DIRTY PAIR: The Arrest of Mr. Macek

stuff was added to this Page on March 14, 2009

This was the first parody Sherbert Productions ever did. At the time Corellian Jones and Phillip Sral were discussing the feasibility of actually doing a dub, we didn't even have a name for our group. Corellian Jones had the technical ability, access to the required equipment, and was willing to do everything on the technical end of things, but wasn't comfortable attempting to write a script. Phillip was willing to try his hand at writing something, but was more concerned with actually getting people to do the character voices. They both sat down one night in November of 1988, and began watching various OVAs to decide on a piece of Anime they felt they could tackle.

Corellian's only comment regarding the type of Anime he wanted to do was: "I don't care as long as I'm able to use my `STAR TREK Sound Effects' CD." Phillip had no problem with that, and after about 3 Hours they decided to do a parody based on Carl Macek's ROBOTECH: The Sentinels. Phillip had about 9 pages of the Sentinels script done when Corellian called 3 weeks later. He told Phillip to PLEASE choose another project to do because he couldn't stomach looking at the cheap, cheesy animation that was ROBOTECH: The Sentinels. Phil agreed wholeheartedly, and was having the same problems while writing the script, (which was why there was only 9 pages after 3 weeks of work).

In the beginning of February 1989, they got together again, with a few other people to decide once and for all on a project that they would actually complete. After a few more hours of staring at a T.V. screen, it was decided that we would do the seventh episode of the 1987 Dirty Pair OVA series which involved a steroid using female wrestler. To relax after making this momentous decision, someone suggested we watch ANOTHER Dirty Pair episode (which was greeted by responses that I can't post here); but for some reason the group gave in, and we put the first episode of the Dirty Pair OVA series in the VCR. Phillip was only half watching the thing when members of the group started to make joking remarks about what was happening on the screen. Someone said "Geez, that Prison warden almost looks like Carl Macek, and that prisoner he's talking to looks like Exador" (from ROBOTECH). That piqued Phil's interest, and when another member of the crowd yelled out "No more Sentinels, no more Sentinels", Phil had us stop the tape, and re-watch it from the start. It was at this point that Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek was born.

One week later to the day, Phil had the entire script completed, timed, and ready to dub. On that day, the gang got together again, and this time included two new female members who Phil had coerced into playing Kei and Yuri. The casting session was short and sweet. We had more than enough guys, and would play it by ear the day we dubbed the thing. The only male part cast at the time was Phillip Sral as Carl Macek (who nobody else wanted to do just in case Carl didn't have a sense of humor about this stuff). This was also the day that we decided on a name for the group. One person (who shall remain nameless, and left the group soon after) had suggested Screaming Flea Productions, but was unanimously voted down. Corellian suggested Rainbow Sherbert Productions since one of the OVAs we had kicked around (and would eventually do as our second parody) involved a flying Sherbert-bird. This was deemed acceptable (since we didn't want to piss off our Technical person); and thus Sherbert was born. However, when we got to the point of creating our opening logo, we decided to shorten the group name to Sherbert Productions.

It took Corellian about 2 months to arrange free studio time, but on Saturday, April 22, 1989, the cast arrived at Pasadena City College to dub Arrest of Mr. Macek. This was the first and LAST time that we dubbed a whole project in one day. We started at 10:00 am, and finished at 9:00 pm. It was quite insane, and we were going pretty much non stop. People would run out for food if they weren't in a scene, and there was actually enough scenes without Kei and Yuri in them that even the girls could grab a bite. To this day, Phillip and Corellian are amazed everyone stayed to complete the project (which we had to do since Corellian was not certain if he could arrange a second day). The last thing done in the session was Yuri's line: "By the power of Min Mei!" It was a real bitch to get because although the audio board we were using had an echo function, the echo function didn't work. To get the desired echo effect, Phillip stood on a chair in a large empty area of the studio holding a microphone and pointing it at a corner of the room, while the actress who played Yuri screamed out the line several times. After 23 takes, we called it quits. To this day, the actress who played Yuri has wanted revenge on Corellian since he revealed that he used the first take of that line in the final video. At the end of the session, Phillip asked if people wanted to keep their scripts, and was greeted with about 5 flying projectiles. Later when the cast went out to dinner, a number of people couldn't order food directly since they had lost their voices.

The whole thing was then edited together in about 3 weeks. This was not because Corellian wanted to work that fast, but one week into putting it together, he found that he would lose all access to the equipment he was using at the end of that time. That's the major reason why the lip synch is much less accurate during the last 10 minutes; and also why there is less sound effects and music in the last 10 minutes as well.

After Corellian Jones completed the "Ranma 1/2: Summer Vacation" Special Edition, Phillip Sral asked if they could do the same for "Arrest of Mr. Macek". Phillip felt that given all the technical improvements Sherbert had achieved, the fact that "Arrest" was close to ten years old, and the fact that Corellian had redone his favorite Sherbert project; Phillip wanted to give "Arrest of Mr. Macek" a good re-tooling as well. Corellian agreed to do this, not only out of fairness, but because he too was tired of seeing ALL the glitches that existed in the original version.

They had also both been wanting to fool around with some of the more advanced functions of NEW TEK's Video Toaster, as well as the Lightwave software. Phillip had also come up with an idea for some new scenes to insert at the start of the parody; and this would allow them to make use of the Toaster and Lightwave. After looking at some footage from the "Dirty Pair Flash" OVA series, Phillip figured he could insert a scene showing the trial of Jameson Brewer, which had been mentioned by 'Doc' in the Original version. Corellian said hie could create a key frame animation of the original Kei and Yuri walking into that scene, and go from there to whatever Phillip wanted. Phillip was also a Star Trek fan, and really wanted to inject something really eye-catching. He knew of an internet FTP site that contained a lot of Lightwave 3-D objects created by other insane people who also had too much time on their hands. Phillip found a U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D, and a detailed recreation of the Babylon-5 Space Station. Downloading them was easy, installing them to properly load and be useable on the Amiga 4000 was a bit more challenging, but after a few hours, everything was in place.

Phillip wanted and opening shot of the B5 station and the Enterprise in the same frame. Corellian was more than happy to comply, and he did an excellent job designing perspectives and movements of the Enterprise 1701-D that had never been done in any "Star Trek: The Next Generation" T.V. episodes. After three days of rendering, they had an animated sequence they were happy with, and Corellian proceeded to create a new video master, while Phillip polished up the dialog for the new scenes.

The next phase consisted of Corellian listening to ALL the original voice-over tapes from ten years earlier to pick out the takes and performances that he felt were the best. The original voice-over session (done in a single day and lasting 10 hours) was done in sequence, but at the time neither Corellian or Phillip had made any logs or records of what was what. Because of this, it took Corellian two weeks to identify what was good, and usable. The only thing that remained of the pre-production phase was to record the necessary lines for the new scenes with Kei and Yuri. The only problem was that the voice actress who had originally done Kei had dropped out of Sherbert for a couple of good reasons in 1992, and Phillip wasn't sure if she'd be willing to return for the project. Fortunately getting her back and working with her again was a lot easier than expected.

As far as the remix of the audio tracks, Corellian did a masterful job. He did a number of changes to the music tracks to conform to what he had really wanted to do in 1989; but couldn't because he couldn't obtain copies of certain songs; or because of the time constraints he was working against just to get the original version completed. Corellian completely redid the sound effects tracks, and was able to really do some nice improvements. Corellian also did his best to clean up and enhance the original voice over tapes. He allowed Phillip a lot of input and control during the mixdown phase, and they really tweaked stuff as much as possible. There were still a couple of areas where not much improvement could be done; as well as some spots where tough choices and compromises had to be made. Overall Phillip and Corellian pleased with the Special Edition as a whole; and think it's definitely a major improvement over the Original version.

We premiered Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek on Saturday, July 1st, 1989 at Westercon 42. However, we were not shown in the Japanese Animation room proper, but the Live Action Video room right next door. I found it interesting because when the show started, our room had about 10 people, and the Japanese Animation room had about 30 people. Within 5 minutes, our room was standing room only (about 50 people), and the actual Japanese Animation room had 2 people in it (although the VCR Operator of the Anime room had migrated over to our room). It was because of this overwhelming positive response that Phillip Sral and Corellian Jones decided to continue with Sherbert Productions.
In March of 1990, we actually showed Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek to Carl Macek himself at a meeting of the now defunct EDC Pasadena Anime Club. It was here that we found Carl did indeed have a sense of humor since he did actually laugh at most of the jokes (and two people who knew him well assured us the he was honestly laughing), and at the end of the screening, we presented him with a copy of the video. We figure he must have a sense of humor since we were never sued for defamation of character.
In June of 1999, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, along with Project A-KON 10 in Dallas, Texas. We showed a 90 second promo for the Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek [Special Edition] at Opening Ceremonies, and the crowd let out a cheer when "SHERBERT PRODUCTIONS SPECIAL EDITION" appeared on the screen. We premiered the Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek [Special Edition] in our hotel room on Friday, June 4, 1999; and in the Fan Video Room on Saturday, June 5, 1999

The situation regarding our hotel room showings was very interesting. When we arrived and checked in on Thursday evening, we discovered that there was no way to use our hotel room's television to playback our VHS tapes. The T.V. had a type of F-Connector collar which rendered the T.V. unusable if removed. Since we didn't want to forgo our planned room parties, Phillip obtained a "Free" T.V. rental from a local electronics store (i.e. We drove out to one on Friday morning, purchased a T.V., used it to show stuff in the hotel room on Friday and Saturday; and returned it for a refund on Sunday - and Phillip DID get his money back). We didn't find this situation at all funny on Thursday night when we arrived, and hope it'll never come up again; but given the distance we had travelled to show stuff, we all WANTED to hold the room parties we had promised and advertised. This was the first time in ten years of doing these kind of conventions that we encountered a T.V. collar we couldn't defeat; and we've encountered MANY of these collars in that time. We enjoyed Project A-KON 10, and would like to thank Meri Hazelwood and her staff for all they did to make us feel a welcome part of the convention. Aside from the hotel T.V. situation, 10 was the A-KON convention we have personally enjoyed the most to date.
In January of 2009 we discovered that Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek had been written about and briefly analyzed by an associate professor of Asian languages and cultures and film and video studies at the University of Michigan,Abe Mark Nornes; in his book entitled: Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema! (Available from Phillip Sral purchased a hardcopy copy of the book because neither he, nor other involved with Sherbert Productions could believe it; but it was in there - nearly 2 pages worth of discussion! (Here's a link to pages 195 and 196; where it's talked about - from Google Book search) In the book, Abe Mark Nornes wrote:

Anime parodies are far more interesting, mostly because they involve subcultural poaching. Unfortunately, most of the sub-dub parodies poor pornography, but there are exceptions. The best dubbing parodies come from a group called Sherbert Productions (led by Corellian Jones and Phillip Sral). Anime fan dubbings are at an enormous disadvantage because they have no access to seperate sound tracks, forcing them to add their own music and sound effects, (mostly campy performances using the human voice). However, Sherbert goes to great lengths to use real sound effects, either creating them or taking them off CD packages like the one from Star Trek(1966-69). It also inserts graphics from other beloved series, for example Star Trek and Babylon 5 (1994-98). Needless to say, they are very complex texts.

Sherbert's first attempt was the 1989 Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek. They take the original story - the prison episode from the OVA (straight to video) where the two heroines struggle against evil forces as usual - and revise it into a fabulous revenge fantasy aimed at none other than Carl Macek (a popular object of catharsis in these parodies). In the tape, Macek has gone around the country to various conventions and kid-napped fans and brought them to his preview house/prison on the planet Jupiter, forcing them to watch Robotech until he gets a favorable review. Carl's old pal Exador (who was locked up after demanding a raise), has had enough, and organizes a preview house riot to break into Macek's Japanese animation vault to acquire some "real" anime, which people have been deprived of for so long. Kei and Yuri are sent out to arrest Macek for "the ruthless butchery of Japanese animation", and they arrive on Jupiter just as the riot is underway. The tape ends in complicated chaos, much like the original, with the Dirty Pair declaring, "We're going to Disneyland!"

Now, I (Phillip Sral); have to say that I'm still floored by the fact that an associate professor of Asian language and culture, actually sat through Dirty Pair: The Arrest of Mr. Macek and paid such detailed attention to it (Oh, and by some of the comments he makes in his book, he actually saw the Special Edition version we did in 1999; and not the original version from 1989. It is also clear he stayed for the sequel, DIRTY PAIR II: The Dirty Pair Does Disneyland

YuriSteve (a.k.a. Yuri, Celia, and B-KO)
PresleyPhillip Sral
Mr. MacekPhillip Sral
Prisoner #2Yogi Bear
Steve BarronYogi Bear
`Doc'Yogi Bear
QShea Owlsfeather
ExadorShea Owlsfeather
FlintShea Owlsfeather
Ahmed AgrammaShea Owlsfeather
The Old GuyShea Owlsfeather
Dropship PilotShea Owlsfeather
MikeFlaming Weasel
`Shipwreck'Flaming Weasel
GroverFlaming Weasel
Prison LoudspeakerCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)

Jameson BrewerShea Owlsfeather
Purist Judge #1Daed d' Wolf
Purist Judge #2Ursula von Wasserturm
Purist Judge #3Pandora
U.S.S. Enterprise EnsignUrsula von Wasserturm

Executive ProducersPhillip Sral and Corellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
Production CoordinatorPhillip Sral
Original ScreenplayPhillip Sral
Script SupervisorPhillip Sral
Music SelectionCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
FoleyCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
Computer GraphicsCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
EditorCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)

Audio SweeteningCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
Computer AnimationCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
DirectorPhillip Sral
3D Model Acquisition and InstallationPhillip Sral
U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D Model DesignSebastian Eichholz
Babylon 5 Station Model DesignDean A. Scott
Deep Space 9 Station Model DesignBob Byrne


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