Interview with Kevin McKeever

by Chen Wu August 2005

Chen Wu is the moderator of RTUCN's The Shadow Chronicles message board, she has interviewed Mr. Kevin MeKeever, the Operations Coordinator of Harmony Gold in August 2005. The questions had been collected from our forum, and their answers are what fans are eagerly to know or have been seeking for a long time.

Thanks to Kevin McKeever, here in this interview, fans would find many excitements about the production of TSC and also other stories.

Chen Wu: Now that fans around the world are waiting for the appearance of the movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, can you tell us when HG first had the intent of making the sequel? Can you give us some detail about how this idea had come up and also how it was developed into shape?

Kevin McKeever: Around 1999-2000 Harmony Gold saw numerous Robotech internet-fan sites popping up worldwide. Impressed with the worldwide fan support of the show long after the show was off the air, Harmony Gold created in Feb. 2001. When we launched the website and witnessed the strong response from our fans (with little promotion). Harmony Gold saw that the fan base was far stronger then anyone realized and decided that a new series was the best way to grow the franchise. It was the fan support that made Harmony Gold want to produce more Robotech animation.

KM: After the decision to begin development of the new series was given the green light, Harmony Gold wanted a good project. Harmony Gold noticed that the fans really wanted to see a continuation to the unresolved ending of the original series. So we took our time in making sure that we had a good story that our fans would want see while allowing new viewers easy access to the Robotech Universe.

CW: Do you have a definite timeline for TSC OVA? When will it be decided whether to release the new TV series?

KM: Several of the international distributors have indicated that they can release the DVD in their markets in early 2006. Of course that can change depending on the terms of the final distribution agreement that is struck with them. Also other distribution options (theatrical, TV, Pay-Per View etc.) may effect when the DVD is finally available.

KM: Right now we are clearly focused on starting with an OVA movie. However if sales are strong enough and there is enough interest from a TV Network for series we will gladly produce one. The new Battlestar Galactica series went this route and hopefully we can follow the same path.

CW: Where does TSC position itself in the whole timeline of Robotech? Will it be a continuation within the main frame of the original series?

KM: Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles is a direct sequel to 85th and final episode of Robotech.

CW: We know that TSC is part of the Robotech epic, how are you going to ensure its continuity with the original trilogy and make it integral part of the Robotech story?

KM: Our screenwriter, Ford Riley, did a tremendous amount of research to make sure that it lines up with the original 85 episodes of Robotech. I think fans will be pleased with how he approached it.

CW: Will the key components of the original series still be seen in TSC, e.g. flower of life or protoculture?

KM: Yes.

CW: Will there be any new alien races coming up?

There is a new threat. The Invid have seen its destructive power before.

CW:And will the three alien races from the original series still be on the stage of SC?

KM: I have no comment at this time.

CW: What will be the style of music in TSC? In the original trilogy, each of the three parts had different singers and songs, what about TSC, will there be new singer(s) and new song(s) coming up? Will they be completely new, or some of them will be borrowed from the original series? And what about the soundtrack CD, are you planning to issue a soundtrack CD after?

KM: Scott Glasgow will be using an orchestra to record the music for TSC. He is in constant communication with Tommy Yune on the music and they are going for a sound that is consistent with the original series music. However, modern production methods will allow for musical styles not possible in 1985.

KM: Once the music is recorded then we can look into distributing the soundtrack.

CW: On Comic Con at San Diego, HG postponed the announcement of TSC DVD distributor. When are you going to finally announce it?

KM: Until details of the release are finalized I'm not allowed to discuss who it will be. However I can say that to give The Shadow Chronicles maximum exposure, Harmony Gold is looking at all distribution options beyond just the DVD.

CW: Are you planning to release series of toys and game related to TSC at same time as the movie or shortly after?

KM: We plan on releasing merchandise from the show shortly after it comes out.

CW: If there is game, will you ever consider PC-based game?

KM: We are looking into a whole range of gaming options. Including PC based and online games.

CW: Will you consider introducing TSC to China, just as you did fourteen years ago with the original series? How soon can Chinese fans possibly see the new movie and/or the new TV series?

KM: We want our fans in China to see Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. However, this depends on which Chinese TV Networks, Cable Networks, Satellite Networks and DVD distributors want to take the show. I can say the show is available for the Chinese market and our door is open to any Chinese distributor that is interested. Also our Chinese fans should let their favorite TV, Satellite and DVD distributors know that you want to see The Shadow Chronicles.

CW: HG organized a tour of comic shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Robotech. We noticed that one panel show was held in London, UK, which is outside North America. Will HG consider making China as a stop of the tour?

KM: The Robotech Convention Tour goes to conventions that the tour is invited to attend. For 2006 Harmony Gold has been approached by conventions worldwide for the tour to make a stop at their local convention and we hope to make some announcements soon. I would love for the tour to make a stop in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Bejing so we can meet all of our fans. The best way members of RTUCN can help make that happen is contact the large anime conventions in those cities and tell them you want the Robotech Convention Tour to make a stop there.

CW: Robotech's peripheral products are rarely available in China, except the toy series released in mid-90's. Many fans are hoping that they will be able to get these products inside China; does HG have the plan of introducing more peripheral products into China, such as soundtrack CD, toys and games from Robotech including The shadow chronicles?

KM: Harmony Gold has been looking at introducing these items to the Chinese market for quite some time. The good news is we are in currently in discussions with several companies to release these items in China. Once we reach agreements for distribution of Robotech merchandise in China I will make sure RTUCN will be the first to know.

CW: Thank you for answering my questions, Robotech fans here in China will be glad to hear so many good news.