7-Zark-7 Must Die!

stuff was added to this Page on August 1st, 1998

The idea for Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: 7-Zark-7 Must Die! occurred after Corellian Jones and Phillip Sral first saw the 3 episode Gatchaman 1994 OVA series at the Denver Colorado Mile High Convention. The animation quality was excellent, and there was a lot of neat fight footage to work with. The original concept was to strictly go after Sandy Frank, and also to do some matte effects with New Tek's Video Toaster (which Corellian had just acquired). About one year later, Corellian found some actual Battle of the Planets episodes for sale by a company in Great Britain. These guys had just taped some episodes directly off U.S. television stations, and were selling copies of these in the U.K. Corellian picked up 3 tapes, and wanted to find a way to work the Hanna-Barbera style animation into the story. He called Phillip, and they began to re-work the original idea (which was absolutely wacky, and would have required footage from such Sid and Marty Kroft classics as HR Puff 'n Stuff, Liddsville, etc.) into something a bit more direct and simple. Phillip hit on the idea of using the Hanna-Barbera style footage to show Sandy frank's G-Force as totally inept. The whole sequence would resole around 7-Zark-7 trying like hell to get his Team into the Phoenix, and them basically just ignoring him in their ready room; while the Original Ninja Team flies up and nukes Center Neptune. He then said, "Lets just make the Gatchaman 'Evil Clones' Team from the OVA members of Ted Turner's version of G-Force." (Interestingly enough, at the time he suggested this, Phillip had only heard about Ted Turner's G-Force: Defenders of the Universe, but had not actually seen an episode). At that point Corellian chimed in that there was a character he could say was Ted Turner himself, and that if we did Katase Berge as Zoltar, we could use an earlier scene of him/it as Jane Fonda talking to TNT representatives about the situation...etc, etc. From that point on, the rest was history. They co-wrote a script, and put this thing together.

This was also the first production we did in conjunction with the Sherbert Productions Home Page. Phillip posted status reports on the Project's progress periodically, and it's now something he does each time we do a new Project. This was also the first project we did with our digital audio editing system. The final TRUE STEREO mix was completed on Sunday, July 21st, 1996.

We premiered a Work In Progress version of Ninja Team Gatchaman: 7-Zark-7 Must Die! on May 31st, 1996 at Project A-Kon 7 in Dallas, Texas. To us it was a "Work in Progress" because Corellian had worked feverishly to complete it the night before we hopped a plane to A-Kon 7. The version we showed had no beginning or ending credits, and had a bad (mono) audio mix (in Corellian and Phillip's opinions anyway). Even with all this the comments were VERY positive, and some people couldn't figure out why we felt the audio mix down was so terrible. One a somewhat unrelated note I should mention that on Saturday, June 1st, 1996, A-Kon 7 suffered a complete power failure that lasted from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm of that day. Even though it didn't affect our showing of the Gatchaman parody, it was an interesting experience in a lot of ways. I'm sure the Dealers were VERY upset about this, and it did color our perceptions for a time since it occurred 1/2 hour into our block of Saturday video room time. All things did work out for us in the end, because when the power came back on at 7:00 pm, we started showing what we had planned to show that morning, and were able to go until 8:30 pm of the same day before we had to vacate the room.
We premiered the completed TRUE STEREO version of Ninja Team Gatchaman: 7-Zark-7 Must Die! on Saturday, July 27th, 1996 at Anime America '96 in San Jose, California. They had a good projection system that afforded a very good picture, but because of complaints from the Panel room next door, they were unable to use the hotel speaker system. As a result, the sound left a lot to be desired. To fix the situation as far as Gatchaman was concerned, we hooked up the "boom box" that we had brought to use when we showed stuff in our hotel room, and had good sound for the rest of our program. It was a packed room, and judging by the laughter, and other comments, one could say that the audience enjoyed what they saw.
We showed both Gatchaman parodies on Saturday, November 15, 1997 at GATCHAPALOOZA '97 (held as part of Anime Weekend Atlanta 3). There were about 70 people at the screening; a majority of whom were true Gatchamaniacs. We figured that we would either have them rolling on the floor, or we'd get lynched by an angry mob before our show was over. As it turned out everyone was quite pleased, and we got a small ovation and a sincere thank you from Jen Nolan and the assembled crowd.
The following is an excerpt taken from an article written by Jeff Banning regarding his experiences at Anime Weekend Atlanta 3. The article appeared in Issue Number 9 (Winter 1998) of ANIMECO magazine. The excerpt was taken from page 18. It was the first time that we of Sherbert Productions saw comments about our work in a nationally distributed magazine. Anyway, here's what Mr. Banning wrote about us:

Another new thing at this year's con was Sherbert Productions, an anime parody group. It was good to finally see some of their stuff, since I've never been to one of the California conventions and they don't distribute their stuff. I'm not sure if it's new, but they had some parodies of Gatchaman '94 (the regular versions are available in video stores now from Urban Vision as Gatchaman) this year. Good stuff.

JoeDaed d' Wolf
JunDoc Wyer
JimpeiUrsula Von Wasserturm
MarkPhillip Sral
JasonJohnny Zed
TinyActually, he didn't say or do anything, but hey, he's dead now!
KeopJohnny Zed
Susan The Early Warning SystemNikki Cameron
Ace GoodheartDaed d' Wolf
Dirk DaringPhillip Sral
Agatha JuneWinderemere
Pee WeeThe other members of G-Force found him so annoying that they killed
him just before their appearance in Lady Jane's conference room.
ZoltarJohnny Zed
Ted TurnerShea Owlsfeather
ElvisPhillip Sral
Lady JaneNikki Cameron
Boris BadinoffShea Owlsfeather
Doctor NoShea Owlsfeather
Fu ManchuPhillip Sral
Network RepresentativeLaserman
Fan Boy #1Souffle'
Atlanta Hawk #1Winderemere
Atlanta Hawk #2Ursula Von Wasserturm

Executive ProducersCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy) and Phillip Sral
Production CoordinatorPhillip Sral
Original ScreenplayPhillip Sral and Corellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
DirectorShea Owlsfeather
Video/Audio EditorCorellian Jones (a.k.a. Chew E. Bacca, Dr. McCoy)
Lip Synch ObserversWinderemere (a.k.a. Cassie), Doc Wyer, Ursula Von Wasserturm
Music SelectionChew E. Bacca (a.k.a. Corellian Jones, Dr. McCoy)
Amiga 4000/Studio 16 Technical SupportPhillip Sral
Computer GraphicsThe little Toaster that could


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