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[04/14/09 - 07:00 PM]
Live at the Paley Festival: "DR. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: As always, due to the Paley Festival's policy of not allowing electronic devices during the panels, I won't be blogging the event "live." Plus, I don't want to be the douche with a laptop clicking away when everyone's trying to enjoy the show. In any case, look for my handwritten blog - how 20th century - to be transcribed and appear around 11:00 PM PT each night. And if I'm feeling adventurous, you might get a few tweets from the after parties.]

7:02 PM - Tonight's amusing legacy clip comes from a 1978 episode of "Challenge of the Super Friends."

7:07 PM - Paley wunderkind Craig Hitchcock welcomes us to night four of the festivities and intros tonight's host: TV Guide's Matt Roush. Matt recounts his similar duties on last year's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Reunion in this very same room.

7:13 PM - And with that the auteur himself, Joss Whedon, takes the stage and thanks one and all for their support of this project. On with the show...

7:57 PM - And we're back. Matt returns to bring out tonight's panelists: Maurissa Tancharoen! Jed Whedon! Zack Whedon! Felicia Day! Nathan Fillion! And of course, Joss Whedon!

7:59 PM - Matt notes that Maurissa is officially part of the Whedon family: she and Jed are engaged! "We're getting married on Saturday," she notes to much applause.

8:02 PM - Would "Dr. Horrible" have existed without the WGA strike? "I doubt it," Joss confesses. "I doubt we would have had the time or really the inclination. I spent a lot of the writers' strike trying to make a deal to make content like this."

8:04 PM - Joss on "Dr. Horrible's" ties to Paley history: "The very last night of the very last shot was when I snuck in the bathroom of the laundromat, changed into a suit and came here to talk to you about 'Buffy.'"

8:06 PM - Nathan on being here tonight: "I can't even tell you guys how much joy it brings to my heart that... Neil couldn't make it."

8:08 PM - Felicia on her initial "Dr. Horrible" experience: "When you work with this guy [Nathan] and Neil, they just are so professional and so good and they don't waste any second on camera. I was really intimidated. The first day was a big adjustment. I was really nervous."

8:10 PM - "The head of production at Universal gave us the lot, the run of the whole thing, for a song," Joss notes. "Just because we worked together on 'Serenity' and he's a really sweet guy."

8:11 PM - Lots of hemming and hawing about a "Dr. Horrible" sequel: in short, they want to but the logistics are still being discussed. "We've definitely talked about every permutation of how we could do it theatrically, on the internet, in the legitimate theater... we'd like to do more."

8:14 PM - Jed on the gang's influences: "Definitely a Sondheim influence because it's unavoidable if you're writing something that's good."

8:15 PM - Jed on why "Freeze Ray" was the first song: "It was a great way to get you into the world, get you used to the music because it's so easy to listen to and so nice and it introduces the characters so well. So that was one of the first decisions and it all kind of went from there."

8:16 PM - Zack notes that, his commentary song aside, he doesn't hate musicals. "We were raised on listening to showtunes, which accounts for our popularity in high school."

8:19 PM - "[Felicia's] 'The Guild' was really the first series I watched on the internet, that I was involved in and made me laugh," Joss says about his online viewing experiences. "And before we ever talked about Felicia being in it, I asked her for advice about how do I do this." He goes on to recount their subsequent experience bringing the completed project to his agency, where "Felicia just schooled them. They had no idea what to do with this. It was completely new, even though it was very traditional storytelling and ultimately the exact same length as an episode of TV... It was a great thing to watch. Little Felicia who had been very quiet and then started to speak and everybody else got very quiet. It was quite a Buffy moment - the woman you aren't paying attention to is the one who's getting it done."

8:21 PM - Joss on Twitter: "I have yet to Twitter. I think it might be dirty."

8:22 PM - About that musical commentary: "It took forever and it was horrible," Joss recalls about the experience.

8:24 PM - "Actually one of my part-time jobs when I was working my way through university was I was a karaoke host," Nathan says about his musical background. "I could kill 'The Rose.'"

8:27 PM - Joss reveals Dr. Horrible's lab was a real location: "All of those tubes you can see in the background of the blog, they all lead to drinks." Said owner turns up in "Dr. Horrible" at the very end in a purple suit.

8:28 PM - The horse playing "Bad Horse" has completed a Whedonverse hat-trick: he's also appeared in "Dollhouse" (in the episode airing next week) and "Angel." Joss credits Ben Edlund for coming up with the character as well as "Moist." "Bad Horse he had actually come up with for 'Angel.' He kept pitching, 'What if he faces a bad horse?' [With his] catchphrase, 'Oh-Jesus-God-Wow, Oh-Jesus-God-Wow, how could you make a radioactive device only using hooves!'" He later adds, "There was a moment where I was like, 'I don't know if I'm going to be able to get Dr. Horrible together.' He's like, 'You have to! I have so many puns! So many puns! You need to do this!'"

8:32 PM - Joss notes he'll be performing his song "Heart (Broken)" for the live show of "This American Life." "The level of terror is so high that I'm sort of underneath it. I'm just swimming through the terror."

8:36 PM - Joss on their decision to kill Penny from the very beginning: "It grounded us. We knew exactly where we were going. We knew exactly what it was. I think it gave us license to be sillier because we knew there was some weight to it, it was an actual sort of classically structured tragedy."

8:39 PM - Everyone touts the wonder that is Whedonesque.com. "I learn what I'm doing tomorrow on Whedonesque," Maurissa quips. "It's like the most amazing thing ever." Joss notes that he learned that Sarah Michelle Gellar was in "Dr. Horrible" from reading it.

8:41 PM - Time for audience Q&A. Joss requests that no one ask about their iPods. "You had to be there," he mutters.

8:44 PM - Someone asks what Nathan imagines will happen to his character in a "Dr. Horrible" sequel. "I would wear a darker outfit," he responds. "The pants... would be darker... to symbolize... the darkness. And I'd grow my hair out and do more of a pompadour."

8:48 PM - Felicia notes she just realized while watching that she's wearing the same shirt she wore in "Dr. Horrible." "I haven't bought clothes for a year," she jokes.

8:49 PM - Joss on Felicia's "Dollhouse" guest spot: "Wait 'til you see her," he says about her appearance in the much-ballyhooed 13th episode. "And wait you will."

8:51 PM - Someone asks if Felicia still plays World of Warcraft. She does. The questioner then asks for her to joins his guild. Yup, only at Paleyfest folks.

8:55 PM - Lots of questions about the future of web video. In short: it will still be some time before it turns into a sustainable form of media on the level of television or movies.

8:59 PM - What will happen if Wonderflonium is bounced? "It's too terrible to tell," Joss says. "But I will tell you that it will cause me to Twitter."

9:01 PM - A fan asks Joss why he keeps on going back to FOX after "Firefly" and now "Dollhouse." "Let's not forget 'Alien: Resurrection," he quips. "The fact is it is eerily similar in some ways [but] very different in other ways. And the reason I went back was because of Eliza [Dushku]. And I don't care, she's worth it. There are different people that I'm dealing with [at FOX] and I think they're pretty decent, honest people. Some of them have left recently but some of them are still there. The relationship has always been equitable. It's always been [about] trying to find the show. And it's very different than when it was with 'Firefly.' But I will say that probably the worst thing I could have done right before starting 'Dollhouse' was 'Dr. Horrible.' Because it just rolled off us, it just came out from our hearts. We sang and bang that was it. I mean five months total between our first sit down to stream. And then to work so hard and get so lost [on 'Dollhouse'] by a process that, you know, it wasn't being run by bad people or mean people, it's just that grind after the freedom of 'Dr. Horrible.' It made me a much crankier person and a worse boss. [Points to Jed] You can attest to that."

9:04 PM - The end. The Whedon madness continues tomorrow!





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