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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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Coldplasma writes...

Max Steel questions:

1.In the first episode of Max Steel, I noticed the reference to "biting the knee caps off". It was amusing to see that, at least for us Gargoyles fans :-) Will all the Max Steel episodes have references to Gargoyles, just like Futurama has reference to The Simpsons?

2.What company created the CGI Max Steel? Is it the same that did Roughnecks? These are the best CGI I've seen so far. The hair detail and the backgrounds are very well made.

Greg responds...

1. I doubt I slipped a garg reference into EVERY episode of Max. For starters, you want those things to be fairly organic. If they're forced they're not funny, even to those in the know. They're just labored. And besides, for those not in the know they'd stick out like a soar thumb.

But trust me, there are a number of Garg references, though to be fair, the one you cite above is really a Monty Python reference common to both shows.

The fun thing was slipping garg in-jokes into our English dubbing of 3x3 Eyes. Once both volumes are out on video and dvd, I'm gonna hold a contest here to see who can find the most garg references in that one. Some slap you in the face and are pretty funny. Some are much more subtle.

2. Two different companies worked on Max Steel. The first was Netter Digital. They did episodes 1-4 and 9. That's "Strangers", "Sacrifices", "Shadows", "Sportsmen" and "Sabres". Then Netter and Sony had a parting of the ways. And Foundation Imaging, which did the bulk of the Roughneck/Starship Troopers episodes took over for 5-8 ("Seraphim", "Spear-Carriers", "Snow-Blind" and "Sharks") and 10-13 ("Sphinxes", "Swashbucklers", "Scions" and "Shattered").

But I'm afraid I can't agree with your glowing assesment of the CGI. Generally, I think Starship Troopers is MUCH stronger.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Greg Weisman Update

As promised, here's a little update on what's been going on in my professional life...

The first season (all thirteen episodes) of MAX STEEL have been completed. I've lost track of how many have aired. I think they turned out pretty good. At any rate, the show is a success and will be back for a second season. Unfortunately, I won't be. The WB didn't invite me to produce/edit/write season two. So you can forget about any long term plans/arcs I had for the series. Still, I wish the show well. (After all, it'll still carry my "Developed By" credit.)

In other news, today I finished recording all of the two volume (seven episode) video anime series 3X3 EYES. I think we assembled a terrific cast for the English dub. Here's a complete list:

Christian Cambell* as Yakumo Fujii
Brigitte Bako^ as Pai/Sanjiyan/Pabo Ayanokoji/Parvati/Howasho

Thom Adcox^* as Monkey
Edward Asner^* as Grandpa Ayanokoji
Earl Boen as Benares
Leslie Boone as Ken-Ken
Susan Chesler as Lee Ling-Ling
Bill Faggerbakke^ as Steve Long
Elisa Gabrielli^ as the Doll Demon
Jean Gilpin* as Mrs. Wong/Xunquai
Taliesin Jaffe as the Frog Demon and Feihong
William Katt as Tinzin
Mia Korf* as Natsuko
Ralph Lister as Choukai
Erin Matthews as Mei-Shin Long
Yuji Okumoto* as Chou and Naparva
Gregg Rainwater^* as Jake MacDonald
Dina Sherman as Dawn and Ran-Pao-Pao
Rick Simone as Tatsuya
Keith Szaribajka* as Professor Fujii and Ryouko
Rosie Taravella as Grandma Ayanokoji
Greg Weisman^ as Hide

and Keith David^ in a roll so rocking, I can't reveal it here. :)

* indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on MAX STEEL.
^ indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on GARGOYLES.

Anyway, the voices are all recorded. I've got three mix sessions left to do. I should be done in a week or so, at which point -- I'm unemployed.

Or nearly. I'm still teaching the animation writing course through UCLA extension. That's been a lot of fun and it keeps me pretty busy. Plus I'm working on writing a spec screenplay with my brother. And I go on the occasional job interview.

All this means is that it looks like I'll soon have plenty of time to dive back into ASK GREG. At one point we were closing in on completely catching up. Now we're over three months behind. But I'll try to make some fast progress. We've now got Todd Jensen helping Gorebash out to keep the site current, so that should help us avoid the "Nothing in queue" problems that were slowing us up before.

And I hope to see most of you at Gathering 2000 this August. It should be a GREAT con this year. I'll be there with Thom Adcox plus my wife and kids. We'll have new and special treats from Gargoyles, 3x3 Eyes and another EXCLUSIVE radio play event -- something that I guarantee you won't want to miss. Plus Disneyworld is a shuttle ride away. Make your reservations now.

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Coldplasma writes...

Hello mr. Weisman!

We got Starship Troopers in Canada! We'll make make sure it will never go off the air! :-)

About one of the episode, the title was named "Missing In Action". I couldn't help to notice the similarity with "M.I.A " in Gargoyles. Did you had any involvement for the title, or someone else did? (I know that they never show the title at the beginning, but I've seen all the titles on a website)

Thank you for answering. Let's burn some bugs!

Greg responds...

I didn't have anything to do with that Missing In Action.

I really only worked on ten episodes, only seven of which were produced. Check the Starship Archives here at this site for the titles.

And, btw, I'm glad you like the series. I'm pretty proud of it too.

Response recorded on March 22, 2000

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Jodi A. writes...

Dear Greg~
This isn't so much a question as it is a kudos. i'd been watching Starship Troopers from the beginning, (and yes it stinks that they aren't in order *sigh but such is how the universe works)and was thoughly impressed with the CGI animation. It also helped realizing that Bill Fag...( I can never spell his last name) was doing a charcter voice also added to the attraction. Anyways, to make a long post shorter, a few weeks ago I was watching on a mini tv while brushing my teeth and nearly choked on my toothbrush when I noticed your name on the credits. Of course as I was rushing to get ready for work, I had to wait all day in order to ask Jennifer if it was really your name I'd seen. I've been very impressed with the entire show and knowing of your involvement with the show makes it that much more enjoyable. I look forward to seeing more of your works and hopefully getting the chance to meet you at G2K in Orlando this summer.

Greg responds...

I'm looking forward to Orlando and hope to meet you (all of you) there as well.

Troopers has been a very rewarding experience for me. Next to GARGOYLES, nothing I've done on television makes me prouder.

I wasn't the mastermind behind this one, but I did story edit ten episodes.

I did the entire five episode TESCA NEMEROSA jungle planet arc, all of which have aired at this point. I wrote one of those. It was the one where Rico was in a coma and flashbacked to high school and basic training, while the Roughnecks battled a monsoon in the real world. I think it came out great.

And I also edited the final five episode arc set on Earth. I wrote the first of these five, set in the Colorado Rockies. I'm very proud of it. The second was set in Hawaii. My brother wrote it, and it also came out great. Neither of these have aired yet, but they're both completed, so any day now...

Unfortunately, the last three episodes I edited, also set on Hawaii, the ones that end the war, were never produced for economic reasons. These were great scripts by Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves. I hope some day they make them as a home video or something.

Response recorded on March 08, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Hi mr. Weisman!

1.Are you still in touch with Michael Reaves, Frank Paur and Laura Perrotta?

2.Do you know what they're doing now since Gargoyles was cancelled?

Greg responds...

I haven't seen or talked to Laura in some time. She left Gargoyles between the first and second season of the series to become an Associate Producer on SANTA BUGITO at Clasky-Czupo, I believe. I ran into her in a restaurant once since then, but that's it. I think she told me she had moved to Warners, but I can't remember.

I last talked to Frank, last summer. He was trying to get to the Gathering 99 and was having flight trouble. Instead of calling the Gathering staff, he kept leaving messages for me at my hotel room. I called him back at an airport payphone. He had just finished work on season two (three?) of SPAWN. I'm not sure what he's been doing since. Maybe more SPAWN?

Michael Reaves and I worked together fairly recently. He wrote a couple of the STARSHIP TROOPERS and one of the MAX STEEL scripts that I edited.

Response recorded on February 03, 2000

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Russ Isler writes...

Hi there. I didn't see a mail link so I'll sneak this in here. I'm an animator at Foundation Imaging, working on Starship Troopers. I personally havn't looked at the scripts for the episodes you wrote (we just got off of Pluto last week here ) But I have seen every dang episode of Gargoyles, twice. Three or more times for some. Just wanted to extend my appreciation to you for the incredible work. Gargoyles just has to be one of my top favorite shows of all time. Now that I read you've written some of the episodes I'll be working on, my enthusiasm has just taken off! Now, I have to go read through the rest of this site, see what I've missed. (I just found this site today)

Greg responds...

Welcome Russ, and thanks for the kind words.

Gargoyles was my best professional experience in television, and I'm glad you liked it.

But I really liked working on Troopers too.

I wrote two episodes personally, LIQUID DREAMS and FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND. Plus I story edited the entire TESCA NEMEROSA and HAWAII arcs. Unfortunately, SONY currently has no plans to produce the last three episodes of the Hawaii arc, but I'm hoping someday...

Anyway, you guys at Foundation are amazing. I'm incredibly happy with the work I've seen, both on my shows and on the series as a whole. Great job.

Response recorded on February 01, 2000

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Anonymous writes...

Greg -

Hi! Quick question about Starship Troopers: is there any word as to when it might air on free TV in NY? All we can get lately is Pokemon. (We don't have cable.)

Alex Wittenberg

Greg responds...

Troopers is syndicated. (As far as I know, it's not on cable at all.)

That means it's on a different station and in a different time slot in every market. It also means that it hasn't cleared at all in some markets. (Though I'm surprised about New York, since it's so large.)

Here in L.A. it's on at 7:30am Monday through Fridays on independent channel 9. It's part of the BKN children's block of programming.

I can't tell you when and where to look in NYC. But you might try looking for it in your local TV GUIDE at various unreasonable times.

I'm really proud of the show. I just wish they'd start airing the episodes they have in order.

Response recorded on February 01, 2000

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Hi Gang,

I'm back. And determined to pour through these questions. I can't believe I'm still backlogged until JULY!!!

But first, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to recently.

Post-Production has been completed on my first arc of stories. They are all set on the jungle moon TESCA NEMEROSA. I think they turned out wonderfully. I'm still very proud of the writing, but I'm wildly impressed with the CGI. (And yes, there are a few small things that bother me, but...) Overall, I think it's a very powerful set of stories.

We've completed writing and recording all 13 episodes for the first season. Post-production should begin after the first of the year. The CGI series should premeire in February on the WB's Saturday Morning. And now that the heavy lifting is done, I'm all but unemployed, which means I should have plenty of time for ASK GREG.

A good friend of mine did the English dub for this Japanese Anime series. Thom Adcox does the voice for one of the leads, and I do a few incidental voices here and there. (Yes, the man who brought you "Nice Mask!" and "Father, the rockets aren't working!" is back behind the microphone. God help us all.) It's available on home video in stores starting mid-January.

As many of you already know, I did a CAPTAIN ATOM/JLE/GARGOYLES parody team-up for this comic book. I wrote it a year ago and I still haven't seen the final result, but I'm told it turned out all right. And every copy you buy puts about a tenth of a penny into my pocket... Seriously, it wouldn't hurt if this issue sold out and was followed by a letter writing campaign asking DC to do an actual Gargoyles comic. Don't know if it would work, but it wouldn't hurt.

For those of you living in the L.A. Area, Kevin Hopps and I are teaching a twenty week course on writing for Television Animation through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program at Universal CityWalk starting this Spring and running through the Summer. Hope to see some of you there.

Now, back to your questions...

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I can't believe I said I "wrote" ten episodes of Starship Troopers. That's flat out untrue.

I meant to say I story edited ten episodes of Starship Troopers:

16 - "No Substitute" by Jon Weisman
17 - "And Then There Were Two..." by Cary Bates
18 - "Marauder" by Michael Reaves
19 - "Liquid Dreams" by Greg Weisman
20 - "Heart" by Lydia Marano

36 - "Funeral for a Friend" by Greg Weisman
37 - "Spirits of the Departed" by Jon Weisman
38 - "Gates of Hell" by Lydia Marano
39 - "Circle of the Damned" by Cary Bates
40 - "Final Inferno" by Michael Reaves

As you can see I wrote two episodes and story edited ten. My apologies to Cary, Michael, Lydia and Jon.

Episodes 37 - 40 were the ones yanked out of production. And of course, the numbers listed above reflect their ideal airing order. There's little chance that they'll actually air in that order. At least not the first time through. And of course, SONY doesn't show the titles on SCREEN. So the best you can do is look out for the above five writers names. These are all scripts I'm VERY proud of. Hopefully, the episodes will turn out as good.


P.S. Now, watch -- I've probably made some new dopey error.

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