This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"The truth? There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 31 October 2014




Tweet







August 22 2008

Interview with 'the man behind the curtain'. Joss talks with Ellen Gray about various aspects of Dollhouse, from finishing the set 20 minutes before filming began, to reshooting the pilot, to trying to produce the series with all eyes on him and Eliza.

A little shout-out to Whedonesque too. Woot!

Hmmm... it's an interesting article... I'm not sure the author is a fan. If so, she does a very good job at not squeeing.

I get his point about having all of his business spelled out to the world. I wonder why it's harder for him & Eliza... is it because his small band of fans are so vocal & the "not so pretties" are flaunted even before the show starts, which puts some jeopardy on those mainstream folk who might hear the negative buzz?

Oh. Nevermind.
The impression I got is that he thinks they have been considered more approachable because of the way we Whedon fans have learned to expect extensive interviews about the creative process and things like production blogs (I hope!) and commentary and background shorts and so on and so forth. Mainstream audiences were mostly unaware of all this extra goodness until Lost and Heroes. Now fans are expecting all the extras even for simple dramas and sitcoms; it's becoming the norm instead of just the cultiness of Joss. To this day, most of the people I know in real life don't bother going to a show's website or listening to the commentary and watching the short features on a DVD, but the number is slowly rising.
I'm not sure the author is a fan. If so, she does a very good job at not squeeing.

Well, she says "it's probably because there's still a segment of Hollywood that values talent and imagination, both of which Whedon's amply demonstrated" so i'd say she appreciates Joss' abilities - maybe she felt that as a professional journalist a bit of distance was appropriate ? A lot of stuff we read on here is by fans (and largely for fans) so the squee will be more apparent.

I get what Joss means about the curtain, for some people (maybe most people) finding out about the process is a bit like learning how a magic trick works, there's a lot of disappointed "Oh, is that it ?"s because it's as banal as any other work when you look at the step-by-step mechanics, less Olympian flame handed down from on high and more hard graft. But it's a feature of the world, like it or not - if modernism was kind of "Look, a curtain !", post-modernism is more "Look, a man behind the curtain !" and post-post-modernism looks like it might be "Curtains ? Pfft." ;).

Personally I like seeing the process, it's fascinating to me, I just don't like seeing the results of the process until i've seen the finished article (i.e. i'm interested in seeing how Joss holds a hammer, I just don't want to see the door until it's fitted to the cabinet. And the hammer is just a hammer BTW ;).
The man behind the lacy, gently wafting curtains?
I wonder if Joss ever feels like having a small but rabid fanbase is holding him back. I mean it could be said that because of the types of shows he's made and the types of fans he has that he'll never really be accepted as mainstream material. I hope that isn't the case.
Well, the type of show he makes is up to him, not us. And he's famously said himself that he'd rather make a show that few(er) people love than one that a lot of people only like.

That said - without having seen it yet or read scripts etc. so here comes a worthwhile opinion ;) - 'Dollhouse' feels the most mainstream of all his shows to me, it's got a lot of "mainstream" hooks as well as all the juicy philosophical/metaphysical stuff we're counting on to be there, lurking in the subtext, so maybe this is Joss' attempt to break out of the cult "ghetto" without compromising what he wants to see and write.

And it's worth mentioning that 'Firefly' was and 'Dollhosue' is on Fox, a major network as I understand it. So it's not like he's consciously trying to make "cult TV" (if 'Firefly' was still going now with 15-20 million viewers i'm sure it'd be the same show, except more popular ;) - it's just that previously his shows have appealed to a smaller audience.
We really need a new name for post-post-modernism ... other than that, WSS.
I wonder why it's harder for him & Eliza... is it because his small band of fans are so vocal & the "not so pretties" are flaunted even before the show starts, which puts some jeopardy on those mainstream folk who might hear the negative buzz?

I took it to mean they're not people who enjoy the intense public scrutiny of themselves, in contrast to public scrutiny of the shows they air, which is just the way entertainment is.

I doubt that negative buzz about fans reaches most tv viewers. People who chat about scifi shows on the internet, yes. People flipping channels and deciding what to watch, likely no.
'Dollhosue'

That actually sounds like the perfect show for Fox...

I can see what Joss is talking about. He mentions a second pilot and knows everyone will immediately freak out. I'm sure there were some issues with Buffy that were worked out in the beginning that we never knew about and just enjoyed the finished product. Now we're scrutinizing every step they take, when it's not really our job to worry about it. But that's just how things are these days.
Oddly, hacksaway, that's where leaked script pages and sides could actually HELP them out, as I think it has helped them during this "new pilot" matter. People who have spoiled themselves by reading both the original pilot and the leaked sides for the new one (which is almost the entire script, it seems like) have been able to try to reassure people that the move actually makes sense.

So, in this case anyway, leaked scripts -- a look behind the curtain -- have actually helped calm people down from the "freak out".
cabri wrote:

To this day, most of the people I know in real life don't bother going to a show's website or listening to the commentary and watching the short features on a DVD, but the number is slowly rising.


God I love those extra's! I've always been interested in behind the scenes of movie and tv making and since the invention of dvd I always buy the version with 2 or more dvd's. I probably will even watch the making of the making of, lol

[ edited by Krusher on 2008-08-22 18:35 ]
I wonder if Joss can sneakily ask for other 87 more pilot episodes, to get the show count up to 100. Kind of like how Gandalf handles the introduction of the dwarves to Beorn (and Bilbo) in the Hobbit.
I'm glad I didn't watch all the commentaries of the Whedon'verse when I bought 'em, but picked and chose, 'cause now there's little treats waiting for me when I re-watch - just heard the commentary for AtVS "Soul Purpose" & "You're Welcome" for the first time, and came to a new appreciation of David Boreanaz, David Fury, Christian Kane et al. as genuine mensches, as well as knowledgeable professionals.

I do like hearing about all kinds of production processes from crew and cast - but like Saje, after I've watched the Work in Question.

Joss is my favorite "rumpled writer" (hee) - but I have often considered the question of their "living in a fish bowl" and its effects on their lives and creations. It's why when I've been in a position to approach these folks I admire - both at events, and with my non-profit work, and just living in Hollywood, where you accidentally see so many folks you admire - I've mostly tended to leave them alone.

I'm not at all shy, and I've had to restrain myself time and time again (I mean, there was absolutely no one in the drugstore but Bryan Fuller and I, and I was dying to talk to him) but it just seems so intrusive. The few times I've talked to folks, they've been nothing but gracious - Maximilian Schell just seemed pleased that somebody still recognized him - and you do learn to pick up on their approach me/don't approach me vibe...

But after we scared the living crap out of TV's Frank (Conniff) one night in the Gelson's parking lot, I've been really aware that folks in a fishbowl don't need to have you clicking on the glass and trying to get them to move.

Oh... yeah, the topic. I thought this was a well-written piece, and it re-affirmed my inclination to keep my fishbowl peering and poking around behind the curtain to a minimum.
"and just living in Hollywood, where you accidentally see so many folks you admire - I've mostly tended to leave them alone."

I'm shure they appreciate you for that :)
Ah, it makes me wonder if I frequent the black too much. I haven't read the pilot(s), and won't; but the discussing and analyzing while it's in the process can either makes something shiny-er or rub a whole through it. I hope I'm properly treading the line.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home