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Are they any animation projects you're working on now along the gargoyles or goth feel?
I just finished working on WITCH. I'm not sure how "goth" it is, though there's an entire medieval world that they visit on a regular basis. What it does have in common is great dense stories, a pretty exciting arc, great writing and great voice performances... if I do say so myself. The storyboards and designs I've seen to this point also look terrific. So we have very high hopes for a kick-ass second season.
What is next for you?
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.
I was perusing the Hudson archives and read your ramble on "Long Way 'Til Morning," where you invited response to the episode. Of all the episodes of Gargoyles (the REAL episodes, not those GC episodes that made no sense), this is one I remember most vividly as one of my absolute favorites. Rarely do we get to see the elderly character in a series be the hero, or have the spotlight on him for almost every second of the show. It was refreshing to see Hudson as the hero and not some doddering old coot who needs to be saved by his fellows.
The things I remember most about the episode are the good lines the characters had. Some of my favorites from Demona are: "Ciao." (Ms. Sirtis's callous tone there just made it work), and "Your courage is admirable, but ultimately futile." Mr. Asner had the best one's, though: "Just dreaming old dreams, I guess." "I can face her. I just can't beat her." And, of course, his speech to Demona at the end about growing old and waiting.
The flashback scenes are great, too. The planting of the Archmage and that whole plotline was brilliant, as was the Prince's faux pas on "the gargoyles will get you," and the whole snowball effect that had on Katharine.
But, again, above all else, Hudson stands out in this episode. He's not sitting at the clocktower watching TV with Bronx--he's in his element, both in the past and in the present, as a warrior. "He favors speed over stealth, which could mean he has traps waiting for us." Brilliant. His heading underground where neither he or Demona could use their wings--clever.
The whole episode just struck me as excellent because it showed Hudson as a competent, wise, and experienced warrior. I don't know...maybe because my grandfather seems like he knows how to do anything under the sun I took more to Hudson craftiness.
Well...those are just my thoughts. Kudos on one of MANY great episodes.
Thanks. Working with Hudson was always fun, and working with Ed Asner continues to be a joy. (He just did a voice for me on multiple episodes of WITCH.)
Of course, it was the Archmage's appearance in "Long Way To Morning" that inspired the plotlines to follow. At the time, we didn't know we were laying pipe for the future. Frankly, it was the amazing performance of David Warner that made us feel like we HAD to bring the character back.
First off, thank you for creating a masterpiece. Undoubtedly one of the greatest animated shows of all time.
Now some questions about the TV industry:
1.You are quoted in the FAQ as advising aspiring television authors "If you can be happy doing anything else, do that thing." Working in the industry for all these years, do you feel that most of your peers have taken this advice, or do you feel surrounded by bitter and disillusioned cynics?
2. Why is it that you were given such a position of significant control with "Gargoyles" relatively early in your career, yet have been unable to find a position in similar role since adding that credit to your resume? Despite being a moderate hit, did losing the ratings war with Power Rangers attach a stigma to the show (and thus you) as "not being able to hit a homerun ", making it harder to get future opportunities (you have done some good work since, but nothing with the creative control or depth of Gargoyles)? Or is the industry understanding of what Gargs was up against (A barinless "Pokemon" like monster) and don't disparage it as a "failure" simply because it couldn't defeat a (ratings) behemoth, and your current situation is just the brakes of a volatile industry?
3. I don't necessarily want to be a TV writer (I'm into prose) but I am a big fan of animation. Do you think the FoxBox and the new Ninja Turtles cartoon (the blocks highest rated program by far), in going up against Kids WB, is in the same position Gargoyles and Disney Afternoon was in in 1995/96? Foxbox has moved to Sundays ostensibly to avoid the competition. As a creative Producer once in a seemingly similar situation, could you just objectively tell a worried fan if this is a sign of The End? ( TMNT has, however been signed on for more episodes up to 52, which according to you is succesful in todays market.) As an aside to this question, how much of keeping an animated show on the air has to do with sales of merchandise as opposed to pure ratings?
Thank you for your time.
1. I am indeed surrounded by bitter and disillusioned cynics. Though most of us are pretty cheerful about it.
2. Mostly it's just the breaks. But I have been stigmatized here and there by various individuals who were in power... some of whom are no longer in power. Also there were a unique set of circumstances at Disney at the time of Gargoyles that resulted in me getting so much creative freedom and control. Circumstances that would be hard to duplicate. But since then, I have had substantial control over my ten Roughnecks episodes. I had some control over the first season of Max Steel. And on the show I'm working on now, W.I.T.C.H., I've had more control, more freedom -- and more fun -- than on any show I've done since Gargoyles.
3. I'm just not up to speed on the Fox Box/Kids WB situation, though I know that Kids WB is phasing out their weekday afternoon kids block. As for merchandise vs. ratings... Both can be HUGE factors. A network can't survive on bad ratings, but most shows have trouble making their budgets without merchandising revenue.
Hey Greg. Concerning all the different series you've worked for and all the jobs you've held in them (creator/producer/voice director/writer/etc.), which do you think actually "sells" your talent to companies to make them want to hire you? Do you feel any particular works of yours outshine the rest and really impress the execs? How well is "Gargoyles" regarded by these company execs, for instance? Or do you think it is instead the fact that you've worked for big name companies in the past, like Disney and WB, that impresses the execs, rather than any particular works you've done? Or when you apply as a freelance writer, for example, do you just submit several sample scripts of your ideas, and they decide from that whether to buy the story or not, regardless of your actual background? I'm just curious how it all works. Thanks!
Uh.... all of the above, really.
There was a time when clearly Gargoyles was actually a liability for me on my resume. Thankfully, that time has passed, at least for now, and it is once again my biggest selling point and calling card. In part, this is because a new mini-generation of execs has surfaced. The group that I was part of respected my work on the show. But then a slightly younger group came in that didn't know the show and didn't care about it. Now we've got a group that remember it fondly from their youth.
Yes, I'm just that old.
But frankly, my "Resume" is GIGANTIC, and I think the mass of it is impressive to people who value experience and good credits. To people who are intimidated by those who might know more than they do, I think it's a roadblock.
Obviously, everything depends on the job at hand. The folks at Disney (but not SIP) were nervous about hiring me for WITCH because they were convinced I wasn't funny enough. It occured to me that they might not have read my comedy scripts, and so I sent a couple of them over. Having read the stuff, I was funny again -- and hired for the job. So the work itself can help. When asked to submit script samples, I have a ton to choose from. So it becomes a guessing game. I try to get a sense of the project or kind of project they're interested in me working on and then choose scripts that seem to fit ... in tone at least. But you never know if you're sending the right material or not. And sometimes they don't bother to ask for it.
It also truly helps to be able to talk a good game. I give good meeting. I have off days, but I generally do pretty well in a room. That helps. It's ironic, because I'm shy and lousy at small talk. But ask me about creative stuff, and you pretty much can't shut me up -- as anyone who's attended a GATHERING can attest to, including, I'm sure, you, Vash . I am also a pretty consumate bullshitter... and yet not afraid to admit that I haven't figured EVERYTHING out yet.
I think that covers the basics.
Do you plan on doing a new series for Disney or any other channel like Cartoon Network.
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.
I meant to post this LAST WEEK, but anyway...
A new animated series, W.I.T.C.H., has premiered both on ABC Family's Jetix block and on ABC (broadcast) Saturday Morning block. (Check local listings.)
Of course, I'm biased. I had nothing to do with this first season, but I do think this is a fun series, with on-going continuity, a large ensemble cast and a larger epic storyline that spans the season's 26 episodes.
I'm currently working on the series' SECOND season, which just got an official pick-up for 26 more episodes. They've done some cool stuff in Season One. And my team is doing some very cool stuff for Season Two. This is the most fun I've had working on a series since ROUGHNECKS & GARGOYLES. (My only real complaint is that it's non-union.)
I've got a great writing staff, but none of them worked on the first season either, so I'll save that for a later post.
In the meantime, I heartily recommend that you get in on the ground floor of W.I.T.C.H. now. They'll be airing the second part of the two-part pilot this Saturday. I assume they'll have a recap to bring everyone who missed part one up to speed. (And for all I know, they may still be rerunning part one on Jetix.)
i am a great fan of your work. i know that gargoyles finished along time ago, but i was wondering if there was anything you will be working on in 2003 for disney or anybody else. also could you please give a brief description
Of course, it's 2004 now. Here's a sample of how I've been keeping busy:
I worked a bit on "Bionicle: Mask of Light"
I wrote a number of episodes for "The Batman" and a couple for "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!", plus one for "Alien Racers".
Right now, I'm working on the second season of W.I.T.C.H. (But I had nothing to do with the first season.)
I'm a Gargoyles italian fan (and i'm ready to bet, the BIGGEST Italian Fan)
I have many questions to ask, but the most important is about the Movie Status:
- Have you noticed that in this period movies about superheroes, comics/cartoons-heroes and, most of all, Fantasy adventures (some citation: X-men,Spiderman,DareDevil,Hulk,The Lord of The Rings,Harry Potter ecc..) are VERY poular? This could be the right moment to find, at last, a good productor,I think, moreover now that 3D technology is so advanced you cold do great things whit this movie..
Are there any news about this?
If productors think the series is not popular enough, why don't you relance it in television, or at last, have you ever think to make it all in comics? (I mean all the episodes)
I study to become a comic-drower and I know that the italian Disney redaction is actually the most productive in Europe (maybe you already eared about "W.I.T.C.H", or you will..)-If you want some other notice about this, you could contact me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , or give a look at me and my boyfriend's site: http://pk.immaginario.net
Anyway, I really hope to see soon "Gargoyles The Movie" at my Cinema ;)..Belive me, I perfectly know what it means to create your own characters and see them grow up, wishing them to become famous. So never give up, ok?
Thanks for your attencion,
Anyway, I really
I'm afraid the ONLY live-action movie news I have is that Touchstone is no longer pursuing the project.
I think you've got an exaggerated view of my power over the project. I'd love to make a movie, a television show, a comic book, ANYTHING.
It took me years to convince them to release the first season on DVD. Buy that in huge numbers, and that'll make convincing Disney to do something else much easier.
It is so funny that you brought up WITCH a full two years ago, long before I'd heard of the property. Now, I've read all 27 issues of that DPI comic book. And I'm producing and story editing the second season of the t.v. series.
I got a job!!!!
I'll be producing the SECOND season of a series called W.I.T.C.H. for SIP Animation and ABC Family's Jetix block.
I had nothing to do with the FIRST season, but I'm rooting for its success... because frankly if it doesn't do well, then you'll never get to see the neatokeen stuff I'm planning for season two.
The first W.I.T.C.H. "minisode" premieres on Jetix on Saturday morning, October 30th. (Check your local listings.) Again, I had nothing to do with it, but I do think it's fun stuff. (And if you love me, you'll support it ;)
Oh, and while I'm at it, I think my first episode of THE BATMAN, "The Big Chill" featuring Mr. Freeze airs THIS Saturday, October 23rd on Kids WB. (Again, check your local listings.) It features the voice of Clancy Brown (Hakon, Wolf) as Freeze.
And also keep an eye out for the two episodes of SUPER ROBOT MONKEY TEAM HYPERFORCE GO! which I wrote for Jetix. I'm not sure exactly when they're airing, but I'll keep you posted.