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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"His penis got diseases From a Chumash tribe."
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December 20 2011

Making It with Joss Whedon. Fab one hour podcast interview about how Joss got started in his career, his love of writing and the decisions that defined his career.

Highlights: -

Pitching to his dad
The Oliver North musical
Working on Roseanne
The Buffy movie and walking away from it
Dividing creativity
'Much Ado About Nothing' being the best experience to date
Frustration over spec scripts
Being a script doctor
Buffy nearly becoming a Power Rangers show
Why his first directing gig was a disaster
How people got Buffy from the start
Why Firefly had such a short life
Dollhouse being the wrong show for Fox
Not accepting Firefly's cancellation lead to making Serenity (originally it was to be a tv movie)
Helping out on Ang Lee's Hulk and The Quick and The Dead
The Avengers was like making an internet musical
Lucky to be working for Marvel
How Dr Horrible came to be
Joss' impersonation of Felicia Day
Riff Regan's advice to Joss

Is there any way to listen to this without downloading itunes?
also, is there any transcription for this? :)
Thanks Simon.
Great interview.
Woo! Thanks Simon! And Thanks eddy for asking!
Wow, this is ancient, but not less interesting for that. Listening to this kind of fits in with reading 'Mark Watches BtVS' (he loved 'The Pack' which made me very happy).
2 days ago is ancient?
Yeah, definitely not ancient, it hasn't even gone up on yet.
It was released 2 days ago, the interview took place more than 10 years ago (during Buffy's first season, which seems pretty darn ancient to me!). It is totally fun that it has been released, but I still think it is very old.

Oh, oops... I was listening to the 'Joss Whedon' link listed (top of the list) when I called up the main link instead of the main link. I see now that the longer interview (the main link) is totally new.

[ edited by embers on 2011-12-20 19:28 ]
Wait..what? are you talking about the making it podcast? or Mark Watches BtVS?
@embers: What link are you even talking about?
Does my itunes link look different from other peoples? When I click on the thread link I get iTunes Preview: Making it with Riki Lindhome, with a column down the left side which gets me to the desired interview, but the entire center section of the window lists names, and #1. is Joss Whedon, and for me at least that listing downloaded an interview that was done 14 years ago.
embers, I think you have a glitch in your software. I'd recommend downloading the MP3 file and listening to the interview that way.

I notice that Joss' comments about how he wrote, filmed and edited The Avengers all at the same time are getting picked up elsewhere and blown somewhat out of proportion. But that's not news. He has said this before.

The real juicy stuff for me was his comments about the head of Fox. Ouch.
You don't think our guy Joss is still bitter about that, do you?
Well I've never heard Joss speak like that before, not even about Sutherland (though it came close).
Yeah, that really struck me as well. He doesn't usually like to talk that way about people, so that was really kind of surprising.

This was a fantastic interview. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer! I could listen to that man talk forever.

Anyone know what Buffy episode the interviewer was on?
The one she was in? 'Him' I think.
I'll have to go watch that one again now. Especially considering she is in Much Ado as well.
'Him' ... yes. She was the cheerleader with the broken leg, on crutches.
Listening to this now. Really great interview. Love the interviewer, it's a very comfortable style.
I suspect he may have been more open than usual because he felt more comfortable with the interviewer. Also, go find everything Riki Lindhome (the interviewer) has done. She's guest-starred everywhere, and is usually amazIng. Great turn on "Big Bang Theory."

Also, she's half of the musical comedy duo "Garfunkel and Oates," and released a 5-song album this year herself.
It's finally up on the Nerdist site so I've swapped URLs.
gossi said:

Love the interviewer, it's a very comfortable style.

I agree that it's a very comfortable, conversational style but I find that the interviewer's super-frequent interjections make it quite difficult to focus on what Joss is saying.
I didn't have a problem focusing, but I did find myself wishing she'd stop interjecting.

That said, I've interviewed Joss before, and the urge to go full-on fanboy while you're talking to him is incredible.
I love hearing Joss talk about anything, but I don't think Riki is a good interviewer. Most of her questions were about 'what did you do next' which she could have learned from a few minutes of research, and she doesn't follow up with anything deeper. She is too eager to agree with whatever the guest says before they have even said it. I've ended up listening to all of her podcasts but in the process I've become less of a fan. I still like Oates a lot though.
I think this is the first time she's not had to prod the interviewee to keep talking, actually. I agree she wasn't her best here but her podcast overall is very well done.
Does anyone know if there is a complete list of all the film screenplays Joss has had a hand in? I have:


Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Toy Story
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Titan A.E.
Wonder Woman
The Cabin in the Woods
The Avengers
Much Ado About Nothing (adaptation)
In Your Eyes

Scriptdoctored/punched up/did something to:

The Getaway (looplines)
The Quick and the Dead
Atlantis: Milo's Return (has a credit, no idea what involvement)
The X-Men
The Hulk
Captain America

What am I missing?
I don't know, and I'm too busy shedding a tear for Goners to think about it.


[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-12-21 03:40 ]
Oh, I've heard him talk much worse about Sutherland. Check his Onion interview in 2001.

"O: Was it a personality conflict between you and Sutherland, or was he just not what you'd envisioned in that role?

"JW: No, no, he was just a prick." (more details at the link)

[ edited by C. A. Bridges on 2011-12-21 03:41 ]
I don't know, and I'm too busy shedding a tear for Goners to think about it.

Yup. I'd give quite a lot to read that script. And "Wonder Woman."
Excellent, even with the interjections. 57:39, for your time-planning pleasure.
(I do love Garfunkel & Oates, too.)
It's so good to hear Joss talking (although I so wished it to be a video interview)
Yeah, I like Riki Lindhome, and I haven't listened to her podcast before, but this was not a good interview. I was super excited to listen and I had to turn it off halfway through. It was like listening to a giddy, unprepared high school student's first attempt at interviewing someone.
Yeah, interviewer ill-prepared and annoying. "Oh wow" "That's amazing" "Nice" "Oh my god" "That's so cool". Irritating. Mr. Whedon always a thrilling listen though.
I loved this. I thought she (the interviewer) was really great. Sad to see all the harsh criticism.

Think you're missing Alien Resurrection in your list, C. A. Bridges.
Wow, CA Bridges, thanks for that Onion interview. Definitely one of the best interviews I've ever read with him.

Favorite line of course:
"Can we get a 'sarcasm' font?" - Love
On the off-chance that you're reading this comment Joss, could you please tell us why Cowboys and Aliens could never work?
the Groosalugg. I think most people (including Joss himself) wish they could forget Alien:Ressurection existed too.
This was a pretty good interview. I'm glad to hear that working for Marvel has been a positive experience, and super glad Buffy did not become a Power Rangers show.
The interviewer was SO nervous that I felt simultaneously bad for her and cringe-y... I've met Joss once and was struck completely dumb, so I know how she feels, but it's kind of uncomfortable to listen to her conducting an interview.

What's most fascinating to me, as I'm mostly familiar with most of the career highlights that Joss mentioned, is the way Joss talked about how to carve a creative career out for yourself. Write. Don't wait for the right time--make time. Pursue creative opportunities just to meet people, help them. Make friends with talented, nice people. HIRE talented, nice people. Don't be a.. Donald Sutherland.
I liked there part where he talked about how there is never enough time to do anything and that what you have to do is make space for what you want to do. That makes so much sense to me and reflects my experience pretty accurately.
Joss was compelling, sometimes in other interviews the 'funny' get in the way. But the interviewer.... the constant "yaa, yaa" - People talk like that? Is that L.A.? Crikey. Still, despite the obviousness of some of the questions, she got the best out of him somehow, well done.
I haven't listened to all of her interviews, but I don't think she's ordinarily quite so interjecty.

When talking to Joss -- or, often, to any person you place on a higher plane -- there's a strong urge to... connect? Show him that you're on his wavelength, that you get him, that you understand exactly what he means? She sounded, to me, like any fangirl given an hour to talk to a hero.

Granted, not the best way to do an interview, but I understood it.
I'd say it might have been the best way to do an interview actually. As Caroline pointed out, she did get the best out of him. (Or at least, I think so: I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a Joss interview this much before, and, like most of us here, I've seen/read/heard many of them over the years.)
Exactly. I didn't understand the problem with her interviewing. In all interviews, I'm judging the quality of the response and her style seemed more interested in throwing out meaty questions and then just letting Joss talk about it. Sometimes simple prompts are the best because they let the subject expound rather than fence in the response with pointed questions.
The substance of her questions was different too -- instead of "what did you mean when you wrote this?" type of questions, she was asking about how Joss created the things he did. As a working actress/writer herself, interviewing a writer she admires, her questions reflected her interest. Plus, I'm always fascinated by the stories artists tell of the process of creation.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with Riki's interviewing style. It's effective, friendly and human. Joss gets to say his piece, and Riki's not trying to sound like a robot but really having a conversation, asking questions she's interested in and expressing her interest. Perhaps it's not entirely the conventional way of conducting an interview, but this is a podcast. Podcasts aren't about conventional journalism, they're about personality and being excited about stuff. If you listen to a conversational podcast expecting a formal interview, you're doing it wrong.
Finally got around to reading this. Loved it. BTW does anyone know what Sandy Grushow is doing now? He seems to have karmically fallen off the face of the planet.

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