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February 05 2009

Coverage of Joss' conference call for Dollhouse. Earlier we had live tweets of the event from the likes of televisionary and Daniel Fienberg. The call is now over and io9 has a good roundup of what was asked for Dollhouse. Amongst the non Dollhouse highlights: no Buffy movie, no Dollhouse comic book either but definitely a Buffy season 9 and perhaps Serenity and Cabin In The Woods tie-ins as well. And speaking of Cabin In The Woods, Joss says "people will love it so much there will be no more need for movies".

Interesting, although I'll admit twitter still confuses me, and I'm usually really net-savvy.
Oooh, brilliant, QuoterGal's question was asked. Will there be a transcript ? Come on you lovely people, make with the international generosity ...
Faith vs. Echo? "Faith would win, unless of course Echo had been imprinted with Faith's personality, in which case I'll call it a tie."

This would be the Ultimate Dollhouse Event.
A guy I know who writes for TV Guide called it a very Joss conference call.
Asked if he's finally found the "Dollhouse" he wants to make, Joss Whedon says, "Emphatically yes."

Well, that makes me happy.

I love Twitter, but it's not the best medium for interviews. Looking forward to the transcript/writeup(s).
Well, it wasn't being treated like the best medium. It was just being treated as a way for those of us who don't get to be on the call to experience a bit of it in real-time.
Yes, but I'm greedy and impatient and I want every word right now! (Guess I'll just put it on the list with all those other things I want. :)
Twitter's just there to give you a taste. If you like it, it's up to you to track down the full meal.
Answer to QG's question.

I am like the uber-tracker-downer, like Ronan from Stargate maybe or Tommy Lee Jones in 'The Hunted'.
The man answers fan questions better than I write essays. It's not fair.

Still, I'm looking forward to the whole transcript. Just that one answer was an amazing read. I'm especially intrigued by the idea that Joss has put some stuff out there that he's not even sure he supports or is comfortable with... and I like how okay with that he seems.
Here's the link to pinkraygun's post, who was kind enough to ask Joss my question.

I thought it was a great answer - I'm still kinda going through my reaction to it, so not much else to comment at the moment.

It's sorta long, but here's a summary-kinda piece from the end:

"So, the answer to your question is kind of both. It is just a standard, scantily clad babe come on, and it is ultimately a deconstruction of shame. But, not so much that I would say itís just done ironically and therefore I am blameless. We are absolutely saying that Eliza is a sexual creature and people desire her for that reason. The idea is to get the audience to look at their own desire and to figure out what of it is acceptable and what is kind of creepy. In order to do that we go to a creepy place sometimes. Iíll be interested to see if people find it empowering or the other thing. I may have crossed the line. Letís find out."

ETA: Saje beat me to it - my own frakkin' question. I'm posting mine anyway. Also, I suspect there'll be more links to other questions as the afternoon wears on.
Here are links to news items on various parts of the call (my apologies, I don't know how to "link-ize" these here, so you'll have to cut and paste):

No "Buffy" movie
http://ifmagazine.com/new.asp?article=7549

no DOLLHOUSE comic ... but definitely Season 9 BUFFY comic

http://ifmagazine.com/new.asp?article=7550

Whedon on CABIN IN THE WOODS ...

http://ifmagazine.com/new.asp?article=7551
Smashing, I added those links to the entry.

And also rejigged the entry as well, now that the conference call is over.
That last bit, re: Cabin, was clearly marked by one of the tweeters as Joss saying it jokingly.

I mention this because a number of horror website people have started to take Joss' original 2007 "horror movie to end all horror movies, literally" as authentic marketing posturing about the movie being more aweosme than anything ever in the history of the world, rather than just joking bluster (and/or maybe a sly nod to whatever the movie is about, I have no idea) and beginning to gripe about it.

They likely will do the same with this latest, failing to see it as a joke comment.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-02-05 23:14 ]
I simply cannot believe that of my fellow internet posters b!x, you are a maniac.

Thanks for those links Shapenew.

I see what he means about a 'Dollhouse' comic, imagine the huge visual impact of Echo becoming latina in the comic - her dialogue would suddenly have those '<'translated from the Spanish'>' brackets around it and, well, that'd be it - it'd be totally aweless ;).

I think afterwards people will love it so much there will be no more need for movies. They will want to watch this movie over and over again.

Ah, so that's what he means by literally the horror movie to end all horror movies ;).

(i'm assuming that was the question asked, or something similar)

ETA: Saje beat me to it - my own frakkin' question. I'm posting mine anyway.

Quite right. And hey, don't feel bad, who'd expect you to out-track-down Tommy Lee Jones from 'The Hunted', he makes knives out of rocks FFS ;-) !?
So...it's going to be the horror movie to end all romantic comedies.
So better than 'Shaun of the Dead' ? Made of win.
We should do a conference call, that'd be neat.
We should do a conference call, that'd be neat.

You mean the people in this thread just sitting around on the phone together?
The 'esque is a bit like a conference call only with fingers.
Let's practice.

If you're a writer of strong female characters, why ?
What does everyone think the chances of a[nother] Buffy movie are ?
What's on your iPod ?
You mean the people in this thread just sitting around on the phone together?


Yes and then we can do coverage of it at Whedonesque.
Bagsy not typing the transcript. White rabbits, no backsies.
Well true. You know a couple of weeks ago, I'd said it was looking increasingly unlikely that we'd get a second season of Dollhouse. But now I'm glad to say, after reading what Joss said, that I'm not so sure anymore.
It is starting to feel more positive isn't it ? For myself I think it's probably cos i've just decided to see it as a great future boxed set with anything else as a bonus but Joss seems happier, the stars seem happier, some of what the network's been saying has been encouraging. Hope springs eternal and all that so who knows.
Where can I find those photos in a better resolution?
It is starting to feel more positive isn't it ?


Yes. It could actually work out alright.
Frankly, I don't really see how we could be more or less hopeful about Dollhouse's future chances. Nothing has aired. We have no ratings information. Whether Fox is going to consider renewal is still a ways off and hinges on ratings trends after the episodes start airing, not on how Joss or the stars feel, or even how the network feels about the show right now.

Anyway, I'm with Saje, I've been feeling much better ever since I decided to be happy with a 13 episode dvd set, and that anything extra would just be gravy on top of that already delicious turkey.
I imagine the first hour of the call would be spent discussing everyone's accents and how they are or are not Australian-sounding.

Hooray for Dollhouse optimism!
The Buffy movie talk was pretty non-news.It's pretty much what it has always been.Until a studio approaches Joss,and I assume that would be FOX since they hold the rights unless they let it go,there will be no Buffy movie.

Looking forward to Cabin In The Woods and the start of Dollhouse.Plus ofcourse Buffy season 9.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-02-06 00:03 ]
Can I reverse the charges?
Heh ;).

I imagine the first hour of the call would be spent discussing everyone's accents and how they are or are not Australian-sounding.

Oh man, if we ever do it I am so gonna put on an Aussie accent now ;).
weird double post

[ edited by Lioness on 2009-02-06 00:39 ]
Well, I think not, zz9. With both Caroline and Simon being over "there", I think that we, over "here" will have to do the reversing.
Oh, and Saje as well, of course.
Re: Cabin, if someone can find me where Joss ever called the film a "game changer", rather than just horror movie website writers claiming he's called it that in order to diss him, I'd appreciate it. It's possible I missed it, but I seriously can't recall ever seeing or hearing him say that.
Thanks for the linked article. I did not know about Fury's "Corrupt" script for Angel, or the parallels with Dollhouse (in finding out what direction the creators want to take the series).
It's possible I missed it, but I seriously can't recall ever seeing or hearing him say that.

Well, nothing turns up on Google either (except the aforementioned horror website writers - and yourself ;) but I guess it might've been in a video/audio interview. It just sounds like the sort of thing Joss would only ever say strictly ironically/jokily if he said it at all (I also don't remember it) but if someone wants to read something a certain way that's what they're gonna do, especially if they have an axe to grind to begin with.

It's really a wonder he talks at all I reckon, what must it be like for everything you say to be a potential millstone around your neck ? Not the most excellent thing ever would be my guess.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-06 01:18 ]
Yay Quotergal's question! I can't think how else he would have answered and I'm a wee bit unsatisfied by it, but he does speak good sentences and it wasn't really the time for him to deliver a paper on the topic, I guess ;).

Otherwise, everything I'm reading lately has me more and more excited and hopeful that I'll really like this. Anyway, I know to stick it out for the first few episodes even if I don't. (I would have anyway, but now I'll feel more optimistic doing so). More yay!
Of course everyone's working now. It'll be a while before these folks are in their "Love Boat Stage" of their careers,e xcept maybe Iyari, Clare, and Alexis. But that time will come and I'm sure one of News Corp.'s networks will want to do the MOTW version. That almost sounded like a personal insult and it wasn't meant as one. They are just 3 of the very small sub-group from among the 30 or so major Buffyverse actors who aren't too visible lately.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-02-06 02:36 ]
I'm glad someone mentioned the way-too-sexy-but-let's-appreciate-them-anyway pictures of Eliza Dushku as part of the promotion for the show. I did comment on them on my Blogger blog. As I said there, the pictures are great, but it's the stories that wil be the thing. From what io9's summary says, Dollhouse will not be a boring "procedural" for long, and that is good news. Let's hoep the Fox suits agree.
Ďboring proceduralí?

Dude, seriously. Not everyone is gushing over the pilot, but no reviewer Iíve read has accused it of being Ďboringí.

And if by 'procedural' you mean 'job of the week', Dollhouse was always going to have those, with Echo being imprinted with various personalities. That doesn't preclude Joss from developing a good season arc.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2009-02-06 04:05 ]
Wasn't "Corrupt" the Angel script where Kate was supposed to be a drug addicted hooker cop? And the one where Angel drinks the blood from the dead body?

What a long way we came.
What the hell is wrong with the people commenting over at io9? "It'd be hotter if someone attractive were the lead." How could anyone possibly think that Eliza Dushku is unattractive?
You pretty much have to ignore the commenters on io9.
there's people out there who don't find ED attractive? Wow... I mean, de gustibus and all that, but wow.

Anyway: just ONE more week to go. I'm so ready to obsess about ratings now, it's insane :D
I prefer to ignore people on other forums, because life's nicer that way. (Plus, I've been rick-rolled one too many times.)

They'd sure better be hungry though, 'cos from what I've seen they're gonna be eating some serious word-age about Eliza's looks and talent in the months to come...
The Rolling Stone has a (partly ridiculous) article on Dollhouse (found it at Fox) where Joss mentions that fetishes (as a topic) were even part of the lunch back then when Dollhouse was created. Haven't heard that before, I think, but it makes sense with the recent revelations about the exploration of sexuality this show is going to do.

ETA: The article also quotes Joss as declaring Dollhouse to be his last TV show.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-02-06 10:37 ]
Eliza talked about it in a recent interview (that one of them mentioned seeing some bloke on the net with a particular fetish. Maybe even 'Real' Dolls ? - link's got nudity BTW, after a fashion anyway ;). Apart from that, yeah, not the bestest article EVAR (yay, we got the film made, it's official *sigh* and it wasn't a buddy's house AFAIK though it was "just" a house). Gotta say though, all this talk about Joss getting all indie on their asses is pretty exciting, we've seen similar intimations in a few places now so it seems true.

I prefer to ignore people on other forums, because life's nicer that way. (Plus, I've been rick-rolled one too many times.)

I totally thought it was an actual trailer for 'Jaws 5'. Whaddya do ? The Rick will rise again.

Generally on unmoderated forums the signal/noise ratio isn't favourable but some are worse than others.
I wonder if they want to monetize his indie-getting. "Now! Only on Fox! Joss Whedon's very last TV show!"
"Joss Whedon's First Farewell Tour - 2009" ;).
Isn't this big news? (ie. deserving to be on the main page). His last show? That runs quite counter to what he's been saying up until now ie. that, though he'd love to do more quick and cheap stuff on the internet, he wouldn't do it INSTEAD of TV but as well as. (I have to say that knowing this makes me fret a bit more about Dollhouse's fate. Before now I was looking on the bright side and thinking if Dollhouse is cancelled we still get 13 episodes. But it's a bit harder to keep that attitude knowing that they'd be his last ever 13 episodes)

(Though a big yay to the idea of doing lots of internet stuff. That really is exciting)
I guess it depends how long 'Dollhouse' runs for. If it goes for 7+ years then it's not such big news, if it only gets the 13 episodes then I guess it's fairly huge.

(though it's worth bearing in mind that he says he "I don't see myself creating another TV show" so it's not a hard and fast 'never again'. I bet if you asked him after 'Firefly' he'd have said something similar so he's possibly felt this way before and yet, here we are)

But it's a bit harder to keep that attitude knowing that they'd be his last ever 13 episodes)

Yeah but think of 'Sugarshock: The Web Series' or DHSAB 2 or all the other amazing new stuff he could do. And given the success of Dr H and Joss' cred in general, he might even be able to attract bigger money than web shows have traditionally attracted (so he can still play with the "big toys", which even pre-Dollhouse was seemingly his main reason for staying with studios etc.).
So many inaccuracies in that article, I'm wondering if they're going for sensationalism by declaring it Joss's last ever show. I certainly hope it's not true, especially if we only get the 13, but again it's 13 more than we ever thought we'd get after Firefly. ;-)
Well they probably are amping the sensationalism up a bit but on the other hand, they quote him as saying "I don't see myself creating another TV show". Now unless Rolling Stone just made that quote up it seems fairly unambiguous.
It's a little hard to tell how much of this is the slant that Rolling Stone is giving the conversation and how much is the real deal. In context it's clear that, at least in part, Joss is suggesting that in future the business model that has sustained TV series may not be viable. So it's not entirely a "I'll take my bat and ball and go home" line, it's also a "nobody's going to be playing this game in the future" line.

Still, this is the darkest account of his troubles with the studio that I've read. Maybe they got to him right when he was in his bleakest mood about the process.
I'm not sure if it's a case of being especially bleak about the studio process or more being upbeat about the internet process. He's talked time and again about how quickly they could move, how great it was to make exactly what they wanted to make etc. so i'd speculate that his thinking is something like "Why do it this way when I can make a living, be creatively fulfilled and have to put up with a lot less hassle doing it that way ?".

But yeah, there's also an element of seeing the end of the current broadcast TV model. I mean, when he says he's not gonna create another TV show i'm pretty sure he's not ruling out creating something very similar to a TV show, just not necessarily on network television.
That was kind of a funny article to have linked to from the fox website - "network TV is dead, I'm done with this shit!" ;). I kind of had the feeling they were either amping up the darkness or got him on a bad day (I mean, pulling at his buttons 'til the threads tear???), but no doubt the contrast of having a blast and total freedom making Dr. Horrible vs. the all-too-familiar struggles of network TV would have to make a guy think.

But there is that pesky making a living thing, and although it's great to know they made a profit on Dr. Horrible, it's still, as he put it somewhere, "internet money" as opposed to "tv money" and that contrast would have to make a guy think... other stuff.

I really enjoyed Dr. Horrible, and Sugarshock - the Silly of Joss is some good silly, for sure. But I've loved his TV work, watching talented and beautiful people enact wonderful stories and long character arcs (and while sets and effects and all that expensive stuff don't make the story, they don't hurt either). And I have to think that as a writer, the payoffs are greater... if your show survives. I hope Dollhouse survives. And that whatever medium he decides is best for future creative endeavors can still tell the "long story," minus the button-ripping frustrations he seems to be up against now.
But there is that pesky making a living thing, and although it's great to know they made a profit on Dr. Horrible, it's still, as he put it somewhere, "internet money" as opposed to "tv money" and that contrast would have to make a guy think... other stuff.

Well, you say that but let's not forget, he hasn't had a TV show on the air for, what, four years ? Still seems to have survived. Maybe not making mega-bucks but a living wage is a living wage, if getting rich isn't that important to you (or is just less important to you than not having constant stress and creative battles). And he's talked often about how he loves serial story telling but he doesn't need TV for that.

Basically, he said what he said. Maybe he didn't mean it in such strong terms but at the same time, he has talked in several other interviews about preferring the process of making DHSAB to making studio TV shows and about how the net's changing the TV landscape radically and that he has other ideas for more indie/net based stuff so this isn't exactly out of left field either.
I really enjoyed Dr. Horrible, and Sugarshock - the Silly of Joss is some good silly, for sure. But I've loved his TV work, watching talented and beautiful people enact wonderful stories and long character arcs (and while sets and effects and all that expensive stuff don't make the story, they don't hurt either).

Yeah--that's the sticking point for me, too. Buffy sending Angel to hellsville, "The Body," Angelus visiting scenes from Angel's life in "Orpheus," Fred's death...the impact of those stories depends upon the rich histories of the characters that we carry into them. There really is a kind of pay-off you get from serial storytelling that you just can't get in something like "Dr. Horrible"--wonderfully entertaining as it is.

Ah well, fingers crossed that we get seven seasons of Dollhouse and that fifteen years from now we're all here passionately arguing about whether or not the last half of season six was up to the sublime standards of seasons 1 thru 5 ;).
Definitely not out of left field, just more strongly put than I'd heard it before. Or, I'd never heard the suggestion that he might be "done" with TV. But yeah, I think serial storytelling is his great love (or possibly it's just mine and I'm projecting), and doesn't necessarily need to happen on TV. I definitely respect the willingness to sort of "pioneer" more independent low-budget ways of telling the stories he wants to tell.

fingers crossed that we get seven seasons of Dollhouse and that fifteen years from now we're all here passionately arguing about whether or not the last half of season six was up to the sublime standards of seasons 1 thru 5 ;).

While also raving about his current wildly successful multi-season web-series and noting how all his shirts have buttons these days.
wildly successful multi-season web-series

Hmmm...perhaps. I'm dubious about the viability of any business model for something like that that would actually be anything at all like a TV series. I think you could do a fun "hey guys, let's put on a show!" kinda thing, where part of its charm was it's slightly creaky production values, but I think that would put real limits on the kind of storytelling you could do.

I guess the other way to approach it, though, would be more like stage than film--minimal sets/props, concentrate on the language and the storytelling. You could probably do something fabulous that way, but would you earn enough even to pay your actors?
Honestly, I'm dubious too, but don't know enough about it to back up my dubiousness, so I'm trying for optimism as well. No doubt JW does know a thing or two about it, and seems to think it's viable, and hopefully he's right.
It's natural to be dubious when it hasn't been done before. But everything hadn't been done before once ;).
This comment has never been done before.
And yet you pulled it off! I'm becoming more optimistic by the moment ;).
Y'see, truly anything is possible.
I'm almost certain sure this has never been posted before, either.
You guys are blowing my mind.

Any more thoughts on the answer to your fabulous question QG? (Though if you DO have more thoughts I won't be able to read them for ages because now I gots to go to work, grumble grumble).
I'm similarly-placed myself, catherine - miles to go before I sleep and all that.

Besides, and this probably could not be more off-topic - peanut-powder-induced (most likely) salmonella made my partner very sick yesterday, and we're only getting back to normal now. I'll hafta catch up with everything a little later.

I thought I could just slip a quick comment in, and disappear just as quickly, but it was not to be. ; >

ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-02-06 22:34 ]
No slipping in and disappearing allowed! ;)

Salmonella - yuck! How awful. I'm glad it sounds to be about over with.
Televisionary now has a more in-depth recap up.
I love you guys. Snogs all around!
Wow - korkster's been dipping into the tequila, and we all reap the benefits! ;)

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