Blog

When Your Hero Speaks and Says What You’re Thinking

[ETA (a couple of hours after I posted this): It occurred to me this morning that in working so hard to get the interview itself posted, I failed to ask you about your reactions. This post is my long-winded way of trying to remedy that. Now I’ll smile sheepishly and head off to bed.]

So, that interview with Joss Whedon, eh? Yeah, that was a major rush. As I’ve said before, I am not a fangirl. I’ve never been a fangirl—of anything. In fact, my default is usually to distance myself from anything other people are compelled to shriek or swoon over. No boy bands in my youth; no Corey or Corey heart attacks.

But again, as I’ve said before, I am a fan of Joss Whedon (still, if I were to bump into him, I would neither shriek nor faint). There are few people whose work I respect more; I respect him both as an artist and as a businessperson. He has a vision—of the grand sort—and he doesn’t compromise it. He’s a creative genius who manages to play nicely with others, and the results are pieces of pop-culture that are fun to watch and still pack a punch. And when he’s done, he speaks honestly about his work and his experiences. He’s infinitely quotable, but not because he tries to be, and not only because of his trademark hilarious sarcasm; people are quotable when they speak their own truth.

Much of my admiration for him, really, stems from my own desire to do the same. So you might imagine how incredible it was to speak to him, and to have him say things that, were I not concentrating so hard on doing a proper interview and on not using inappropriate language, would have led me to nod myself into a concussion and to exclaim that I’ve said some of those very same things myself, and possibly to muse aloud about how I might love to work with him someday on something.

During the interview, I was most taken with his simple description of what he sees as the difference between art and craft: that art involves a loss of control. This strikes me as profound in its simplicity, and its simplicity speaks volumes to me. What do you think of it? He talked more about it in the interview. Do you agree with him? Do you see other contributing factors?

I was also tremendously satisfied to talk with him about online independent media. You may have noticed that I ended up working in a lot of questions that crafters sent to me before the interview, but the questions about online media were from me. Even before it was released and proceeded to become immensely successful, I was blown away by what he and his collaborators were attempting to do with Dr. Horrible, both because I am a very big fan of trying things that have never been done before—and trying them in a smart way that’s also creatively satisfying—and because he collaborated with people he clearly has a great time with, and made something that fully transferred that good time to an audience.

I didn’t plan to conduct the interview just as I was getting ready to announce all the crazy things I’m getting into, but it sure ended up happening at a time when I’m extremely focused on making very deliberate choices about what I want to do with my time and how I want to help support my family as I do it. Joss said a lot of things that will fuel me in my quest, and that will keep me remembering to stay in touch with my own vision and principles as I explore my art and craft.

Did anything he said resonate with you?

You might be interested in …

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
NYPinTA

Just in case you were curious, here is the link to the thread on Whedonesque and the comments by the people there.
http://whedonesque.com/comments/18310#272527

Sunfire

This was one of the best interviews I've seen with him. I think a big part of that is that you guided the discussion but let it be a discussion, and also I suspect you weren't asking the same questions he gets all the time. It was a really fun and thought-provoking read. I love the thoughts about parallels between writing and other crafts.

korkster

Thank you so much for the interview. You conducted it beautifully, and it truly was one of his best interviews yet. Very inspirational, and I agree on the views of DIY vs. Giant crowding. If you're a crafter, craft. A writer, write. But do it for yourself, because that's really all that matters. Kudos.

kibathediva

This is what resonated with me:

It is no longer the time of sitting around and thinking about doing something.

I have been feeling this way in my life a lot recently, and it's a message I've been getting from many sources for about a year now, and so it's clearly something the universe wants me to see. Nothing could be more anvily than Joss saying it in an interview with you.

Annie

Marvelous interview, smart questions, great job all around! I've emailed it to dozens (including my crafty buddies)

GinkgoKnits

Have you ever seen the video of Joss Whedon giving a speech at an Equality Now event? It is truly worth watching. There is a transcript and audio posted at this site:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/josswh

Kim Werker

You can see the video here:

It's an amazing speech!

knitgrrl

I agree. And as someone who — in regards to the craft community in particular — have tried things both ways (the “old” way of publishing and the “new” internet-powered, community-oriented, hands-on way), I have to say I like the “new” methods a lot better. How many AWFUL movies get released every year? Too many to count. How many of them are you going to buy the soundtrack for, sing along with, wear the quote-y t-shirts of (like we've all been doing with Dr. Horrible)…? Umm, hmm, let me think about that…… ok, done.

I remember, when I was in high school, and the 'zine/press-your-own-damn-records era was in full swing thanks to Simple Machines, Riot Grrrl and the like… I felt like I was sitting on my hands and couldn't do ANYTHING despite having all this awesome support available and a burgeoning community of producers, because I didn't have the money to do photocopies and postage, and I didn't have money to buy instruments and start my own band (etc etc). If I was 15 again today, though, I'd be ALL OVER making my own YouTube videos and websites and… (you get the idea).

In a way, I'm kind of jealous of the kids who are growing up in *this* era, because they have access to even more means of easy media distribution than we ever did. But it pleases me to no end to think that we've got an entire generation of media producers coming up who think this is the way it's always been and will treat it as such.

(God, I feel old now).

GinkgoKnits

Glad you thought so!

GinkgoKnits

Glad you thought so!

GinkgoKnits

Glad you thought so!

12
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x