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Todd Jensen writes...

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.)

Greg responds...

Wow. That's a lot of claw wipes. But we also had more location transitions from Manhattan to the Green and back.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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".

Greg responds...

The animation on that episode was just lovely..

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Charles Beale writes...

As a live action film producer/director, I’ve 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.

Greg responds...

Your best bet is to go through your agent, who should be able to get you meetings with animation execs.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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DK writes...

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

Greg responds...

Are we talking about selling or producing? They're two very different processes.

Response recorded on July 26, 2021

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Marvelman writes...

Hi Greg,

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on July 26, 2021

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danny writes...

hey mr greg weisman i was just wondering were you aiming a little older and just had to keep it appealing for kids

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on October 17, 2019

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Marvelman writes...

At what point will Outsider be considered to be in-production? The writing is considered to be pre-production, right? I know you are now recording the voices. Is that part of the production phase?

Greg responds...

It depends how you're defining your terms. Broadly speaking, Young Justice: Outsiders is in production and has been for over a year.

But if you're going to divide the broad term "Producton" into it's three main components, i.e. Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production, then:

Writing, voice recording, storyboard, design, direction are all elements of pre-production, and are all done here in Burbank.

Overseas animation is the actual production, done in Seoul, South Korea.

Editing, retakes, music, sound effects, visual effects, foley, sound mixing and on-lining are all elements of Post, which is also done here in Burbank.

Young Justice: Outsiders is very deep into Pre-Production, and pretty darn deep into Production, and beyond the shallow end in Post-Production, as well.

In any case, we're still right on schedule.

Response recorded on April 16, 2018

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Jack Carpenter writes...

I've heard a lot about the "core truth" concept you and your team use in your approach to characters.

Are some of these core truths secrets, or would you tell us any that we ask?

Greg responds...

I don't think they're secrets because we put it all up on screen. But my inclination is to let our interpretation stand on its own, influenced by each viewer's own interpretation, as opposed to explicating everything in writing here. Still, I don't mind talking process. I'm not going to go down a laundry list of characters, but if someone were interested in one specific character as an example of the process, I might - depending on my mood and clarity - answer this kind of question once or twice.

Response recorded on March 14, 2018

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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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Lenny writes...

Hey Greg,

I am very interested into breaking into the animation industry. I am currently in college working on my English writing skills and drawing skills as well. I heard in one of your previous interviews that moving to California would be smart as thats where alot of the animation jobs are. By the time you read this question I would hopefully be done reading "Gardner's Guide to Writing and Producing Animation" by Shan Muir. I should get a better idea about the industry itself from reading that book, but since you have experience as a animation producer I just had a couple of specific questions hopefully you can answer.

1. Would animation companies be more interested in investing original show ideas or original ideas on licenses they already acquire? I.E. an idea that some one made up and wanted to make into a show or having original material for a Marvel Spider-Man show or DC Superman show?

2. I have never been to California but I heard the cost of living is higher than any state (considering that Im from the east coast) should one wait to have an agent then move to Cali or should they move there, settle in, get a part time job then pursue after the animation career?

3.If by some miracle a persons idea gets picked up by a company, they might not immediately give them control over production. Could a recommendation for a more seasoned producer ( like Paul Dini, Victor Cook, or even Brandon Vietti) be made and considered? or is it 9/10 they provide their own producer?

4 (Last one) Animation on live television has changed drastically over the past couple of decades. With online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime have shown that people rather binge a season versus figure out what time slot it will appear on television. So my question is, if a person has an idea but would think that idea would perform better on a streaming service versus online television, should that be included in the pitch or should they let the executives worry about that? For example Marvel hasn't made a Spider-Man 2099 cartoon series yet and if it were to be adapted truly it would probably do way better on an online streaming service where people can watch and binge episodes on their own time, versus live television in which a shows lifespan can be cut at any moment.

That's all the questions that I have and I hope I haven't broken any of your guidelines. I hope to break into the industry within the next five years and is willing to do almost anything to make my dream come true. Thank you for your time!

Greg responds...

1. Marquis value is always something sought after, but there's no way to predict what a given network or studio is looking for from the outside in. You can come in with a take on Wile E. Coyote, and find out that Warner Bros already has plans for him. So, I tend to advise people to spend their time on something they can own. But it's not a hard and fast rule.

2. I don't know how you get an agent without getting work first. And frankly, I don't know how you get a first job if you're not here pounding the pavement. There's work in New York. And a few other places. But most of the animation writing work is in Los Angeles.

3. How could you possibly get a recommendation to be a producer from anyone if you've never produced? Dude, you have to work your way up through the ranks. Freelance writer. Staff writer. Story editor. Producer. If you come in with a brilliant idea that they're desperate to have, I suppose anything is possible. But it's not likely. Prove yourself. THEN sell your brilliant idea.

4. You can suggest whatever you want. But if you sell to Netflix, for example, of course they're looking at a binge-model. And if you sell to Cartoon Network, of course they're NOT. So try not to limit your options.

Response recorded on April 20, 2017


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