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Todd Jensen writes...

Do you think that adapting a familiar comic-book figure from the medium of comic books to the television screen (as you're currently doing with "The Spectacular Spider-Man") is much like adapting a familiar legendary figure (such as King Arthur or Theseus) to a modern work of fiction (except, of course, that Arthur and Theseus have been around a lot longer than Spidey has)?

Greg responds...

There are common factors, but no. The main difference is that Spider-Man isn't public domain. Marvel OWNS the character and is quite the watchdog, as it should be.

Response recorded on May 14, 2008

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Wesley Nichols writes...

Do you know what the writer's strike had on the writer's extent that they can choose what they write and shows they can choose to script? Will this have any affect on the animation industry?

Greg responds...

Uh... I don't have a clue what you're first question is asking. But the strike had little effect on the animation industry, as most animation writers are covered by TAG not WGA.

Response recorded on April 29, 2008

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Amanda writes...

If you had wirten a story How would you do it t make people intersted more in the book?

Greg responds...

You're looking at it.

Response recorded on April 08, 2008

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Peter Sunnergren writes...

I love your work and would really value your advice; I have decided to produce a comic/graphic novel from one of the stories I have designed. I have no experience of any budget to speak of and in this moment I can only recruit people who are willing to use it as a learning experience with just a hope of reward if all goes well. So far so good, I have a couple of writers on board, a few artists in training and a colourist. I guess this won't be a straighforward question as such, I ask for advice really. How much time is reasonable to spend on one issue, where do I turn to for recognition, do you have any general tips you could give on getting published or sponsored?

thanks!

Greg responds...

I'm not sure I'm the guy to advise you. I've never self-published anything and know little or nothing about it. I'm also not clear... you're the writer, but you have a couple of writers? Most self-published things don't employ other writers, I'd think.

As for how much time per issue... well, I usually write a couple pages per day, so that I can write two comics a month (more or less). It takes me between twenty minutes and an hour per day.

Response recorded on April 08, 2008

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Jordan writes...

Hey Greg,

I caught the spider-man premire and I have to say it was one of the best saturday mornings I've had in years. Congrats to you and your crew.

In the time between Gargoyles and Spider-man, how would say the overall process of creating an animated show has changed, for better or worse?

Greg responds...

Mostly worse for me at least, because in those days I had the occasional ear of Michael Eisner. He was hard to sell, but if he said yes, we got to MAKE OUR SHOW with no more bologna attached. Nowadays getting a "yes" is nearly impossible as it's always a decision by committee. Heck it took them years to decide to make Spider-Man. I mean... Spider-Man?!! If any show is a no-brainer...

Response recorded on March 14, 2008

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Amanda writes...

If I was evry want to become a writer what sould I do to make people like my storys? How old where you when you wrote storys? I been thinking of some good storys but I don't know if any one would like them? When I read a bionicle story I feel like I am in a different world. Am I cary or what?

Greg responds...

Hey Amanda,

I began writing stories as early as Second Grade. It's a great hobby, and it can be a great profession -- but I'd only recommend it to someone who truly felt they couldn't be happy doing anything else. Because there will be REJECTION. Nature of the beast, I'm afraid. But if you want to do it, then do it. My first and biggest recommendation is to learn to PROOFREAD your work. Get a dictionary and look up words that you're not sure of. Make sure your grammar is impeccable. No one will want to read your work if it's loaded with typos and other small errors. They'll never get to see your wonderful stories. My next recommendation is to READ. READ, READ, READ. Read voraciously. Newspapers, magazines, classic works of literature, comic books, whatever. But read. My next recommendation is to LISTEN. Listen to how people talk, how they sound, their dialects, their slang, etc. That's the way to learn to write good dialogue. Finally WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. PROOFREAD. REWRITE. READ. READ. Etc.

Good luck.

Response recorded on January 14, 2008

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cboy305 writes...

Sorry, forgot to include this in my last question.
This past summer, I emailed disney some ideas I had for animated shows. They replied telling me that they can't take unsolicited ideas. So my question is, how do I make my ideas solicited?

Greg responds...

Get an agent.

Response recorded on January 03, 2008

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dph writes...

What is your opinion on the current strike going on between the writer's guild and the studios?

Greg responds...

I'm completely pro-WGA. And I'm NOT a member of either organization.

Response recorded on December 12, 2007

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Landon "Lumpmoose" Thomas writes...

Hello, long-time reader, first time asker. I just caught "Ken 10" and loved it. I think it's one of the best Ben 10 episodes yet, and that's saying a lot. I love seeing the shades of Gargoyles in there with your fearlessness in shaking things up, adding drama, introducing new characters, and playing with the time line. It makes me all the more excited for Spectacular Spider-man (congrats on the 26-episode pick-up, by the way).

I'm currently pondering a career in sound design/editing/engineering. Animation is my passion and that's what I'd like to work with, at least partially (i.e. I can't draw). You've mentioned Advantage Audio in the past as the Gargoyles post-production house. Advantage Audio looks like a great place to work, but it surprises me that Disney television animation would contract out for audio work on one of their flagship products.

1) I know smaller animation studios usually contract out for audio post-production, but how often do the big studios, like WDTVA, WB, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon, use external post-production houses?

b) Do they even have in-house audio teams? If so, how often do they use them?

c) Just out of curiosity, what does Culver Entertainment do?

2) The thing I'm worried about most is being 'merely' a tech grunt in the audio production field. In your opinion, how much creativity is there in the audio post-production field?

b) How closely do you, as a writer/producer/director, work with audio teams? Do you just pass the work on and expect an end-product?

3) This is a personal, limited-in-scope question of which you may have no opinion. I'm currently in Minneapolis with a BA in theatre, minor in computer science, and very little audio experience. I'm pondering going to Full Sail for a trained-by-the-best kind of thing. Does that school stick out for you or would a local tech school and/or experience be good enough to break into the big time?

Thanks for any help! I know questions weren't strictly Gargoyles-related, but Gargoyles was what inspired me to steer into the entertainment industry in the first place!

Greg responds...

Thanks for the congrats.

1. None of the studios I've ever worked with in Television Animation have their own post houses.

b. Never.

c. Each show is different, but as far as Spidey's concerned, we'll probably make a decision in the next couple weeks as to which audio post house we'll be using.

2. Tons. But it depends on what you mean by creativity. Obviously, you're coming at the piece near the end of the process. You're not writing the story or animating the picture, but you are breathing life into it with sound, and there are a tons of choices to be made. The producers (if not the executives) have final say of course, but a great engineer or sound fx designer makes all the difference in the world.

b. I discuss things with the team, they go to town and then I'm present for the mix (at the very least). I don't just hand it off and cross my fingers that I'll like what comes back, but I also don't stand over their shoulders while the sound is being designed.

3. I've never heard of "Full Sail", but frankly I don't know this arena very well, so don't judge by me.

Good luck!

Response recorded on October 12, 2007

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Want to know more...?

Shan Muir, who some of you may know from various Gatherings she's attended, has written a book on Animation production:

Gardner's Guide to Writing and Producing Animation presents a step-by-step guide through the animation production process-- from deciding what type of animation project to produce to marketing the final production. This book includes behind-the-scenes glimpses into these areas by incorporating interviews with professionals in all areas of the field. It presents in-depth, first-hand descriptions of how certain people personally perform their duties as part of the general production pipeline. In addition, the book explores the various career opportunities in the animation industry, which is known for incorporating a diverse group of artists and engineers. Whether your goal is to produce a completed television special, pilot, short, or independent feature, Gardener's Guide to Writing and Producing Animation offers a comprehensive understanding of the art and business of animation.

Interviews include:

*Jack Angel, Voice Actor
* Monique Beatty, Line Producer
* Jerry Beck, Producer/Animation Historian
* Larry DiTillio, Story Editor/Writer
* Michael Donovan, Voice Director
* John Grusd, Director
* Marc Handler, ADR Story Editor/Writer
* Carl Johnson, Composer
* Bill Koepnik, co-owner of audio post house Advantage Audio
* Christy Marx, Story Editor/Writer
* Jan Nagel, Marketing Diva
* Josh Prikryl, Overseas Supervisor
* Sander Schwartz, Studio Executive
* Tad Stones, Producer
* Brooks Wachtel, Story Editor/Writer
* Greg Weisman, Producer/ Story Editor/Writer
* Robert Winthrop, Producer
* Tim Yoon, Production Manager

I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds invaluable if you're looking to understand how this thing works. Should be available at most big chains and can definitely be ordered on-line or by any bookstore! It's out there now, so support one of your own and grab up a copy!



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