This interview was submitted to Barry Whittaker in an HTML form. I am really grateful he accepted to answer the questions this way. It took some time but the answers are worth it! Enjoy the reading everyone.
Please tell us what a scenarist does.
Writes scripts.As a scenarist, does this mean that you are more involved with helping develop the script or plot of the episodes? Do you have any rejected scripts you could show us?
We're involved with everthing from concept to a finished screenplay. Here's how it works: When a series is given the green light a writing team is formed. The writers are asked to submit one paragraph story ideas (storylines premises springboards). When an idea is approved it goes to outline. With Cybersix we used four to five page outlines. When that is approved it goes to script. A completed script then makes the rounds and comments come in from producers and others who have a stake in the show (broadcasters if they are investing in production). When everyone who gets a say has said it the script is usually rewritten. This all means that the writer is involved in every single aspect of the story. No--I do not have any rejected scripts. Some had to be rewritten several times but none were rejected.Cybersix was made by TMS and NOA, was it the first time you worked with TMS ? How did you found working with a japanease giant of animation, who worked on such movie as Akira
Interesting at times insane. Perhaps later I'll get into the vast differences between our cultures when it comes to telling stories but for now I'll just say we had a lot to work out. And we worked it out.Will there be a second season starting after "Final Confrontation", or will the first season be augmented with 13 new episodes that take place in between the current ones and/or before "Final Confrontation", filling out Cybersix to a standard 26 week cartoon series?
The series should continue after "Final Confrontation."What other cartoon series did you work on? How do you rate them compared to Cybersix?
The only series that's still on the air is "Billy the Cat." It's a 52 episode series that's shown around the world and is extremely popular in Europe. It's hard to compare shows because each has its own agenda. "Billy" for example is targeted at a much younger market than Cybersix. I have never worked on two shows that were after identical markets. When it comes to quality of animation however it's hard to beat Cybersix.When you worked on Cybersix, as something really impressed you while you were working on the project?
The team I worked with. They were under incredible pressure to produce quickly took a lot of heat and ended up doing a great job.How did the work environment differ between Cybersix and the other cartoons you've worked on?
Many people don't take this business seriously. After all we're not changing the world we're making cartoonFox licenses or making movies. Many have a "take the money and run" attitude. Not so with Cybersix. It was taken "very" seriously. At times too seriously. Good things happened though and no one got shot. Yet!Obviously, Cybersix the cartoon was based on Cybersix the comic. How much did the comic influence you and everyone else in the show?
The books had a tremendous influence.How much input did Carlos Meglia and Carlos Trillo have?
They had no direct input.Fox Kids edited the episodes it showed to squeeze out more time for commercials. Obviously, the right to do so was expressed in their contract. However, how do you feel about the edits? If you can tell us, how do the others who worked on the show feel about the edits?
No one loses sleep over this kind of thing. It happens all the time with television productions. Network A runs 24 minutes to a half-hour--network B runs 22 mintues. Some shows are now down to 21 minutes. Soon we'll be watching nothing but commercials and they'll sneak in a show just to fill up the time.A survey of the web sites of the fans of Cybersix and a perusal of the EZBoard cybersix frums shows an abundance of creativity and inventiveness inspired by the show. How do you and the others feel about the fan art and the fan fiction inspired by the show? Is it possible that some of the ideas of the fans may be incorporated in future episodes or a second season?
I think it's great as long as no one is selling copyrighted material without permission. If I am the Stoy Editor for the next batch of shows I would gladly look at ideas from fans.Will we see Yashimoto in other episodes?
Possibly. I personally like that kind of show and would like to do more.Were there afterthoughts expressed about "Yashimoto"? That is, were there comments like "Hey, we should have done this with it" or "We should have had this happen..."? Obviously, there was no way at the time this episode was released to know that Fox Kids would object, but what would have been changed if their objections would have been known?
No afterthoughts and probably not much. Fox only licensed the series--they did not invest in production. You can't listen to every broacaster who wants to make a suggestion. Remember that these shows are sold around the world.One member suggests that FMF is the middle of a trio of episodes (The Eye, Full Moon Facination, Greatest Show in Meridiana) in which the evolution of Cybersix's view of her relationship with Lucas seems highlighted. At the end of "The eye", Lucas tries to kiss Cybersix, and she pulls away, suggesting she's not ready for a deeper relationship. In "Full Moon", She sees Lucas pursuing another woman and gets jealous. In "Greatest Show in Meridiana", when Lucas comes out of his daze and almost confesses his love for Cybersix, she seems so pleased that she forgets the danger around her, and seems to want to solicit the true and full confession out of him. QUESTION: Was this evolution in her attitude toward her relationship with Lucas deliberately planned, or did it just come out accidentally?
Planned. Before we start a series we know were it's going what has to happen along the way what has to take place with our characters and how they have to change. By the end of the series if we're lucky we're about where we thought we would be. Things worked out fairly well with Cybersix. We knew we had to deal with her emotional development her desire to find love and we had to work up to it. We knew before the first script was written that she would kiss Lucas in the final show.Obviously, we know that Jose survived. Does Cybersix Survive? (Is this a dumb question?) In the same question, does the other characters assumed to have died (Data-7, Von Reichter) died?
Not a dumb question but if the show continues she must survive. The others Well--what do you think? I'm not telling.The end credits show Cybersix framed in Lucas' window. Lucas approaches. Then Cybersix collapses from the shock to her left arm. Lucas runs up to Cybersix, and she talks to him. Of course, we don't hear the words. Question: Were several versions of the "Kissing scene" actually drawn, with what was considered the best sequence chosen for inclusion, or was this supposed to go into a different episode that was never finished?
This is actually a version of the first time Cybersix and Lucas meet. I'm not sure how many kissing scenes were drawn--there may have been several.Unlike many series, "Final Confrontation" provides some closure while opening up other possibilities. Was there always the intention of creating "Final Confrontation", or was it something like a "last hurrah" when it became obvious that the per episode cost was too high, despite the quality of the animation?
Always! the intention. We had the premise for the final show written early in the series. It was originally called "The Isle of Doom" (VR uses the term in the show). It was written to be a cliff-hanger and so far everyone is still hanging. The show's budget was determined before the first script was written so cost was not a factor. There were no surprises here.The final scenes of "Final Confrontation" are nearly wordless, framed between the time Von Richter says "You're good, but not that good", and his comment on the tape recorder that Jose shuts off. What were the artistic considerations that went into the decision to have it that way?
We just wanted to somehow define the hate/love relationship VR had with his creation yet keep it simple. Not unlike real life is it?What was the debate on Cybersix revealing her identity as Adrian to Lori, instead of directly to Lucas? Or was this deliberate in order to have a seed of potential conflict between them in the future ( and which has been explored by "Lee" in his fan fiction posted on the EZBoard Arts and Lit forum)?
Some think the very idea of Cybersix hinting that she's Adrian is good others think it stinks. It's a call and we won't know until much later if the call was good or bad. Now that the can of worms has been opened it must be deal with. Lee has a good point. When Cybersix makes her move it's a good bet she knows Lori will tell Lucas. She's too damn afraid to tell Lucas herself even though she's going on a suicide! mission. So sure if she survives the blast and comes back to Meridiana there will be all kinds of emotional junk to deal with. Those scripts have yet to be written.
I would like too thank Mr. Whittaker for taking time to answer our question. Thanks to Ptah for his very good questions he suggested.