"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.
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.
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?
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).