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September 17 2010

Full transcript of Joss's Melbourne Writers Festival talk. Covers a wide variety of topics.

This was interesting: "...the needs of a comic and the needs of a Buffy fan are a little bit different,"

Glad to see this mentioned.
Very awesome interview. I really agreed with the idea that comic book movies are already being deconstructed when they haven't even been really constructed yet.

Except, didn't Chris CARTER create the X-Files? Who is Chris Cardinal? Am I completely insane?
you are not insane Giles_314, at least not because of knowing Chris Carter created the X-Files ;) I am guessing the person who recorded the session and transcribed it misunderstood and/or didn't know, like later when Joss says something is ossifying and she writes "awecifying?"
Thanks for linking this here, Buffyfantic. I'm having issies with my speakers so I can't listen to anything at the moment. So I'm glad to be able to read a transcript.

Also, it's nice to know that Joss still remembers The Bronze, even if he didn't mention it by name.
Thank you for making the transcript, Min!
Yeah interesting interview, would have liked to have heard what the q&a's were. Am I reading too much into it or did it sound like Joss was admitting that he wasn't as involved with the comics as Scott Allie keeps telling us?
His comments about the comics are pretty interesting. To me it sounds as if he's mainly talking about the pacing differences of having 3 or 4 contiguous acts per week versus those same 3 or 4 acts spread over several months (i.e. comics and TV are different and not all fans of the show were happy accepting that) but

"...and you know, I wasn’t able to direct the executive produce of the comic as nearly as strong I had the TV show ..."

certainly sounds as if he's also not necessarily 100% totally happy with the content of "season 8". Which will no doubt be a point of ... discussion ;).

And that's a pretty heroic effort transcribing all that, good work Min ;).
Very nice! I'm so grateful to the transcriber. I once transcribed something that went on for maybe five minutes and the accuracy took FOREVER.

I found his comment about Fantasy Island interesting. I guess everyone experiences something different with a show. I loved it. Of course I was very young when it aired, so my overall aesthetic judgment wasn't exactly up to snuff yet, but there were definitely some story elements that I remember being fascinated with: creepy knows-better-than-you-do Mr. Roarke, the idea that a fantasy can come true, and the be careful what you wish for element. Maybe the show was mostly crap, but I guess I've fortunately managed to wipe those bits from my brain.

"But I do think that I’m a little distancing and strange. I do think that while I think of myself as the guy who’s…you know this popular thing – “it’s like Star Wars, only it’s dark, and…miserable and everybody’s sad and they die and people are going to love it!”…I think I might have a slight disconnect in my brain."

I think this is spot on myself. I don't think Joss original projects will ever be mainstream. But you know, as Oscar Wilde said: "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." Hooray for Jossness!

"Marvel they do actually know, they know exactly what they want to do, but they don’t mind a film maker making his film in the service of what it is they want to do, they’re not trying to press me into something that isn’t me, which is really gratifying."

Well, this bodes well. :D
Most of us here in The Black feel sorrow at what Firefly might have been, where it could have taken us. Imagine being the guy who built it from the ground up. I don't believe I've ever heard him speak with such deep sadness about it before. Isn't there a ridiculously wealthy geek somewhere that can hand Joss the blank check and say, "Do it. Do it exactly the way you want, for as long as you want"?
Wait...who were the TWO showrunners who left in 2002? David Greenwalt and...?
"But I do think that I’m a little distancing and strange. I do think that while I think of myself as the guy who’s…you know this popular thing – “it’s like Star Wars, only it’s dark, and…miserable and everybody’s sad and they die and people are going to love it!”…I think I might have a slight disconnect in my brain."

This reminded me so much of Joss' 2009 remarks, in which he said "Find your strange... - of which I could not be more fond. It says so much...

"Alien Resurrection knocked off the top spot for worst experience and don’t think…*big sigh* that would…that there will be anything as bad for me as that loss. Every day. Every day, I think about episodes I was going to make."

And that reminded me so much of this from a 2006 Joss-post:

"Here's a thing: when "Firefly" was cancelled, my heart got broke. Sounds a bit much, but it changed me. Not even "Serenity" could patch that wound."

Which could not be sadder. :(


I'm glad Joss got the big Avengers gig, since he's always wanted to do something like, but how I wish for more Joss-originated stories to be allowed to flow freely out of his Big Jossy Brain-and-Soul-itude into the culture for our (equally strange) enjoyment, edification, and celebration.

Like, say, Goners...

In summation, then, Universal, please Free Goners!
"There was a script, but I had a different take on it. And when they showed it to me I said “But this doesn’t work for me, I would do something different.” And they said, “Well tell us what you would do,” and now I’m doing it."

Brilliant, as opposed to the horrid opposite where the studio dictates to the artist what works for them, we know how that usually ends up. I'm thrilled for Joss and Marvel, this seems like a wonderful marriage. :)

Overall a great read as well, many thanks Min! I know how laborious transcribing can be and this was a lengthy discussion so well done.
The part about tv breaking up with him was also pretty sad. It does sound like Marvel is the right mix of structure and creative freedom. I'm feeling very unpanicked, if not downright optimistic about this superhero movie thing.
My favorite thing about the entire interview:

" I'm never going to turn my back on television, television has something that you cannot achieve anywhere else .... it's something I adore, maybe my favorite kind of storytelling"

I'm thrilled to hear that, because I still have hope for a Joss series again someday (on cable). I'd a hundred times rather have an ongoing story from Joss on TV, once a week, than one two hour plus movie that's going to take two years from the beginning of the process, to the screen.


[ edited by Shey on 2010-09-20 11:29 ]

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