Interview - Marc Thorp

Interview: Mark Thorpe, Inventor & Entrepreneur: Robot Wars:
21st October 2003

What are your aims and objectives?

To continue to be creative and productive. After the time and energy I put into the First Annual Robot Wars in San Francisco 1994 and the three annual events that followed in 95, 96, and 97 I am still tired. But the satisfaction and fulfillment was worth the effort and all wonderful people I met was even

What's your background?

art (m.f.a degree), film production, special effects(12 years at ILM / Lucasfilm), 3 years of toy design (LucasToys), entrepreneur (creator / founder of Robot Wars), event production (Robot Wars), engineer (robots and motion control machines), partner in the Stupid Fun Club (a multimedia design company that explores the relationship between robots and people)

What's your niche in utilizing TV?

Robot Wars was the first of the home-made-engineering-competition shows which include Junkyard Wars, Monster Garage, etc. I feel that these other shows were inspired by my original vision.

What are the best and worst things about Reality TV?

the best thing is the absence of sitcom, drama, or action formula. The worst thing is the absence of creativity in production.

What should good Reality TV contain?

creativity and imagination in content selection, content structure, and production.

Does Reality TV need to become more real?

Whether it needs to or not it will follow the nature of contemporary life and become darker and more extreme. . .

What are the worst cause of Reality TV being fake and contrived that you know about? e.g. fake sweat, couples not being real couples, "planting" props etc. etc

every industry has it's cheaters.

When will the novelty of Reality TV wear off?

How do you maintain professional integrity with something that is seen as "gimmicky"?

I don't do gimmick's.

What are your current projects?

can't disclose. I am looking for investors.


Editors note: a new slant on Reality TV. Stay turned to Robot Wars, and Media Man Australia investigation into the world of Reality TV.

Contact: Marc @


Lucas Films

Robot Wars official website

Media Man Australia: Reality TV Forum