Category: Paleyfest

Paleyfest is for (Joss) Lovers – Dr. Horrible Edition

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Joss, Jed and Zack Whedon; Maurissa; Nathan and Felicia at Paleyfest 2009 (photo by marchustvedt)

Last night, for the first time in Paleyfest history, they recognized a web series and, of course, that series was Dr. Horrible.

For those of you who don’t know Paleyfest is sponsored by the Paley Center for Media (formerly known as The Museum of Television & Radio (MT&R) and The Museum of Broadcasting). The event is fairly corporate in feel, it’s held at the Arclight in Hollywood and price for non-members is $45 a head. Last year I attended the much touted Buffy Reunion panel and tonight’s event was much the same: only for Dr. Horrible.

The event opens with kind of a teaser for the Paleyfest. A video showing clips of previous panels and what the Paleyfest represents. Then someone usually introduces the evening, and then Joss got up and introduced the screening of Dr. Horrible (all three acts).

It was fun to see Dr. Horrible on the big screen. I believe all of the acting (subtle movements you may have caught on the smallish side on the internet and then your home DVD) is only enhanced by the larger screen. I also noticed more of the background elements (like there’s a Caring Hands poster in the hall where Captain Hammer is giving his speech in Act 3). People sang along with most of the songs and, unlike last year with the Buffy panel’s screening of Once More with Feeling I didn’t hear a bunch of complaining about the audience singing along.

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Joss Whedon Paleyfest 2009 (photo by danregal)

Then it was time for the panel. Matt Roush introduced the panel members (who had been sitting in the audience): Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon. During the first couple moments of everyone being on stage Maurissa announced she and Jed were getting married this Saturday (congrats guys). They also talked about how they originally thought Dr. Horrible was going to be a really small production. Jed quipped that they had asked “so are we going to do it in your living room or ours”. Then Joss decided to ask around. The head of Universal gave them the backlot “for a song,” Joss said. To which Nathan replied, “Freeze Ray?”

Joss then said that he was in talks with a lot of people about getting Dr. Horrible made, but no one was really moving on it. So finally “I made a deal with myself,” Joss said. “I gave myself really good terms.” As a result, as most Horrible fans know, the actors and crew worked for nearly nothing until Doctor Horrible started making money.

Now, last year at the Paleyfest Buffy Reunion Joss was late because of shooting Dr. Horrible and he reveled he had been at the laundry mat wrapping up filming when he ducked in the bathroom, put on a suit and ran down to the panel. Maurissa said, “It was a nice suit.”

Nathan continued the “feud” with Neil Patrick Harris by saying, “”I can’t even tell you guys how much joy it brings to my heart that… Neil couldn’t make it.” Roush commented to say that the only reason NPH wasn’t here was because he was out of the country.

The Whedon Bros and Maurissa didn’t give any specifics about the Dr. Horrible Sequel everyone keeps asking about, though they did comment that they had talked a lot about it. Apparently Dollhouse writer meetings have had a lot of “sidebars” talking about Dr. Horrible. The Whedons said they’ve talked about doing it in a different form (theatrically, on the internet again, legitimate theater). Then Joss “asked the audience” what form they’d like to see it. “Puppets?” He asked. To a rallying applause from the audience.

Matt asked Jed about the music and if it was “Sweeney Todd” in nature. Jed agreed saying, “Definitely a Sondheim influence because it’s unavoidable if you’re writing something that’s good.” Which garnered more applause from the audience (apparently there were many Sondheim fans, which made me happy).

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