A Station Eight Fan Web Site
1. Do you think that "quality of writing" is something that the average person might have a stronger opinion about compared to other subjective creative forms like art or music? Does that make it more likely that you'll get people complaining about the quality of the writing in a show rather than any other aspect of it?
2. Is it fair to say that a lot of complaints of this nature are ignorant of the many factors that go into making a show outside of purely creative decisions? Stuff like budget, scheduling or availability that might influence what's reasonably possible to do in a specific time frame?
3. Have you noticed these kinds of criticisms getting worse over time? I feel there wouldn't have been as many people complaining about "Hello, Megan" during the time of Gargoyles, or maybe even Spidey.
4. I get that armchair criticism has always been around and that social media has provided a bigger platform for it, but the recent negative reception to stuff like the ending of Game of Thrones or Star Wars The Last Jedi has made me curious about your perspective on this kind of thing.
1. I do think that. My hypothesis - untested, unconfirmed - is that in a literal sense, nearly everyone knows how to "write". They know how to grab a pencil, pen or keyboard and put words on a page in an order that is at least comprehensible to another human being. So there is, perhaps, a subconscious assumption that if they just set their minds to it, that they could write stories, too - as good or better as most of the professional writers out there. On the other hand, to take your examples, not everybody believes they can draw or make music. Those talents seem esoteric, special, unique. I believe they strike a bit more awe - at least generally - than writing does. So the writing becomes the easy target. Or at least the easier target. But, of course, I'm a writer that can't draw or make music. So it makes sense that I should believe I'm under attack more. Human nature. So take it all with a grain of salt.
2. I think that's very fair to say. (And this is reading a bit like I posted these questions myself in order to defend myself with the answers. Not that I'm complaining.)
3. The internet is... well... awful... in so many ways. And its spread and influence has increased over the years, so, yes, it is definitely getting worse. But it hasn't really changed. Back in the pre-internet days, I'd still get nasty letters (sent via the post office) on Captain Atom. And the basic percentage of praise to criticism to abuse is really about the same. It just feels multiplied by the internet. The quantity of feedback is exponentially larger. And, again, human nature being what it is, I can get literally 50 tweets of praise, which are then wiped out of my mind by one mean tweet.
4. Well, I hated the ending of Game of Thrones, too... and I had mixed feelings about Last Jedi... but that wasn't the point of your question. It definitely FEELS worse. The main thing that people don't seem to get is that I LIKE MY SHOW. Brandon and I like what we've done. Not every frame, mind you, but overall, we LIKE OUR SHOW. And we are making the show WE WANT TO MAKE. I don't mind that people don't like it. (It'd be lovely, I suppose if we had 100% praise for the thing, but I honestly don't expect that. Ever.) What gets on my nerves is the assumption that many "fans" (or hate-watchers) have that we should be making the show that THEY WANT US TO MAKE, and that we're failing because we're not MAKING THEIR SHOW instead of MAKING OUR SHOW. That does grind on me. You want to shout out: "GO MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN SHOW!! No one's forcing you to watch ours!" But, of course, that's not a particularly politic statement to make. And more hate-watchers are still more watchers.
In the time that you've been working in TV animation, you must have seen many changes in the industry. In terms of the "nuts and bolts" elements of making a show (storyboarding, animation, retakes, sound mixing etc), things must have changed quite a bit.
1. What aspects of production have become easier over time?
2. What has gotten more difficult?
3. Would these changes have more to do with changes in technology, your own level of experience in the industry or to the studio/property you're working with at the time?
4. Is there anything about the industry that was specifically different in the intervening decades with Spectacular Spider-Man or the earlier seasons of Young Justice that wasn't the case before or since?
5. If Gargoyles were to come back with you involved, obviously the most important thing is the continuity of the story, but to what extent would it have to change in its art or animation style to be made today?
1. I'm not sure "easier" is the term I'd use, but "possible" includes a lot of fixes we can make in editing and post-production on voices, on picture, on effects, etc. There are things we can do now that we flat out couldn't do before.
2. Nothing particularly springs to mind, unless it's the glut of content that makes getting attention for one's project more difficult.
3. Mostly, with changes in technology. I like to think that I'm better at certain things now than I used to be, too. Of course, the flip side of that is that I'm also more demanding than I used to be. Different studios have different strengths and weaknesses, but I haven't noticed one being stronger or weaker overall, and I've worked at a LOT of different places.
4. Post-production visual FX work became much more commonplace since. But it was largely not done previous.
5. That depends on all sorts of factors that are hypothetical. But there's no reason why - at least in theory - we couldn't simply use the same design style, assuming TPTB approved.
Hello! I was wondering if you ever watched Robert Kirkman's Invincible (2021) animated series? It's about superheroes and gave me the same vibes as Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice (just WAY gorier). I really enjoyed it, and one aspect of it that I absolutely loved was the longer episodes, running about forty-to-fifty minutes each. I know it's way above your pay-grade, but I was just curious, if you had the choice, would you want to extend your episodes to fifty-some minutes like Invincible? Or would you want to keep them a little over twenty minutes? Assuming of course you'd be able to still produce twenty to twenty-six episodes for each season, which Invincible didn't do at just eight episodes per the first season.
Anyways, Happy Halloween! I'm eagerly awaiting the next episode of YJ Phantoms! Artemis' arc is looking to be fantastic!
I haven't seen Invincible.
In some ways, I'd love to stop worrying about episode lengths entirely. But I'd still want the same quantity of episodes (or more). And budget is definitely a factor. It's been great on the last couple of seasons of YJ that if we have (within our budget) been freed from the constraints of a maximum length. But I don't feel like we've been hugely restricted by running between 22 and 27 minutes. Don't know that we need "fifty-some".
This is my first time writing in, so I just wanted to say thanks for having this website up! I can't imagine the amount of time it takes to answer everything. It's truly appreciated. I picked up YJ not long after the third season wrapped up, and I'm delighted I got into it when I did.
I especially have to thank you (and the rest of the YJ crew, of course) for Artemis. I was in a bit of a rough patch when I watched it first, and I saw a lot of myself in her. Watching her overcome her fears, especially in the first season, was a reassuring inspiration. There's been more than a few times when I found myself thinking of her as I braved through things. She means a lot to me, and I'm thrilled to see her still working things out now, even though she's been through so much. (I was beyond excited when we found out she's leading the Team now! I can't wait to see that!)
Anyway, I've had these lying around for a bit, so here we go.
1) You recently mentioned some of the organizations youâve reached out to for help with YJâs characters of color, cultures youâre unfamiliar with, and the LGBTQ+ community. Itâs wonderful to hear that youâre working with them! Which other groups have you worked with (both today and during the first and second seasons) and how does that relationship work?
2) What does a day in the life look like in the YJ acting booth? (I have to imagine itâs pretty fun with that particular group of actors and directors!) Any idea when youâll be able to record in person again?
3) From what I understand about acting (both voice and âregularâ), itâs incredibly important for actors to be able to play off of each other. How does that work with recording during the pandemic? Do actors record lines individually and then play off those recordings, or are Zoom meetings used to imitate the booth as much as possible?
4) One last question about voice acting: how much influence do your actors have over the characters' personalities? Are their ideas about the characters integrated into the writing?
5) Iâve always loved the glimpses weâve seen of YJâs interpretation of Atlantis. Many of the versions Iâve seen are basically just a very large underwater city with little oceanic inspiration. YJâs version seems to have been created with a lot of thought toward how the structure of the seafloor and plant life interact with it, as well as the intense influence of magic. The colors also often feel particularly vibrant and ocean-like. Given that youâre not one of the artists, Iâd guess you may not know much about how it was designed, but is there any insight you could give to choices made regarding Atlantisâs design and culture?
I've just seen the first episode of Phantoms, and it's looking spectacular so far. Good luck with finishing up post-production, and thank you again for your hard work!
1. I'm going to hold off answering which other organizations we've worked with for now, as I think revealing the organizations would by default reveal content. I'd be happy to answer this after the season's over. But I've already stated that we've been working with GLAAD and OUT and MPAC (Hollywood Division). Plus, we've run every single outline and script by Dr. Janina Scarlet (superhero-therapy.com and @shadowQuill on Twitter). She's helped us with psychological and therapeutic details, while also generally acting as a sensitivity reader for our work. And there's also Warner Bros' own DEI department, who've been very helpful. There are more organizations, but the rest will have to wait for now. As for process, it can differ slightly. But generally, we discuss the stuff we were thinking about doing with them and get their feedback. Then we show them our outlines. Then our scripts. Sometimes even animatics or animation. At each step, we listen, take their notes and make sure everyone feels good about what we're doing before we take the next step in the process. We don't do anything that doesn't work for our story and characters. But we admit to ignorance on many fronts and many levels, and we like educating ourselves and allowing that education to be reflected in the work.
2. Well, it is fun! (Or, you know, most of the time. Nothing's perfect.) But pre-pandemic, we'd bring a majority of any episode's cast in together. (Although our casts are SO big, that sometimes we might split that cast into two shifts, trying to get folks who have scenes together to record together.) Jamie usually has them do a first run through without much direction. Then he might dive in and nuance an exchange or a line. Or even a certain phrase. We like to have options, but we want to make sure we get at least one version that hits the nail on the head. And we also make sure that we have at least two versions of every line. Post-pandemic, everyone was recording alone. Which is still great but not quite as much fun. There's a lot of playing back what one actor did for the other actor. (Whomever went first, kinda gets to set the tone for any scene, in these cases.) As for when we'll get back to recording in person, I don't know. Not on Season Four. That's all fully recorded.
3. See above.
4. After an episode or two, we definitely begin to incorporate their performances into their characters. With regulars or our long time recurring actors, we often sit down and talk to the actors about their characters, and I'm not at all adverse to listening to their takes on their own characters and importing those ideas into future episodes.
5. We wanted to fully bring their culture and milleu to life. To see Posiedonis - which is all you've seen of Atlantis so far - as its inhabitants see it.
Thank you for watching!
Rewatched "The Green" today.
I might be reading too much into this, but I noted that the ones responsible for the theft of the Mayan Sun Amulet and the deaths of most of the Mayan clan were called "poachers" - a term for illegal hunters. Given the recurrent theme about gargoyles being hunted and facing danger from hunters that I've been paying close attention to in the 25th anniversary reviewing, I thought that an apt word choice.
This episode featured five "clawmark" transitions, the most I've noted to date in any individual episode of "Gargoyles". (I've been keeping track of those during the silver anniversary reviewing, and counted fifteen up to this point, of which five were in this episode - one-third, in other words.)
Wow. That's a lot of claw wipes. But we also had more location transitions from Manhattan to the Green and back.
Rewatched "Shadows of the Past" today.
Bronx was definitely not enjoying the wild boat ride through the stormy seas - his response put me in mind of the "series Pitch"'s description of him as angst-ridden and not fond of adventures.
I really enjoyed the little animation details in this episode - Elisa cautiously climbing up the path from the shore, grabbing hold of the stone wall at one point to steady herself, or Bronx slipping a bit when he starts climbing up the cliff.
The entrance to the rookery looked different than it did in "Awakening Part One" - apparently those doors and the gargoyle-like face over them were removed by Xanatos to New York, along with the rest of the castle. The depiction of the now castle-less cliff - with a huge gap - brought home just how much of it Mr. X had removed.
I really like the illusory Demona's words to Goliath "Join me in the dark" - it's an illusion of her, of course, but those words capture so well in metaphor what she's been trying to get him to do (when not simply trying to kill him).
This time around, looking at the giant skull-like shape left over from the Archmage's battle with the gargoyles in "Long Way Till Morning", I tried to work out (but wasn't certain) whether it was a real skull (if so, it belonged to something really huge) or just part of the cave sculpted into the likeness of a skull. I'll have to pay closer attention to it, the next time I watch "Long Way Till Morning".
The animation on that episode was just lovely..
As a live action film producer/director, Iâve often thought some ideas might be created as an animated series. What guidance would you give to someone looking to branch into animation? Assume I have no existing relationships.
Your best bet is to go through your agent, who should be able to get you meetings with animation execs.
As a writer and creative, you've been responsible for some of my most cherished childhood and adulthood favorites. Given your experience, I wanted to know what one's approach would be when they come up with a story that they could see manifesting as an animated series? Do you flesh the whole story out as if writing a novel, or do you try and create episodes on paper and tell the whole story; is the process entirely different altogether? I would love your insight on this sensei. Thank You
Are we talking about selling or producing? They're two very different processes.
Having watched the first half of season 3, I can honestly say that the writing on Young Justice is as sharp as ever. As always, some episodes like "Evolution" and "Nightmare Monkeys" are better than others, but that's going to be true of any show.
However, I recently re-watched "Depths" from season 2, and I have to say that the quality of the animation on Outsiders is just not at the level of the animation on seasons one and two. What would account for this? Is your budget smaller? Did you switch animation houses? Or, do you not agree with the premise of my question?
Don't get me wrong. I think the animation is okay. It's just not as good as prior seasons.
Our budgets are technically higher, but are (with inflation) more or less the same. We did switch animation houses. But we had to. The world has changed. There's way more production in Seoul than there used to be. It's way more competitive for studios and artists over there.
But basically, I don't agree with the premise of your question. We've had mixed animation success in every season, with strong episodes and weak episodes and everything in between. I'd put the animation on "Nightmare Monkeys" up against anything we did in Seasons One or Two. And there are episodes in all three seasons that had us pulling our hair out over the animation. In the end, however, I think they all cleaned up respectably.
hey mr greg weisman i was just wondering were you aiming a little older and just had to keep it appealing for kids
We talking Young Justice? Gargoyles? Shimmer and Shine? Every series is different in its demographic targeting, sometimes even from season to season. In most cases, we tried to target multiple demographics simultaneously by writing in layers.