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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think I'm on the wrong ship."
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August 27 2010

Tonight in Melbourne - An Evening With Joss Whedon. The keynote event starts at 9.30pm. Hopefully we'll get some sort of coverage as it happens. ETA: danielc2384 put some footage up on YouTube, Gizmodo Australia has coverage as does the Melbourne Writers Festival blog, Rellacafa and Pop Couture and there's official pics up on Facebook.

Or you could just look at twitteresque.

I wish I was in Australia! Now I must look for twitteresque....
Just finished, was very good. Joss hinted at a few things regarding the future
Lots of Tweets coming through on twitteresque now. Whedon love is obviously strong in Oz. :_)
All the Tweets are just saying how awesome he was. C'mon, guys, I wanna hear something I didn't expect.

[ edited by LaputanMachine on 2010-08-27 14:16 ]
Joss talking about writing? I need notes people! pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease
Just got back. He was, well how you'd expect. God. Most of all it was inspiring, this post is just a tiny break from brain dumping my creative juices into the ol' lappy.
Unless someone beats me to it I'll try to put up a synopsis of the evening later.
He didn't say anything particularly future-y. He said that he hadn't turned his back on TV (BIG sigh of relief here). And he said in ten years time he would like to have finished a novel. Though that may have been a joke. I think the general rhetoric of that comment was that he would like to write a book at some point, but that he had no solid plans to as of yet.

Nothing was said re: IWD/Dark Horse or about the comic situation at all. Nothing said about the Dollhouse comic that Scott Allie hinted at.

Some stuff about Wastelanders, but just that it was a plan, not that it is still a plan (although I think he has said elsewhere that it is still a plan FOR THE FUTURE).

It was a lot of him talking about the practice of writing. It wasn't really a forum for him to talk about future projects. It was a genuine delight to hear him talk though, and something I wasn't expecting to happen (I moved to Melbourne three weeks ago on a working holiday visa). Also a beautiful venue. The Melbourne Town Hall is amazing. :)

Anyway, sorry for that crappy review. I assume someone will have recorded it?

Edit: And he also said that there wasn't a day that goes by when he doesn't feel sad about Firefly being cancelled. I am sure he has said similar things before, but there was a feeling of collective understanding in the room at that point.

[ edited by Vortigun on 2010-08-27 15:09 ]
I seriously contemplated flying over for this, but work wasn't going to like it, so I had to miss out.
Thanks Vortigun, any more in depth notes or indeed recordings will obviously be greatly appreciated and exciting. So, when is Joss going to come to the UK next?
It was definitely entertaining, and getting to see Joss speak was a genuine honour - I just wish I'd gotten a chance to speak with him or even ask him a question. Whose bright idea was it to bring Joss all the way down to Melbourne for the first time in over 5 years for a 1-hour speech with no meet-and-greet time with anyone? Maybe he''l show at CSTS tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
Joss was wonderful (as expected) and shared some great insights. I have some video which I'll post once we've got CSTS behind us (it's tomorrow, Melbournites!)
A novel? If he is even thinking in the smallest of ways of writing a novel, this is some of the best news I have gotten all year.
It's possible he meant that in ten years he'd finish *reading* a novel. ;)
I managed to get about 8 mins of footage towards the end.
Wish I had filmed more. I'll post what I have soon!
Sounds like a great time was had by all. And to everyone attending CSTS in Oz tomorrow, have a wild one!!
danielc2384, I look forward to watching whatever you captured! Thanks!

I hope more of the event is posted online.
He did confirm that he is god.
Except that then he doesn't believe in himself.

I got to ask a question, which was by far the highlight of my month.
Gizmodo/Australia coverage by Angus Kidman: "They Invented The Internet For Me". (Don't be put off by the fact that the photo is from ComicCon - the story itself is about Joss at the Melbourne Writers Festival.)

When asked “how does it feel to be God?”, Whedon replied: “Well, when I made the mountains, I thought “they’re good”, but... I don’t believe in me, which is actually awkward.”
He also managed to get "teleological" into a sentence, which is fairly god-like in itself. :)
Thank you for the link QuoterGal!

And now, not to sound too whiny, but it was the keynote address at a writer's conference. Doesn't anyone who was there have something that you want to share concerning his thoughts/ideas/opinions about writing? Pretty please with virtual "Bitter Chocolate Death?"*

*My dream dessert from Robin McKinley's "Sunshine"
Thanks for the link, QuoterGal!

I'm still hoping some video will pop up. *fingers crossed*
Again, thanks QG. Really enjoyed his answer to the last question there on corporations. I'd like to see Joss tackle that issue sometime, outside of an interview. Not just having one evil corporation like in Angel and Dollhouse, but a criticism of the whole system. Perhaps not in a major studio film or tv show though. ;)
As it turned out, it wasn't actually a "keynote address" at all, or maybe I misunderstood the term. I thought he would be doing some speechifying, but it was really just a Q&A session, run by Sue Turnbull (a Melbourne academic and media writer), followed by a handful of questions from the audience. Turnbull is a huge Buffy fan and very knowledgeable about Whedon, but she seemed quite nervous/stilted and perhaps a bit awe-struck, and her questions weren't especially probing. Joss was charming and funny, as you'd expect, but I didn't feel that I actually learnt anything "new" about him or his writing. Well, other than that he was called "3GTV" at film school, as a reference to his being a third-generation TV writer. :)

One comment that especially made me laugh was when he was asked whether the actors influenced the characters. He said that the first line he had written *for* an actor was Willow's comment in The Pack about "It was like the Heimlich...with stripes", which he wrote in Aly's voice and with her speech patterns. He also said that as the (Buffy) years went by the characters began to resemble the actors, so that Willow got sexier, Giles got cooler, Anya became weirder and Xander got...(pause)...wider... :)

[ edited by ozjenny on 2010-08-28 03:25 ]
He also said that as the (Buffy) years went by the characters began to resemble the actors, so that Willow got sexier, Giles got cooler, Anya became weirder and Xander got...(pause)...wider... :)

This must be more about how Joss sees the actors I'd imagine. Though it can't be truly universal as SMG was fairly vocal about not fully understanding what Buffy was going through in Season 6 as she'd never been through depression.
Yeah, it was overall a bit disappointing because of the format, and Sue Turnbull's questions, I didn't think, were getting to heart of why he writes and his craft, which is what I kind of expected, given that it was the Melbourne Writers Festival. Can't say I was disappointed overall, though -- it was Joss. And he apologised to his microphone. Haha.
Thank you ozjenny for some real info at last. I'm a little disappointed that it was the usual sort of stuff because I feel like I've learned so much from him from his commentaries and interviews. But at least I can now stop with the obsessing. : ) *whew* I like me so much better when I'm not all crazy person.
First of all, I want to say how great it is so many of you saw Joss speak in person - a wonderful opportunity and I'm glad there are Whedonites who took advantage of it. I do wonder though, after reading The First Weevil's comment, why the "soft-soaping" of questions occurs at these types of events. I've read, for instance, many accounts here and on Twitter, of disappointment in the Paley Fest panels wherein the moderator wasn't everything they could be, the questions chosen by them from the audience or asked by them didn't illuminate very much. Why is it so difficult to, if not ask hard-hitting journalistic questions, dig a little deeper, at least try to come up with the "fresh stuff" which Joss himself quipped funny about in his Equality Now speech.
I added danielc2384's link to the entry.
Was there an ipod question? Because that's what matters. Or maybe those big questions only come out for once-a-decade special occasions.

The bit about the characters becoming like the actors... hrmph. I mean, wasn't Nick/Xander "Wider" Brendon/Harris told to stop working out so much at some point during production? I'd put that right next to Emmie's point about Sarah having disagreement over the direction of Buffy's character as another case where maybe Joss is being a bit more glib than accurate on that one.

Disappointed that there was no mention of the comic continuations at all. It's the fact that it doesn't get talked about -- not shared writing, etc -- that makes me feel like it's not important.
I want to extend a huge thank you to danielc2384 for taping this, even just those five minutes are really moving and interesting (and thank you Simon for linking it).
I wish I had been there!
What Embers said about Danielc2384!
danielc2384, I saw the video you posted last night before it got moved as a link into this topic. Thank You! Always nice to see/hear Whedonesque mentioned. Joss: That's where I go to find out if I have a job. Well, we speculate about you having a job, Joss, but in the end, the final word comes from you, always.
There's more: 4minutes of Joss... :-)
Mainly about The Avengers.
Nice find Mel. Hopefully someone will link that.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-08-29 06:21 ]
No worries guys! I have another few minutes of footage I will upload soon :)
Found more coverage - at The Book Show Blog by Foz Meadows - "MWF2010 Keynote Address: Joss Whedon."

Dunno her or the blog but she had an interesting take on the MC and her effect on the evening - how accurate her insights are I couldn't say...

" In one sense, Whedon is everything that I expect him to be – funny, wry, a solid off-the-cuff speaker, self-depricating [sic], confident even in his professions of un-confidence – but for all that, he shows us very little of himself. Each of Turnbull’s questions has been asked a thousand times before, as she herself admits in the asking of them, using previous interviews as a launching point for almost identical queries. The result is a strangely one-sided dialogue, wherein Whedon uses offhand humour to distance himself from the awed unoriginality of his interviewer. Speaking of his early career in scriptwriting, he says,'“I didn’t want to make Sundance movies where the characters all sit in a room and talk about each other,' while describing himself as being 'a little distancing and strange…I do think that I might have a slight disconnect in my brain.'

Throughout the interview, Whedon sits relaxed, elbows resting casually against the tops of his legs, only gesticulating to emphasise particular points. He speaks like a man for whom everyday conversation is just a different sort of script; the kind of thing you can work at in your spare time, so that it comes out as effortlessly in real life as it does on screen. His plays to the crowd are reflexive, rather than to attention-seeking: not unstudied, because they clearly represent a conversational gambit with which he is intimately acquainted, but employed as barriers to a more personal species of honesty. Party tricks. And good ones, too. But it’s not until the audience starts asking their own questions that we see him open up – about the evils of corporations, the inspiration behind his more damaged, poetical characters, and the importance of egotism in success."

I finally managed to get my video of Joss uploaded! Here it is! 15 minutes of Joss-y goodness! Sorry about the echo-y sound... one of the minor drawbacks for being in the second row ;)
OMG Squee! has posted a transcript of the event.

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