Following up a previous article about a visit to the Harmony Gold offices in Santa Monica, Nuke the Fridge had an opportunity to interview the producers, voice cast and other key Robotech team members who are celebrating the release of the new adventure “Love Live Alive” for the first time along with fan favorite “The Shadow Chronicles” in a new DVD set. You can purchase this quality DVD now through Lionsgate Home Entertainment or Amazon.com. Here are some insightful comments by Robotech team members about their time spent as part of the Robotech family. If you want an idea of how much love and enthusiasm went into bringing Robotech to America, these people were the backbone, and they share the love that went into producing this outstanding DVD set.
The person responsible for bringing the Robotech universe stateside in the ’80s was Carl F. Macek. Sadly, Carl passed away from a heart attack on April 17, 2010. His widow Svea Macek attended the press conference in honor of her husband. She discussed Carl’s drive and passion to bring Robotech to America, and how it was the vanguard for the anime revolution.
Barbara Goodson (talent) – Barbara discussed her work on Robotech as the voice of Sera and Marie Crystal. She has also voiced the evil Rita Repulsa for the “Power Rangers” series, and Doris Lang in “Vampire Hunter D.” She described Carl Macek as a Louis B. Mayer type, but with no ego. Carl trusted his actors and let them do their job. Carl set a casual and light tone and had the actors hang out together in a room. From this working relationship, they were able to get takes quickly. Barbara went on to say that she didn’t know how popular Robotech really was until she went to the ten year reunion and fans from all over the world were lined up to get her autograph.
Wendy Lee (talent) – Wendy’s first job as a voice actress was on Robotech. She was invited to watch the auditions when a ‘no-show’ occurred. She then auditioned for the voice of Vanessa and landed the part. She explained she used her natural voice and pulled inspiration from actress Mary Tyler Moore as her Laura Petrie character on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” For Wendy, it was a good place to start. Other voice actors assisted her in refining her skills, while she observed to gain experience. Robotech opened the door for her to network and work with the best and highest quality ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement, or Additional Dialogue Recording) group. She continued to explain that networking allowed her to know her fellow voice actors well. With it being more difficult to voice established animation, the technicians became familiar with the voice actors’ pattern and pacing, which made recording easier. As an amusing anecdote, the character Vanessa is fondly referred to as one of a trio of “Bridge Bunnies.” In the original series, Vanessa was killed off. However, her death was never shown, so technically, she could be listed as missing.
Frank Catalano & Susie London (talent) – In the Robotech universe voice actors Frank Catalano and Susie London are inseparable. Their characters Rand and Rook were the central love interest in the Robotech series. After 28 years, Frank and Susie had a chance to see each other again. Frank said when he walked through the door, he connected right back to Robotech. For the new Robotech video “Love Live Alive,” Frank taped the dialogue for Rand first, while Susie had to wedge her performance in after. Then, the voice actors’ performance was synchronized together. In this profession, this is the territory that comes with voicing established animation.
After the Robotech series went into hiatus, Susie went on to perform in Europe. She had no contact with Frank for years. Eventually, she moved and lived in Japan where she found and learned about the strong female warrior types that are so prevalent in Japanese animation and literature. When Susie was called back to work on “Love Live Alive,” she was thrilled. Hearing Greg’s (voice director Greg Snegoff) voice again gave her a secure and warm feeling.
* Frank Catalano has published his memoirs about his Robotech experience entitled, “Rand Unwrapped – Confessions of a Robotech Warrior.” The book is available on Amazon.com and other literary outlets.
Gregory Snegoff (voice director/screenplay adaptation) – The press had a chance to talk to Greg in Italy via Skype. Greg was happy to answer questions from his office in the wee morning hours. He relayed to us that “Love Live Alive” was created using found footage using a bulk of new animation and title sequences. He conveyed that Robotech is more popular than ever with new fans consistently joining the fold. The stylistic changes make the series more modernized relating to what’s happening worldwide. In other words, the series is evolving. When asked about why the series has taken so long to come out, Greg noted that the industry is not noted for speed. He’s hoping a new animated series will premiere, but until then many writers have published Robotech books which have come up with some terrific surprises.
Scott Glasgow (composer) – Filling the shoes of the late Robotech composer Ulpio Minucci was no easy task for composer Scott Glasgow. The old scores for “The Shadow Chronicles” main titles were scattered among random pages. Scott composed 88 minutes of orchestra music and wove it into the theme. Certain characters had specific instruments that were used for their themes. Some of these themes were combined into what is known as a heroes theme.
For “Love Live Alive,” Scott used the musical arrangements and modernized it. Some tracks were reimagined and he sped up the tempo and mashed things up, while leaving a few tracks alone. The story in “Love Live Alive” is wrapped around the character Lancer. Lancer is a pop singer who dressed as a woman to conceal his identity from the enemy during the war with the Invid. Lancer sang two songs in the film, which Scott adapted from the old Robotech series.
Finally, fans have asked, why does the new Robotech theme sound so much like John Williams’ “Superman” theme? Answer: Producers of the ’80s series wanted a huge sweeping score like “Star Wars” or “Superman.” Composer Ulpio Minucci wrote this sweeping score but only had a twelve piece orchestra to record it. In effect, the music wasn’t as rich as it could have been. Jump to the 21st Century and composer Scott Glasgow had the entire Prague orchestra available to him to rerecord the theme as well as the rest of the soundtrack. Now complete, breath was given to the small orchestra’s effort and a symphony was born along with the sweeping Robotech theme.
Jamey Scott (supervising sound editor/sound designer) – Jamey considered working on Robotech’s “Love Live Alive” an editorial challenge. Jamey devoted so much time and energy into the project (The mixing session alone took four days.) with cutting scenes together, going back to use the old masters to dig out the music and designing new sounds for new scenes that the end result sounded seamless. In addition, Jamey has completed work on such films as “Red 2” and “Total Recall.”
Steve Yun (VP of New Media) – Steve is responsible for maintaining the Robotech website (ROBOTECH.COM) by consistently updating the content. He wants fans to know that not only can they go to the official site, but they can go to the Robotech page on Facebook.
Robotech: 2-Movie Collection (The Shadow Chronicles / Love Live Alive) (2013)
LOVE LIVE ALIVE Disc Special Features:
- Photo Gallery
SHADOW CHRONICLES Disc Special Features:
- Featurette: Birth of a Sequel (45:07)
- Featurette: Score Music Video (8:10)
- Featurette: Anime Selects (2:17)
- Featurette: !PoN Anime Podcast (11:14)
- Featurette: Robotech 3000 (3:25)
- Featurette: Robotech 3000 Motion Capture Sequences (0:20)
- Deleted Scenes (w/optional commentary) (9:43)
- Outtakes (3:10)
- Animatics (w/optional commentary) (11:24)
- Trailers (5:38)
- Photo Galleries: Personnel Dossier, Ship Registry, Mecha Database, Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles, Secret Files
Year of Production: 1985-2013
Title Copyright: Robotech®: Love Live Alive © 1985 Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd. © 1985-2013 Harmony Gold U.S.A. Inc. Robotech®: The Shadow Chronicles © 2006 Harmony Gold U.S.A. Inc. Robotech® and associated characters, names, and indicia are trademarks of Harmony Gold U.S.A. Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cover Art and Design © 2013 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by LIONSGATE® under license from A+E Networks Consumer Products™. Lionsgate, 2700 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90404. Printed in U.S.A.
Type: DVD Collection Premiere
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Animation; Action/Adventure; Sci-Fi
Closed Captioned: NA
Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
Feature Running Time:
Love Live Alive – 90 minutes
The Shadow Chronicles – 88 minutes
Love Live Alive – 4×3 Full Frame (1.33:1)
The Shadow Chronicles -16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
DVD Audio Status: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Sources: Nuke the Fridge (exclusive,) Lionsgate, Harmony Gold