arrested. Now, he could have been planning really, really in advance, but that would seem odd.

Then again, it is Louis.
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Old July 2 2009, 11:06 PM   #4
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Maybe he had more than one party.

Or more likely, it took months to find anyone that would attend.
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Old July 2 2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Well, it gets more complicated if you count the animated series. I used to think the second movie was incompatible with The Real Ghostbusters because of the lawsuit/shutdown element, but then I came across a rather clever fan chronology postulating that the lawsuit actually "meandered in court" for some three years before any legal action was taken.
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Old July 3 2009, 01:55 AM   #6
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Things to note: When Dana is having her interview with Egon, Ray, and Peter she says that she hasn't been back to her apartment in three days. So at least three days pass between when Dana has her experience in her apartment and when she walks into the firehouse.

We've to to assume at least a full day passes between this and their first job at the Hotel Sedgwick since it'd take at least that long to get Ecto-1 up and running and in prime condition -however the boys DO toast to their first customer -Dana- before going on their first call and it only makes sense to do this if this is occuring later that same day. So maybe Ray put some hustle in on Ecto-1 between the interview with Dana and that night?

We've got to assume it took atleast a full day to get the loan(s) approved, find the firehouse, and "move in." Probably at least a full week would've had to pass for them to get all of the equipment built, esp. the containment unit, and Ray's "relax, I found the car" suggest maybe they'd been looking for one for a while.

The montage would've had to take place over the course of weeks for their populairty to rise but this also could've only taken place over one or two weeks -an appropriate amount of time for Egon and Ray to do their research, for Louis to plan his party (though a month-long planning wouldn't be out of line.)

All and all, I'd say the move takes place over the course of a month between Egon, Ray, and Peter getting kicked off the university through the battle with Zull.

And I don't, personally, accept that cartoon series as "canon" (infact the cartoon itself suggests that the movies do not occur in their universe only that the movie we saw was -losely- based on the Ghostbusters' first job) and, obviously, the second movie takes place five years later and itself likely only over the course of a few weeks.
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Old July 3 2009, 02:48 AM   #7
Chris3123
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
And I don't, personally, accept that cartoon series as "canon" (infact the cartoon itself suggests that the movies do not occur in their universe only that the movie we saw was -losely- based on the Ghostbusters' first job)
FWIW, Vigo was mentioned and some mood slime was actually used in the episode "Partners In Slime". I don't count RGB as part of the movie's continuity myself, but I just wanted to throw that in there.
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Old July 3 2009, 03:59 AM   #8
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Maybe he had more than one party.
No, he specifically said it was the party for his clients.

Or more likely, it took months to find anyone that would attend.
This, I can believe. Oh, Louis, will you ever win?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, it gets more complicated if you count the animated series. I used to think the second movie was incompatible with The Real Ghostbusters because of the lawsuit/shutdown element, but then I came across a rather clever fan chronology postulating that the lawsuit actually "meandered in court" for some three years before any legal action was taken.
Clever, but that would have to be really forced to make it work fully. In the cartoon, if I remember correctly, the GB were superstars and pretty much loved by all. Also, the supernatural was pretty common place and easily believed. In GB2, the implication was that the GB were frauds and were properly shut down and were, more or less, disgraced and considered has-beens.

Also, legally speaking, if they were sued by every "state, county, and city agency in New York", I highly doubt they would have even been allowed to continue business until the cases were settled.

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Things to note: When Dana is having her interview with Egon, Ray, and Peter she says that she hasn't been back to her apartment in three days. So at least three days pass between when Dana has her experience in her apartment and when she walks into the firehouse.

We've to to assume at least a full day passes between this and their first job at the Hotel Sedgwick since it'd take at least that long to get Ecto-1 up and running and in prime condition -however the boys DO toast to their first customer -Dana- before going on their first call and it only makes sense to do this if this is occuring later that same day. So maybe Ray put some hustle in on Ecto-1 between the interview with Dana and that night?

We've got to assume it took atleast a full day to get the loan(s) approved, find the firehouse, and "move in." Probably at least a full week would've had to pass for them to get all of the equipment built, esp. the containment unit, and Ray's "relax, I found the car" suggest maybe they'd been looking for one for a while.
Given Peter's non reaction to Ray's declaration about the car, it is implied that only Ray was worried about it (which is pure Ray ).

Also, Dana specifically says two days that she hadn't been back to her apartment.

Lets see, in the film it goes like this:

1) They agree to buy the firehouse.
2) Dana has the fridge experience
--Two days pass, as explained by Dana--
3) Ray gets the car/Dana visits the GB/Peter goes to Dana's apartment

Since they really fixed up the fire house, were able to interview and hire a secretary, and were able to film and get a commercial to air, I would argue that at least a week and a half to two weeks passed between 1 and 2.

Presumably, the "petty cash" meal takes place the evening of Dana's visit to the GB (the shooting script confirms it). If that is the same day as 3, then Ray got that car fixed up pretty damn fast, as it was bought earlier that day.

Something interesting to look at: what they are wearing. When Ray brings the car, he is wearing a blue, jeans-type jacket. Peter is wearing a sweater vest with a stripped button down shirt. The next scene (when Dana visits), Peter is in a complete change of clothes. Ray, however, seems to be wearing the same thing (you can argue, possibly, that he's merely wearing work clothes). So, it is possible, just possible that there was a time gap between when Ray bought the car and when Dana visited.

Yet, that still leaves us with Ray working on the clearly unfinished car earlier in the day, yet it being completely finished by that evening. How about this possibility: Ray fixed up the car and got it painted between the few days (two at most), but he was able to find another car to pull some spare and extra parts.

The other thought is that, even though it is implied otherwise, the hotel encounter takes place on a later day. Evidence for this is that they are all in a change of clothes, including Janine (and it would be odd for her to change, since she doesn't live in the firehouse).

The montage would've had to take place over the course of weeks for their populairty to rise but this also could've only taken place over one or two weeks -an appropriate amount of time for Egon and Ray to do their research, for Louis to plan his party (though a month-long planning wouldn't be out of line.)
I would think the montage takes place over the period of a month. Considering the rise of their popularity, their appearances on talk shows and numerous publications, and the growing concern by the EPA. A month would seem long enough, but not too long.

All and all, I'd say the move takes place over the course of a month between Egon, Ray, and Peter getting kicked off the university through the battle with Zull.
I would argue the whole movie takes place over the period of 3 months.

And I don't, personally, accept that cartoon series as "canon" (infact the cartoon itself suggests that the movies do not occur in their universe only that the movie we saw was -losely- based on the Ghostbusters' first job) and, obviously, the second movie takes place five years later and itself likely only over the course of a few weeks.
The events of the movies do happen in the cartoon, just slightly differently (especially in GB2's case).
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Old July 3 2009, 04:01 AM   #9
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Presumably, the "petty cash" meal takes place the evening of Dana's visit to the GB (the shooting script confirms it). If that is the same day as 3, then Ray got that car fixed up pretty damn fast, as it was bought earlier that day.
Not only did he get it fixed, he got it painted and mounted with equipment!

I would think the montage takes place over the period of a month. Considering the rise of their popularity, their appearances on talk shows and numerous publications, and the growing concern by the EPA. A month would seem long enough, but not too long.
I just got done watching Ghostbusters and I agree with your later statement that the movie takes place over the course of three months. It's possible Louis planned an "end of the quarter" party for his clients three-months in advance, or it's a common occurance for a good quarter for him to have a party and he was filling in Dana who maybe had just recently moved into the building and wouldn't know about the regular occurance.

All of the magazines and interviews they were in would obviously imply a series of weeks or even months must have passed. (How far in advanced would magazines like Omni be written, anyway?)

The Petty Cash-Dinner is the only oddity because of Ecto-1. We have to accept that either Ray got the car fixed, painted, and ready within a single day -which is impossible considering all of the mechanical work it needed not to mention the paint job- or they had their Petty Cash-Dinner a day or two after Dana's visit and since they were "fully ready for business", out of money, and only had had one customer it may of been the best time for them to toast to their customer. I suppose it's not completely unreasonable.

So, yeah, the movie taking place over the course of a couple/three months seems the most reasonable if not for all of the interviews and magazine articles alone.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:05 AM   #10
Admiral Jarok
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Broccoli wrote: View Post
The events of the movies do happen in the cartoon, just slightly differently (especially in GB2's case).
It's been a long time (maybe I should get the DVDs) since I've seen RGB. How does the cartoon deal with the events of GB1 and 2?
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Old July 3 2009, 04:15 AM   #11
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Admiral Jarok wrote: View Post
Broccoli wrote: View Post
The events of the movies do happen in the cartoon, just slightly differently (especially in GB2's case).
It's been a long time (maybe I should get the DVDs) since I've seen RGB. How does the cartoon deal with the events of GB1 and 2?
In the case of GB1, an episode tells in flashback -as Peter talks to a reporter- about what happened after the encounter with Gozer and how Slimer came to live with them. They returned to the firehouse and effected repairs, Slimer was hiding out in the building and Peter was supposed to toss out the old gray uniforms as they were "contaminated" with all of the PK energy they were exposed to in their encouter with Gozer and their new (colored) uniforms had arrived. (Peter simply stuck them in box and tossed them in the corner of the basement instead of disposing of them properly.)

They eventualy get business going again, discover Slimer is hanging out and decide -to Peter's chagrin- to keep Slimer around for study. The PK-energy in the uniforms manifests goulish proxies to the Ghostbusters (with their own packs and everything) and they go around causing trouble. Eventually the "real" Ghostbusters defeat them with considerable help from Slimer which gets Peter to -reluctantly- agree to keep the Little Spud around.

I sort-of stopped watching my RGB cartoon DVDs about mid-way through the series as I got distracted by something else and haven't picked up again so I never saw the episode(s) that dealt with the aftermath of the Vigo encounter.

As I recall from a child they "suddenly" at the start of the season have Louis working in the firehouse and there's other changes too to keep more "in line" with GB2's apperance (thankfuly not including the "two" sign ghost on the door of Ecto-1) there must've been a later episode that discussed the aftermath in flashback.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:29 AM   #12
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Broccoli wrote: View Post


Clever, but that would have to be really forced to make it work fully. In the cartoon, if I remember correctly, the GB were superstars and pretty much loved by all. Also, the supernatural was pretty common place and easily believed. In GB2, the implication was that the GB were frauds and were properly shut down and were, more or less, disgraced and considered has-beens.

Also, legally speaking, if they were sued by every "state, county, and city agency in New York", I highly doubt they would have even been allowed to continue business until the cases were settled.
That's one thing I dislike about the second movie, after the events of the first movie I don't see how it's possible anyone expect perhaps for a small minority could think the Ghostbusters are frauds. Stay Puft did a lot of damage, including stepping on a church. Ghosts were running rampant all over New York since the containment grid failed (what happened to them over the years while the Ghostbusters were sued? I doubt they just went away since Slimer is still around in Ghostbusters 2).

Suing the Ghostbusters also seemed really harsh to me, though it's never established if Stay Puft could be injured or killed by traditional weapons or not I have my doubts considering he was a god. I would say chances are good that the Ghostbusters are the only one who could of stopped him.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:34 AM   #13
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Yeah, I never "bought" them getting tossed out of business/sued out of business either. Let's face it, GB2 is just a mess.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:34 AM   #14
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

It's also unclear how fast they were shut down between the first and second films. GB2 says '5 years later' but in the courtroom when they're firing up the equipment Peter says "It's been a couple years since we used these things...". General language, though.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:41 AM   #15
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Re: Ghost Busters Timeline

Broccoli wrote: View Post
Given Peter's non reaction to Ray's declaration about the car
You need to watch Murray's facial expression after Aykroyd drops the "Only $4800" line, then.
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