Toonarific Interview – Katherine Fugate

Originally posted: 4-16-2000

A very talented writer that worked on Max Steel.

When Kat initially came to us it was just with info on the series. One email turned into two, then five, and up and up. It was great. I really enjoyed talking with her; getting background info on the series, Max Steel, talking to her about her likes and hobbies…it was a real pleasure. Here are her answers to our questions that we sent her.

Also check out the Official Katherine Fugate website.

What got you started in cartoons and childrens programming?
This is my first cartoon show. Otherwise, i write feature films. Two scripts of mine are actually being cast now and will be in theatres in a few years. plus, wendy finerman (who received an Academy Award for Forest Gump) just picked up my new screenplay, so career-wise, i’m in good shape. But I wanted to be a part of max steel because i believed in it and the producer (jeff kline) and his girlfriend cathy tanzer are close friends of mine. We just got picked up for 13 more episodes!
What was you favorite cartoon growing up?
Growing up, I loved a japanese series called “Johnny Socko and the Flying Robot” which isn’t actually a cartoon per se but was instrumental to me in writing about fantasy and wish fulfillment. A boy and his robot. I wanted my own robot. But as for cartoons, I watched them all. I wanted to be Josie in Josie and the Pussycats and I wanted to be a part of the Scooby Doo team, and I wanted to drive Speed Racer’s car and I wanted to fly through the jungle like Sheena. But I’d say I was more into the japanese monster movies every saturday morning, like Godzilla and Rodan. That and night gallery and the twilight zone.
What projects have you worked on during your entertainment career? Which was your best experience and why?
So far, I have been blessed to write all my own stuff. But one of the funniest stories I know of as a writer was when I was brought in to an actress’s company to potentially write a movie for her. Usually, companies bring you in and hand you a current script that needs to be rewritten or they have a book they want you to adapt and you sit down and talk about it, but in this meeting I sat down and they said the actress “wants to ride a horse.” When i asked, “and?” that was all they had. They had no story, no time period, no genre, nothing. Just an actress on a horse. I asked them what kind of horse – equestrian, merry-go-round, unicorn, wild west trick riding – and they just gave me a blank look. That is still a very funny memory for me.
Are there any new ideas that you are working on for future production or just for fun?
I am developing a submarine kids movie with the producers of The Cider House Rules. I love submarines (hence my max steel episode) and all the danger and intrigue and mystery surrounding them, so in my film it’s sort of like a War Games scenario when Navy kids take out a submarine on a dare and almost start WWIII. I’m going to the premiere of U-571 and can hardly sit still because of the anticipation.
What kinds of projects would you like to work on in the future? With anyone in particular?
I am thrilled to be working with Wendy Finerman, who has an Academy Award as a paper weight. I love the X-Files and Ally McBeal. Certain directors move me – like Ridley Scott, Peter Weir, Luis Mandoki, James Brooks, Gus Van Zant and Stephen Frears. Just imagining what they could do with my little stories makes me swoon. I’m a big fan of quirky.
What kind of things do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not writing, I like to go to the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles and talk to all the people there. Such a myriad of folks from all over the world. I also like to drive my car up and down PCH or on Wilshire Blvd from the beach all the way down to downtown L.A. I also drive to Oxnard, to a place called “Tasty’s Drive-In”, for a peanut butter and chocolate shake. I find driving very soothing and inspirational. I listen to music – which is always more enveloping in the car than in my house. Sometimes I just drive and drive nomadically all day just to experience a new CD. Right now, i’m obsessed with Moby’s “Play.” But I’m also into Morcheeba and Olive and Garbage and Enigma. Ambient techno moody pretty stuff that transports me.
How many degrees of separation are there between you and Kevin Bacon? Please outline 🙂
Kevin Bacon, huh? I bet not many, though I honestly don’t know the answer. I’m a southern california native, so I’ve been here, done that, and most assuredly have a short line to Kevin, though I’ve never met him.
Thanx ahead of time if you are able to do this for us.

You’re welcome. It was my pleasure, honestly truly. Writers tend to be the unseen force in the world. We rarely hear what people think of our work. Writing in a vacuum is weird and it’s nice to get feedback, so, thank you.