March 10, 2011
Thanks so much to Charles-Henri Moarbes, the executive producer of Monster Buster Club for his time. I'm so glad that he answered all of my questions via e-mail. Enjoy the interview.
TRT: Tell me about yourself.
Moarbes: Well, I'm 30 years old, currently living in Paris. Monster Buster Club was my first production job as an executive producer. Before that, I worked at Disney Television France. Since September 2010, I'm a freelance writer/producer, developing shows for various companies in Europe and developing my own projects too.
TRT: What is the idea behind Monster Buster Club? Why it was chosen to become Marathon's first 3D animated series?
Moarbes: The idea behind Monster Buster Club was just that we wanted to make a fun, action-paced show, as Marathon is used to do. Marathon shows very cleverly blend action and comedy in the same concept, and Monster Buster Club is the perfect example for that. Marathon always wanted to produce a CG show: visually impressive, it was the perfect choice for a show as fun as Monster Buster Club.
TRT: How long does it usually take to make one episode? How does the process go?
Moarbes: The process of producing in very long and complex. Including writing, from the moment an episode begins production till the moment it is ready to be aired on TV, there's usually around 9 months, depending on the complexity of the episode and all the obstacles that a production might run into while producing a show. To sum up the process: we write work on writing the episode, and once the script is approved, we move to storyboard, where we draw image by image the whole episode. Both writing and storyboarding are key steps in the making of one episode. At the same time, after the script is completed, we record the voices so that storyboard artists can really feel the intention of each character's dialogue while drawing them. Once all this is done, the animation part takes place, ie making the characters move, image by image. Once this long step is over, we go to editing, where the director chooses how to pace and put together all the elements of the episode. Once this is over, we add music, sound effects and special effects in the last step that is mixing. Once mixing is over and approved by everyone, the episodes is ready to be delivered to the network that will air it later. As you can see, it's a long and complex process!
TRT: What is it like behind the scenes?
Moarbes: Lots of dedicated artists working hard!
TRT: Is it hard to think new ideas in episodes?
Moarbes: We are lucky to be working with very talented writers, so it was not hard to think of new episodes for episodes. We had regular brainstorming sessions with the writers and story-editors to find great, new stories to tell.
TRT: What were the inspirations in creating the characters?
Moarbes: It is hard, if not impossible, to say that there was ONE inspiration in creating the characters. Marathon shows always portray unique and daring characters like no others.
TRT: Who is your favorite "Monster Buster Club" character and why?
Moarbes: Definitely Cathy: her vision of Earth and her enthusiasm about everything she sees is just so much fun!
TRT: What is your favorite episode and why?
Moarbes: I do not have ONE favourite episode, but if I had to pick one, it would be 'The Famous Four' - as the episode really puts our character in a situation where they have to fight to keep their club secret! Great action!
TRT: I know this is a crazy question but why is the show called "Monster Buster Club", not "Alien Buster Club"? I notice that the main characters encountered aliens, not monsters.
Moarbes: You would have to ask the founders of the Monster Buster Club for that!
TRT: What are the surnames for Sam and Chris, as well as Wendy, Mark, Ralph, Roy and Jeremy?*
Moarbes: They don't have surnames, at least, none that we know about!
TRT: Why is John wanted to join MBC? Is he fascinated in technology and getting into the action?
Moarbes: Because the MBC is so cool and he sees his brother and his friends having so much fun busting aliens! But he's still too young to be part of the club!
TRT: Why does Danny likes skateboarding and sports?
Moarbes: Danny is a very sporty and active guy, so skateboarding and sports are literally part of his daily life!
TRT: How did Danny get his scar on his left eyebrow?
Moarbes: While skateboarding, probably!
TRT: What does Elton's alien form look like?
Moarbes: Only Cathy knows!
TRT: Is the town in which the show takes place based somewhere in Europe?
Moarbes: No. The town has been designed in a way that it can be anywhere - we wanted the kids everywhere in the world to be able to relate to Singletown!
TRT: In what year do the events in Monster Buster Club happen?
Moarbes: In recent times, but here also we didn't want to state a specific time !
TRT: Danny, Sam, and Chris had their real names revealed in the show. What about Cathy's first name?
Moarbes: It's a Rhapsodian first name, we never knew!
TRT: Will Cathy and Mr. Smith going to stay on Earth forever?
Moarbes: As long as there are aliens to fight against!
TRT: Is Principal Rollins going to marry Mr. Smith in the end?
Moarbes: Maybe :)
TRT: In "Here Comes The Bride", is Mr. Fusster an alien himself?
Moarbes: Well, Cathy and her friends weren't able to find the answer to this question, neither do we!
TRT: In "Statue Of Limitations" and "Pipe Dreams", Cathy mentioned that MBC was created centuries ago. Could you explain the history of that club, its original founders, and the reason why it was created?
Moarbes: We don't know all these details - we just know that it's been here for a long time, and that Singletown was founded by Addison Single (whose statue is in town), in order to create a town where humans and aliens could live peacefully together!
TRT: Why does Mr. Smith like gardening?
Moarbes: It's an activity he discovered while coming to Earth, and he's fascinated by all the plants that there is on our planet!
TRT: Is there suppose to be a Season 3 of Monster Buster Club?
Moarbes: Hopefully - there are so many adventures to be lived yet!
TRT: Where are the kids' parents? Are they too busy on their jobs?
Moarbes: The show focuses on the kids and their adventures with aliens, so we didn't want to include the parents. Maybe in future episodes we will see them, because of course, they are here!
TRT: In "The End Of Everything (Part 1 and 2)", I notice that Danny seemed determined to find Cathy than anyone else. Is it because he has an affection to her or its just strong friendship?
Moarbes: Well, he certainly cares about her a lot - but so do.
TRT: After "Goodbye Earth" (the last episode), is the current MBC members continue to hunt alien criminals? Will they ever going to recruit new members when they grow up?
Moarbes: Of course they continue hunting alien criminals. It is thanks to them that the evil aliens don't take over Singletown and earth. As for recruiting new members, for now it hasn't been discussed in the club! As long as they're together and doing their job of Monster Busters, there's no need for new members :)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------* In "Frogs In Space", Jeremy's surname is Flablotnick. Sorry for that question. I admit I get too excited, sometimes. :))
Check out other Monster Buster Club interviews:
Interview copyright © 2011 by The Rhapsodian Tourist
The contents of this interview may not be reproduced in part or in full without the permission of The Rhapsodian Tourist and Charles-Henri Moarbes.