Qt3 Movie Podcast: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

That isn’t right, because 100% of this movie is pure joy.

I lost my highly precise measurement tool recently, but it was closer to 90%. because the ending wasn’t good enough. Guys mentioned some of the issues in the podcast, so I will not go into specifics. Let’s just say that during the final showdown rules weren’t clear enough, stakes weren’t clear enough, they didn’t do anything interesting with the team of characters, and it was visually bland.

P.S: they got Golden Globe award. Yay!

Lord and Miller produced the movie, and according to interviews with the directors, Lord and Miller were the ones who really pushed for the stylized comic-book look to the movie. I think the directors deserve all the attention and credit they’re getting for the movie, but I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Lord and Miller were producers.

Oh, and Tim Burton was a producer on The Nightmare Before Christmas, and of course he wrote the source material and had a huge influence on all the character designs. And the movie was literally marketed as “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”, so you can see why people might think it’s his movie.

Seriously, if you have any interest in reading Marvel comics (and have an iPad or some other tablet), Marvel Unlimited is a great deal and has probably 95% of the comics you mentioned.

From the reading list on the Spider-Verse (they always release lists like these when the associated movies come out), here are the relevant issues for characters in the movie:

Peter Parker: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 (2017) [Yes I know this is a newer series, but they also have the original 1963 series. I’m up to issue 200 so far.]

Miles Morales: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 (2011)

Spider-Gwen: Spider-Gwen #1 (2015)

Spider-Man Noir: Spider-Man Noir #1 (2008)

Peni Parker (SP//dr): Edge of Spider-Verse #5 (2014)

Spider-Ham: Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 (1983) [Yes, this is the oldest alternate-universe Spider-Man!)

Miguel O’Hara: Spider-Man 2099 #1 (1992)

And as a bonus, here’s one of the many (MANY) alternate Spider-Men that wasn’t in the movie:

Peter Parquagh (Spider-Man 1602): Marvel 1602: New World #1 (2005)

Again, these are all on Marvel Unlimited! There’s even one issue (Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #9, 2015) where they visit Earth-67 and meet Spider-Man from the '60s cartoon!

All I could say is that the execution of an idea is way more important than the idea itself.

If that were true, then why would you ever give credit to the director at all? Just give it to the animators and artists who actually execute the director’s vision.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The LEGO Movie have interesting stylistic choices, like having the characters moving in a different frame rate than the rest of the picture. I don’t think those similarities between two Lord and Miller movies are a coincidence.

First of all, that’s true, the idea means nothing, because everyone has an idea.

Second, If that was a live action movie, I would understand if someone gave a director all the credit, because he is controlling almost everything that happens in the movie, especially if he had final cut privilege, edited his own movie and/or executed his own script. Having said that, I admire humble directors like Alex Garland always mentioning people they work with instead of taking all the credit, inflating their own ego.

But we’re talking about an animated movie, just like in video games you can’t point a camera on something and shoot. Every tiny detail on the screen must be created by someone. That’s why animation (video games as well) is a more collaborative medium. An average high budget project might be so complex that even one director (or a single studio in case of video games) is not enough. That’s why I at least mentioned directors and their animation teams in my original post.

Anyway, attributing everything to the director’s vision is at least understandable. It’s just a shorthand (or should I say shortcut?) for critics, fans and people discussing movies. It’s much easier that way. But attributing everything to producers, just because it just so happens that you remember their names is naive in my opinion, it’s more naive in animation.

Into the Spider-Verse is not a Lord and Miller movie. The LEGO movie is.

The Producer’s Guild of America would disagree with you.

You didn’t really dispute his point. The way awards are granted might be the same for animated vs live-action movies, but he’s saying they are in fact different. Maybe awards will acknowledge that in the future, but currently are structured the same for both kinds of films.

I personally don’t know enough about how animated movies are made to have an opinion on it. @kentwou, are Miyazaki movies also not really Miyazaki movies then? Or do Japanese animated movies work differently than Western ones?

I don’t think anyone on the podcast suggested the Spider-Man cartoon was a Lord/Miller movie as if they’d directed it. If I recall correctly, @ChristienMurawski was just pointing out it had qualities in common with the movie where they cut their teeth, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

But I agree with @kentwou’s point that the director of animated movies almost always deserves just as much credit as the director of a live action movie. Nightmare Before Christmas is absolutely a Henry Selick movie and the movies Miyazaki directed are Miyazaki movies in a more substantive way than the Studio Ghibli movies he didn’t direct.

That said, producers aren’t always just money. Sometimes producers bring with them a certain creative approach, and this can be more pronounced when you have new or lesser known directors.

-Tom

It’s notoriously difficult to know who exactly you should credit/blame for how a movie turns out. People who have taken their cues on movie criticism from Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert or other critics who came up during the auteur era of the 70s think that should be the director. And that’s probably still true for the really strong visionaries. But many films these days are far more collaborative. It’s very hard to know. That action scene you really loved? It might have been completely created by the stunt coordinator and the editor, and the director just signed off on it.

Blaming the “big names” is tempting, but probably naive. Is it Damon Lindeloff’s fault that Tomorrowland was shitty? Or Brad Bird’s? Or did they both have to deal with massive studio interference and lost the battle? Did George Clooney throw a hissy fit on set one day and refuse to do a crucial scene? There’s no way to know.

You also probably don’t know who worked on a thing and didn’t get credit for it for political reasons. Diablo Cody gets a lot of hate on twitter, mostly from young men, and I remember her once laughing and responding “if only they knew that I’ve probably worked on scripts for most of the movies they love”.

I find it safe to usually just say “the filmmakers” :).

Essentially how Tom characterizes my point above is what I was trying to say, even if I didn’t say it as succinctly.

On the question of producer vs director and who gets credit for what, I tend to think of this in terms of the MCU and Kevin Feige in particular. Because that universe feels like a return to older days when producers would get more credit than directors sometimes. I don’t remember when I made this analogy, but I started to think of Kevin Feige (producer) as being the Admiral of the Marvel fleet, while the directors were captains of individual ships. Now these ships could be of varying sizes, of course, and the director had to get the ship to its destination safely–in this scenario, on time and on budget, with cargo intact so it could make plenty of money–but the Admiral had to oversee the whole fleet and know how each ship worked within the fleet. And also had to supervise the Captains, and see to it that the correct ones were commanding the vessels.

This is not a perfect analogy by any means, but it was something I came up with on the fly, in a fairly contained scenario, as we were doing one of the MCU podcasts. I think.

-xtien

That’s the reason I wish movie credits specified which CG studios did which sequences!

-Tom

Yes I agree that the director absolutely deserves credit for his movies, animated or live action. I just don’t know enough about someone like Peter Ramsey to be able to draw parallels between his work on Spider-Man: ItSV and his previous work on Rise of the Guardians.

I just disagreed with the idea that the discussion centered around Lord and Miller just because they “remembered their names”. I think it’s valid to point out similarities between works by the same producer, just like you might mention J.J. Abrams when talking about Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, even though he didn’t direct either of those.

Check his art department credits, he is a legendary storyboard artists. He worked on Men in Black, Fight Club, Minority Report.

Anyway, if you want to find that one guy (you know, I’m against that), that guy should be Rodney Rothman, because at least he co-directed and co-wrote the movie.

If you listen to this the Q&A podcast with him, and if you liked the movie so much, you absolutely should… From there you will learn that Phil Lord wrote the first draft and went to work on Solo. And in CG animation the first draft doesn’t mean that much, because nothing is set in stone till the whole movie is finally rendered.

And rendering is a very long process, that’s why there are no clearly identified pre-production, production, post-production stages in CG animation. So a studio has a unique opportunity to make dozens and dozens of test screenings using early rendered sequences, previsualized ones and even animated story boards, so called animatics. Basically, scenes like this one or even this one. It’s one of the main reasons why CGI movies in the right hands turned out so good, because it’s a very iterative process, where you can constantly try different ideas.

So they tried different story lines (there was a romance between Gwen and Miles), different characters (there was hilarious died a quick death Australian Spider-Man), threw away some sequences (the leap of faith scene was different), rewrite and tweak jokes (that one about Spider-Ham’s uncle was great). See, Spider Verse was no different, it was rewritten, reedited hundreds of times. It’s almost a direct quote from the podcast.

That’s why I was amazed the ending was relatively weak IMO. That’s why I’m saying that Lord/Miller input was less essential.

You seem to be arguing against a point that I’m not making. I never said (and I don’t believe they said on the podcast) that all credit for the movie’s style should go to Lord and Miller. Obviously there are thousands of people working on an animated film, and of course all three directors deserve all the credit they’re getting. But Lord and Miller produced the film and brought in the directors, and (again, according to interviews with the directors themselves) they were very involved in driving the look of the film. They wanted something that was visually unique, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to compare it to something like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which also had a different visual style.

Also, you seem to be equating Lord’s writing contributions with the duo’s producing contributions. Yes, Lord did a first draft and the script was heavily rewritten. But the duo remained involved in the production process throughout.

I think that everyone in the process deserves credit, but Lord and Miller were mentioned because they’re the people that some might be more familiar with. Whereas you’re saying that Lord and Miller shouldn’t get much credit, which seems bizarre to me.

Well, you’re probably right, but you were mentioning them a lot during the podcast. At some point Kelly Wand called it Lord and Miller’s animated movie, then you discussed were they split or not while working on it. Later you talked about the similarities with the Lego movie. Then there was a listener’s mail saying that Lord and Miller are very good at making great movies with functional stories out of popular corporate franchises. So you started talking about Solo and that infamous story about Emilia Clarke and ‘film noir’ note.

Somewhere in the middle of this Kelly Wand implied that the movie was at least written by Lord and Miller, when he compared different approaches to comic book adaptations, talked about the wrong ways of doing things by Brett Ratner, McG and Zack Snyder, who are just fanboys, and the right way by Lord and Miller, who see the way forward.

So that’s why I felt the way I felt listening to your podcast. Come to think of it, it’s mostly Kelly Wand’s fault. Anyway, the point is I wasn’t imagining things.

This is true of most things.

-Tom

I was on the plane, and tapped on Replicas. After about one minute of having super strong The Meg vibes of international horrible-looking money laundring operation or whatever the purpose of such creations are, I started watching Into the Spider-verse, and what a delight that was.

Unlike Tom, I thought the action was much more “readable” to me than what is found in the CGs of the regular marvel flicks. At least in the first two third, because the last action sequence is just a visual and noise mess than I thought could only be found in Japanese trash like Gren Lagann and such before.
Excepting that last part, this was pure visual and aural joy.

I love the way you put this.

-xtien

“I need the Goober. Don’t make me take it from you.”