Exclusive: Joss Whedon Talks DR. HORRIBLE and the future of Television

joss whedon dollhouse

Is television a dying medium? Will fans get to see more of DR. HORRIBLE’s SING-A-LONG BLOG? What favorite movie of 2008 did Joss Whedon call “wicked bleak!” All these answers and more in part two of theTVaddict.com’s exclusive interview with Joss Whedon.

I love the fact that you created DR. HORRIBLE’s SING-A-LONG BLOG completely outside of the studio system. Is that something you’re planning on returning to anytime soon?
Joss Whedon:
Absolutely. Right now I’ve got DOLLHOUSE going and Cabin in the Woods in March. So it’s kind of a crazy year for me. But expanding the idea of what can be done on the internet is something that I have just begun to explore.

I mean DR. HORRIBLE aside, the event itself was so exciting for me. I think it’s really important right now, whether it’s me or not, but I’d like it to me because I’m fascinated by it and and I don’t get any notes.

It’s funny because that was my next question. Getting DOLLHOUSE off the ground has seemed like such an enormous endeavor whereas DR. HORRIBLE was your — alongside your creative team’s — vision. No notes, no network interference, you just put it out there and see if the audience responds. Without of course going into the financials, DVD and tshirt sales, is the DR. HORRIBLE model a feasible way in which to make a living?
We are in profit, it’s not the kind of profit networks are looking to make. But I’m not a network. The experiment has been as success for us in that respect as well. It’s still a question as to how do you create business models. As I was talking to my brother Jed about it, we were talking about Radiohead. They were first. If they were second they probably would have made half as much money. But being first buys you an enormous amount of goodwill.

But I think there are so many things that still have to be defined about how things can be rolled out on the internet but there are also a lot to define about how you can monetize it and ultimately that is really tough. Monetize it on a level where you can make it viable and that’s the part of the exploring that’s homework and vegetables. It’s not like, “Oh I have this cool idea that we can make with our friends and it goes online and everybody loves it.” The question is, how do you really make this work so that you don’t becoming a money pit or promising people something you can’t return. Because we need to figure out ways to do it because ultimately the networks you know, this is… It feels like a declining era. Not in quality, because there are some amazing shows and I think people are taking more chances. But…

The way people are watching TV is completely changing.
It’s changing and it’s changed. Being out there with enough satellites that it might bump into one of them is going to be really important.

As an outside observer, it would seem that you’re in the perfect position to be a pioneer in this area thanks to the strength of your fanbase.
I plan to pioneer more territories. Is “pioneer” a verb? I think I just verbed a noun. I’m sorry.

I’m definitely not the person to be coming to for grammar advice (just ask my readers!) Final question, did you have a favorite movie, book, TV show of the year and what’s on your iPod right now?
On my iPod right now is the new Fall Out Boy, Regina Spektor and “Passing Strange” those are things I’m listening to constantly. Movie, probably the last movie that really blew my hair back was “Let the Right One In.” It really astonished me because it’s wicked bleak. A TV show, you know what, I haven’t watched anything that wasn’t THE OFFICE, TERMINATOR, or 30 ROCK in two seasons. So I can’t say. You can either make TV or you can watch it.

I suppose I’ve chosen the latter.
It’s more restful!

You can catch a brand new episode of DOLLHOUSE tonight at 9PM, preceded by a brand new episode of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES at 8PM on FOX.

Part one of our Interview with Joss Whedon

  • Just Jody

    Great interview! Thanks for sharing Joss with us.

    Love hearing that Dr. H made a profit.

  • Ace

    When I first heard that Radiohead was selling In Rainbows at the buyer’s pick of price, I thought their genius had finally driven them mad. But then I realized that most of their fans are diehard like me and there was no way they could just take from the band. Maybe they only got $5 per album that they sold, but they sold a LOT of them and they didn’t have to deal with the headaches of a label release. So good for them.

  • Sarah

    I love hearing that Joss is planning to keep pushing forward with the internet as a medium for his work. You’re absolutely right about him being in a position to really lead the way with the technology — he has such an amazing fanbase that people will track down and devour whatever he does, and that kind of success has the ability to open a lot of doors for other people in the industry (much like Radiohead has already done for the music world).

    Great interview, always love reading what Joss has to say.

  • “All these answers and more in part two of theTVaddict.com’s exclusive interview with Joss Whedon.”

    where’s part 1? Can’t seem to find it on a search of this site.

  • Ace

    Chance Garcia — Look at the link at the end of this article :).

  • “Passing Strange”? HECK. YES. I continue to love this man more and more. And “Let the Right One In” was my absolute favorite last year as well.

  • Droogy

    I wish Joss and Stew – writer of “Passing Strange” – could collaborate. I saw an early version “Passing Strange” with my boyfriend, an ex-bandmate of his, and I was blown away. I have no idea if Stew even knows Joss’ work but I bet they’d hit it off.

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  • Amy

    It seems likely that Joss listens to Regina Spektor, not Gina Spector, since the former is awesome and the latter doesn’t appear to exist. 🙂

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