Here it is, fans! The last part of our fan interview with Carl Macek! This time around, Carl covers some more questions about the Sentinels, other Robotech spinoffs, Macross, and other anime, we've broken it up by topics to help keep them organized.
As in the previous installment, if you notice that any of the questions seem repetitive, this was because for many topics we sent Carl pairs of choices of similar questions to pick from. Instead, we were surprised to find that he had answered all of the questions we submitted to him. Because Carl's answers were varied, we decided that rather than tossing out the similar Q's and A's, we'd leave them all in for your viewing.
ROBOTECH 2: SENTINELS
Captain JLS asks: Back in around 1994 or '95, you mentioned that you might do a Robotech II: The Sentinels scrapbook, a project which would finally shed some more light on the original intentions you had for the unfinished 65-episode series. Whatever happened to this idea?
Carl Macek says: It is still in the works - It just has to be worked into Harmony Gold's ongoing plans for Robotech. Some of this stuff may show up as "extras" on the dvd release of Robotech.
Zor Derelda asks: You have said before that if you ever got to do the Sentinels, it would be completly different. How different? What would you do differently?
Carl Macek says: If I was responsible for the work, the story would be different from that in the comics, and novels - it would follow the outline which was created at the time. But it is not up to me.
OTHER ROBOTECH STORIES
Panda asks: What is in the works for future Robotech projects? Are we going to have a new series or a continuation of the existing series?
Carl Macek says: There are a variety of options available. Robotech is such a vast concept that it could be reinvented for a new generation with all the same storytelling and excitement without losing any of the old fans.
Alacrity Fitzhugh asks: what is this robotech 3000 i keep hearing mentioned?
Carl Macek says: It is a project that was developed at Harmony Gold that looks at the Robotech Universe hundreds of years into the future. It deals with the creation of a whole new chapter in the evolution of protoculture.
Gabriel asks: Did you really intend to end Robotech 3: The Odyssey with a loop effect to the overall storyline?
Carl Macek says: If the Odyssey was going to be made, it would have been interesting to create a loop in which tied the final episode of the Odyssey to the first episode of Robotech. That way, where ever you dipped into the show, you could watch it thorugh and come back to where you started.
Majin Vern asks: Mr. Macek, it is both an honor and a privilege to be able to speak to you about the single animated series that sparked my entire interest in Japanese animation... without your works I might never have been exposed to this form of entertainment and I thank you for that.
My question is: How would a new Robotech project be feasible in this day of television where common censorship practice has become so intrusive that you have to jump through seemingly endless hoops in order to produce a show? Take for example the New Generation of Robotech - Cartoon Network re-ran the Macross Saga for a time, but the most common belief is that the presence of Lancer - a cross dresser - was what kept that part of the series off of television. And this a CABLE station.
As for network television, I'm disgusted, and have been for years, at the inability for "cartoon" characters to address serious issues like love, death, and war without dumbing it down to the point where the message is lost. For instance, a character will "defeat" his nemesis, but never "kill" or "destroy" them. Interpersonal relationships are usually platonic between main characters, while any romantic relationship involves a third party that would fall under the role of "guest star," and the relationship doesn't really go anywhere.
I lament the loss of shows such as Robotech. Yes, it exposed me, as a child, to a war story where people with personalities and feelings grow, live, die, and interact with one another. Why has this become such a taboo in modern American entertainment? How do you personally feel about the new standards being enforced in the media, and how would that influence any future projects on your part?
Carl Macek says: My theory would be to create original video animation - such as Lion King II, etc. This way, all of the problems of television censorship would be eliminated. It would not mean that the story would be tossed into an "adult" venue - but it would be clear that the show would be done based on content not compromise - but it is not up to me.
NORRIN_RADD asks: HAS A PREQUEL FOR ROBOTECH (BEFORE THE MACROSS SAGA) EVER BEEN DISCUSSED SERIOUSLY OR IN THE WORKS?
Carl Macek says: Several years ago, I was asked to write a comic book cycle which dealt with Zor traveling to the various planets visited in the Sentinels. It was a major prequel cycle.
renegadeleader asks: What is your opinion of the Robotech books, and what do you think of the book, "End of The Circle" and the liberties he took with some of the characters?
Carl Macek says: The concepts dealt with in the comics and novels are "inspired" by the plots drafted for Robotech and the ongoing storylines evolved by Harmony Gold - they incorporate some of the ideas and coin new concepts and directions for characters. I think it is all part of the ongoing Robotech Universe. Not exactly what I would have come up with, but still viable.
Zor Derelda asks: Did you and McKinney have any meetings or discussions about where and what the books should go and contain, or did he just have carte blanche?
Carl Macek says: There were intense meetings and correspondence. The concept was to create a world that would be as viable in book form as it was as a television series. Things change for this very reason - we all wanted the books to be as good as they could be - the only way that can be done is to give the writer the ability to create and distill.
MACROSS, SOUTHERN CROSS AND MOSPEADA
another_tphan3 asks: The Macross anime community seems to have a lot of animosity towards you and your efforts in making Robotech. What do you have to say about that?
Carl Macek says: My comment about this is that it's too bad that people have to demonize concepts and personalities. There was no malice inherent in Harmony Gold's decision to make Robotech. Both of the concepts are viable. Macross is not Robotech and Robotech is not Macross.
x1commander asks: Forgive me if this has been asked before, but I think it's an important question. Some Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada fans (note: NOT ALL Fans) claim that you ruined all three shows by combining them together and rewriting them. Some of these people even seem to be out for blood when it comes to Robotech. How do you respond to their opinions? And, have you ever had any encounters with these type of persons? One interesting note, is that many of these fans first saw the shows when aired as Robotech.
Carl Macek says: You have to look at the big picture - The success of Robotech allowed Macross, Mospeada and Southern Cross a worldwide audience - Mospeada and Southern Cross were "failures" in Japan - they were truncated due to poor ratings. Robotech brought these works to a hugh audience - even the management at Tatsunoko recognizes the value of Robotech.
That said, there is no need to take anything away from the original programs. Robotech should be seen as an original project which utilizes footage from various Tatsunoko programs - there was no intent to lessen the native programs.
My theory about all this is that there is no reason why all these elements can not exist In harmony (no pun intended) - there is no need to create adversarial situations. Enjoy each for what it is.
OTHER ANIME SHOWS
Berzerker_prime asks: Not long ago, I seem to remember seeing your name somewhere in the credits for Casshan: Robot Hunter. I was wondering, aside from Robotech and its three component Anime, what have been your favorite series to have worked on to translate into English?
Carl Macek says: As the owner of Streamline Pictures I created the English language versions of a number of projects - FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, CRYING FREEMAN, LENSMAN, DOOMED MEGALOPOLLIS, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, WICKED CITY, NEO-TOKYO, ZILLION, NADIA, CRIMSON WOLF, ROBOT CARNIVAL, SILENT MOBIEUS, THE PROFESSIONAL, 3x3 EYES, SPACE ADVENTURE COBRA, 8MAN AFTER, BABEL II, DIRTY PAIR: AFFAIR ON NOLANDIA, DIRTYPAIR: PROJECT EDEN, DIRTY PAIR: FLIGHT OO5 CONSPIRACY, BAREFOOT GEN, ROMANCE OF THREE KINGDOMS, CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO, MYSTERY OF MAMO etc.
Some of them I thought were good, others, were adequate. My particular favorites from Streamline;s output were: DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS, CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO, CRYING FREEMAN, WICKED CITY and BAREFOOT GEN. I also did the English language adaptation of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO
Choguy asks: What was your favorite anime series?
Carl Macek says: Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water
LupintheThird asks: Well I finally have the opportunity to talk to the man of Streamline! It's a pleasure for me to do so, Mr. Macek. I have been in contact with someone you may recall, Dale "Lupin" Engelhard, who says you've been pretty much absent from the anime community since Anime America 1995. It's a shame the current world of otaku has criticized you so, when you really were just "doing your job." I have a couple questions to ask you, and I hope you won't skim this post over, since you are a difficult man to get a hold of (I left a message on the answering machine at Streamline Pictures a few months ago, it sounded really stupid, and I don't blame you for not contacting me). First off, I'd like to touch on the hand Streamline had in bringing Lupin the Third to America (and it was a big one). Why is it that The Castle of Cagliostro used "Wolf", while the later works (especially The Mystery of Mamo) began to use "Lupin"?
I congratulate you on an excellent script for both Cagliostro and Mamo, as well as the 2 Lupin TV episodes. I have heard tale that Ardwright Chamberlain played the role of Goemon Ishikawa in Mamo. Is that true? I must say, he did an excellent job.
Speaking of voice actors, who played the role of Lupin/The Wolf in all of the Streamline Pictures Lupin III dubs? There's one fellow on Usenet who claims it's Cam Clarke/Jimmy Flinders, but I'm under the impression it's a guy named (a pseudonym?) Bob Bergen. He certainly doesn't sound like the Cam Clarke of Ninja Turtles fame.... Whoever he was, he did a great job, rivaling the original Japanese voice!
On a final Lupin III note, I heard that Streamline had planned on purchasing all of (or at least, a large amount of) Lupin III TV, but Tokyo Movie wanted too much, so you settled for "the Miyazaki stuff." But then in 1995, we saw the release of "Mamo," a non-Miyazaki Lupin film. I must ask: If Streamline had continued in business, would you have dubbed more Lupin III shows? It's a shame that yours was the only company that really pursued this idea, since Lupin III in general has been totally dropped from American distributor's minds since (excluding Manga Video's DVD re-release of Cagliostro, which omits the well-written and well-voiced old dub).
Well I've wasted enough of your time, I really wish I had an opportunity to talk with you about your work on Lupin III, Robotech/Macross, etc., and all the other Streamline films. If you don't mind, I'd hope you would give me a write sometime (if you're not too busy), here's my Email address: TalesoftheWolf@Yahoo.com Thank you so much! "Arsene Lupin III"
Carl Macek says: The first anime feature I saw as an adult was CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO - it was a key element in my decision to devote so much energy into working with anime. The concept of "wolf", etc. was created to appease the film's rights' holders who feared that there might be some fallout from the "use' of Arsene Lupin - it was a way to get the film into the market. Lupine means wolf - so it seemed a natural choice - also he is a "wolf" when it comes to the ladies. Eventually the slow introduction of Lupin with out the reference to Arsene Lupin eventually came to pass.
Jimmy Flinders is not Bob Bergen. Bob Bergen is one of the finest voice actors working in Hollywood. He not only does anime projects, he is the voice of some of America's most beloved cartoon characters - he is a wonderful actor who captured the joy and spirit of Lupin with great skill and talent.
I always loved the character, and I consider Monkey Punch - the creator of Lupin - a personal friend of mind. In a perfect world, I would have loved to brought more Lupin to market.
THIS AND THAT
mgforrest asks: What other projects are you working on besides Robotech?
Carl Macek says: Currently I am working at ADV Films on a number of new projects.
Rand asks: Does Streamline Pictures still exist, and what are they doing now? Streamline Pictures distributes the Robotech Soundtrack CD What kinds of projects are you working on for ADV?
Carl Macek says: Along with supervising the release of Robotech on DVD, I am working to develop new animation projects at ADV. One of the first projects I have been brought in to work on is the adaptation of LADY DEATH.
That's it for our fan question & answer sessions with Carl! We hope you enjoyed them, and keep checking back to see who else we'll have available for fan interviews!