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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I used to be a highly respected Watcher. Now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily."
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July 21 2008

The big chat with Joss Whedon. Don't forget that he'll be taking questions at the Washington Post site today at noon ET. ETA: Chat now over - full transcript on the site.

Anybody know if he will actually be in the building? Because I'm....sort of....in that building right now :)
will a transcript be available afterwards??
April_fool82: Transcripts from other chats are here. I would assume Joss's will be as well.
thanks jlp
'cause it's 1:30 am here in NZ and after 3 days of barely any sleep and staring at the black on the HUGE act3 thread i think it's time to call it a night.
i'll check out the transcripts tomorrow
So, this would be 18:00 CET, right (which means 19:00 here in The Netherlands)? Before I miscalculate again :). I'm still home at that hour, so I could possibly attend...

Someone planning to ask him if Captain Hammer was supposed to be shown as slightly redeeming himself? It's the one thing I'm still completely unsure of, after watching Dr. Horrible. If I get to make it, or not, I just submitted this question:

In 'Dr. Horrible', during the final song, we saw Nathan Fillion's character, Captain Hammer, on the couch of a psychologist. It was nearly inaudible what he was saying, but some of us thought he was expressing grief over Penny's death. My question would be: was this bit scripted and/or can we take this as a silver lining in an otherwise bleak (but very, very impressive) final act: that Penny's good rubbed off - even just a little - on Cpt. Hammer?


No clue if that's too long to get asked (or if it'll get awnsered by the: 'you can take away from it what you want, because I leave things ambiguous and open to interpretation, which is the way of art' bit, to which I'd say: fair enough :)), but there you have it :)

ETA:

And, because I couldn't help myself, I submitted a second one:

'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' was filled with intelligent, catchy tunes. We've heard Jed and Maurissa state in an interview that their favorite songs were the ones that you wrote. We already know that you wrote 'Freeze Ray'/'Laundry Day' (possibly the - in hindsight - most bittersweet song of the piece), but could you share with us who wrote which songs?


[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-21 15:21 ]
lax01, I obviously can't say for sure, but these chats are usually done remotely, with someone transcribing the guest's answers via telephone or the guest typing their own answers on their computer.
What music is on your iPod and is Angel a vampire? Those are winning questions.
I submitted a question about "A Shepherds Tale", so I doubt that they will use it.
Someone should actually submit those, and see if they get through, Simon ;)
Someone should actually submit those, and see if they get through, Simon ;)
Don't even joke about that!

But your questions are both great, and I hope they get through.

ETA: It occurred to me that your first question might stand a better chance of getting answered if it weren't the only one, so I asked the same question. (Completely different wording, of course! Don't want to be too obvious.)
Of course Joss will probably just tell us to Rorschach it anyway.

[ edited by jcs on 2008-07-21 16:14 ]
The question I thought about submitting, but didn't, was this:

Penny started to see Hammer for what he truly is, but all the other "normals" were completely taken in. Is this a twist on how superheroes can so easily conceal their true identity (superman + glasses = Clark Kent), or a more general comment on societal blind spots?


I figure it was probably a bit of both, and that Joss would just give a joke answer regardless.
I submitted a question about "Ripper." I addressed him as "Mr. Whedon," which feels strange since I always refer to him here as Joss, but I suddenly felt too shy to address him as "Joss." I bet that makes me come across as some strange, formal person (which I assure you I'm not, well, the "formal" part, anyway).

I bet the WaPo site gets bombarded with questions. "Horrible" is proving to be quite the smash success and I imagine that's upped Joss's visibility/name recognition a lot. Did you guys notice that "Horrible" is *still* the number #1 purchased TV series on (US) itunes and is *still* occupying the top three spots of TV episodes sold? I've noticed that Act One keeps slipping up to position #2, which suggests I'm not sure what, but something good. I am obsessed with the itunes chart. Must stop checking it.
I'll be heading to work when this happens. I'll have to pop in here and ask if my question showed up, heh.
I ended up asking how he views his fandom.
Over already. Lots of stuff revealed (DVD will be region-free, yay!) and I loved hearing about Ben's involvement. My questions went unasked; I asked if there would be an announcement when/if DH went into the black financially, and if he'd ever consider writing prose.
Richmond, Virginia: The device of killing lovable protagonists has long been a hallmark of your work (work that I cherish, I hasten to add). Lately, it seems to happen in almost every story you tell. Do you worry about something as big as a character death taking on a by-the-numbers feel? I know the idea in your work is always to subvert the expected, but what happens when sudden, brutal death becomes predictable?

Joss Whedon: Boy, you kill someone, everyone makes a fuss! Yet I still feel differently about this than what I've done before. It's a tragedy, classically structured. Usually death is meaningless and arbitrary in my work, to reflect life, but this is the old brew. And yes, I have issues. This will come up again, I'm sure.

There has been so much discussion about this issue; I really appreciated reading Joss's take on it.
I hope he can work out those issues with Fake Thomas Jefferson. I want to see more of that guy.
Hmmm did we have downtime or was it just me? An enjoyable q&a. I'd love more of these.
Yeah, it was down here for me too.

It was nice, but a little short, I thought.
Oh well, Joss is a busy guy.
Cool Q&A...
I'm just glad Joss has seen Shaun of the Dead.
And again, I fell in the time-zone-conversion-trap. Heh. My questions didn't get through, but I thought the ones that did get through were mostly great. Good to hear his thoughts on the killing-characters-controversy and the penny-as-maybe-not-so-much-with-the-feminism-controversy (and fun to see how close his awnsers are to the concensus that developed here). Also great to learn what Ben Edlund's contribution was: the addition of Moist (and here I was thinking that was very Jossian in itself) and Bad Horse ("How could he make a radioactive device using only HOOVES?!?!?!?" = pure lol :)).

All in all, this was a very insightfull chat. I like it!

Simon, I experienced downtime here as well.

ETA: improved language ;)

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-21 18:08 ]
So that's why the site was slow. D'oh!

... and Joss's voice was in Dr. Horrible! I thought I heard him singing in Bad Horse.

[ edited by zoinkers on 2008-07-21 18:10 ]
Thanks maxsummers and GVH, I wasn't was at our end or my end. And I want to know more about the raptors.
And I want to know more about the raptors.


Raptors on the moon. Sounds like Joss' first Dr. Who script waiting to happen, right there.
Another thought - could the Bad Horse numbers be all three brothers singing?
zoinkers, the credits at the end of act 3 say who's who.
Too bad we couldn't have a sequel with Fake Thomas Jefferson running for President, by passing himself off as the real Thomas Jefferson. Of course, he'll have to deal with the modern media.
Ahh ... that would make sense. I did look them over, but I don't recall seeing a Joss credit (for anything other than writer/director/etc) ... and I haven't yet bought it on iTunes (shame on me! but I will).

Although, could it be the Bad Horse singers are merely for the on-screen credits, not the voice credits?
zoinkers, the credits at the end of act 3 say who's who.

But not necessarily who's singing if there's a chorus.
This chat lends fuel to my theory that Dr. Horrible = Joss.
Joss has a freeze ray?
Alas, no question from the me. I did like the NASA bit at the end, tho.

("Tee hee.")
That was a weird short downtime, it didn't even re-direct to the our standard, go to .org message, it just timed out, but 5-10 minutes later it was back.
zoinkers: Although, could it be the Bad Horse singers are merely for the on-screen credits, not the voice credits?

That's what I thought. Unless Jed sounds exactly like Joss.
I think Dr Horrible = character. Although it does totally explain the senior partners.

Jed has an album on iTunes if anybody wants to compare voices.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-07-21 18:30 ]
The Bad Horse singers totally included Joss, unless, as deadbessie says, Jed sounds exactly like Joss. The credits at the end show only the actors' names, not necessarily the singers'......

Good questions. Great answers. It was far too short for me because I always want more. I'm so happy Joss addressed two of the biggest controversies that have emerged about "Horrible." He did it with panache, I thought. No defensiveness, nor should there have been.

I cannot wait for the CD/DVD even though I have no intention of stuffing it down my stocking!
Woo. Some very insightful answers there.

I hope that Dr. Horrible is such a huge success that Joss decides to do more like it. (Either more in that universe, or more web-shows cutting out the middlemen that gum up the works).
Hey, that Dollhouse question was mine! Woo hoo!
My favorite Joss comment in this one:
"Asking me not to make jokes is like asking Monet to lose the lilypads."

Congratulations MattM!

Nice to see some of the seemingly-contentious-around-these-parts points of Dr. Horrible being discussed too.
I searched for Jed Whedon on iTunes and got nothing ... what's the album listed under?
That was great: wonderful questions that really brought out interesting answers, with lots of room for Jossian silliness. I hope people will forward their unasked questions to those going to Comic Con because they could use more interesting questions at that event!
Jed is guitarist/vocalist/songwriter for "The Southland." Their album is "Influence of Geography."
zoinkers, the band Jed was (is?) in is called The Southland -- here's the iTunes link to their album, Influence of Geography.

ETA: Oops, C.A. Bridges beat me to it by a few seconds.

[ edited by karosurly on 2008-07-21 20:04 ]
Yeah, but you got the link :)
Thank you!

The first song's quite good! Honestly, I'm surprised, because though I like the music in Dr. Horrible, I appreciate the storytelling much more - the Whedons' tastes in music isn't that aligned with what I normally listen to (Radiohead ... Autechre ... yeah, I'm a bit of a snob). From what I'm hearing so far, this is clean, effective writing and production. Not too many frills, not too much poppiness ... yeah, it sounds good.

[ edited by zoinkers on 2008-07-21 20:22 ]
I have listened very carefully, and I don't think it's Joss singing. I think it is actually the old guy in Serenity, the one that opened the safe during the heist, and says "thieving ain't exactly soldiers work." He sounds a lot like Joss.

:-)
When he wasn't working at the bank, he used to play country music at the open mic nights around the corner. He'd buy everybody a round of imported Mudder's Milk, and soon they'd all be singing along!

Too bad the place was overrun by Reavers. That stink doesn't wash out - gotta burn the place down (if they don't do it for you).

(Wait ... they wouldn't call it 'country music' ... Rim music, maybe?)

[ edited by zoinkers on 2008-07-21 20:27 ]
This chat lends fuel to my theory that Dr. Horrible = Joss.

Watching the first couple of acts I did wonder if NPH was doing a Joss-homage.
Whedon-speak fits NPH like a glove.
Arg! We lost internet connection until just now. I swear, I couldn't breath!
Glad they put up the transcription. (But why wouldn't they?)
One thing I haven't seen come up yet, and I would have liked to have asked Joss, is seeing as a good chunk of the writer's strike was about getting compensation from web related media, was Dr. Horrible not just a little project, but also Joss' way of showing that the internet can be a viable medium, and you can make money (hopefully) with it?

Or has this been discussed somewhere before?
Taken from other post (Interview with Joss):

Zagreb, Croatia: How come you didn't have a cameo in Dr. Horrible? Or did you?

Joss Whedon: My voice is in it, but shooting was so fast I couldn't take the time to be self-indulgent. I am also hideously disfigured. DON'T LOOK AT ME!! (I have issues.)


Therefore, his voice is in it... it's just a matter of where.
Joss's voice is clearly in the Bad Horse chorus.
He's in the Bad Horse chorus. Jinx! Nearly.
Yep, sounds like (though i've not heard Jed - or Zack - sing). In interview Jed sounds like Joss but not as much as some brothers do, that presumably applies to their singing voices too.

... was Dr. Horrible not just a little project, but also Joss' way of showing that the internet can be a viable medium, and you can make money (hopefully) with it?

Yeah he's talked about this before though sadly there've been so many interviews linked here over the last few days and I don't have a clue which one it was (it was exactly that though i.e. as well as the "let's put on a show !" element, he's trying an experiment to see if it can be monetised - and freely acknowledged they're making it up as they go along business-wise).
I explained my Joss=Dr. H theory over in the feminist critique thread, but basically my point was, Dr. H got everything he wanted because Penny died, and Joss got everything he wanted because he was incredibly cruel to his characters. I think Joss is working out some demons there...
He's said in interview that he feels a kinship with Dr H in that he's a guy that sees what's wrong with the world and is frustrated by how hard it is to change it so i'd say Joss≅Dr Horrible ;).

(whether he's actually - subtly but deliberately - written himself into the text, beyond the way all creations reflect their creators to some extent, i'm not so sure. Interesting idea though)
I love that they are planning for zone 0. Everything should be that way. It's the first step to world peace - seriously.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-07-21 22:53 ]
We might have to wait for the soundtrack for complete music credits. Hint to anyone involved who might be reading: if I'm buying the soundtrack, along with every other recorded medium of this, I want comprehensive credits. And liner notes.
Dude! He answered my question. It was the "killing folks" question. I was dying (Ha Ha!) to get his take on it.
Good one, jlp. That made me roll.

MysticSlug, world peace? Really? I think that, and interest rates would have everyone sleeping better on their pillows.
Stuttgart, Germany: I want, no, I need a sequel! Any chances?

Joss Whedon: It's over! Let it go!


How much do I love Joss' sense of humor. His answer about Penny was both practical and judicious and what I expected to hear at some point from him.

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