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Aris Katsaris writes...

Lighthouse in the Sea of Time:

As with all eps I saw this one with Greek dubbing - but in this ep there was something both unique and interesting/funny... I got reminded of it when in the memo you described the problem with the language of the scroll...

The thing is that though the entire ep was (as normal) dubbed in Modern Greek, when Macbeth starts reading the scroll he switches into *Ancient* Greek. At that time I had thought the original had Macbeth reading in Middle or atleast Elizabethan English, or some other kind of archaic-sounding language, which the translators simply rendered as ancient Greek. Only later did I realise that it was solely the translator's doing, with no corresponding change of language in the original...

It was a very nice touch, I think, and praiseworthy - it atones (atleast in part) for a couple horrendous mistakes in the dubbing of other eps... :-) But ofcourse that doesn't mean there wasn't any problem with it. Ancient Greek is far closer to Modern Greek, than Celtic is to English; nonetheless it's far enough that the first time I got only a very general sense out of the words, that Merlin was describing his first impression of Arthur... :-)

Greg responds...

The phrasing of the scroll is subtle, but it does have an older sound to it. Certainly not middle english, but it does sound more archaic, so your translators weren't getting their ideas from no where. Still, it's weird to me that you've only heard dubbed versions. You don't know how great our voice cast was. Was yours good?

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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Icemann writes...

Firstly I have to say that Gargoyles is the greatest cartoon of all time if you ask me. No cartoon has caught my interest in the same way that Gargoyles has, and Carl Johnsons music is simply breathtaking in some episodes.
Anyway onto my question which isn`t a Gargoyles question.

Did Keith work on Gargoyles before or after the spawn cartoon?

Never checked the credits on spawn to see when it was made
which was why I was wondering.

Greg responds...

Before. Considerably before.

Response recorded on August 21, 2000

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Scattershot writes...

Hello mr. Weisman

Just how much does it cost to have all those many talented voice actors for an episode? Do you know which voice actor cost the most?

Greg responds...

Everyone got paid the same amount on Gargoyles.

I believe at the time they were all making Union Scale, plus 10% (which covers their agents' fees theoretically). They also all got ten week buyouts. That means we got to run each episode 10 times before Disney had to start paying them royalties.

I'm not good with remembering numbers, but I think everyone got $1,500 for every episode they appeared in (covering those first 10 runs).

Response recorded on August 21, 2000

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Mike J. writes...

First a question, then a brief ramble...

Question: To your knowledge, were there ever any Rocky Horror Show jokes at Tim Currey's expense while he was recording Dr. Servarius? You know, him doing the whole mad scientist bit and all.

Ramble: I don't post here often, but I read what's here all the time. I hope the appearance of some treatise sized responces to your episode rambles illustrates to you how successful Gargoyles really was. Despite lackluster ratings, the people you reached, you reached deeply. Speaking as a writer myself, I think that's about the best we can hope to do.

Joel Hodgeson (creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000) was once asked if he ever worried that people wouldn't get some of the more obscure jokes/references he put in the show. He answered that it didn't worry him because the RIGHT people would get it. I think that sums it up nicely.

Greg responds...

Answer: I don't remember.

Thanks for the kind words. I agree whole-heartedly.

But FYI, we didn't have lackluster ratings our first two years. They were solid, strong ratings. They just didn't beat Power Ranger's ratings.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

You mentioned your choice, if it were up to you, [hopefully it will be,] to direct a Gargoyles Live Action movie, namely Jonathan Frakes. It had never occurred to me and for the life of me I don't know why. Generations is not among my favorite Trek movies, but I thought it was script problems, (the need to shift the franchise to the NG storyline,) and not craft that was at the root of the problem- It was well made, as was the next movie (which is among my favs) that I believe he also directed. He would be perfect: If the company wont give you complete control he is someone you can trust not to betray the story. He has brought up the show in completely unrelated interviews calling for its return. He specifically mentioned how fun it was to work with his Star Trek friends on the show so they would be more likely to make time for it in their schedules. And as you stated, he gives a damn about the material.

That led me to two thoughts. Should we as fans try to draw Mr. Frakes into Gargoyles fandom? I assume we could never afford his con fee, and it would be unreasonable to ask him to forgo it, but it would be nice to show him fan appreciation. Also, should we organize in approaching Disney pushing for Frakes to direct? They might think of us as a more directed and serious group (read- more people willing to spend money) if we have clear and sound objectives. Not to mention it might subconsciously connect to Trek fandom, and therefore seem more profitable. Any thoughts or suggestions?

On a completely unrelated point that will be out of date by the time you read this- Keith David is doing Shakesleare in the [Central] Park through July 16: Midwinter's Tale.

Thanks again for answering our questions- that is what keeps my interest up more than anything else.

Greg responds...

I'm all for organization.

And it would never hurt to let Jonathan know how much you like his work, both on Gargoyles and as a director.

I'm not sure how to approach Disney right now. On the one hand, they want a lot of people to come to their movie, but they don't want to be told how (or with whom) to make it. Letting them know, in a rational way of course, that you care, couldn't hurt.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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Angela (repost by Aris) writes...

Hey, Greg! You have probably met Brigitte Bako, the voice of Angela, right? Did you choose her to do Angela's voice? (She does a great job!!!) How is she? Is she nice? Well, I have been trying to find information on her on the Internet, and I can't really find anything. I want to know things like her birthday, biography, and that kind of stuff. I liked Angela so much that I looked up Brigitte's movies and I've seen about 5 of them already. She's good! Is there an address that I can maybe write to to get in contact with her? I'd really appreciate it, Greg. I've run out of any other ideas on what to do. Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!! :)

Greg responds...

I do know Brigitte. She's a wonderful person. We worked together recently on 3x3 Eyes (which we will be previewing at the Orlando Gathering this Sunday). Brigitte played the complex lead female role of Pai (aka Sanjiyan aka Pabo aka Parvati aka Howasho). She was terrific, as usual. 3x3 should be available on home video in September.

I should know her birthday, but unfortunately I can't remember it. (I vaguely recall that she shares a birthday with someone else I know, but I can't think who.)

Otherwise, I know a few random things.

She's from Canada.

"Bako" means "The Executioner".

She's currently renting her L.A. home to Famke "Jean Grey" Jannsen.

She's off making a couple movies right now. I do not have an address for her. And I'm afraid it wouldn't be prudent for me to post one even if I had it.

You could try sending a fan letter to New Generation Pictures in Beverly Hills. They're the producers (with Pioneer) of 3X3 EYES. They might be able to forward it to her. But I can't guarantee it.

Good luck

Response recorded on August 01, 2000

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The Gatekeeper (repost by Aris) writes...

I have some questions on how the voice recording was done.

I've looked through the archives, and it appears that you get all the actors together at one time but I'm not getting an entirely clear picture. You have mentioned doing some editing on the voices for rhythms and the like. Is this possible to do when the recording is done in a group session? I know the partial answer, each voice is on it's own track, but wouldn't the natural bounce (if you would) of all the actors playing off each other make for a natural sounding dialogue?

Were the recording sessions filmed as well, so that some of the facial expressions of the actors could be incorporated into the animation? I can just picture Marina Sirtis sneering at Keith David.

What is the sequence that things are done? I think the script and story board comes first, but are the voices recorded before or after the animation, or it is a kind of hand in hand process?

The reason I ask, is because I remember listening to an interview with a voice actor (back in the mid '70's) and he said that all his lines were sent to the studio on a tape that he did at his home.

Greg responds...

Anything's possible but that last scenario sounds awful strange to me.

Here's the basic order:

1. Write the scripts.
2. Design new characters. This begins even before the script is finished sometimes.
3. Record the voices.
4. Storyboards are drawn. (This sometimes also begins before all the voices are recorded, depending on deadline pressure. But ideally it waits for the board artist to get the voice tape.)
5. Direct the board. (For timing, etc.)
6. Send materials overseas for animation.
7. Animation.
8. Post-Production. Retakes, editing, sound, etc.

As for step 3 itself, we tried as often as possible to get all the actors together in one room. This was almost never completely possible. There'd always be someone who wasn't available or was out of town or something. (For example, Keith David spent most of the second season performing in SEVEN GUITARS on Broadway. We would pick him up by "phone patch" from a studio in New York. One time, I seem to recall, we had to get Jim "Fang" Belushi by phone patch from Australia, where he was shooting a movie.

So we had to edit in anyone who wasn't in the session. Plus sometimes the best takes weren't consecutive. Say, Thom "Lex" Adcox did a great reading of a question. And Jeff "Brooklyn" Bennett stuttered when answering. Jeff probably did two or three great takes of his line. But we'd still want to use Lex's great take. So we'd edit it too.

And sometimes we'd tighten things up for pace. Since, as you noted, we had to allow each line to be on a separate track, that meant we couldn't overlap dialogue in the recording booth. But in real life, people often interrupt each other or talk over each other, etc. So sometimes we'd edit to create that overlapping effect.

Still the reason we TRIED to get everyone together is because we'd generally get a better, higher energy performance from most of the actors by allowing them to play off each other.

Response recorded on August 01, 2000

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Blaise (repost by Aris) writes...

TEMPTATION

While this isn't the ep that cemented Brooklyn in my head as "Favorite Character," I have to admit he is GREAT in it.
I still love Lexington's remark about building a horse from spare parts.
Demona's tour of the city--Yeah, the DEAD BODY surprised me too. Very powerful, very good, as were Demona's other two "examples" of humanity. Bennett and Sirtis did WONDERFUL jobs with their voice acting here.
As for the bikers not noticing Brooklyn, yeah everybody notices that. I just try to ignore it and that seems to work. If nothing else, most of the bikers in that scene WERE wearing sunglasses at night (as someone else already pointed out). Come to think of it, some of them weren't even wearing helmets....;-)
Elisa's finger--great, now that you've mentioned it, *I'LL* probably look for it and not be able to see anything else in the scene.
I was surprised to hear that Brooklyn's description of the Cloisters was taken by some folks as "proof" that gargoyles were not native to this planet. Anyone who saw the first two episodes should have understood what Brooklyn meant. Come to think of it, why WOULD people want the gargoyles to be from another planet?
One of my favorite lines in this episode--Brooklyn: "You hold the book, Demona. But *I* hold the *spell*!" I just LOVE that.
The resolution of the spell may have been a bit of a cheat, but it WAS a creative and original solution to the problem. So, you guys still get some points in that area.
Lex and Brooklyn talking about the motorcycle at the end and Lex's reaction are always enjoyable.
Pointless note: Hudson doesn't speak a single line in this episode. Odd, when I think about it. Still, you do at least SEE him a few times.

Good ep.

Greg responds...

The Hudson thing was budgetary. Often if we had a character who needed to appear for logic's sake but didn't have too much to contribute to the story, we'd avoid just giving him one or two lines to prove he's there. That way we could save money on the actor's salary for that episode. That money saved could be used later on for some of our big cast expensive episodes.

Trust however that I never scrimped. If I thought Hudson needed to speak in that episode, even if it was only ONE line, I would not have hesitated to pay for Ed Asner to be in the session.

Response recorded on August 01, 2000

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Dr Lanney Stinson (repost by Aris) writes...

Im a 16 year old female from BC Canada and since you've worked in Disney ,I thought you might know a little about Voice acting . You see I plan to become a Journalist or voice actress/Actress ,and I wanted to know if you needed to become well known as an actor or actress to work for Disney. I dont know if I ever want to work for them, I mean I might just go to UBC,become a journalist and live alone in a tiny apartment with 15 cats .I dont know. But still I would like a bit of information on what I one day might need to know . Always, Truly
Lanney

Greg responds...

Sixteen years old and already a doctor. I'm impressed.

Look, acting is a very tough profession. You need to REALLY WANT AND NEED to do it. Lots of rejection. You don't need to be famous to be a Disney Voice Actor, though of course it doesn't hurt. But we cast most shows based on talent, voice quality and appropriateness for the given role. (But having an agent and being in S.A.G. doesn't hurt.)

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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joe c. writes...

I was just wondering why you don't use the original english voice for yakumo since he did a pretty good job at the part. And is the anime going to be digitally remastered when it comes out.

Greg responds...

Joe, I'm not sure I agree with you, but in any case that wasn't an option. We didn't have access to any of the "original English voices" for 3x3 EYES. We HAD to recast everyone from scratch. The new Yakumo is a very talented actor named Christian Campbell. (Neve's brother by the way.) Christian is the voice of Max Steel, and he's a regular on a new prime time series that will premiere this fall: "The Street".

Response recorded on July 26, 2000


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