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Andrea L. Marbry writes...

Dear Greg,
Just wanted to offer my very belated congratulations on the Starship Troopers video Roughnecks: The Pluto Campaign, coming out in March 2001 (according to Previews Magazine). Hopefully, this will be the beginning of getting out a whole lot of your work out,
including a certain other show of mine that's near and dear to my heart. Do you know who I can write to in order to get more dvd's and videos of Sony's animated stuff out?

Greg responds...

I don't, no. But you might try RoughneckChronicles.com or something.

I got a copy of that first DVD. I didn't work on those episodes, but they are coming out with a second DVD that has my five Tesca Nemerosa jungle shows on it. It also has a commentary track with me, Producer Audu Paden, Executive Producer Jeff Kline, the various directors of each episode and Rino Romano, the voice of Johnny Rico.

By the way, Troopers has just been nominated for two Emmy awards. One for sound, and the other for Best Animated Series Special Class. If we win the latter than a bunch of us will actually walk away with statues. This is my first emmy nomination. I'm pretty psyched about it.

FYI Gargoyles was nominated for sound emmys. Didn't win, unfortunately. But I was never nominated for that show.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Code Name: Heero Yuy writes...

What is your general views on clipshows? I know when you worked on Starship Troopers, they did a few to make up for the slow production and episodes airing in the wrong order?

Greg responds...

No, that's not what happened. On Starship, they did a few clipshows as replacements -- to save money so that they wouldn't have to produce the expensive last three episodes (that ended the war) -- allowing them to ultimately deliver 40 "episodes" as required by their contract.

Occassionally, a clip-show can be mildly entertaining. The Simpsons have done a few good ones. Friends did one that I kinda liked. But generally, I dislike them. And I particularly didn't care for the Starship clipshows. But I'm biased, as those last three episodes (that didn't get made because of them) were mine.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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SEM writes...

Given what you learned from STARSHIP TROOPERS and MAX STEEL -- if you were told that you could do GARGOYLES again but only if it could be done in 3D Animation would you? Do you think GARGOYLES could even work in 3D?

(I know it's a hypothetical, but this was the main selling point that got VOLTRON back on the air after 10 years as VOLTRON: THE THIRD DIMENSION for 26 episodes.)

BTW for the person who asked what program MAX STEEL is rendered in -- I know Netter Digital (now defunct) used Lightwave, and that Foundation Imaging used Lightwave for season one (as well as for the work they did on STARSHIP TROOPERS). I presume its still being used for the current season but not sure. Lightwave's major competitor is a program called Maya.

Sorry if I wandered too far off topic, Greg, but since I knew this came up thought I'd answer it for the archives.

Greg responds...

Yes, I think Gargoyles could work in 3-D. And if that was my only option for bringing it back, I'd jump at the chance.

If I had multiple options, however, I'd use the animation style that best suited the subject matter of the series.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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hlbimages@juno.com writes...

I've been watching a show called Roughneck: Starship Troopers Chronical and I notive that you are the story editor on it. Great jobs on it by the way. I guess my question is how did you get involve in that and are there any other new shows that you may be attach to because I love your story telling ability.

Greg responds...

I was one of the story editors on it. Hired by Sony after they liked my MEN IN BLACK scripts.

I have a few projects in the works, but it's premature to talk about any of them except 3x3 Eyes. (Check the 3x3 EYES ASK GREG archive for more info.)

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Coldplasma writes...

Hello mr. Weisman!

I know your involvement in Starship Troopers was minimal, but it's only recently that I learned that some episodes never aired:
33.Home Front
38.The Gates of Hell
39.Circle of the Damned
40.Final Inferno.

Do you know if any CGI, voice recording were made or the entire story was scrapped out? Do you know if they are any plans for future episodes? How do you feel that these too-important episodes have been removed?

Also, I've been told they've been some trouble with airing: lots of reruns, production problem with multiple companies,...

So far, I've only seen until "Heart" and the rest of the season will show up in Canada. I hope they don't

Greg responds...

I wouldn't call my involvement minimal.

Voice recordings were made for all those episodes. No animation. But some boarding was done on the last three.

They plan on selling the existing eps on DVD. If those sell well, than they'll make 38-40 as a direct to DVD movie.

And I feel lousy about them being removed. I edited the last three. But it's beyond my control.

You hope they don't show up in Canada? Now, I'm confused.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

The questions keep on coming in!

Have you every seen the cartoon Exosquad? It was the first cartoon series with a serious running plotline I saw. It did not have quite the breath of Gargoyles [what does?], but it was interested in a much smaller timeframe- a devastating war and the events of the last half century or so that created it. Aside from a running story line the thing that most reminded me of Gargoyles in it was the complex theme behind it. It did deal a bit with accepting the strange and different and the consequences of hatred, but even more it dealt with the idea of mankind as beings who can create far beyond their ability to take responsibility for their creations. If you had not heard of it before Gargoyles, did anyone bring it up when you were working on Starship Troopers? [btw, I am greatly enjoying that series and was very happy to see your name at the beginning of a few ep] Whoever came up with Exosquad has probably read Heinlein. As the only member of my family who has not yet read Starship Trooper or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I can only guess that the use of exosuits, jump troops, and pirates descendent from abandoned penal colonies were borrowed from Heinlein- almost as explicitly as Roughnecks does. If you can get your hands on some copies of the series I highly recomend it.

Greg responds...

> The questions keep on coming in!

No kidding! I thought I'd never get through "June 27"! Were you guys having a contest of your own that day to see how many questions you could post?

Anyway, I've seen one episode of Exosquad. Unfortunately, it was a middle episode and I couldn't keep all the characters straight. I didn't stick with it. But I've heard great things.

But no, I don't recall anyone mentioning it while we were working on Troopers. There's no doubt however that Heinlien orginated the ENTIRE powersuit, sci-fi jump troops, space marines idea. (I'm not sure about the pirates.) It may all seem old hat today -- heck, we even borrowed from it in Gargoyles more than once -- but it all originated with Heinlein.

I've never read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" either, by the way. But I've read a lot of other Heinlein. He's definitely one of my all time favorite Science Fiction authors.

Response recorded on August 02, 2000

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Sixshot writes...

In the Starship Troopers episode "The Face of Truth", there was a message at the end: in memory of Min Zin. Who is Min Zin?

Greg responds...

Sorry. I don't know. That wasn't one of my episodes. And I was never on staff at Sony, so I didn't know everyone.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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jp12@mail.csuchico.edu writes...

I love the show. I can't watch it here in Chico, Ca. But, your work with villians is great. One vision for 2 seasons is very rare.
1. How much does it cost to produce 66 episodes?
2. Does it vary much for different studios/companies?
3. Any way I can get some of the material you show at the gathering? NY is pretty far from CA. I can't afford the trip.
4. What do you feel is your best work (not a specific "1", but things you'd recommend)?
5. I know and like Max Steel. Anything else you're working on now (even single episode plots)?

Thanks for listening. If you're even half as busy as I am, you'd be pressed to answer these in a timely manner. I'm glad just to hope for a response eventually.

Best Wishes, John Peacock
P.S.: Gargoyles is one of the few shows I'd be proud to watch with children. Hope yours keeps enjoying it.

Greg responds...

1. We averaged between 400K and 500K per episode in the first two years. The third year had, I believe, a lower budget.

2. I'm not sure what you mean.

3. New York isn't that far from Orlando, Florida -- which is where this year's Gathering is. (Next year's is in California.) And where were you during the TWO NYC Gatherings in 97 and 98? Anyway, what material did you have in mind?

4. On Gargoyles or period? Gargoyles is my best work. I'm fond of Starship Troopers and the comic book Captain Atom too.

5. I just completed voice directing a Japanese Anime video series called 3x3 Eyes. It should be available in September.

Response recorded on July 24, 2000

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ComicCon & Shakespeare

Looks like I'll be going down to San Diego for the ComicCon. I'll be appearing Sunday Morning the 23rd of July at a Starship Troopers panel, along with a lot of other people who worked on the show, particularly Producer Audu Paden and the voice of Johnny Rico, Rino Romano.

I'm also thinking about attending the performance of HENRY V at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre on Saturday night the 22nd.

If you see me at either event, say hi.

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Xeennexx writes...

Dear Greg:

First off, I would like to say that Gargoyles is one of my all time favorite shows (and this is coming from a woman that has, for the most part, given up on TV). There is not a thing more I can say about it that has not already been said, other than this: Gargoyles is one of, if not "the", greatest animated shows of all time (heck, the USA Today poll proved that). I very glad that you put so much into Gargoyles, and I'm sad it had to end all too soon. In short, Thank You.

However, I'm glad that you have moved on and continue to produce quality animated programing (I'm particularly interested in the English adaption of 3x3 Eyes, as that I've been a fan of Japanise animation for years, but I don't speak a word of Japanise). One of your most recent works interests me (and is the reason for my questions, forthcoming). It is Starship Troopers: Roughneck Chronicles. What I would like to know is:

1) How did you like working on SST:RC and are there any intesting stories you have about your experiences working on the show?

2) Did you wish they had covered more of the controversal ideas that were in Heinlein's novel?

3) I know that 4 of the planned episodes for the show were scrapped due to budget and production problems.
a) What are your feelings on this?
b) The last 3 eps that would have ended the Bug War
were, I have learned, written by you. So:
1) Since the possibility of seeing these last eps
produced are remote to nil, is there any info you
can give out about the story line of these eps,
or are you bonded by contract not to reveal any
info on the show?
2) If these eps in question had been produced, would
there have been any room for a second season?

Thank you. And I look forward to seeing you at The Gathering 2000.

Greg responds...

1. Nothing is perfect, but STARSHIP was without doubt the most fun I've had in animation since Gargoyles. Much of the credit for my enjoyment should go to Producer Audu Paden. I was just a lowly story editor on Starship, one of many actually, but Audu included me in almost every stage of the production -- at least as far as my episodes were concerned. I didn't have the kinds of controls I had on Gargoyles. I certainly didn't have final say, but for the first time in years, I felt like my input was valued. And that's cuz Audu made a space for me on his team.

As for stories, yeah, I've probably got a few. But anecdotes aren't the kinda thing I like to put in writing. Could get me in trouble later. Ask me at the Gathering. We have some very special STARSHIP/ROUGHNECK events planned. Really not-to-miss if you love that show. And if you love that show, Gargoyles and anime, then you just have to come.

2. I tried to slide a few in there, particularly in my script "Liquid Dreams". And yeah, I wish we had the time and space for a little more of that kind of thing. But ultimately, what you can get away with in a prose novel of whatever length is different from what can be fit into a twenty-two minute episode, wherein each episode has to tell a complete story from beginning to end.

3. a. It really bothers me. Particularly since three of those four were episodes that I edited. They were the big climactic episodes that ended the war. Part of the final sequence of five set in Colorado and Hawaii. The two that did air were "Funeral for a Friend" (written by Greg Weisman) and "Spirits of the Departed" (written by Jon Weisman). The three that didn't air were "Gates of Hell" (written by Lydia Marano), "Circle of the Damned" (written by Cary Bates) and "Final Inferno" (written by Michael Reaves). As you can imagine it was a pretty kick-ass story. And I'm crushed that it wasn't produced.

3. b. First off they weren't WRITTEN by me. They were edited by me. Important distinction.

3. b. 1. Well, I'm not sure what my contractual obligations are, but I don't know how remote those chances are. Their non-production isn't etched in stone.

3. b. 2. Yes. In fact, Audu, myself and John Skeel had already had multiple discussions about our plans for a second season.

Response recorded on June 27, 2000

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