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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I told you, it's 'Xander' or 'Sergeant Fury'."
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March 29 2012

(SPOILER) Joss Whedon Interview: The Cabin In The Woods, The Avengers, Shakespeare... Contains slight spoilers for Cabin, but worth the read for what JW says about Much Ado about Nothing.

I don't know if I like my chances of seeing Much Ado about Nothing in a timely manner, given its route to wide release. Many, if not the majority, of movies don't get distribution deals after festival debuts. I wonder what'll happen then?

I think I said this when Much Ado wrapped - the best things come to those who wait.
This was a really good interview.
He needs to bring Much Ado to the Seattle International Film Festival. Starts May 17th. The timing would be perfect. Fingers crossed.
We've had a lot of Joss-interviews lately, which has been great - there's always a flurry of press when stuff gets close to release, and Joss has the two films coming out, and two others just filmed and/or in process, so there's lots of good material.

But what I liked about this one was the slightly different emphasis on his process over the years as a filmmaker - that felt newish and enlightening.

From screenwriting - I don't think I'd realized that they'd essentially written The Cabin in the Woods in three days - to Joss' filmmaking journey as a whole, there was a lot of good info.

This kindof made me a little sad:

"I did learn a great deal the hard way, by assuming that people would get things done that didn’t. Production became difficult for me, because I was juggling a lot of things that I had not realised that I was going to have to be in charge of. I think I’ve become a better producer since Cabin In The Woods, but I still think we produced something extraordinary. I think we could possibly have done it with less pain, if I had learned, as I have now, to be much meaner."

But communication and areas of responsibility are tough to work out for any project, large or small, and I'm sure "meaner", in Joss' book, isn't like "Swimming With Sharks" mean.

This was very encouraging, about Marvel:

"And I know what their agenda is in terms of style, and what we’re delivering, in terms of thrills and the adherence to the Marvel universe, with which I’m very familiar. But it was like comics, because they didn’t interfere. I told them “This is the kind of movie I want to make”, and they said “All right, make that movie”. And that is what happened. And they were as unmeddlesome as any studio I’ve ever worked with, even though they had the very strict touchstones that had to happen. So it was a weirdly free experience."

Based on my almost zero experience with studios, I would not have called that. It's so true that having some very set parameters in place for a creative endeavor can be great - having limits/touchstones/givens in place at the beginning can open up your creativity & let it roam in other areas, provided that you know all of them in advance, and that the client or studio or whatever lets you run free with them. I'm really delighted to hear that Marvel apparently did.

Oooh, and this was great:

"There is a little bit of 'Right, how can I progress the characters, without solving all their problems?'. I like things where you feel the resolve is 'we’ve made a step forward', not 'we’ve completed the journey'. That’s something with Buffy that we were very strict about, it wasn’t 'well we’ve certainly cured that guy’s ills forever!', it was like 'okay, we’ve saved him from the thing, and eventually maybe he’ll be able to deal with the trauma'. It’s always a process."

This is why Joss' TV is not standard re-set TV, and why so much of his stuff really clicks with me: it's like life. There are beginnings and journeys and then resolutions, but just little steps & partial answers, because: it ain't over 'til it's all over.
It's so true that having some very set parameters in place for a creative endeavor can be great - having limits/touchstones/givens in place at the beginning can open up your creativity & let it roam in other areas

So true. Joss has also pointed out that's why he's most comfortable writing genre: you never face a completely blank page. And Marvel seems like it had it correct: hire the right guy and let him do his business.

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