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Gargoyles

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Weisman, Greg

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Richard writes...

In your resume you mentioned a Robotech Mars Force, how does this fit within the bounds of the Robotech series in relation to the other series (Macross, Southern Cross, New Generation and Sentinels)?

Greg responds...

Well, the short answer is that it doesn't. I developed a new Robotech series for Harmony Gold. We went down the road together a little ways, and then they ultimately passed. (I liked it. So it's too bad, I think.)

I'm afraid I can't say anything else about it, because I signed a N.D.A. (i.e. a Non-Disclosure Agreement).

Response recorded on September 20, 2006

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Siren writes...

I was reading your resume and first may I saw WOW! So many great things you have given to people around the world. And second, I'd like to thank you both for your resume and all your wonderful ideas.

I noticed you mentioned you worked on Ducktales. I remember an episode when Scrooge and the nephews go to Scotland. I forget the exact details, but it had to do with Shakespeare and his play "MacDuck". This particular episodes reminds me of you heavily, for obvious reasons.
1.)Were you involved in writing this particular episode?
2.)If so, was it your idea to bring "MacBeth" into the Ducktales Universe?
3.)Any other thoughts on this episode?

Greg responds...

1. Nope.

2. See above.

3. I honestly can't remember it. Which may mean that I never saw it. Or may mean that I just can't remember it.

Sorry if all that disappoints, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one trying to bring the Bard to the masses.

The thing to remember is that I only worked on the very tail end of that series. A tiny bit of work on one sequence of the feature film. And then the last five episodes, including a Valentine's Special and a two-parter about a golden goose.

Response recorded on September 19, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Just looked over the resume that you included in one of your most recent answers, and thought that I'd tell you that I found it amusing and very appropriate that two projects that you'd worked on were feature-length animated versions (which apparently wound up being scrapped before completed) of "The Tempest" and "Macbeth". I certainly can't say that I'm too surprised that you'd be working on them.

Greg responds...

No, it's not particularly surprising, just a bit depressing. I also spent some time working on a Midsummer Night's Dream animated feature. But that never got off the ground either.

Response recorded on September 19, 2006

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Conventions in October

October Conventions:

Hey gang,

I've been invited to attend two more conventions (my eighth and ninth of the year >whew<) in October.

The first is "CON-Sequential" in Memphis, TN, October 14-15th.

http://www.Con-Sequential.com/

The second is the "Mo-Kan Comics CONspiracy" in Kansas City, MO,
October 28-29th.

http://mo-kancomicsconspiracy.com/

If you're in the neighborhood of either or both, please stop by and say hello.

Greg


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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Mark of the Panther". (Boy, we're really coming along well with the rambles now! Isn't it great?) Here are my thoughts on it.

One of the moments that still most stands out to me is the legend of the Panther Queen that was incorporated into the story; the change of animation to set the old tale apart from the present-day action was a particular delight for me. (Although I hadn't even thought until you mentioned it that somebody tuning into "Gargoyles" during this story could have mistakenly believed that they were watching a different television program.)

I've read a little about Anansi before the series came out, though I'm no expert upon him. One thing that I had learned about him, which I think that the episode captures accurately, is that his tricks and schemes had a tendency to backfire upon him - and this is what happens in both the Panther Queen story and the main action. In the Panther Queen story, Anansi, indignant about having to turn the Panther Queen's son into a panther, banishes all the humans from Karadigi - and then realizes too late that he's just sacked his entire hunting force, so who's going to bring him food now? And in the present day, Anansi's getting Fara Maku to hunt for him worked too well - he gorged himself to such an extent that, once out of his web, he was too fat and unwieldy to fight the gargoyles effectively.

Diane's helping to resolve satisfactorally the problem of Goliath's difficulty in acknowledging Angela as his daughter reminds me of something that you once said about why they generally leave mothers out of Disney movies: the mother, if she was there, could have found a solution to the problem so quickly that there'd be barely any story. And once Elisa's mother shows up, she does indeed help solve the Goliath-Angela problem (though without preventing there from being a story).

And I picked up (by the last time that I saw this episode, a few months ago - I regularly watch my "Gargoyles" tapes every summer) on the link between Diane telling Fara Maku about his desire to keep Tea by his side "That's not love; that's selfishness" and her telling Elisa at the end that love is about letting go.

The moment that you mentioned about Diane telling Goliath with a certain indignant dignity "I don't need protection" and Goliath saying "Of course" always amused me - and I found myself also thinking of "mother-in-law" towards Diane at that moment.

The first time that I saw this episode, I thought that Anansi had indeed been slain at the end, though "The Gathering Part One" proved me wrong on that. And, truth to tell, I'm kind of glad that the Children of Oberon are so difficult to kill and that we haven't had any genuine deaths among them as yet in the series. After all, they are (or the bulk of them are) traditional figures in humanity's own myths and legends, part of our cultural heritage. Obviously, a genuine death for Anansi wouldn't result in everyone forgetting the tales about him, but still, his passing, or the passing of any other member of the Third Race, would somehow (to me, at least) diminish the "tapestry of story" that we have gained from them. (When we get to "The Gathering Part Two", I'll mention how Oberon's sentence upon Puck has a similar, if not as strong, impact upon me.)

Thanks also for telling us about how Bronx somehow reminded you and your family of Norman again. (I wonder now how the Cagney scenes in "Gargoyles" would have affected me if I'd seen any of them between the time that my old cat Merlin passed on, two months ago, and the time that I adopted my new kitten Obie.) Norman sounds like he must truly have been quite a dog.

Greg responds...

Norman was indeed quite a dog. I miss him still. We have two new old dogs now, Sammi & Abraham and we still have our cat Bigtime, but we recently lost our cat Iggy during a power outage. And when I say "lost" I mean that literally. Heat wave. Power outage. Open windows. He must have run off. But he hasn't come back.

Kinda know how Hudson felt about Bronx during the World Tour. So I'm hoping Iggy's having fun in his own personal Avalon.

Response recorded on August 23, 2006

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Pheobe writes...

Dear Greg,

What is next for you?

Greg responds...

I'm currently unemployed. Have a few maybes on the horizon, but nothing definite.

However, in January 2006, the second season of WITCH should begin airing. That's what I've been working on most of the last year. I'm very proud of our work on that show. I wasn't involved with the first season at all, but you might want to start checking that out now, so that you're up to speed for what I really think is a kick-ass second season.

I had a great writing staff and a great cast and voice director working under me. Not to mention a terrific boss, Justine Cheynette at SIP Animation. Love her. And I don't often say that about my bosses.

Response recorded on October 31, 2005

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Drew Lung writes...

Hello, I'm a long time fan of the show, 'Gargoyles', and have a few questions.

What inspired 'Gargoyles' in the first place?
How did you get such a unusual idea for a tv series noticed by producers?
Were any of the characters replacements for original concepts you may have had early on?
Do you remember any ideas that didn't soar? (no pun)
And what other tv shows have you taken part in?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I'm curious.

Greg responds...

1. Actual Gargoyles. Also Hill Street Blues. Gummi Bears. Etc. Check out the Archives here at ASK GREG.

2. You've got it backwards. I was an executive at the time. I hire the producers. This time I hired myself. As for how I sold the idea, that took some effort, three pitches, two years and a lot of help from my development team, my colleagues and my bosses, Bruce Cranston, Gary Krisel and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Michael Eisner finally approved us to series.

3. I'm not sure what you mean. As many fans know, the show was originally pitched as a comedy, and every major character except Goliath and Angela (and maybe Bronx), had an antecedent in the comedy development. Demona was Dakota. Xanatos was Xavier. Brooklyn was Amp. Broadway was Coco. Lexington was Lassie. Owen was Mr. Owen. Hudson was Ralph, etc. In later pitches, we did add addtional characters that went through a few changes before they actually hit the screen. Catscan became Talon. C.Y.O.T.E. (or some such acronym) became Coyote, etc. The New Olympians were added in from their own development. And so on...

4. Yes.

5. Lots. Some much more than others, but an incomplete off-the-top-of-my-head list would include: Gummi Bears, Winnie the Pooh, DuckTales the Movie, DuckTales, Talespin, Rescue Rangers, Marsupilami, Bonkers, Goof Troop, Raw Toonage, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Return of Jafar, A Goofy Movie, Bionicle Mask of Light, Atlantis: Milo's Return, Men in Black, The Batman, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear, Max Steel, Gargoyles, Alien Racers, W.I.T.C.H., Invasion America, A.T.O.M., Mighty Ducks, Kim Possible, Quack Pack, Goliath Chronicles, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers, 3X3 Eyes, Ikkei Tossen, Jem and the Holograms, etc.

Response recorded on October 21, 2005

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IKKI TOUSEN

For those of you who have worn out your GARGOYLES first season DVD playing the words "Nice Mask" over and over and over again...

For those of you who have waited and watched for that Panda-La episode of Talespin, just so that you can hear: "Father, the rockets aren't working!"...

For those of you who just can't get enough of the homeless guy in 3x3 Eyes humming the Gargoyles' theme...

I'd recommend you rush out and purchase the four volume DVD set of IKKI TOUSEN (Strength of a Thousand).

Heck, I'd recommend it anyway. I've watched the first three volumes and plan to watch the fourth volume tonight. They're all a lot of fun. The interview with the director is worth the price of admission alone. Loads of action and sexy stuff. (NOT FOR KIDS, BTW! ADULTS ONLY!)

Ikki Tousen.


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Chris Robbins writes...

Do you plan on doing a new series for Disney or any other channel like Cartoon Network.

Greg responds...

Well, I do plan to keep working and earning a living. So... Yep.

Right now, as I've mentioned before, I'm working on the second season of W.I.T.C.H.

The first season (which I was not involved with) is currently airing in ABC Family's Jetix Block and ABC (Broadcast) Saturday Morning. There's some really fun stuff there, so I'd recommend it -- particularly if you want to be prepped for the very cool stuff we have planned for Season Two.

Response recorded on March 03, 2005

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Mike Cohen CKayote@worldnet.att.net writes...

Topic: Weisman, Greg

As a result of watching 'too much' TV as a kid, I find myself wanting to work in writng TV and movies. I'm starting my freshman year of college in August, and I have no idea about how to get into my chosen profession. I tried asking my school's advisors and the film department people and looking on the internet,etc. but nobody knows anything about it.
So I figured that ask someone who's been there is doing that.

So how did you end up with a job writing all those Disney shows? Where did you go school? What did you major in? Who did you have to meet to get where you are?

Thank You Very Much,
Mike Cohen
CKayote@worldnet.att.net

Greg responds...

Well, let's see. By now, you must be almost done with your Sophomore year, and I hope you haven't been waiting that long to hear back from me.

My bio in brief:

B.A. Stanford University in English with an emphasis in Fiction Writing.
M.P.W. University of Southern California. M.P.W. stands for Masters of Professional Writing and my emphasis was in playwrighting.

In between, I worked on staff at DC Comics for two years. And I freelanced for them for about eight years -- beginning during my Junior Year at Stanford and ending after I was well-ensconced at Disney.

Before I left USC, I interviewed at numerous places... and hit it off with Gary Krisel, who was putting together Disney's TV Animation unit. A year later I started there as a VERY junior creative executive. It was supposed to be my day job while I wrote at night. But I didn't do much writing over those five years. Instead, I got steadily promoted, eventually rising to Director of Series Development. I developed numerous shows including Gargoyles, and then moved over laterally to produce that show.

Eventually left for some unfulfilling years at DreamWorks, and then went Freelance.

My first recommendation to anyone who's interested in the biz is to find something else to do... unless you just feel like NOTHING ELSE could do it for you. It's a brutal business full of rejection, so unless you have the passion to carry you through, over and/or around all that brutality and rejection, I'd go elsewhere.

Second rec is to move to L.A. That's where all the action is.

Third rec is to write, write, write.

Fourth is to read, read, read.

Fifth is to learn how to proofread, and practice the art religiously.

Response recorded on February 28, 2005


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