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Thread: Jack Olesker ??? Is that you??!?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    Jack Olesker ??? Is that you??!?

    Ok, as the informed know, Jack Olesker is the guy who wrote just about all the NA stuff... I have come to find out that someone out there is saying he is , in fact , THE Jack Olesker. If you're out there, and it's really you, thanks for showing up!!! I think the release of NA on dvd is going to really showcase your talents, along with all the others that worked on the series. It didn't get a fair shake to begin with because the world was MOTU'd out at that point, but this should be great to let folks see the show now. I'm pretty lit up about it, I'm sure you are too. Any other shows you worked on or developed? What was your take on the figures drastic change from the original? Am I asking wayyyy too many questions??!?!??!?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dedd Vinyl
    Ok, as the informed know, Jack Olesker is the guy who wrote just about all the NA stuff... I have come to find out that someone out there is saying he is , in fact , THE Jack Olesker. If you're out there, and it's really you, thanks for showing up!!! I think the release of NA on dvd is going to really showcase your talents, along with all the others that worked on the series. It didn't get a fair shake to begin with because the world was MOTU'd out at that point, but this should be great to let folks see the show now. I'm pretty lit up about it, I'm sure you are too. Any other shows you worked on or developed? What was your take on the figures drastic change from the original? Am I asking wayyyy too many questions??!?!??!?
    You're a fan, ergo, you cannot possibly ask too many questions.

    I'm flattered someone out there is claiming to be me -- I wish they'd tried that when I was going through my divorce so many years ago. But let me end your suspicions quickly by giving you a few bits of information only I would know: My first novel, No Place Like Home, was published in 1976 by G.P. Putnam's Son. It went on to be bestseller and the film rights were purchased by Sherry Lansing (former CEO at Paramount, then V.P. at MGM) and B-Horror film magnate Bill Castle. That got me started. After I found out what the screenwriter (Richard Alan Simmons) got for eight weeks work adapting my novel into a screenplay, I moved to L.A. After three years of working as a movie extra just to get close to the entertainment business, I backed into the kid's biz by working with Noel Blanc, son of v.o. legend Mel Blanc.

    Any other shows I've worked on or developed? Well, I'm glad you asked, since someone in the forum said I drifted into oblivion. In all I've written over a thousand episodes of children's television -- from the Care Bears and Sky Dancers to T.R.E.X and Turtles (along with five novels -- horror, murder mysteries, historical sagas).

    I think one of the high points in the kid biz was my writing the original development work for Power Rangers. Haim Saban (a truly amazing gentleman and mentor who I am fortunate to call friend) called me into his office, told me he'd bought a series that ran in Japan in the 70s and to forget what it was about -- just to create something new. He shoved the Japanese language video in and I watched it for thirty seconds. My mouth hung open and when I recovered I said "It's got everything: dinosaurs, martial arts, aliens! It's worth a billion dollars!" At the time I was trying to inflate everyone's egos a bit. Little did I realize I was under-estimating by a factor of eight or nine.

    I'm looking forward to fielding questions and clearing up a few things -- although I must confess it's with a bit of trepidation. I know legions of He-Man fans were disappointed and angry that NA was so far distanced from the original series. (I told Wacky Martin I hope I don't get lynched by some MOTU fans!) Well, it was what Mattel gave us to work with. I remember I approached one of the writers from MOTU with my NA series bible and had him read it. He called back a week later and said it wasn't for him. I remember respecting him tremendously because he was tied to the old series. I, however, wasn't, and that was part of the reason Mattel hired me...along with the fact that I was able to pound out a ninety-two page series bible in two weeks...and the first five episodes -- from springboards to beat outlines to scripts with three and four revision drafts -- in another two weeks. But -- to borrow a line from Conan -- that is another story for another time.

    Hey, trust me. I'm me.

  3. #3
    Winning Skeletor Wacky Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    You're a fan, ergo, you cannot possibly ask too many questions.

    I'm flattered someone out there is claiming to be me -- I wish they'd tried that when I was going through my divorce so many years ago. But let me end your suspicions quickly by giving you a few bits of information only I would know: My first novel, No Place Like Home, was published in 1976 by G.P. Putnam's Son. It went on to be bestseller and the film rights were purchased by Sherry Lansing (former CEO at Paramount, then V.P. at MGM) and B-Horror film magnate Bill Castle. That got me started. After I found out what the screenwriter (Richard Alan Simmons) got for eight weeks work adapting my novel into a screenplay, I moved to L.A. After three years of working as a movie extra just to get close to the entertainment business, I backed into the kid's biz by working with Noel Blanc, son of v.o. legend Mel Blanc.

    Any other shows I've worked on or developed? Well, I'm glad you asked, since someone in the forum said I drifted into oblivion. In all I've written over a thousand episodes of children's television -- from the Care Bears and Sky Dancers to T.R.E.X and Turtles (along with five novels -- horror, murder mysteries, historical sagas).

    I think one of the high points in the kid biz was my writing the original development work for Power Rangers. Haim Saban (a truly amazing gentleman and mentor who I am fortunate to call friend) called me into his office, told me he'd bought a series that ran in Japan in the 70s and to forget what it was about -- just to create something new. He shoved the Japanese language video in and I watched it for thirty seconds. My mouth hung open and when I recovered I said "It's got everything: dinosaurs, martial arts, aliens! It's worth a billion dollars!" At the time I was trying to inflate everyone's egos a bit. Little did I realize I was under-estimating by a factor of eight or nine.

    I'm looking forward to fielding questions and clearing up a few things -- although I must confess it's with a bit of trepidation. I know legions of He-Man fans were disappointed and angry that NA was so far distanced from the original series. (I told Wacky Martin I hope I don't get lynched by some MOTU fans!) Well, it was what Mattel gave us to work with. I remember I approached one of the writers from MOTU with my NA series bible and had him read it. He called back a week later and said it wasn't for him. I remember respecting him tremendously because he was tied to the old series. I, however, wasn't, and that was part of the reason Mattel hired me...along with the fact that I was able to pound out a ninety-two page series bible in two weeks...and the first five episodes -- from springboards to beat outlines to scripts with three and four revision drafts -- in another two weeks. But -- to borrow a line from Conan -- that is another story for another time.

    Hey, trust me. I'm me.
    Nice post there, I think it's great you've decided to join the forum. We've had lots of interviews with folks from the original He Man toons, but I dont think we've ever had an interview with someone from the New Adventures, let alone spoken to a key player like yourself. I'd really like to read that Series Bible, hopefully it'll be on the dvds!

    Also cool to get some info on your other work, I never knew you worked on the original Power Rangers, I imagine it mustve been interesting working on such a popular show.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dedd Vinyl
    Ok, as the informed know, Jack Olesker is the guy who wrote just about all the NA stuff... I have come to find out that someone out there is saying he is , in fact , THE Jack Olesker. If you're out there, and it's really you, thanks for showing up!!! I think the release of NA on dvd is going to really showcase your talents, along with all the others that worked on the series. It didn't get a fair shake to begin with because the world was MOTU'd out at that point, but this should be great to let folks see the show now. I'm pretty lit up about it, I'm sure you are too. Any other shows you worked on or developed? What was your take on the figures drastic change from the original? Am I asking wayyyy too many questions??!?!??!?
    And you know what? It's okay that it didn't get "a fair shake". I can understand that. I so strongly respect the love all those MOTU fans had for their original series. They have such great passion. It's homage to the original and bears witness to its greatness. It's tough to let go and trust something new. You always compare it to that which you knew and loved.

    I'm sad that we didn't get into a second episode. As you'll see from my posts on other threads, I had intended to take the NA characters back to Eternia in the second season out of respect to MOTU fans and in an effort to try to unite MOTU and NA fans. That didn't happen, but it's all right.

    What bothers me most is when I see all these He-man fans bickering over one series as compared to another. I have a strong and abiding respect for the original. After all, NA never would have existed if it wasn't for MOTU. But I think it's only fair to look at NA on its own merits, or lack of merits -- depending on your point of view. That might not be possible for MOTU fans, but it is what's fair. If someone feels the writing of NA wasn't good, that's their opinion. (I happen to disagree, but that's partly because I remember working twenty hours a day for weeks at a time and -- perhaps a bit immodestly -- because I feel after having written over a thousand episodes of television I've developed a sense of what's good and what isn't. And, by the way, I'm honest enough with myself to admit when I've done something that isn't my best. And while there have been times that that happened, working on NA wasn't one of them.) All I'd ever ask is that the series be judged on its own.

    Moving everything from Eternia and leaving all the old characters behind was
    a corporate decision. I've seen fans hammer away at how it was the wrong decision -- how going sci/fi was the wrong decision, how leaving all the old characters behind was the wrong decision, how making Skeletor a bit comical was the wrong decision. Maybe they're right. But Mattel and I took a shot. They told me the direction they'd decided to go and asked if I wanted to sign on. In return they gave me tremendous license to do what I wanted within the general parameters they'd laid down, and they gambled tens of millions of dollars on developing their toyline and funding production of the series. Whether they were right or wrong isn't the point. The point is, they had the guts to take their shot and put their money where their mouth was. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said "You miss a hundred per cent of the shots you never take." How many of us can say we would have had the guts to take the shot Mattel took? The point isn't whether they were right or wrong. The point is they had the courage to take the shot, and for that I think they should be praised.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior
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    I want to say that I'm elated that Jack's joined the forums to talk about the show. I spoke to him a while ago via an interview he'd done for a website that I believe is now down (www.applecartmag.com) and asked the lady who did the interview whether it was possible to get in touch with him. Within hours he'd written back to me at length to tell me about his involvement with the show and what he's up to now. A really nice guy and I'm proud to say that I consider him a friend, even though I don't share a Vulcan mind meld with him!

  6. #6
    Heroic Social Worker Fisto's Avatar
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    Hello there, Mr Jack Olesker!

    I also am very happy to see you join the forums. This is an excellent place to be and as fans we have been very lucky to have some creative talent from all 4 'He-Man and She-Ra' related animated series, as well as people working on the some of the toy lines and other merchandise.

    Before I get into too much more about my actual first impressions of 'NA', I do want to say what a fantastic part of the whole 'MotU' saga I think it is.
    I really do believe that this series is very much an under-rated part of the He-Man and She-Ra story.

    However, since I live in Australia the cartoon was never screened here. Needless to say the toy line was on clearance here after a short amount of time. However, the toy line was released here around the time that the classic 'TMNT' was at its height. My first impressions of 'NA' were based entirely on a toy line that for me to really get into it needed a cartoon to back it up. Alas, the show was never shown. So, on the basis of the toy line I dismissed 'NA' as far too different from 'MotU' and 'PoP'.

    I was very wrong to do that. After I started to get close to filling all of the gaps in my vintage 'MotU' collection I started getting interested in 'NA'. I managed to see the cartoon and now only need three toys from that line. I think the show is fantastic. I think for those of us that grew up with the original 'MotU' and 'PoP' stories 'NA' adds something quite poetic and tragic to the 'MotU' property. I really dig the interaction that appeared in the original episode between Adam/ He-Man and his parents Queen Marelena and King Randor. I find the scene when King Randor and Queen Marlenna witness the transformation from Adam to He-Man very powerful. I think if one looks at that scene in the context of the original 'MotU' and 'PoP' cartoon series that King Randor now knows that his views that Adam is not fit to be King is way off. Plus, when you factor in how many years it had been in the original before they found Adam's sister Adora, they were more or less loosing another of their Children. Very tragic stuff!

    I also love the way Skeletor was able to manipulate Flogg to his own ends without Flogg being aware Skelie was even doing so.

    (1) I hope you do not mind me asking what ideas you may have had for the second season episode (s) that returned to Eternia? I would love to hear.

    (2) Which characters from the original did you hope to use in that episode?

    Jack, I hope you do not mind the long mindless post or the questions.
    But, I am one of those people who loves the whole 'MotU/PoP/NA' property.
    Thank you for your contribution to that property.

    Take Care,
    Darren
    Mattel please, buy the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons from Entertainment Rights. If you owned Both Filmation related "MotU" cartoons, plus "NA" and "MYP" cartoons, you would be able to distribute any or all 4 cartoons to Television in the lead up to another relaunch or a live action movie. Plus, you could include Filmation and "NA" animated characters in "MotU:C"!

    Long Live 'MOTU'!

  7. #7
    Movie Machine shigsy2003's Avatar
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    Howdy

    Well I am glad Jack has joined the forum, it is cool to have people on here who worked on a show.

    Chris M
    I have been honing my movie knowledge while I have been away and watching a lot. Best Picture winners left to watch: NONE. Films left to watch in Empire's 500 greatest films list: ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN

  8. #8
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    Greetings Mr Olesker! Well I think that I talk for a good deal of fans that we are quite surprised to see a distinguished gent like you, working in the industry signing up here and having a chat and a laugh with the fans.

    It happens too little in general within showbiz and all this stuff that comes with it, I must say.

    How do you view Skeletor as a villain btw? Would you say that he's on the same kind of iconic level as say, Dr DOOM, Lex Luthor or Darth Vader?

    Also, how did you view the cybernetic implants that the New Adventures Skeletor had? Many of us believe that you used a slight bit of the Movie-continuity, and that they are a result of the dive into lava that he took there.

    Anyways, I hope BCI Eclipse or Val or someone has been in contact with you contributing to the NA DVD's that are fated to come out in a not that distant future. I think we'd all LOVE to hear your commentary on such episodes as "Bride of Slushhead" !

  9. #9
    waiting for Geldor Toymaker's Avatar
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    Hi Jack, I to am glad that you've joıned us here on the forums.

    I'd love to hear some of your ideas about returning to Eternia
    Tweet Me!

    I've just changed my profile picture because we got Geldor in MOTUC!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisto
    Hello there, Mr Jack Olesker!

    I also am very happy to see you join the forums. This is an excellent place to be and as fans we have been very lucky to have some creative talent from all 4 'He-Man and She-Ra' related animated series, as well as people working on the some of the toy lines and other merchandise.

    Before I get into too much more about my actual first impressions of 'NA', I do want to say what a fantastic part of the whole 'MotU' saga I think it is.
    I really do believe that this series is very much an under-rated part of the He-Man and She-Ra story.

    However, since I live in Australia the cartoon was never screened here. Needless to say the toy line was on clearance here after a short amount of time. However, the toy line was released here around the time that the classic 'TMNT' was at its height. My first impressions of 'NA' were based entirely on a toy line that for me to really get into it needed a cartoon to back it up. Alas, the show was never shown. So, on the basis of the toy line I dismissed 'NA' as far too different from 'MotU' and 'PoP'.

    I was very wrong to do that. After I started to get close to filling all of the gaps in my vintage 'MotU' collection I started getting interested in 'NA'. I managed to see the cartoon and now only need three toys from that line. I think the show is fantastic. I think for those of us that grew up with the original 'MotU' and 'PoP' stories 'NA' adds something quite poetic and tragic to the 'MotU' property. I really dig the interaction that appeared in the original episode between Adam/ He-Man and his parents Queen Marelena and King Randor. I find the scene when King Randor and Queen Marlenna witness the transformation from Adam to He-Man very powerful. I think if one looks at that scene in the context of the original 'MotU' and 'PoP' cartoon series that King Randor now knows that his views that Adam is not fit to be King is way off. Plus, when you factor in how many years it had been in the original before they found Adam's sister Adora, they were more or less loosing another of their Children. Very tragic stuff!

    I also love the way Skeletor was able to manipulate Flogg to his own ends without Flogg being aware Skelie was even doing so.

    (1) I hope you do not mind me asking what ideas you may have had for the second season episode (s) that returned to Eternia? I would love to hear.

    (2) Which characters from the original did you hope to use in that episode?

    Jack, I hope you do not mind the long mindless post or the questions.
    But, I am one of those people who loves the whole 'MotU/PoP/NA' property.
    Thank you for your contribution to that property.

    Take Care,
    Darren
    Thanks for the post, Darren. Your posts are anything but mindless. Indeed, they strike a satisfying chord with me.

    You make many strong and on-the-money points. You know, when you're writing for television -- unlike performing on stage -- you don't get instant feedback. You don't even know if viewers get a lot of what you're saying. One thing that always stuck a dagger in my heart was that so many MOTU fans thought I'd dissed the old series. Nothing could be further from the truth -- especially since I was fortunate to have known, to varying degress, a number of the great writers who worked on MOTU. So it's heartening for me to hear your observations about Randor and Marlena and most importantly Adora. Those points were strongly in my mind as I crafted the scenes of which you speak. Perhaps I was too subtle in the writing, however. Maybe I should have made my point abouyt trying to link to MOTU more "on the button". But I'd always felt MOTU fans were several cuts above other fans and that they would get the fact that I was trying to make the link to MOTU without banging them over the head about it. We didn't belabor those points because we needed to get on with our own series.

    With regard to where I planned to go in future seasons, see my posts (#30, 33 and 34) on the New Adventures of He-man 1990 Annual thread.

    Best,

    Jack

  11. #11
    Dyspeptic Theologian Dave-Man's Avatar
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    Well, I liked your work, Jack. Especially your vision of Skeletor - I thought he was a lot funnier than the original one.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Predabot
    Greetings Mr Olesker! Well I think that I talk for a good deal of fans that we are quite surprised to see a distinguished gent like you, working in the industry signing up here and having a chat and a laugh with the fans.

    It happens too little in general within showbiz and all this stuff that comes with it, I must say.

    How do you view Skeletor as a villain btw? Would you say that he's on the same kind of iconic level as say, Dr DOOM, Lex Luthor or Darth Vader?

    Also, how did you view the cybernetic implants that the New Adventures Skeletor had? Many of us believe that you used a slight bit of the Movie-continuity, and that they are a result of the dive into lava that he took there.

    Anyways, I hope BCI Eclipse or Val or someone has been in contact with you contributing to the NA DVD's that are fated to come out in a not that distant future. I think we'd all LOVE to hear your commentary on such episodes as "Bride of Slushhead" !
    Thanks, Predabot. BTW, there's only one "Mr." Olesker and he's up in the clouds looking down on me. "Jack" will do just fine. I'm glad to be here. There's far, far to much distance between creators and staff working on a series and their fans. Hey, you guys are the reason shows exists in the first place.

    When it comes to villains, Skeletor is my guy! Darth Vader? Okay, good voice and he's got the Dark Side thing down. But it always seemed to me he had a stick up his you-know-what. Even in battle, Darth never really seemed to have the moves. Skeletor, on the other hand, could probably play a pretty good pick-up game of street ball. Can't you see Skeletor easily making a twenty foot jump shot? And look at his attitude! Lex, Doom... No disrespect tobthem. But Skeletor was always so articulate, so centered, so in your face. I LOVE THIS GUY!!!

    As for the implants, I confess I had nothing to do with that. They were an artistic decision, so I can't help you there.

    Finally, I've had no contact from BCI, although I'd be happy to give them my input if they wanted it. I'm not sure how to contact them, however, and I'm extremely difficult to get in touch with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man
    Well, I liked your work, Jack. Especially your vision of Skeletor - I thought he was a lot funnier than the original one.
    Thanks, Dave-Man. I know a lot of MOTU fans thought what I did with Skeletor was heresy and I sincerely respect (and understand) their right to feel that way. I chose to add a humorous element to Skeletor for a number of reasons. First, I thought it would make him a more rounded character. Who's to say that just because you're evil you don't have a sense of humor? Second, when Mattel showed me the line of mutant action figures they had at our development meetings it just seemed natural that Skeletor would play off that. I mean look at Slushhead and Flogg. You can't just let mutants get away with looking like that. The bottom line is that Skeletor found himself amidst a bunch of boneheaded mutants. He had to comment on that and he has to have fun with it or he's going to go nuts. Finally, I felt it was a good way to have Skeletor evolve. I think it's important that characters are ever-changing and growing in unexpected ways. Look at Darth Vader the first time we see him strutting off that transport shuttle and then look at him dying in Luke's arms. The guy has gone through some major evolution. Yes, what he ended up becoming always existed in him. But he evolved to the point of being able to express it. Same with Skellie. He always had the potential to have a comic side. It just took a rag-tag group of mutants to bring it out. And ya know, I think he was happy to let the inner "wild and crazy guy" out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toymaker
    Hi Jack, I to am glad that you've joıned us here on the forums.

    I'd love to hear some of your ideas about returning to Eternia
    And I'm glad to be here, Toymaker. To see where I would have loved to go in future seasons, see my posts #30, #33 and #34 in the New Adventures of He-man 1990 Annual thread.

  13. #13
    Winning Skeletor Wacky Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    Thanks, Dave-Man. I know a lot of MOTU fans thought what I did with Skeletor was heresy and I sincerely respect (and understand) their right to feel that way. I chose to add a humorous element to Skeletor for a number of reasons. First, I thought it would make him a more rounded character. Who's to say that just because you're evil you don't have a sense of humor? Second, when Mattel showed me the line of mutant action figures they had at our development meetings it just seemed natural that Skeletor would play off that. I mean look at Slushhead and Flogg. You can't just let mutants get away with looking like that. The bottom line is that Skeletor found himself amidst a bunch of boneheaded mutants. He had to comment on that and he has to have fun with it or he's going to go nuts. Finally, I felt it was a good way to have Skeletor evolve. I think it's important that characters are ever-changing and growing in unexpected ways. Look at Darth Vader the first time we see him strutting off that transport shuttle and then look at him dying in Luke's arms. The guy has gone through some major evolution. Yes, what he ended up becoming always existed in him. But he evolved to the point of being able to express it. Same with Skellie. He always had the potential to have a comic side. It just took a rag-tag group of mutants to bring it out. And ya know, I think he was happy to let the inner "wild and crazy guy" out.
    That was a great incite into NA Skellie there, I've always felt he was a much more three dimensional character in the series, showing different facets of his personality. He goes from being 'Mr Nice Guy' to a raving psycho, and theres a great balance between the two. I like how it took some 'boneheaded Mutants' to bring out that side of him. I liked how he had different relationships with the different Mutants as well, particularly his relationship with Crita.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shigsy2003
    Howdy

    Well I am glad Jack has joined the forum, it is cool to have people on here who worked on a show.

    Chris M
    Actually, what's cool is for me to be fortunate enough to talk with He-man fans -- whether they liked NA or not. Feedback from viewers is something that writers and producers desperately need -- but far too often fail to take the time to do. It helps us to understand what we're doing right and, far more importantly, what we're doing wrong. You know, my computer only tells me, "Oh, Jack, you're so clever, you're so creative!" Well that's nice, but you don't learn from that. Jean Chalopin, who started DIC along with Andy Heyward, once told me that the reason we have a twenty year friendship and business relationship is because I'm one of the few people who tells him when something he's done is sh-t. That's when you learn.

  15. #15
    Council Elder Eamon's Avatar
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    This is really cool of Mr.Olesker, coming on the boards like this.

    I'm one of those that watched every episode of NA He-man but never really got into it full heartedly. He-man in spandex was a bit much for me to bear. I didn't mind the outer space thing though.

    However as time has gone on and I've listened to NA fans rave away here, I've come to value NA for what it is.

    I have to read all the posts yet as it's all very interesting so forgive me if this has been asked already:

    I think the thing that urked me the most was that there was no real transition from old to new. By this I mean were given no reasoning to He-man new outfit, sword etc. "Oh right, so He-man has spandex on Eternia"!

    I was wondering what your thought were on this?
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  16. #16
    Dino Charged TheShadow's Avatar
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    I was a faithful watcher of He-Man and She-Ra and continued right into the New Adventures. I watched every episode -- I even recall a timeslot move to something like 5:30am and I still watched. I collected the toys as well. I enjoyed the different take and can't wait to have all 65 episodes on DVD.

    I loved how we got to see a little bit of Eternia in the first episode. And, Teela's appearance later on. Too bad we didnt get a She-Ra guest spot.
    -Jon


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  17. #17
    The New Adventures of Ion HeManOfGreyskull's Avatar
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    Did you have any tentitive plans following the "The Final Invasion"? Or was that it, and Skeletor's floating around space while He-Man's being heroic?

    And what did you think of your He-Man voice now as Man-At-Arms in the new show?
    Rob
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  18. #18
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig Boy
    This is really cool of Mr.Olesker, coming on the boards like this.

    I'm one of those that watched every episode of NA He-man but never really got into it full heartedly. He-man in spandex was a bit much for me to bear. I didn't mind the outer space thing though.

    However as time has gone on and I've listened to NA fans rave away here, I've come to value NA for what it is.

    I have to read all the posts yet as it's all very interesting so forgive me if this has been asked already:

    I think the thing that urked me the most was that there was no real transition from old to new. By this I mean were given no reasoning to He-man new outfit, sword etc. "Oh right, so He-man has spandex on Eternia"!

    I was wondering what your thought were on this?
    It's good to know you're coming around a bit to NA. I don't expect everyone to do that. I'm not quite ready to go onto the MOTU board, btw, because I don't want to do the scene in Dances With Wolves where Kevin Costner throws his arms out and rides in front of the Rebel forces.

    But I do very much like hearing criticisms of what viewers didn't like in NA. And oh, "The writing sucked" is not a criticism. It's a value judgement, and while everyone absolutely has a right to express their subjective opinion, it doesn't do me any good because there's nothing I can learn from that -- and anyway, I thought the writing was strong .

    So it's constructive criticism that I like because it's a learning experience and my occasional gaffes give me a chance to smile at my own failings.

    He-man's Spandex is an excellent case in point. Now I could tell you it was simply Mattel's decision to change the costume because they wanted to sell new action figures. And that would be right, but it would also be what we used to call a cop-out. Because the truth is: even though Mattel decided to change his outfit, I dropped the ball creatively because I didn't give justification for it. I should have come up with a raison d'etre for the costume change.

    The reason I didn't is that everything was incredibly rushed. I got a call from Mark Taylor (who now runs Nick) on a Friday night. He offered me an absurd amount of money to pound out a series bible and the first five episodes. It was the first time I ever accepted a job without trying to negotiate for better terms. I think Mark offered me the assignment because he respected my writing and because he knew I was one of maybe three or four other animation writers in L.A. who could write that fast and that well -- Jeffrey Scott being one of the others -- along with my track record at Mattel, which made me qualified in their eyes.

    Then Mark added, "The only catch is you gotta write the bible and five episodes in three weeks." It took me four -- hey, the series bible was over 90 pages -- but there were no complaints.

    And then the real action started. I wrote something like forty episodes in sixteen weeks. That means I was writing between two and three thirty-four page scripts a week -- including springboards, beat outlines and revisions to the scripts. It's like boot camp -- I'm glad I did it, but I don't ever want to do it again.

    All television writing and production is whirlwind. Once it starts, it's a runaway train. And Heaven help you if you ever miss a delivery date once the show is running. In more than 25 years in the industry, as a story editor, writer, producer and director, I've never missed an air date (and I never will). Mark Taylor nicknamed me "The Postman", and he was right -- I always deliver.

    So the answer to the Spandex issue is that I dropped the ball. I should have come up with a rational explanation as to why the costume change came about. But time constraints created a situation where I couldn't deal with every last detail. A few things fell through the cracks. I knew I had 37 episodes to be written, along with others that I'd assigned out and was story editing, staring me in the face.

    Mea culpa.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheShadow
    I was a faithful watcher of He-Man and She-Ra and continued right into the New Adventures. I watched every episode -- I even recall a timeslot move to something like 5:30am and I still watched. I collected the toys as well. I enjoyed the different take and can't wait to have all 65 episodes on DVD.

    I loved how we got to see a little bit of Eternia in the first episode. And, Teela's appearance later on. Too bad we didnt get a She-Ra guest spot.
    A bit of trivia: She-ra never appeared on NA because I don't think my heart would have been able to take it. I'm approaching maximum heartbeat rate right now just writing a post about her!

    Quote Originally Posted by HeManOfGreyskull
    Did you have any tentitive plans following the "The Final Invasion"? Or was that it, and Skeletor's floating around space while He-Man's being heroic?

    And what did you think of your He-Man voice now as Man-At-Arms in the new show?
    Please take a look at my posts #30, #33 and #34 on the New Adventures of He-man 1990 Annual thread.

    Best,

    Jack

  19. #19
    Dino Charged TheShadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    Finally, I've had no contact from BCI, although I'd be happy to give them my input if they wanted it. I'm not sure how to contact them, however, and I'm extremely difficult to get in touch with.
    info@bcieclipse.net

    I'm sure they'd love to talk to you. The New Adventures DVDs come out early 2007.
    -Jon


    Just released EPISODE 60 - Ten Year Anniversary of Masters Cast!
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  20. #20
    The New Adventures of Ion HeManOfGreyskull's Avatar
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    Yeah, I recently came into watching a few episodes of NA and really enjoyed it. I forgot why I didnt watch the show during it original run, probably had to do with the scheduling here in LA/school/my mother's want for me to stop watching toons(he he, I got the last laugh), but I really liked the idea of taking He-Man away from everything he knew minus Skeletor and going from there. Kinda like Beast Machines: Transformers....
    Rob
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    So the answer to the Spandex issue is that I dropped the ball. I should have come up with a rational explanation as to why the costume change came about. But time constraints created a situation where I couldn't deal with every last detail. A few things fell through the cracks. I knew I had 37 episodes to be written, along with others that I'd assigned out and was story editing, staring me in the face.

    Mea culpa.
    That's a very candid and honest answer so thank so much for finally aswering a question that bugged me for years.
    I dare say that had the changes been shown via an actual story, then folks may have been more accepting? Whatcha think?

    BTW. The stories never bothered me.
    Compared to the Filmation, the stories in NA were done with far more consideration in my opinion. It had actual continuity!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheShadow
    info@bcieclipse.net

    I'm sure they'd love to talk to you. The New Adventures DVDs come out early 2007.
    Thanks for the 411. I'll drop them a note.

    Best,

    Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Pig Boy
    That's a very candid and honest answer so thank so much for finally aswering a question that bugged me for years.
    I dare say that had the changes been shown via an actual story, then folks may have been more accepting? Whatcha think?

    BTW. The stories never bothered me.
    Compared to the Filmation, the stories in NA were done with far more consideration in my opinion. It had actual continuity!
    I'm certainly not trying to lessening the importance of the error -- and it really was my fault that the change in costume was never addressed. But I'm not sure if people would have been more accepting if those changes were shown. I don't think the individual details were of paramount importance -- although details are always important. I think that there was a large group of MOTU fans who were not going to be swayed by anything. And, again, I respect that -- I always respect loyalty. After all, Mattel had taken their protagonist and antagonist and moved them out of the world they lived in and left behind everyone and everything those fans loved. So in a sense they felt betrayed. My point has always been that if they stuck around they might have come around -- especially if we went back to Eternia and reunited with everything those MOTU fans justifiably loved. We'll just never know.

  23. #23
    Council Elder Eamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    I'm certainly not trying to lessening the importance of the error -- and it really was my fault that the change in costume was never addressed. But I'm not sure if people would have been more accepting if those changes were shown. I don't think the individual details were of paramount importance -- although details are always important. I think that there was a large group of MOTU fans who were not going to be swayed by anything. And, again, I respect that -- I always respect loyalty. After all, Mattel had taken their protagonist and antagonist and moved them out of the world they lived in and left behind everyone and everything those fans loved. So in a sense they felt betrayed. My point has always been that if they stuck around they might have come around -- especially if we went back to Eternia and reunited with everything those MOTU fans justifiably loved. We'll just never know.
    I can't speak for all of us but some of us ain't die hard as you may think.
    By this I mean that MOTU, over the years, has had many different versions of the characters and stories. Eg. He-man was from a tribe and he gained one half of the power sword, then there's the Prince Adam thing with one sword of power bestowed upon him, then there's the movie MOTU, not to mention the many versions in comic book form.

    To my best knowledge, the whole NA idea for U.S. fans in particular was just dropped on them with no warning. In the UK we had a build up in the comics. For the last few issues of the UK monthly comic, 'Scrollos' (narrator intro guy) "warned" us of a some great change appraoching. So to UK fans (and I think the Germans) stud up to pay attention more.

    It's Mattel's fault really for not bracing the U.S. for impact more. Yes, I'd would've loved to see a decent transition period in the cartoon and I think it would made a big difference but Mattel should seen this not you.

    Mattel gets the blame for a lot of things around here.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig Boy
    I can't speak for all of us but some of us ain't die hard as you may think.
    By this I mean that MOTU, over the years, has had many different versions of the characters and stories. Eg. He-man was from a tribe and he gained one half of the power sword, then there's the Prince Adam thing with one sword of power bestowed upon him, then there's the movie MOTU, not to mention the many versions in comic book form.

    To my best knowledge, the whole NA idea for U.S. fans in particular was just dropped on them with no warning. In the UK we had a build up in the comics. For the last few issues of the UK monthly comic, 'Scrollos' (narrator intro guy) "warned" us of a some great change appraoching. So to UK fans (and I think the Germans) stud up to pay attention more.

    It's Mattel's fault really for not bracing the U.S. for impact more. Yes, I'd would've loved to see a decent transition period in the cartoon and I think it would made a big difference but Mattel should seen this not you.

    Mattel gets the blame for a lot of things around here.
    That's fascinating about the build-up it got in the UK and Germany. I truly had no idea as I didn't follow the comic. I think it might have made a difference if there was a large base of domestic U.S. comic readers.

    Understand that Mattel really wanted the series -- read: toyline -- to be a success. Gearing up for a toyline -- injection molds, models, R&D -- can easily run into tens of millions of dollars. From the perspective of time I think they know they made a mistake in not rolling it out differently -- maybe doing a "mysterious" ad campaign to give loyal fans a heads-up and let them know that the series would eventually also embrace the MOTU elements. But that's all hindsight.

    Too, it's very easy for all of us to say "Oh, Mattel should have done this" and "Oh, Mattel should have done that." But you have to know Mattel and their corporate structure to put it into perspective. I've known many executives at Mattel -- people like Kaaren Lee Brown (now a top exec at DIC) and Debra Galliani. They were (and are) incredible executives and a pleasure to work with for the fortunate writers who got to work with them. They were (and are) creative, encouraging, understanding and I think they truly liked writers. They were always pulling for us and they always had a positive word to say, even if it was in the context of criticism. They genuinely wanted writers to succeed -- and not just because it would mean success for Mattel. They loved the creative process and you felt that from them. And I -- and more writers than will admit it -- owe them a lot.

    But in many ways Mattel executives were limited in what they could do -- and their influence outside of their own division was virtually nil. After twenty years of working with Mattel, I understand them well. They are this huge, lumbering bureaucracy.

    Now Dagar was right in his June 5th post when he said I wasn't sitting around in a room with the boys, trying to figure out how to bring He-man back. But it didn't take much for me to figure out that Mattel had waited too long to get into this thing, thet they had no strategy for how to successffully bring it off and -- in typical Mattel fashion -- there was no coordinated, cohesive, inter-departmental effort. Everyone was in an incredible hurry to get to the writing and there was no ad campaign in place. But that was typical of Mattel -- there was always this gory internecine battle going on there. Everyone was protective of their turf, and there were a lot of secrets. What they needed to do was learn how to work together and to trust each other. But that's tough to do when there's hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, you're worried about your job and the price for a three bedroom post-war stucco home in Sherman Oaks is pushing three-quarters of a million bucks.

    Bottom line: they messed up. But you have to put it into context and understand the corporate mentality. Lessons to remember if you've got an extra ten or twenty million lying around and feel like starting a children's entertainment company.

  25. #25
    Winning Skeletor Wacky Martin's Avatar
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    Very interesting to hear all this!

    One of the reason I love the New Adventures is because it was the first He-Man toyline I was exposed to, I knew about the previous cartoons, but NA was showing on TV as I was growing up and getting into the figures, so to me it was strange watching the old cartoon after the New Adventures, wondering where the heck Slush Head and Flogg were!

    Did you know a lot about what was going on in the toyline, like how well the toys were selling?

    Or did Mattel just tell you about new figures they were bringing out and asked you to work them into the cartoon? I know people sometimes say the toy based cartoons are nothing more than big toy commercials, but I've never really felt that was strong in MOTU, or in the New Adventures, where characters were introduced gradually and always had good reason for showing up when they did.

    Last edited by Wacky Martin; July 17, 2006 at 08:53pm.

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