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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

Wow! Is it hard to keep up with even the questions to post new ones. Thanks for reopening the queue!

Condolences on the lose of your Grandmother. I remember the months before my grandmother died how she had retreated into herself and was all but unrecognizable, than all of a sudden came back to herself for a week or two at the end. I still treasure it as a great gift that we were reminded who she was before the end. She was a good deal younger than 100 so we were not quite expecting the end, but I can understand what you mean by feeling that the person you love is already on the way somewhere else. I am glad you have so many years and so many wonderful memories to look back on.

1- I see someone already asked if you can explain some of the terms you used when you broke down the stages the of episodes in progress. He mentioned ‘online’ in particular. If you didn’t already do so, can you also define ‘slug’?

2- I know you prefer to record the voice actors together in conversation, unlike many other cartoons that record the voices in isolation. In live action tv and movies are recorded out of order, that’s the most efficient way to use the sets and actors. Since there aren’t sets for cartoons, and you prefer to have all the actors together anyway, are the scenes more or less recorded in order?

3- You mentioned in the past moments when stories just come together and surprise you- when the next event seems to announce herself, unplanned but seemingly totally organic to the story. Like when “Owen is Puck!” announced itself. Or when you kept hearing “Thailog” when the video was being rewound. Did you have any such moments for Spectacular Spiderman and the other shows you worked on? Have you had any with Young Justice yet? Can you share any if they’ve already happened?

4-One last question for this catch-all batch... what do you think of the new DC Nation shorts? I’m not crazy about loosing the opening credits, but I love shorts and think it is an easy trade. I love that they are all different and playful and yet often also a series. My favorite so far is the one with Batgirl and Supergirl trying to convince Wonder Girl to ‘borrow’ Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. (Oddly I have become used to (and approve) on Dianna being portrayed as someone from another country, with a light to strong intonation of something foreign, but it never occurred to me the same would apply to Donna.)

Begin pontification: I’ve never loved the Teen Titan cartoon, (plenty to like, but never loved), but I love the fact it is turning up in the shorts. Back when Disney XD was Toon Disney I wondered why they didn’t run shorts. (To be fair I didn’t have a TiVO at the time and it was possible they were already running the “Have a Laugh” abridged classic shorts as well as Shaun the Sheep. But they weren’t running any new material.) It seemed odd to me they were trying to compete with the Cartoon Network’s reach into the older demographic and didn’t, for instance, declare one night a week the 10 o’clock older folks movie night, (say a Miyazaki flik), and intersperse it with shorts- gorgeous, varied, counter expectation shorts like they gleefully did for Fantasia 2000. (I had the idea a long time ago.) If some of those shorts were back door pilots...great. It worked for the Simpsons They could have led to another late evening night of new programming of new shows. They couldn’t compete with cheap nostalgic cartoons or crude adult ones because that just isn’t Disney. Disney can never put out a Family Guy type show under the Disney label. Maybe they could do it on ABC, but not something with Disney in the name. (Even Miyazaki’s Princess Monenoke had to be released in the US under the Miramax label because a PG-13 cartoon would be problematic under the Disney label.) It a rather obvious route for a high end cartoon station to go and might have netted a few Oscars away from Pixar. Or perhaps more for Pixar. End pontification.

Of course it would have been an ideal place to run a little Gargoyle related short. :)

Greg responds...

1. A "slug" is the section of action BETWEEN lines of dialogue. A "slugged board" is a board that's been timed, i.e. the time for each action has been calculated - and since each line of dialogue has also been timed - you have an exact length, and you know whether or not your episode is going to be long, short or right on the money. If it's long or short, we need to cut or pad to get it to time.

2. Generally, yes. But for example, I poked my head in at a recording on Monday for "Beware the Batman". And there was one actress at the record who was only in one scene, and it happened to be the last scene. So after the rehearsal, they recorded that last scene first, so that the actress wouldn't have to sit through the entire record. It's a courtesy thing. Other times, it may be a scheduling thing. But, again, generally, we record the whole episode from start to finish.

3. It happens all the time. I wish I could remember a specific example from Spidey, but nothing immediately comes to mind. And it's too soon to discuss this stuff on YJ.

4. I love DC NATION. Sincerely. I think some of the shorts have been great, and some have fallen a little flat, but in general, I LOVE the FACT that they're doing the shorts. I just wish they'd expand DC Nation to two hours or something.

5. I'm game for ANYTHING that brings me back to Gargoyles.

Response recorded on August 16, 2012