**I received an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
You know when Disney Channel debuts a new show, it will be great! This is most certainly the case with the brand new Disney channels how MECH-X4! In MECH-X4, Ryan has the extraordinary ability to control technology with his mind. When his talent mysteriously awakens a giant 150-foot robot known as MECH-X4, Ryan recruits his two best friends and older brother to help him operate MECH-X4 to defend against monsters that suddenly begin to descend upon their city.
MECH X-4 is fun, exciting, and will have the whole family interested to tune in week after week! This is one show I can’t wait to watch with my entire family when it debuts November 11 at 8:30 pm! The special effects on this show are truly out of this world and the plot is so much fun. We had the chance to screen the first two episodes and then sit down with both the cast and directors of the show.
INTERVIEW WITH STEVE MARMEL AND ANUPAM NIGAM INTERVIEW
Our first set of interviews were with executive producers Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam. They told us when they started creation on it, their main influencers were movies such as ET, Godzilla, Transformers, and Goonies. They both love giant robots so that was the direction they went in while deciding what MECH-X4 should be. With them being both comic guys, they wanted to serialize storytelling of epic stories with the focus being the two brothers and their friendships.
They told us the idea of MECH-X4 come about from the brainchild of Steve Marmel. It originally started out with the idea of “wouldn’t it be fun to do a show about four kids that just happen to have to work together to fight a giant monster robot. Then it evolved with “wouldn’t it be fun to actually have great special effects? Wouldn’t it be great to do it single camera and make it look like a movie?” It really started with an idea and Disney went for it.
Steve Marmel told us that Anupam Nigam comes from a world of serialized storytelling and the director, Zach, had a passion for the nostalgic Goonies, ET vibe, that’s sort of an Amblin feel of it all. It became this thing through collaboration and really talented people.
This is a show about family, it’s a show about friendship, and it’s a show about teamwork.
We were curious what their favorite scenes and moments were so far?
“I can tell you what mine is. I came from the one-hour world; this is my first time on a half-hour comedy. It’s my first time on a show that targets families instead of adults, so I had a little trepidation. I’d seen some of the footage… the show looked amazing, and in the third episode – which will air Saturday, November 12th – the director sent me this one quick clip of Ryan and there’s an explosion in the head of the robot. He just goes flying across the thing, and it looked amazing.
It looked like any kind of action movie you would see in the theaters, and I remember asking him ‘how did you hide the wires; how did you higher the rigs?” And he said there were no wires; there were no rigs. Nathaniel just did that; he was able to jump and make it look like he was being thrown across the robot. I was like, this show is gonna be amazing.” - ANUPAM NIGAM NIGAM
“We do what Zach likes to call Kung-Foo takes. Once we get everything that’s written, once we get the intention down, then there’s usually a thing where the kids get to do whatever they want. And the camera rolls. They get to do whatever they wanna do. And invariably, in every episode, somebody does something funny, or poignant, or weird, or interesting that’s an extension of what was written – that’s surprising.
Or even Harris going, ‘oh, we’re doing catchphrases now? I love that. And that happens because they know the character, and they’re having fun with it, and that makes me really happy.”- STEVE MARMEL
They then told us production is very ambitious. They do two half hour episodes every night over nine days. They are in the Robot set three to four days and then in Vancouver doing movie stuff for five days rain or shine. They have a great crew. They also shoot two episodes at once. Once the episodes are done, they do four to five months of special effects, like all the drone shots that are done during the nine day period. They have some people sort of play acting out exactly what the fight will be, and then they lay in the robot and the monster in those shots. It takes a really long time.
It was a pleasure to interview them that day. It was so informative to hear just how excited they are about this project. Once they were done, we had the chance to interview the cast. Our first question was what was their favorite scene?
“My favorite was in the second episode where a giant shack fell on me and I had ooze poured all over me. It was an interesting experience. All the takes that we did were fun.”- KAMRAN LUCAS
They told us it was freezing cold to shoot that scene and it took many scenes.
“I would say my favorite was watching the peanut butter get flown on Nate. That was great. As a friend to watch, it was great.”- Raymond Cham
“I think my favorite scene from the first episode… was actually first getting in the harness, and jumping up in the air and just stepping as the robot. That was my favorite.” -NATHANIEL POTVIN
“Definitely my favorite would be the first scene I ever filmed. It’s just to work with these guys for the first time it was really a memorable moment.” - Pearce Joza
Next we wanted to know, in ways are you guys like your characters?
“All right. I like to say I’m like my character and not like my character. Spyder’s very crazy and he likes to do a lot of daredevil stuff type things. And I lived in Colorado for a long time so I like to go out back and, play in the pond and climb trees or whatever. I also love school. I’m taking college level courses and Sypder’s not very good at school.” -PEARCE JOZA
“I’m kinda like my character because, Ryan is always rising to the occasion. So whenever he has to fight a monster or even stand up to his brother, I’m kinda like that in some ways. Also, I have two older brothers so I know exactly what Ryan goes through on a daily basis. And, Ryan loves to skateboard. I love to skateboard. So there’s some similarities between us there.” - NATHANIEL POTVIN
“Harris and I are pretty similar in book smart terms. But not so much. More of like we both dress really nice and we’re both ladies men.” - KAMRAN LUCAS
“Oh, how do you follow that? I’m kinda like my character in a way. When it comes to family I’m very protective. And you’ll see that later ‘cause right now you’ve just pretty much seen me crank my brother. But yeah, I care for my family and I’ll do anything to protect them and make sure that they’re okay. I’ve also dabbled in sports a bit. When I was around eight or nine, I used to play basketball. But, other than that, yeah, I’m not too similar.” - RAYMOND CHAM
Next we wanted to know, you had any super power in life what would it be?
“Shape shifting! Right? It’s the craziest. Boom, I wanna fly, I’m a bird. I end up in the water I’m a whale. I could be anything. It’s my favorite. I think about it all the time. Everyone’s like, I wanna fly. What? That’s it? That’s all you wanna do? I could do that. I could do anything.” - RAYMOND CHAM
“I kinda wanna have the ability to stop and turn back time. ‘Cause in case I wanna change something like when I was younger, I was at Legoland and this girl pushed me. I was really mad ‘cause she did it for no reason and I just want to go back and say, ‘hey, I’m on Disney Channel now.’ I’m not like that in real life. Just to that one person.
“I had a super power it would probably be teleportation because who wants to pay for airline tickets? No one. No one does. Also, it would just be really convenient. If I got locked out of my house I could just teleport inside my house.”- NATHANIEL POTVIN
“Telekinetic powers. It’s a cool word. It’s pretty much controlling anything you think with your mind.
” - PEARCE JOZA
Next we were interested in how did the show change their lives with their personal life and friends?
“I would say that it’s actually pretty…much the same because I have great friends, and I have a great family, and I love them so much. And when I told them that I was gonna be on Disney, with Steve, they were like, ‘oh, that’s cool. But, I asked you what the homework was,’ or something like that. So I’m really blessed to have friends who don’t really care about what I’m doing, but they would love to support me and they’re just great.”- NATHANIEL POTVIN
“I would say it didn’t change too much just because the show is not out yet. But, I would say every once in a while I’ll get an Instagram notification from a kid and they’ll say, ‘I can’t wait for your show’ or something like that. And it’s really, really exciting. It makes you really happy. It’s inspiring or just seeing kids excited for something that I’ve worked really hard on, you know what I mean? That’s really cool. I didn’t really experience that before.”- RAYMOND CHAM
“For me, I’d say I’m still the same person, but the feelings are a lot different because ever since I was five years old I’ve always wanted to be on Disney Channel and do the wand thing that I’ve seen all my heroes do, especially Selena Gomez But no, it’ just all surreal. I never thought I’d be in the position that I am. Honestly, I’m just so thankful because I have great friends who are there to support me. And you know, being in Canada – I love being with these guys. But sometimes I’m away from the friends that I’ve grown up with my whole life. And it’s great to know that even when I can’t see them, they’re still there.”- KAMRAN LUCAS
“As I said before, I’m from Colorado. You know, of course this has changed my life with all things that are happening, and this is crazy, right? But, I think what really changed my life in the whole broad spectrum is just moving out to LA when I was eleven. Since I was nine I was trying to convince my parents to let me go out and act in movies and TV and whatever. For two years I worked at it. And then finally I got out there and I don’t get to see my friends from Colorado that often, but everybody from there is still really cool with me. It’s nice.”- PEARCE JOZA
They told us they have a great deal of fun on set even with takes going over and over again. They all have such a wonderful relationship! When you watch the show, you can see how wonderful their dynamic truly is!
MECH-X4 debuts Friday, November 11, 2016 on Disney Channel and then continues on Saturday, December 5, 2016 on Disney XD!