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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:48 pm 
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I have another interview with the animation company that developed and produced the motion comics at the end of the week.

Any questions?

I'll ask about why there's only one voice actor, so please skip that one.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:50 pm 
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i have only heard clips but i think the voice acting sucks lol


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:52 pm 
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This might be a pointless question, but obviously some lines in the GN were removed (presumably for time). So how did they decide which lines were important enough to keep and which to drop?

That's all I can think of for the moment...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Animated tv series is my line of work, so I am familiar with some of the ins and outs of the business etc.
The motion comics are a blend of a sort of slo-mo anime animation with radio play v/o styles. Interesting territory indeed, and I appreciate that you are in uncharted waters to a degree.
There seem to be shots and sequences that work really well composition and movement-wise, followed by others that are awkward and unresolved, with somewhat random camera moves and dislocated layers sliding about. What kind of budget/time constraints were there, and are these discrepancies a result of these constraints or are they evidence of a learning curve happening, as this is something that happens less as the episodes progress.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:52 pm 
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What were the originals that were used for scanning? Did it have to be re-coloured?

Was the voice-acting done up-front as in regular animation?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:43 am 
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It might be worth checking the questions haven't been answered here:
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/010928- ... otion.html

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:30 am 
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I have enjoyed the motion comic although have missed a few lines from the originals.

I would ask "since many of the episodes are different in length, and not being a TV show you weren't limited to 21 minutes (or whatever it is for a half hour telecast), why did you cut particular lines?"

I think #7 had the most number of lines I noticed missing. Just from memory: No this is a man in his forties line, No talking about Devo, no line about 'going out at 3 in the morning and doing something stupid, no doors rusted shut line, no Smokey the Bear's secret mistress line, no Dont Touch That Button, you wanna destroy the neighbourhood line, no Billie Holliday line. And it was four minutes shorter than many other episodes.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:47 am 
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"Transcript" of the interview... (Not verbatim, but you'll get the idea of the ground covered)

Q1: How many animators involved?
A: 7 to 8 across the US. They havn't met up. Talk over Skype. A lot.

Q2: First contact with Watchmen?
A: 1987. GN (US cityscape cover). Lent to him by a buddy while at high school. Just so that the world knows the interviewer added that he had the monthly mags. Bully for him. :P

Q3: Did he get an "artists" feeling about reading the book for the first time?
A: (drawn out) Noted the "cinematic" intercutting (even at 16) felt good being led by the story by the layout on show. Impressed with the density in the panel design. Even today, still discovering the designs use to good effect.

Q4: First involvement?
A: Background in game development. For the PSP's afterburner he tried animating pure storyboards with the technique for the games' cut-scenes. He then asked himself if he could do this to his fav. comic. Took the Abs. Ed. and scanned in and extracted the layers. Did ½ of ep 1 on his own in free time. A friend at Eidos knew Watchmen movie prod. Levin and suggested showing him the result. Showed the result to 8 or 9 peeps including Levin, Snyder and Snyder and they said "Great! Do the whole thing!"

Q5: Where are you now in the story?
A: 8-9-10-11 concurrently. Then they talk about the 50-man orchestra using original music scored by a guy on a synth for the product. These meetings are done over the web, too. They they mention Gibbons' artwork. Uncle Dave seems to have sold it all. He doesn't have any of the originals left. :shock: He knows some of the people that still have them. His artwork exists as a physical thing (GN). All the motion comic pieces are digital. The interviewee says that it doesn't actually exist (which I think is strange as I work like this all day long until I end up holding a book).

(They don't mention it, but it seems the originals for this adaptation are the pages of the Absolute Edition).

Q6: At what point did you come in contact w. Gibbons?
A: After a few months...Paul Levitz (DC) had taken the DVD to Gibbons and showed it to him. Gibbons came out at met some members of the team and talked about the project. Wasn't sure at first. But a mock trailer to music persuaded Gibbons. After showing his friends and family, Gibbons' son said that the idea was really cool, and Gibbons warmed to the idea.

Q7: Was Watchemn teh 1st Gibbons thing you'd seen?
A: Yah.

Q8: What were your feelings about animating what were supposed to be static images on a page? Pages in a comic, that has its own special method of presentation?
A: Gibbons clean artwork and understanding of perspective incredible. From his point of view as an animator he "sees" the tweened shots from frame to frame very easily. Gibbons' style allows that. He clearly sees movement there. He asks the interviewer is he felt that way, too: He understood. And asked if this led them to the way they ended up animating scenes. The interviewee clearly sees this from the artwork on the page.
Though they had a problem in Ch 2 with the Comedians' soliloquy. 18 panels! They used the neon sign.

Q9: Interviewer is reminded of the 1960's Marvel tv cartoons. Any influences?
A: Fuzzy dim memory. (Embarrassed laughter from interviewer). They were bred on animé. Studied intently for economic use of animation. Knowing when to spend time on wowing public.

Q10: Are there enough images big enough in Watchmen? (Presumably for wowing public?)
A: Sure. In chapter 8 they use a three panel street scene to "dolly" and add paralax. Gibbons helped them by drawing some cars. In the GN Gibbons only drew fronts and backs of cars. They didn't have whole cars for animating so Gibbons helped flesh out the street scenes. Gibbons sent them a file with about 10 cars promtly.

Q11: How long spent on each chapter?
A: First off it was one man one chapter. But it takes a long time to do the animating. Art doesn't exist behind balloons. That's got to be replaced. Chapter 3 was a bit of a cursed chapter. 1st time into the pirate story. They wanted to keep the dots as it was a comic being enlarged. Took a lot of work. So with a lot of people each chapter takes about 2 months. Some took 1 person 5 months.
Chapter 8 is full of stuff, driving on the story. Chapter nine is all on Mars. Tricky. Jons palace needs effects and there are many pull-out shots. One millions of miles. This is tough animating.

Q12: So you are learning as you go, eh? Any more need of Gibbons?
A: No, but he did a new version of the Minutemen photo. In the GN there is never a whole picture of them together. Just like the graffiti. Never complete in GN. Their attempt at a photo looked terrible, made from bits and pieces in the GN. They asked Gibbons to do a new one.

Q13: I know that fans of the book are thrilled. (Wah?) Are you getting responses from first-timers, new to the story?
A: My mother. She had tried the GN. She loved Moe Vernon. She was moved. She liked the text. Now she watches the episodes. :?

Q14: How many downloads of the Motion Comics?
A: Didn't know, but heard it's popular. Itunes shows rankings (#5) in sci-fi.

Q15: Film anticipation. Book sales spiked. Blah blah. Drivels on about how everybody can't seem to get enough of it. And the interviewee asks the interviewer how many times he has read the GN. A: Oh God, every couple of years. Follows the Motion comic and hasn't read the GN in a while. Bought Gibbons new book. Doesn't own Abs. Ed. Waiting. But is interested in seeing Moore's detailed scripts.

Interviewee: They actually asked Gibbons if he could have sent them the original scripts. Would have helped them in their work. They missed stuff. They notice easter eggs that pop out of nowhere — references to stuff in other chapters. (Hehe, tell me about it). Hard to believe how they put all the detail in there.

Chat about recolouring. Interviewer mentions Superman "For the Man who has everything". Similar attention to detail. Guy hadn't seen it. (Interviewer scoring more points here, what a biatch lol, getting back at the fuzzy memory remark, surely)

Q16: So the interviewer goes on about an animated version of the Justice League part of that, would that be possible. Are there plans beyond Watchmen with DC?
A: Maybe (cagey answer). Has trouble reading comics now without trying to layer and animate in head.

Q17: Any titles you'd like to see animated?
A. Walking dead. Took him back to single issues.

Q18: Any other comic titles you'd recommend?
A: Abs Ed of Sandman. Huge fan. Not "traditional" unlike Watchmen which can be filmed. Sandman is very different. Watchmen stands up on it own as a comic and still works and can be enjoyed on its own terms. Sandman is a very different experience.

Q19: Narrator. Gives him credit.
"A": It was decided early on to do the voice as a narrator. The interviewee like this. Mum read him books and recorded herself on tape. The narrator was heard doing a MCarthy book NCfoM or the Road. Snyder got him to do a test. Impressed by his work. Blake's solilquy done in one take. Laurie's voice caused a storm. But they stuck with it. Mention Moore's "Voice of the Fire".

Interviewer thanks Jake Hughes who said he was a fan of the show. :) Interviewer then says that the BluRay release will include the Motion Comics. (I guess the DVD just won't have the space. Damn).

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Last edited by Soupdragon on Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:47 pm 
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why is laurie played by a man?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:29 pm 
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WJK wrote:
why is laurie played by a man?


Perhaps a little too impolite for DDC's taste, but a very relevant question nonetheless. :)

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:49 am 
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If you are going to ask that, and DDC chose it, you'd get the same answer as above in his taped interview:

Early on the decision was made to "narrate" the whole thing using one person. They chose a male narrator.

Using a cast of voice-actors would have made the project more complicated and therefore more time-consuming and ultimately more expensive.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:53 am 
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Thanks for the transcript!
I'm hoping DDC's interview is slightly more critical than that one. This is a bit of a puff-piece.
I find the Motion Comics to be an awkward exercise, not terribly successful. The voice grates on me something terrible, and the underwater animation style... hmmm. Voice over and speech bubbles? Nup.

I appreciate a bunch of people like them, and I hope the interview answers alll the tech questions etc., but also I'm hoping there might be acknowledgement in the questioning that the comics-reading audience have really high standards when it comes to graphic modes of storytelling, and that there may be areas where this project has fallen short of possibilities and expectations.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:14 am 
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JiangWei23 wrote:
This might be a pointless question, but obviously some lines in the GN were removed (presumably for time). So how did they decide which lines were important enough to keep and which to drop?

That's all I can think of for the moment...



that would be my question too... and why didn't they used the great texts after each chapter???


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:18 am 
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The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:27 am 
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EmPiiRe x wrote:
The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.


I'm with Empo here. NOBODY wants to watch chapter 5 of the treasure island treasury of comics.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:34 am 
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EmPiiRe x wrote:
The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.



What's wrong reading under the hood excerpts, doc manhattan super powers or veidt's interview??
They give such depth to the comics!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:36 am 
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Manuel wrote:
EmPiiRe x wrote:
The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.



What's wrong reading under the hood excerpts, doc manhattan super powers or veidt's interview??
They give such depth to the comics!

How would it be a motion comic if he just reads out off of the screen what we could read ourselves in our own copies of the book.
You can't add motion to the supplements.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:41 am 
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Nobody's saying the supplemental material isn't interesting or revealing, but it'd be boring as shit. What we they do, pan the camera across the pages while the narrator read it out loud (which would probably take up as much time as the chapters themselves)?

It'd be impractical, unwieldy, and drearily uninteresting. If I'm going to spend $60 on the Absolute Edition, I think I'd rather read them myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:43 am 
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Smutty wrote:
Manuel wrote:
EmPiiRe x wrote:
The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.



What's wrong reading under the hood excerpts, doc manhattan super powers or veidt's interview??
They give such depth to the comics!

How would it be a motion comic if he just reads out off of the screen what we could read ourselves in our own copies of the book.
You can't add motion to the supplements.


You have a point, but I think they should use them somehow, they are just great and if the comics are used every possible way, they should give special attention to supplements as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:26 pm 
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Manuel wrote:
Smutty wrote:
Manuel wrote:
EmPiiRe x wrote:
The supplements? Would you really want to watch Super-Powers and the Superpowers? Are we being serious?

Please don't ask him this question, it'll reflect terribly.



What's wrong reading under the hood excerpts, doc manhattan super powers or veidt's interview??
They give such depth to the comics!

How would it be a motion comic if he just reads out off of the screen what we could read ourselves in our own copies of the book.
You can't add motion to the supplements.


You have a point, but I think they should use them somehow, they are just great and if the comics are used every possible way, they should give special attention to supplements as well.


It would require a bit of reconceptualizing to redo the supplements in a screen-based context. The easiest way to do this -- as we've seen in the Dr. Manhattan and Keene Act viral vids -- would be to turn them into TV documentaries a la History Channel, with narration and faked "archival" footage. I have a feeling that the "Under the Hood" segment from the Black Freighter DVD will probably be along these lines.

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