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FallenLegend writes...

I have questions regarding adapting DC comics.

You see there is certain fan adaptation running around on the net( I won't mention it for obvious reasons) , and to be honest all the changes seem silly, cringe inducing and fanfic like.

Yet all your changes seem logical. I mean replacing Aqualad with Kalduram or Cassie as Wondergirl would be controversial but it's logical and I like it. You even improved on many characters like from the source material like Artemis and Sportsmaster.

Most of the changes you have done are like apple products they just work.

So my question is How do you make earth 17 feel so cohesive and faithful despite doing some heavy changes to the source material?

Greg responds...

Well, for starters, it's Earth-16.

But otherwise the goal is to get down to the core of every character that you're adapting and be true to that. Not all the details matter, proven out by the fact that over 75 years of comics history, a lot of the details about any given character keep changing. But who the character is at her or his core does matter.

All this is influenced by what we've already done in a universe that we're trying to keep cohesive and coherent, so we think about how any new character would fit into that schema. Or if they'll fit. Things like scope effect us too. For example, we talked about including Supergirl in both Season One and Season Two, but her story was too big to fit in either season without derailing our main overall plot or skimping on her story. We'll get to her eventually - no promises as to when - but it'll have to be when we could do justice (YOUNG justice) to her story.

Response recorded on September 21, 2017

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B writes...

I think that in #3 of this question (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=22075), Lenny was actually asking if a company would consider a recommendation *for* a more seasoned producer, not *from*. i.e. If the newbie who's idea was picked up by the company wanted Dini, Cook or Vietti to produce it, would the company consider that request or just provide their own producer? (I have a feeling I know the answer, but wanted to clarify what Lenny was asking)

Greg responds...

Ah. Yeah, I didn't get that.

I guess you could ask for whomever you wanted, but whether they can cooperate with that suggestion will depend on a load of factors, including but not limited to availability, cost, interest, studio needs, etc.

Response recorded on September 18, 2017

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Anonymous writes...

Hi! I'd like to ask you a question from a writing standpoint if you don't mind. When juggling a lot of plotlines, how important is it to develop relationships on-screen? On the one hand, obviously the main couples should be. But for the minor ones/background characters, I'm not sure if it's better to leave their relationship status static (which would be unrealistic for most) until I can properly develop something for them, or sometimes put them in side relationships based on chemistry even without much prior development. This would be provided that these relationships could be used to further individual storylines, just not important enough to warrant too much attention from the main plot. It's okay if you don't have an answer, but I'm curious if you do.

Greg responds...

Every character should have his or her own life, even if you don't always have the screen time for it.

Response recorded on September 11, 2017

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Eric writes...

I found a tumblr post that talks about great characters with the link below.

http://giancarlovolpe.tumblr.com/post/98392197924/a-study-in-creating-great-characters-by-aaron

I also remembered you answered a question like that.

"I believe they exist as fully as possible. I create backstories for them, whether or not those backstories will be revealed on screen or on the page. I make them real to me."

So for the actual questions:

1. What do you think about the tumblr post? I think "compelling" and "fascinating" seem too subjective.

2. What exactly do you mean by "exist as fully as possible"? I'm guessing you want to give as much of an image of a character as you can, but I'm also sure that's the main task of any story.

3. You also said that you want to make the characters seem real to yourself, but how do you make them real to the viewer?

4. This one might be redundant, so it probably doesn't need to be answered. But just in case, how do you make characters and stories that the audience can enjoy?

5. I also know you've said that you write your passion, but how do you know it will appeal to others? It all sounds like being hopeful.

Greg responds...

1. Perhaps. But so is "relatable" and "sympathetic". They're directions to head not a detailed map.

2. It's not the main task to make of any story to make EVERY character in the story fully realized. My feeling is - within reasonable parameters - that it SERVES the story to have fully realized characters, who have their own backstories and motives that are specific to them.

3. I cross my fingers that if it works for me, it'll work for a substantial portion of my audience.

4. I write what I like, and cross the above-mentioned fingers. The alternative is pointless. If I can't get passionate about my story, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

5. That's all it is. Honestly. See above.

Response recorded on August 17, 2017

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Carl Johnson writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

I had just a couple of questions.

1. One thing about the animation industry is that once a season is over there is no guarantee that the next season will be picked up. Should some one have a plan B for another profession if the next season does not work out? Or is there plenty of work in California that if you did your job well, finding another one should not take long?

2.If someone has a animation idea they want to pitch and have all the details worked out (pitch bible, characters, story, and pilot script) how would they know when they could pitch the idea?

3. I had a question for attires for animation shows. Does it cost more to have different episodic attires for characters or do characters have only one attire to save time? I know in Spectacular, Peter had a winter attire with the jacket, or that one time he had the black shirt with brown pants during the symbiote removal episode but is there a choice on whether they can change their attire episode by episode to add more realism?
Thanks!

Greg responds...

1. Well, uh... There are no guarantees. I try to have other work lined up, pretty much always. And sometimes I'm just flat-out unemployed for stretches. This gig is not for the faint of heart, I guess.

2. I'm not sure I understand the question. If you're ready, pitch. But my caution would be to be careful not to poison the water. If it's a work in progress, and isn't actually very good (YET), then I wouldn't pitch. Make sure you're only showing the best possible version of what you've got. On the other hand, there's not much point in noodling forever on an idea. If it's solid, go for it.

3. Every design - and new clothes are a new design - cost time, which costs money. So, yes, in animation, we need a pretty good reason to give characters additional wardrobe. But if we need it, we need it.

Response recorded on April 24, 2017

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hello Greg,

Not so much a question as an attempt to clear some things up. You said that you didn't remember our first exchange, so, here's a link:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21729

The follow-up exchange:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21290

I do hope this clears things up. I checked the links on my end and they appear to work. If they don't work for you then I'll just have to copy and paste, which will probably take up more space than I wanted to use.

Greg responds...

Okay, yeah, reread it all. (You've got the links switched, but they're both there.)

As I suspected, I wasn't upset the first time. I don't even seem to be annoyed. I was just giving you my honest response to your question, which was that I thought to some extent it was the wrong question for a writer to ask.

As for the second post, as I noted, you seemed to have a better handle on things.

So no worries on my end.

Good luck with your stories.

Response recorded on March 22, 2017

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qwerty writes...

As a general rule of thumb, how far do you like to plan ahead with stuff you write?

Greg responds...

All the way. At least to the end of each season, with at least some clear sense of where we'd go next.

Response recorded on March 20, 2017

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Joshua Starnes writes...

I am getting ready to write my first professional scripts for animation. At the risk of asking a really broad question, what is the number one thing from your experience you would tell a starting out writer in the medium to keep in mind?

Greg responds...

Proofread relentlessly.

Response recorded on March 20, 2017

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ClarkeC writes...

Hey Mr.Weisman, managed to check out Starbrand and Nightmask and it was pretty good to no one's surprise. Also congrats on a season 3 of Young Justice. I just have two questions regarding that show.
1. You mentioned that there was both a timeline(that only you and Brandon are privy to) and a series bible(with details like Vandal Savage being Attila
the Hun supposedly). In the context of Young Justice, is their a difference or are they more or less the same.
2. You mentioned on this site that you used post cards and a giant billboards with different cards with different colors to establish certain dialogue or plot points. Do you also use them for events off screen such during the time skip or prior to the series?
Thanks in advance for time.

Greg responds...

1. They are two different documents. I'm constantly updating the timeline. The bible, I haven't looked at in five years.

2. Index cards, not post cards. And, yes, sometimes.

Response recorded on February 28, 2017

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Zaggadabba writes...

1) How do you try to keep things unpredictable when you know that by the simple law of enough monkeys with enough typewriters, some fan out there will figure out any twist sooner or later?
2) How do you balance keeping a villain interesting/likable without making it so much so that the audience roots for them instead of the protagonist?

Greg responds...

1. Can't worry about that. We tell the stories that we want to tell. That our characters tell us we need to tell. Inevitably, some percentage of our audience will figure out our game. Inevitably, some will be surprised. If the story is well-told, hopefully both groups will still enjoy it.

2. Give them motivation that makes sense, but don't sugarcoat their actions.

Response recorded on February 16, 2017


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