6 posts tagged joss whedon
6 posts tagged joss whedon
Justified creator Graham Yost (center) gave the creative keynote at The 2012 New York Television Festival on Tuesday. Some highlights, via Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly and Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club:
On season four of Justified, now two weeks into production: Patton Oswalt will play a character named Constable Bob, a “cop wannabe” who no doubt complicates things for Raylan (Timothy Olyphant). And what of Jeremy Davies (aka Dickie Bennett)? “We don’t know what’s gonna happen with Dickie, nor do we know what’s gonna happen with Dickie’s hair,” which the actor cut himself in season three. Yost wants the Justified to go six seasons – any longer runs the risk of becoming “Elmore lite,” he said. Which no doubt wouldn’t sit well with anyone, least of all Olyphant, whom Yost says knows the work of Elmore Leonard “chapter and verse.”
Writing, writing, writing: Yost says he wrote “everything but porn.” And it was not school that taught him what he knows, Yost said, but rather it was doing the work: “What I learned about writing I learned from writing.” He enjoyed his time at Nickelodeon’s Hey Dude, but ended up quitting Full House after less than 10 weeks (his edgy stuff just wasn’t working).
Writing, writing, writing: Yost said it was not school that taught him what he knows: “What I learned about writing I learned from writing.” And he wrote and wrote and wrote, “everything but porn.” Yost said he enjoyed his time at Nickelodeon’s Hey Dude, but ended up quitting Full House after less than 10 weeks (his edgy stuff just wasn’t working). An interesting aside: His editor at Encyclopedia Britannica was Charles Van Doren, known for his role at the center of the ‘50s quiz show scandal
On Joss Whedon and the movie formerly known as Minimum Speed: Minimum Speed was Yost’s original title for the 1994 hit – until a friend talked him into cutting “Minimum” from the title, and into raising the mph to 50 from 20. Yost says the classic “Pop quiz, hotshot” line came from Joss Whedon, who did an uncredited rewrite after a different writer (whom he did not identify) made it “awful.” “Joss did a total dialogue rewrite on that script, and I’ll be forever grateful.”
Learn more about the 2012 New York Television Festival, which continues through Oct. 27.
The idea was born over a series of dinners: Jane Espenson, Hugo-award-winning writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fell in love with her friend Brad Bell’s idea for a show about a fabulous actor (played by Bell), his gal pal (Alessandra Torresani, Caprica) and his boozily accidental wedding.
There’s a twist here, though, and it’s that the groom (aka Cheeks) didn’t marry the gal — he married another groom (Sean Hemeon, As the World Turns), a nervous and newly out ballplayer. The show’s name: Husbands. It’s a classic sitcom setup, opposites in love. But instead of on a network, it’s on the internet — at lovehusbands.com. Espenson and Bell created it together, and Espenson (currently a consulting producer of Once Upon a Time) funded the first season from her own pocket.
In Season 1 (11 episodes of about two minutes each) the grooms wake up married in Vegas and decide to make it work. Season 2, which debuted this week, picks up with the newlyweds living in their new home and dealing with the public fallout of their union. It will unfold over the course of three episodes of about eight minutes each, with behind-the-scenes specials for each one. Fans paid for the second season via Kickstarter, raising $50,000 in a week.
The second season also ups the ante on guest stars, with a virtual who’s who of the Whedonverse – including Joss himself, who appears in all three episodes. You’ll also see Amber Benson and Emma Caulfield (Buffy), and Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse). Plus Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica).
Espenson and Bell spoke with Amazon Studios about Husbands, creative freedom and working with Joss Whedon, actor.
On distributing the show online:
Espenson: We thought, oh, we’ll show that there is an audience out there, and then we can take it to the big stage. And then we realized, “There’s no bigger stage than this.”
Bell: What stage is bigger than the internet?
Espenson: You wish you had the big budget, but our fans supported the show … and we don’t have anybody above us saying “Oh, you can’t show that to America.” “We can show it to America, whatever America wants to look at — and beyond America.”
Bell: That’s how you get a hit, you make something that nobody else knew the rest of the country was actually ready for. And they were so ready for it that they loved it and embraced it and that’s how it becomes a hit. We get to do that, we get to push forward … and really have fun with our audience and tell an important story, but first and foremost, we get to entertain.
On working with Joss Whedon, the actor (he plays an agent in all three episodes):
Bell: He liked it so much, we were like “You want to be in it?”
Espenson: We had written a part and we were talking about other people.
Bell: Then we went back and tailored it once we knew it would be Joss. … We were very particular about the agent’s voice because we wanted a character who in classic agent fashion says “look, this is the situation and basically explains how things are dire and horrible” and you suddenly realize how dire and horrible it is and they say, “Whoa, why are things so dire and horrible all of a sudden?” … It was fun to give Joss that sort of voice of contradiction.
Espenson: There are a couple of moments where it takes some real acting finesse to make these turns, and he landed it, every time.
— Stephanie Reid-Simons
Jensen asks [Joss] Whedon what the fans have meant to him. What happens next is one of the most emotionally moving moments I’ve seen at Comic-Con. Whedon struggles, or seems to, for the right words.
Somebody in the crowd yells out, “We love you!”
Whedon hears this, struggles some more.
And the crowd begins to applaud, and stand up, and soon the entire room is in an ovation. The cast stands up too. It’s possibly the most perfect way to end the panel.
Whedon takes the microphone. “Only an idiot would try to follow that with a sentence,” he says, which is precisely what I was thinking.
“When you come out of a great movie you feel like you’re in that world,” he says. “When you’re telling a story you’re trying to connect to people in a particular way. It’s about inviting them into a world. The way you’ve inhabited this world, this universe, you have become part of it. When I see you guys, I don’t think the show is off the air. I think there’s spaceships and horses — the story is alive.”
When asked whether or not he’d be directing an Avengers sequel, Whedon replied: “I have not come to a decision on directing Avengers 2 yet. I am having too much fun with this (Firefly reunion) now.”
Reblogged from suicideblonde
Wired magazine’s Storyboard podcast recently featured a terrific conversation with TV writer Amy Berg (Eureka, Person of Interest, Leverage), covering everything from her singular path to getting hired (it ran through Nickelodeon and included Joss Whedon as a character in a one-act play) to her thoughts on genre shows (including crime stories and mysteries).
Some of the most interesting moments came when she discussed writers’ rooms and the impact of having screenwriters as showrunners:
These feature writers coming in to create a show is very, very difficult because this is the first time that they have had any control over their material. Usually they write something, and it goes away somewhere, and other people rewrite it … I think you’d be surprised by the muscle of the muscle of the feature writer being able to sort of lead the show. And as soon as they start learning the ropes of TV, they really do absorb the role themselves: ‘It’s my vision, my this, my that, my created by, my reputation that’s on the line.’ They very much cling to the material more than someone who has been in TV from the beginning. …
I don’t think it’s for the benefit of television, I don’t think it’s taking the experience of writing for television in the right direction. … You want someone who realizes what the job of the room is. The job of the room is not to support your singular decision-making process. It’s to help you create your vision, put your vision on screen, to give you the input that you need to be able to make decisions. Not make decisions and hope the writing staff comes up with something that was like that.