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I posted this in the comment room, but Todd suggested I repost it here...
Sometimes I just don't have anything Gargoyles for us to do. And I'm not sure if just doing old episodes is all that interesting. And the other things have been fun... at least it seemed that way to me.
Here's a history of the works of the GATHERING PLAYERS...
1998 - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS (an unproduced pilot I wrote)
1999 - THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES (a rejected pilot I wrote)
2000 - ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (the last arc of the series, which I story edited, half of which was unproduced. Written by me, Jon Weisman Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves.)
2001 - GARGOYLES: "Hunter's Moon, Part Three" (Note: this was the first time that we actually did something gargoyles related for the radio play. This included scenes that were cut for time from the original. Written by Michael Reaves.)
2002 - TEAM ATLANTIS: "The Last" (Unproduced episode featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore, written by me)
2003 - GARGOYLES: "The Reckoning" (Performed in honor of Gary Sperling, who co-wrote the script with Lydia.)
2004 - GARGOYLES: "The Journey" (my uncut version of the script)
2005 - DOC SHAKESPEARE (An unproduced pilot written by myself and Sam Bernstein)
2006 - GARGOYLES: "The Mirror" (written by Lydia Marano and Brynne Chandler Reaves)
2007 - GARGOYLES: "Clan Building, Chapters III, IV & V: Invitation Only, Masque & Bash" - (from the comic, premeiring chapter V before it was published. Written by me...)
2008 - Geez, I should probably figure this out soon...
Anyway, you can see that traditionally, we've only done something gargish about half the time. For me it's fun to get to see my unproduced work performed, and it does give the fans a little insight into the biz. In any case, I've never heard any complaints from the folks who attended.
OFF TO CHICAGO... ON A WING AND A PRAYER...
who invented robotic body armour? was it MacBeth?Renard?Xanitos? or someone else?
I think it was Robert Heinlein.
Posting this though I know it will take a while to be answered, but I'm afraid I'll forget to ask you at a later time.
This is a Starship Troopers Roughnecks question about the inscription on Razak's urn. I'm assuming that you scripted what it would say, sounded like your touch.
The quote, near as I've been able to tell, is part of a longer quote by an 18th century female astronomer. Is that right?
Secondly, are there any significance to the dates used? You often tend to choose month/day combinations with personal significance. Just wondering.
Actually, I had nothing to do with the inscription on the urn. In the original script, I described it as a small metal box.
I loved your episode of Video wars for the jem series, I was wondering how you and cary bates came up with the storyline, and why you only seem to have written 1 episode for the show? You and Cary also seem to have done a lot together. Will you two be working on future shows? and personally, I think you both rock! :-) Stnp@yahoo.com
Thanks. Cary & I were writing partners for years, mostly at DC Comics. Nowadays, we still like working together, so I made him a story editor on Gargoyles. And I've had him write scripts for me on that show, plus Starship Troopers & Max Steel.
Basically, if I ever get another show, we'll wind up working together again, most likely.
I'm glad you liked the Jem episode. We only did one, because we were only offered one. I'd have been happy to do more. I'm not too clear (as it's been over 15 years) how we came up with that particular storyline, but I think it was suggested by the bible. Not the premise per se, but it felt like a natural.
HELLO GREG!!!!! I WRITE TO YOU FROM PERU, IN SOUTHAMERICA!!!!!! AND I REQUEST TO YOU THAT EXCUSE MY WRONGS,SINCE MY NATIVE LANGUAGE IS NOT THE ENGLISH. MY QUESTION IS: COULD YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE FINAL EPISODES OF "ROUGHNECKS"?
SERIE WAS AIRED HERE WHIT VERY HIGH AUDIENCE RATINGS, BUT THERE WAS NOT THE FINAL EPISODES. ABOUT THE END OF THE WAR AGAINST THE BUGS. I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT!!!!!!!
PLEASE, GREG, ANSWER ME,SINCE I WRITE YOU FROM PERU (VEEEEEEEEEERY FAR).
THANS AND GOOD LUCK, GREG!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sony had an order for 40 original episodes. And we wrote all 40. And we voice recorded all 40.
But at some point -- I think because one of the CGI studios declared bankruptcy, taking with it a chunk of Sony's budget -- Sony decided that to save money on the order of 40, they'd have to cut four episodes and replace them with four clip shows.
By that time, pre-production was pretty far along. Since this was a money-saving solution (not a creative one) in the first place, it made budgetary sense to shelf the episodes that had the least work done on them. So the last four episodes were shelved. Then someone realized that the episode depicting the destruction of Buenos Aires would be extremely expensive to produce. So that one got shelved and they put the fourth to last episode back into the pipeline.
What's the story on Max Steel? What are you up to lately? Want to have lunch? Call me sometime. firstname.lastname@example.org
About two years ago you posted the above message on ASK GREG.
Unfortunately, I'm so far behind answering ASK GREG questions, I only just saw the message. Two years out, I don't know if this hotmail address will still work. I know that the old e-address I have for you is dead. As are all the phone numbers. I haven't been able to reach you in forever.
On the other hand, I've had the same damn contact info since leaving DreamWorks in 1998.
So I don't feel too guilty.
Anyway, I'm still freelancing. I did a season of Max Steel.
What have you been up to?
FYI: John is a talented producer, that I partnered up with at DreamWorks. We also worked together on ROUGHNECKS at Sony. Haven't talked to him in a long while.
Not a question- just a comment:
I saw a notice on SciFi.com that the latest Starship Troopers DVD was coming out (February). I took a look at it and the other three on Amazon.com. They are a fangirl's ideal! Episodes + lots of comentary (from recognizable names :) + behind the scenes. Now if I could only afford them... oh well, next career.
Still, somebody must be in a profitable profession. If "Amazon.com sale rank" means what I think it does two of the DVDs are among the ~50 and ~60 most common ordered things today. (or were in February)
Between that and noticing Disney has put a little link next to some of the Gargoyles tapes to say "I'd love to see this in DVD form" I think things bode well for a DVD release here too.
Things bode very well, as the DVDs are scheduled to be released in 2004 to coincide with the series tenth anniversary.
And I think those Starship DVDs turned out great. I highly recommend them. (And I get no financial benefit from doing so.)
Hi Greg, I'm a big fan of the Starship Troopers Roughnecks series, which you wrote for. I wanted to ask you, did the worlds we saw the Roughnecks fighting on then comprise all the worlds involved in the "First Interstellar War"? Or were there other worlds being fought over during that war, which we didn't get to see? Also, since I notice that it's referred to as the "First Interstellar War," does that mean that there were other interstellar wars following that one, presumably with different enemies? Again, the show was incredible -- so sorry that more episodes were never made.
I wasn't the producer of that show, just one of the story editors, so what follows is only my opinion.
I believe that there were other planets involved in the war that the Roughnecks just weren't assigned to.
And I know we had plans for a second season and another "war". But we never got to even produce the last three episodes of the first season, so a second season obviously never materialized.
Will you be making any kind of public appearences in Northern California in the foreseeable future? Or anywhere else other than the Gathering? (I don't plan to bombard you with a dozen tedious questions about the ages of various characters while you're minding your own business at the supermarket or anything like that)
I don't often get asked to make "public appearances".
I go to the Gathering every year, because (a) it's a blast and (b) they pay my way. I couldn't afford it otherwise.
I have been going to the San Diego Comiccon the last few years because the Starship Trooper fans have organized a panel and invited me. And I can afford to drive down to San Diego for a day. Don't know if I'm going this year. Don't know if they're doing the panel this year. I haven't been contacted.
I'd happily go anywhere I was invited assuming it was either close and uncostly and/or my way was paid.
So if you want me in NoCal, I'm not that hard to get. I'm a con-whore.
I just wanted to ask, what's your feeling on clip shows? I think they can be fun, in a kind of remember great moments of a series, or recap for new audience members way, but they can also be percieved as laziness on the part of the writers and/or actors. (Or am I completely wrong, and it's really, really hard to find a decent plot contrivance to string a clip show out)
Anyway, what's your feeling on them, and would we ever have seen a gargoyle clip show?
I've never been a huge fan of clip shows -- which are absolutely NOT about writer (or any other staff member's) laziness. Rather they are a reflection of budgetary (and occasionally deadline) concerns. Clip shows are MUCH less expensive, for obvious reasons. And they can be put together, even with a framing sequence, much more rapidly than a typical episode.
I recall admiring some early year SIMPSONS clip shows, for being cleverer than most. And I actually think FRIENDS has done a half-decent job at taking a clip show and making it matter to the audience by tying the flashbacks to a character's important decision. But usually, I don't much care for clip shows. For example the STARSHIP clip shows all make me cringe, though I know that the people involved were working their hardest to make something worthwhile out of them. And the fact that some of my material was used in the clips is flattering, but doesn't actually make it work any better. Of course, I'm biased. Those clip shows on ROUGHNECKS were done to save money -- and they took the place of my last three episodes which would have concluded the series.
Like I said, just not a fan.
Are there any series you have produced or created that you like more than others? Maybe you could write your three favourite ones.
Well, Gargoyles. Duh.
But I also really loved working on Starship Troopers aka Roughnecks, though I was neither the Producer or Creator.
(I assume we're limiting this discussion to series that actually made it on the air.)
Anyway, those would be my top two, in that order.
You idiot, do you actually think he'll answer everyone of those questions. If he actually gives straight forward and clear responses for half of these then I'm a monkey's uncle.
Wow. Anonymous. Looks like you've got a new moniker.
Ladies and gentlemen, "A Monkey's Uncle".
I love being unpredictable.
This question actually deals with the credits listing of the series (yeah, I know it seems I have too much time on my hands, but that's beside the point).
Two things about GARGOYLES' credits stood out. The first you already talked about--the writers recieving credit at the beginning of episodes during the first season. The second however I also found to be quite interesting--GARGOYLES actually gave a true cast list. Usually in these Disney shows, when the credits say, "With the Voice Talents of..." they just lump the actors' names together without telling who they played. GARGOYLES was the first Disney animated series I know of (BUZZ LIGHTYEAR did it later) that actually listed both the actors and the characters they played. This enabled me to (when I started taping the episodes and could hit pause) more fully discover just how diverse and talented this cast was. I could recognize names and see if a person played multiple roles, and I was quite pleased.
1) Is there any story behind this, like there was for giving the writers' credit up front?
2) Whatever the case, I'm glad I could know who played who.
I don't know if this would qualify as a story, but I liked how Batman the animated series listed who played who. It seemed to show more respect for the actors (and as I was a fan of Batman) more respect for the fans who might be VCRing the thing and want to know.
So we followed their lead. And I'm glad we did. I tried to talk SONY into doing that for Starship and/or Max Steel, but they weren't interested.
Monday, June 25, 2001
Once more, Kathy knocked on my door to wake me for the staff breakfast.
Once more, I ignored the first knock.
Once more, she didn't give up.
Once more, I got up and answered the door, telling Kathy I wouldn't make it to the breakfast.
Once more, I did get down there in time to catch the tail end of the breakfast and get some juice.
I checked out of the hotel and put my stuff in my car.
The first panel of the day was for Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles. This was actually the panel I had been most nervous about. The reason? Well, we had gathered an impressive list of guests: David DeLuise, Jamie Haines, Alex Polinsky, Rino Romano, Steve Staley, James Horan, Jason Marsden, Sue Blu, Wayne Boon, Vince Edwards, Russ Isler, Joe Lawson, Dave Hartman, Lydia Marano, Jay Oliva and Tom Pugsley. But the panel was scheduled for 10am on Monday the night after the Masquerade. I was afraid that our panelists would outnumber the attendees. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I played an episode from the series: "Funeral for a Friend". Mostly because it's my personal favorite. Yes, I wrote it. But I just love how it turned out, particularly the epilogue funeral itself. Then we gathered for the Q&A, which was fun. A lot of these guys hadn't seen each other for awhile. Then a short signing. Finally, I had to clear the room for the next panel.
3x3 Eyes. Guests included Thom, Jonathan Klein, Taliesin Jaffe, Mia Korf and Susan Chesler. This was a nice little panel too.
Then a short break and closing ceremonies. Lots of people getting thanked....
I hung out downstairs for awhile, then Brynne and Russ and I meandered up to the con suite. The Dead Dog Party took a while to get started. But we shared a pizza with the constaff. And then I had to take off. (My family missed me.)
And that, was the con.
But once again, I'd just like to thank everyone involved. Jen and the whole constaff, in particular. But also the guests and supporting members. And especially the fans who shelled out and showed up. It was great meeting you/seeing you again, etc. It makes my year. I'm already psyched about Virinia Beach in August, 2002. And, although, I wouldn't wish the workload on any of my friends on the G2001 staff again, I do hope that sometime we have the chance to do the con in L.A. once more. In terms of Gathering the cast and crew that worked on the show, you just can't beat proximity to where they all live. You guys always treat me wonderfully, but it was also very gratifying to see everyone else on the show get a chance to share in your respect and appreciation. GARGOYLES was never a one man operation, and I'm glad you all got the chance to meet each other.
I'd also like to point out, what I'm sure you're all very aware of -- how feeble my Gathering diary is. I have no defense. Except that I'm a fiction writer not a journalist. I've been lurking around though, and diaries by Christine, Lexy, Aaron, BrooklynX, Greg Bishansky, Shan, etc. have really put mine to shame.
And I'm also sorry that I missed a few things at the con. I was so busy, I didn't ever get to see Crispin's mythology seminar. I spent almost no time in the video room and it would have been fun to watch some of the shows with you guys. And although, I did get to the art room, I never had time to just hang there and really absorb everything (I never had time to vote, for example), and I somehow completely missed seeing the MAP that won the big prize. If it's scanned online and there's a link, I'd sure appreciate someone sending the link my way.
Thanks, gang. You rock. (Pun intended.)
Glad to hear that a SECOND Roughnecks video is coming out. Please let us know the release date as soon as possible. If you guys didn't win the Emmy (I don't know WHO did), keep on working. You'll soon get at least one.
Thanks. No we didn't win the emmy. Batman Beyond did.
I think the Tesca arc is coming out on September 18th.
I am a Gargoyles fan too and only found out about the yearly convention just last year. Since i'm my own gardian now( just turned 18). I really want to go to the convention. Is there an official site, and where and when is it located at? like the others said, "there are tons of gargoyles fans out there still" but not too many people know about the convention or what is happening to it's great creator. I hope once again, there will be a movie, 3rd or 4th series of gargoyles. It was getting so good.
I hope this SLOW moving site isn't the only place you asked this question. You'd have gotten a much quicker response from the comment room.
Anyway, here's the website:
I hope you can make it. But as I write this, it's less than two days away.
The convention is June 22 - 25 in Los Angeles, CA at the Universal Sheridan. We have a ton of events planned. Workshops, panels, Q&As on every aspect of Gargoyles and on a couple other shows as well, including ROUGHNECKS, the Starship Trooper Chronicles and 3x3 EYES.
We have over fifty guests attending. Including all of the Gargoyles producers (myself, Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard, Bob Kline). People who developed the series. Artists who worked on it. Post-Production people. Writers and Story Editors. Etc.
And VOICE ACTORS:
We have the voices of Goliath. Of Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway. Of Owen. Of Obsidiana and Griff. Of Duncan & Canmore. Of Odin. Of Petros Xanatos. Of Maria Chavez. Of the Magus. Of Maol Chalvim. Of the Renaissance Hunter. Of Natsilane and the Coyote Trickster. Of young Peter Maza. Of Officer Morgan. Of King Kenneth II. Of Hollywood, Brentwood and Malibu. Of Goon #2. Of Bruno. We've got the voice of Vinnie.
This is really a once in a lifetime event.
I hope to see you all there. Soon.
Will you, one day, do the ramblings on the last Starship Troopers episodes (the ones that never aired, not the clipshows)?
I'm not sure what you mean by "do the ramblings".
We're still hoping those last three Starships will get made for DVD. (A real possibility if the DVDs sell well.) Until I know they AREN'T going to DVD then I'm reluctant to reveal anything.
Don't have time for a large ramble on "Outfoxed", so I'll just comment on a few key points.
Cyberbiotics> I was wondering what became of Cyberbiotics after "Awakening", so it was nice to see them again. And personalizing them in Renard, so we know who it was that got hurt by Goliath and everyone's actions.
I didn't think much of Vogel's resemblence to Owen. I thought they were cousins or something, or perhaps that one was a clone. He also made an interesting character, and I thought his change of heart was believable at the end.
Halcyon Renard. First of all, that is a great name. I like the sound of it. Yes, I did figure that he was Fox's father. I may have flunked out of French class that year, but I knew what Renard meant. He was a great character to, and Robert Culp did a great job doing his voice. Also he made a nice opposite to Xanatos.
Goliath was well-used in this episode. Also nice to show that he's far from perfect in his waiving off his responsibility in the destrcution of Fortress I.
Fox was great in this episode also. She became one of my favorites here. I was surprised by her pregnancy, but it seemed to be a natural step in where she and David were going. Seeing her beat David in their karate match was fun, but I'd like to see him win one some day, he lost to Owen to. Fox's attitude at the end with Renard was priceless, and nice to learn her birth-name. Janine was very appropriate.
Also, with Demona, Elisa, Angela, Fox etc, "Gargoyles" has a lot of great woman characters. That's one thing I really like about this show.
The theme/moral of integrity was a good one, and well handled. I understand how Renard feels when he says it's a daily struggle. I for one have been guilty of taking the easy way out and waiving off integrity. But I try to practice it as often as I can.
This was a very good episode. Not one of my favorites, but very good.
Also, don't ask me how, but I knew that David and Fox were going to have a son. I also knew that IF Goliath and Demona had an egg it was a daughter. Don't ask me how, I just knew.
Hopefully I'll have a longer Ramble/Review for "Revelations". I enjoy doing those.
ANd I enjoy reading them.
I do like writing female characters a lot. My Starship stories also made the females more prominent. Women just appeal to me as subjects. I just hope I do them justice.
I was thinking: Im Max Steel and Starship Troopers, you worked with old garg fellows: Michael Reaves, Lygia Marano, Cary Bates... You invited them or was it a case of great professionals hired to work togheter?
On those shows specifically, I invited them. If you find good writers, you try to work with them over and over.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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:
38.The Gates of Hell
39.Circle of the Damned
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
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.
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.
> 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.