• Exclusive Season 1 Retrospective Interview with Lauren Faust

    Above is a sketch by Lauren Faust - exclusively for Equestria Daily.

    Below is an interview with Lauren Faust - exclusively for Equestria Daily.

    When Lauren agreed to my request for an interview, the game changed for the best. The following interview comprises 32 questions to Lauren about the entirety of Season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I'll say more in the first comment after the post.

    Enjoy, ponies. This one's for you. She did this show - and this interview - for you.

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    Lauren Faust

    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic developer & creative director
    Exclusive Season 1 retrospective interview / Q&A for Equestria Daily
    Interviewer / coordinator: Tekaramity ([email protected])
    Special assistance, contributions, and support by: Phoe ([email protected])
    Additional contributions by: Cereal Velocity ([email protected])
    Equestria Daily administrator: Sethisto ([email protected])

    My Little Pony and all related characters and indicia are ©1982-2011 Hasbro.
    All rights reserved. Equestria Daily claims no ownership of the aforementioned.

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    1. Hello, Lauren. Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview and for taking the time to talk with Equestria Daily. Let's begin then. First, let's discuss the steps that led to the creation of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. When and how did you first cross paths with the My Little Pony franchise?

    When I was 6, I saw the first large and brown “My Pretty Pony” toy in the store.  I was a typical horse-obsessed little girl already, but I liked tall, graceful thoroughbreds and Arabians, so the pudgy pony wasn’t quite as interesting to me. But when they came out with the multi-colored ones, I couldn’t help but reconsider. They were too darn cute and I just I had to have the Pretty Parlor with Peachy, my first little pony. Then, when Hasbro came out with the unicorns and pegasi, there was no going back.  Horses and fantasy? I kissed Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie goodbye, and soon, I was spending every penny I was given or earned on collecting every pony thing that came out.

    2. Did Hasbro contact you regarding a leading role in their new Friendship is Magic reboot of My Little Pony, or did you approach them? What did they present in their case to you?

    I had approached Hasbro to pitch a micro-series pop opera for my Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls project, and it prompted Lisa Licht from Hasbro to ask me if I’d be interested in My Little Pony. She handed me one of the recent DVDs (Princess Promenade) and asked me to watch it to see if there was “anything you could do with it.” They wanted a reboot, and she was really pushing to match the right talent with the right project. Hasbro was just coming off the success of the Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie and Lisa was interested in finding similar “creative stewards” - talent that would re-invent and lend their unique voice to their other properties. The possibility of this sort of creative trust and freedom and Lisa’s belief in this approach really piqued my interest.

    3. Following up on that, why did you decide to spearhead the show? What factors secured your interest and confidence in the high quality and wider appeal of Friendship is Magic?

    At first, it was just because it was fun and easy.  I had played with the toys for most of my childhood, and I literally referenced the characterizations and stories I made up for myself when I was little.  The characters you see in the show were based entirely on the personalities I gave certain toys.  Many of the locations where expansions of the MLP playsets I played with in the '80s. I used to say that my own inner eight-year-old was my personal focus group.

    And beyond that, my confidence in the project grew as the more work I turned into Hasbro, the more they said “yes!”  Developing animation for TV is often (though not always) a grueling and disappointing process, and you can end up miles away from your vision.  I’ve known people who’ve directed their own pilots while no longer knowing what they were trying to say or who their characters were after having it developed to death.  I didn’t want to be in that position. I was also so passionate about making quality entertainment for girls, and I didn’t want to be responsible for adding to the pile of entertainment garbage that’s so often targeted toward them.  I was always waiting for things on MLP to take this sort of bad turn during the development process, but they never, ever did.  Hasbro was kind of awesome that way.

    4. So, you signed on as developer and creative director of MLP:FiM - but even you couldn't do it alone! You needed a team of talented, dedicated, and creative individuals to surround you and bring this universe to life. What measure of independence did Hasbro afford you in choosing those professionals - producers, writers, artists, animators, voice actresses, composers, and so on - that would end up working with you toward the goal of creating this fantastic cartoon? Any particular people with whom you were able to reunite from previous work on Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends? Any particular people you were able to bring on board with whom you'd always wanted to collaborate?

    The development of this show and the greenlight to pre-production were just about exactly one whole year apart.  While developing the concept for the show, I personally produced a 40+ page “pitch bible.”  I was hired to do this on my own, so I was free to hire the help I wanted with the budget I was given.  I hired two artists to help me with this early phase.  Martin Ansolobehere, with whom I had worked on Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, did some adorable initial background concepts for this bible.  And my friend Paul Rudish, a key creative for shows like Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, the first Clone Wars and Symbionic Titan, assisted me with conceptualization and art development.  In particular, I remember an amazing sketch he did of pegasi romping across clouds to make it rain.  This inspired me to come up with the concept of the ponies controlling the weather and otherwise being stewards of their world.  He also came up with the initial version of Nightmare Moon.  Paul is a creative powerhouse, and I felt very fortunate to work with him.   This version of the bible consisted of art by Martin, Paul and myself, and I did all the writing.

    A little after the bible was first presented, I was asked to do some more visual development, and I hired Dave Dunnet and Lynne Naylor.  Dave’s first background designs (colored by Martin) all made it into the show and became the defining reference point for the art direction. Lynne designed the final Nightmare Moon and Luna.  And of course, my husband Craig McCracken listens to me gripe, pontificate and bounce around ideas about whatever I’m working on, so his influence is spread throughout.

    Once the bible was finalized, with main and side character designs and descriptions, locations, and general world dynamics, Hasbro then started interviewing several production studios. DHX (then Studio B) was one of them. I was impressed by the animation in Martha Speaks (they made Flash look like traditional, and their animators were adept at animating four legged animals), and I was impressed with the energy, humor and overall direction in Pucca. So, when Studio B pitched that they wanted Jayson Thiessen to be the supervising director, I felt very confident that they could do what I was looking for.  Together, Jayson, Wootie (James Wooton) and I made a two-minute short to demonstrate what the show could look and feel like - and sometime later, Hasbro secured Studio B to produce the series.

    Once the show was greenlit, I was able to hand-pick my writing team (with Hasbro and Hub’s approval), most of whom I'd worked with on Powerpuff or Foster’s.  The rest of the artistic team was put together by Studio B and Jayson.  Jayson endorsed Ridd Sorenson as art director, and I approved him.   Voice actors and composers were all auditioned, Jayson and I endorsed our picks and Hasbro and the Hub made the final calls.  There were only a couple picks we disagreed on, but obviously, it all worked out great.

    5. In the pre-production planning process, who brought about most of the decisions regarding the format and layout of the show (2D Flash animation in 22-minute episodes)? During this critical stage, how much of the show's conception was due to the team at DHX Media, and what specific requests did Hasbro issue regarding their franchise and content?

    I pushed for Flash and Hasbro trusted me.  I wanted 22 minute episodes, but briefly the plan was for 11s.  Ticket Master was actually the very first script and was written before the show was greenlit, and it was originally 11 minutes.  Hasbro changed its mind eventually - I can’t remember why. I was glad. I prefer 22s. 

    By the time pre-production began, I had the concepts for the show already nailed down in my finalized bible. I had finished development, which included the characters, their personalities and designs, main locations, tone, several premises and three scripts - I had them all ready to go.

    Once we were greenlit, the Studio B team was brought on and it was less about developing and more about MAKING the episodes. I went up to Vancouver to meet with the team and give out initial direction. Ridd and his designers then started expanding on the art direction and Jayson and Wootie started building the astounding Flash builds for the main characters while starting storyboards.  While they were doing that, Rob Renzetti and I started the script process with our writing team in LA.  Hasbro was pretty amazing at trusting us, which was fortunate because we were going so fast.  The only changes that Hasbro made at that time were visual tweaks to locations that had playset potential and changes to some of the names of locations and side characters to make them more “salable."

    6. Excitement must have been building as the show's ideas finally began to coalesce! What were the primary challenges in this phase? Any particular innovations or epiphanies strike the crew as the show transitioned from planning to the first stages of execution?

    For me, the primary challenges were 1) The schedule - literally twice as fast as any production I had worked on before - and 2) being separated from my crew. I was in LA working alone from my home office, while everyone (except the writing team) was in another country. In these crucial beginning stages, ideally you want to work very, very closely with your artists from day to day to keep the vision cohesive - no one can see what’s in your head, and with so many artists, you can get a lot of different styles, ideas and approaches.  It’s up to the showrunner to pull it all together...and it’s really hard to do over the phone and email, and to do it twice as fast as you’re used to.  I felt so fortunate to have Jayson and Ridd in Vancouver.  It would have surely been a huge mess without their expertise to guide the team to achieve what I was looking for.  All the work, when done, was sent to me via the Internet for notes, revisions, and final approval.  There were times I would have liked to have just walked down the hall and talk to an artist about revisions, but I had to do it all via email, which took longer and lacked the luxury of back-and-forth.  There was a lot of trial and error to work through in the beginning, and I ended up doing a lot of designing and storyboarding myself because I couldn’t just tell people what I wanted to see.

    Another challenge was meeting the perceived needs of our young target demographic.  We had to figure out how to make the more adventure-y shows compelling and exciting without being scary.  It took some extra thought and a combination of careful storytelling, lots of jokes, and appropriate, appealing designs.  Tone adjustments helped as well - like lightening a scary situation with humor and whimsical design, or making an otherwise non-threatening scene more tense with art direction, music, and proper timing.

    Similarly, there was also worry about seeming mean - and I don’t mean cruel or dastardly, I mean slightly rude or mildly insulting.  We had EI (Educational and Informational) standards to adhere to, and character behavior that was considered OK in shows I’d worked on previously was suddenly considered “inappropriate for children” in My Little Pony.  Something as mild as Rainbow Dash calling Twilight an “egghead” in Fall Weather Friends was treading a very delicate line.  Even the whole concept of her and Applejack cheating was worrisome to some.  It was tough to find humor and create character conflict within these very constricting boundaries.

    The biggest innovation, I feel, is the animation.  Jayson and Wootie delivered far beyond my expectations and have done things with Flash I thought was completely impossible.  I used to put notes on storyboards that said “revise staging, this is impossible in Flash” and they’d write me back all “no, we can do it…” and they did.  Also, I feel the art direction was an interesting innovation in that most shows aimed at girls are overly bright, garish, oversaturated and plagued with waaaaaaay too much pink.  I think the colorists achieved something that is definitely feminine, but unique in that it is still extremely appealing, pleasant, and devoid of cooties, if you know what I mean. ;)

    7. Tell us about some of the major contributors at this point and throughout the show's run. Jayson Thiessen was the supervising director for Season 1 and has succeeded you as showrunner for Season 2. As supervising director, what was his primary responsibility, and how did the chain of production run from Hasbro through you to Jayson and the other leaders?

    Rob Renzetti was a big contributor, and, of course, Ridd, Jayson and Wootie. Rob and I handled all of the story development and scripts down in Los Angeles.  Once they were done and approved by Hasbro and The Hub, we’d get them recorded, and hand them off to Jayson and Wootie to begin the production work.  Jayson would supervise his team in Vancouver and send me the work at each phase (design, color, storyboard, animatic, animation rough cut) for direction and/or revisions and then make sure my revisions were put in place.  Each of these phases would then go to Hasbro and The Hub for any further adjustments.

    8. Rob Renzetti has contributed to many cartoons over the past two decades - including 2 Stupid Dogs, Dexter's Laboratory, and his own My Life as a Teenage Robot. How did you collaborate with him in his role as story editor, and how did that writing process flow between top decision-makers (such as you and the folks at The Hub) and the actual writers and Rob?

    I was so thrilled when we got Rob on the show!  He’s extremely talented, and having run his own show in the past, very experienced and knowledgeable.  Rob and I came up with and wrote all of the story premises.  Once approved, Rob and I decided who to assign each script to and spent a whole day with the writer, just the three of us, planning the story of each episode together.  The writers started writing, Rob and I gave notes and sometimes did revisions at each phase (outline, first draft, second draft). Then the outlines and scripts went to Hasbro and The Hub for notes, further revisions and final approval.  If the notes from Hasbro and The Hub were light, usually Rob handled the revisions himself. Once approved, the recorded scripts were sent to Studio B for the next phase of production.

    9. Sarah Wall is the producer of Friendship and Magic and other DHX Media productions. What roles did she and the other DHX leaders play in the creation of Friendship is Magic? Similarly, what aspects of the show's first season drew chiefly from crew suggestions?

    Sarah manages the day to day production, budget, and schedules; and she and the production staff made sure the artists got the material they needed when they needed it.  I’m amazed at the work producers do; it’s so much to juggle.

    As for crew suggestions, we occasionally held “writers’ summits” in LA (though I wish we had had more) to brainstorm new premises.  In the writers’ room, many of the script writers came up with and defined new characters. There were also many board artists and designers in Canada that had a certain way of drawing expressions or body language or hairstyles or outfits that further defined the way the characters looked and acted. These were constantly compiled and referenced as production went on. 

    10. Ridd Sorensen is the show's art director. What elements of the show's design drew from your initial sketches, from Ridd's direction, and from Hasbro's specifications? How much did the design and style of the first season change from initial conception to final production?

    The initial BG design treatment from the show came from Dave Dunnet.  We were fortunate to be able to bring him on for the two-part pilot to design many of the main locations and the ruins in the Everfree Forest.  I designed all the main and supporting ponies and Spike, and they were not changed from the bible.  Beyond the pilot, Ridd and his team developed the style even further under my supervision.  I continued to do a lot of the character designs in the beginning.  All in all, I don’t feel the art direction really changed all that much after development, it just continued to evolve and get more refined. 

    Hasbro’s input came mostly when a location had potential to be a playset.  Rarity’s Carousel Boutique was revised a few times.  There were also times when they were working on a toy they wanted to have featured in the show.  The hot air balloon was introduced this way. Often they’d ask for a location beforehand, like a schoolhouse, so we could design it first.  They were pretty great about letting us decide how to use these locations in context of the story so it didn’t just seem to come out of nowhere.

    11. Daniel Ingram and Will Anderson compose the wonderful songs and music found in abundance throughout MLP:FiM. Could you describe how you and the rest of the team coordinated cues, goals, and ideas with Daniel and Will? What transpired between the producers, writers, and Daniel to bring the ponies' songs to such vivid life? Similarly, how did you and the top decision-makers work together with Will to infuse such lush music into FiM?

    Whether or not a story warranted a song was decided in the story meeting.  In the writers’ room, Rob, the writer, and I would plan what information needed to be communicated in each song and discuss what sort of tone the number should be.  Then it was up to the individual writers to compose their own lyrics for the songs in their scripts.  Once the lyrics were approved (usually along with the whole script), Daniel came in. I would give him some brief direction at the start - then he’d come back with an initial recording (usually with a temp singer). He would sometimes make small adjustments to lyrics to suit the music better.  I don’t recall giving him many notes that were beyond tweaks, except for when we had to ask him to make the Cutie Mark Crusader theme song WORSE - poor Daniel!  But it was an essential story point that their performance was legitimately bad. Once all was approved, he produced the final records.

    Will and the score came later.  Once the animation rough cut was done with the final timing and editing, I would meet Will at his studio (he is also in LA), and Jayson or Wootie would call  in through Skype.  The three of us would review the episode and “spot” the episode - directing Will on what kind of cues we want to hear and when.  It was a very collaborative process. 

    12. Friendship is Magic is a labor of love brought about by hundreds of devoted individuals, and we fans truly appreciate the efforts and handiwork of each and every person who has done any sort of work on both the show itself as well as its exemplary wellspring of promotion at The Hub. As such, we do not want to exclude anyone from our outpouring of thanks and genuine support. However, in the interest of highlighting crew teams and processes that might otherwise go largely unnoticed, could you expound upon any facet of the show's creation and production that benefited Friendship is Magic beyond the readily obvious results?

    At any given time, a designer would design a side character in a direction I hadn’t thought of, or a board artist or an animator would add a gag or a character trait that would help define the show further.  Also, the voice actors bring so much to the characters that you would never imagine without them.  It’s an ongoing, organic process - and everyone involved contributes to the evolution of the world.  As with any show, it was a very collaborative effort.

    13. Thank you very much for all of your insight thus far. If you don't mind, Lauren, I'd like to transition from discussing the show's conception and structure to exploring the timeline of the first season itself. First of all, in your estimation, how long was the time period from conception to production and from production to debut? How many episodes was your team managing at one time, and why did you and DHX stagger and juggle them the way you did?

    One 22 minute episode took almost a year from conception to completion.  A final show usually aired about a month after it was delivered.  There was an agonizing point in the schedule where we were literally working on all 26 episodes of season 1 at one time - and, once Season 2 was greenlit, we’d even be working on as many as 32 at once. 

    Staggering episodes is, as always, the standard production process. You have to stagger the episodes to make sure everyone is working.  For instance, when a character designer is done with episode 12, we can’t fire them and hope they’re still available when episode 13 is ready.  Episode 13 needs to be ready for design right away, which means the script needs to be done, and script 14 needs to be ready just one week later.  It’s very much run like an assembly line.  A new episode had to begin every single week to keep the process running, so everyone on the team had work.  It’s especially trying on those of us who are supervising all aspects of the show.  On any given week I was coming up with a premise, calling notes on an outline, calling notes on a first draft, revising a final draft, revising designs, recording and episode, revising a storyboard, calling notes on an animatic, spotting music, reviewing and calling notes on music, and finally delivering the final episode.  And each of these steps was for a completely different episode.  On most productions, this is actually a 2 week process, but we had to make it work as a 1 week process. I’ve never worked on a schedule so fast.

    14. What were some of the greatest triumphs you experienced during those precious first stages of actual production? Likewise, what were some of the most difficult obstacles to overcome? Which elements turned out unexpectedly better or worse than initially estimated?

    There was skepticism and concern about the art direction in the opening sequence of the pilot.  Some people thought that having the series begin with such a different look would turn viewers off.  I love the look and feel of that sequence.  I was so glad to keep it. 

    The characterizations of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were a worry to some as well.  It was thought that Rainbow was too boyish and our target audience wouldn’t relate to her, and it was also thought that Pinkie Pie would be irritating and off-putting. There was even a lot of debate and concern over Applejack’s accent.  I spent a lot of time trying to reassure everyone that they would be lovable characters.  In the case of Pinkie, once everyone was finally comfortable that she wasn’t annoying, we got to make her as zany as I had always envisioned her as the season went on. It’s a testament to Hasbro that they put their faith in us as they did.
    What came out better than expected, as I mentioned before, was the animation.  It turned out far better than I had ever dreamed.  When the first walk and run cycles were sent to me for approval, I fell out of my chair.  And Daniel Ingram’s songs were grander than I ever imagined.  The voice actors made authentic stars out of the characters.  Tabitha St. Germain, for example, added a humor to Rarity that was unexpected and wonderful.

    It’s hard to point to anything coming out worse, at least not in the beginning.  The first few episodes were a little wonky here and there, but that’s to be expected.  It always takes a few episodes for a crew to hit their stride.  Any disappointments I have at that stage are only in specific details - certain character designs that I didn’t love, some jokes that fell flat, etc., but nothing consistent enough to be worth mentioning.

    15. The season began with a two-part introduction to Equestria, unfolding the tale of Twilight Sparkle's journey to Ponyville and her triumph over Nightmare Moon with the help of her newfound friends and the virtues represented in the Elements of Harmony. Afterward, the season continued to hold a certain level of continuity but meandered from story to story as a episodic romp. Why'd the approach change, and how did this impact production and creative input? What do you believe emerged as the strongest component of the new direction; alternately, what do you believe you could have accomplished had the show stayed on its first course?

    This is a good opportunity to clear up a bit of a rumor. Something I said on my dA page turned into an interesting Internet game of telephone; consequently, a lot of fans now seem to think that I had a grand scheme for a big, dramatic, serialized magical-girl style of a show. Actually, it was always my intention to have the show partially “adventure stories” and partially “relationship stories,” as I called them in my initial pitch bible.  I had thought that maybe a third of the episodes could be more like Dragonshy, or the end of Feeling Pinkie Keen, or even have this creepy thread through them like Stare Master. But, ultimately, fewer than a quarter of the episodes had this adventure aspect to it. There were several reasons why. For example, restrictions on what was considered too scary for our younger demographic put limitations of the types of stories we could tell.  The accelerated schedule also made it difficult - plot heavy episodes take too long to plan, and too many new characters and locations were a heavy burden to the crew at such a fast pace.  If we had tried to do more, they would have fallen short; and since we had a cast and crew that was so well versed at comedy, it just seemed like the right decision to de-emphasize that style. 

    I don’t think the consequences of this minor change in direction were really felt in Season 1 except for the quantity of the types of stories.  The tone or humor would not have been different, and the expectation that we could start going in that direction in later seasons gave me hope that I could still fulfill some of the characters' grander destinies; but, truly, I always wanted this show to be an ensemble-cast comedy first and foremost. 

    If we had penned more adventure stories, the only difference I can think of is that perhaps you would have seen more of Luna and Zecora.  Zecora was designed to be a sage and mentor to whom the ponies could go for information about their quests.  She was designed to be a second mentor to Twilight, but that didn’t come to pass. And Luna, though good, was meant to be associated with darkness and night - and these are considered (by some) to be iffy themes for a show for young girls - so she had to slide to the wayside.

    16. Thanks for clearing that up! Here's hoping it dispels some of the idle gossip about the intro arc. Now, at the heart of the show are its well-designed and endearing characters - indeed, the show has differed slightly from previous incarnations by choosing to focus on chronicling the escapades and developing the personalities of six main ponies (plus Spike!). How did the team's ambitions drive the construction of the main cast and their excellent compositions: fantastical yet relatable, strong yet flawed, caring yet selfish, appealing yet imperfect?

    I doubt any team of writers sits down and strategizes whether or not to have good characters or lousy characters.  Everyone wants good characters - just, not everyone can execute it.  We had a great team who could.  Not to toot my own horn, but the foundations of the characters were the chief focus of my pitch bible.  I literally wrote the characters with their “good traits” and “bad traits” described in their introduction.  The writers took these ideas and ran with them in the scripts, the actors with their voices, and the story artists and animators with their expressions and posing.  I kept tight watch, especially in the beginning, to make sure all this input was cohesive, pushing and prodding when needed.  For instance, I encouraged people to keep the wacky gags exclusive to Pinkie.  I cleared some of the initial confusion about how to make Fluttershy and Twilight funny, and Rarity needed special care to keep her from being the typical shallow debutante character.  I created these characters, and I felt the need to protect them.

    17. Your body of work demonstrates a zeal for character-driven media. What have you seen in your career that compels you to champion and create this style of media, and why do you pursue your specific dreams and aspirations? In short, what does Lauren Faust hope to achieve - and leave behind?

    I champion character-driven stories and humor because character-driven stuff is just what I like to watch and what I like to do.  I think making your audience experience an emotional reaction is the core of good storytelling, and you can’t evoke emotion without likable, relatable characters. Some shows focus on gags and written jokes and have an exclusive goal to get laughs, but I prefer comedy that has a sincere emotional core...and humor that comes from characters, not one-liners. Somehow, it’s just a bit of a strength I have.

    My specific dreams are still to make great entertainment for girls. I just don’t think there’s enough truly good stuff out there for them, but I also have kind of selfish reasons.  When I think of something I want to say or an experience I want to share, my ideas are usually innately feminine because I’m female - and I refuse to believe that something being feminine by nature automatically means it isn’t worthwhile.  If I can put the tiniest dent in the perception that “girly” equals “lame” or “for girls” equals “crappy,” I’ll be very satisfied.

    18. The ponies are definitely the heart of the show, yet they occupy a world that is rich with mythology and fantasy while still sporting a variety of modern technology. What was the creative strategy behind constructing the realm of FiM's Equestria? How did the team approach this balance between mythological fantasy and modern tech?

    I always wanted the default technology of the show to be a bit medieval in nature; but since this is a whimsical, non-serious show, I felt there was plenty of wiggle room.  I think ultimately it was just my personal comfort level in each individual story.  If it screwed up the story to get too technical about how primitive the technology was, it wasn’t worth it. So, if we needed cameras, I just wanted those cameras to be relatively workable to a creature with no fingers.  And if we absolutely positively HAD to have an electrical appliance (which we often did), I just told myself that it was enchanted by some magical unicorn mechanic at some point.  However, I insisted that such an attitude was to be considered only as a last creative resort - don’t use a light switch when you could use a candle, just because you’re feeling lazy.  Don’t draw a hoof unnaturally and awkwardly wrapped around an umbrella because you don’t feel like thinking about it a little more. Overall, though, it was definitely not a strict approach - and it’s hardly consistent.  Humor and ease of storytelling took precedence over technicality.

    19. Seems to me that a lot of foresight went into the creative planning process. Apart from the new episodic direction, how often did long-term plans change during the course of the first season, and what were the primary reasons for any major shifting?

    There was a lot of planning in development and a lot of planning for the animation process in the beginning - but really, at a certain point, once production was in full swing, we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants and making it up as we went along.  We had to rush to get stories approved and into production.  I actually regret that there wasn’t more time for planning and fine-tuning.

    20. Wow. All of that must certainly have been taxing - but I can assure you that the end result has been unquestionably worth it! What were the most rewarding aspects of creating the first season, and why were they so fulfilling?

    For me, it was amazing to see all these ideas I'd had for years and years about how to make compelling stories for girls come together.  So much of what is in MLP is what I’ve been trying to get on the air since I started in TV.  It was amazing to see it actually work and people actually like it.

    21. I imagine that level of success elicited quite a large volume of feedback. Were any particular strengths or concerns frequently mentioned in letters and other responses you received?

    By far the most common message I received was “I’m a guy and I love this show - what have you done to me?!” ;) I’ve received a lot of notes from men in the military who are fans of the show.  That’s been a wonderful surprise!  I’ve also received many messages from people who say the show has helped them through depression, which is truly touching.  And I really love when I get letters from dads who say it’s their favorite thing to share with their daughters. Another favorite, common note is from young female artists who say the show has inspired them to write their own stories or pursue a career in animation.

    22. Describe how the various media reports impacted your direction and outlook, if you would. At first, several outlets were noticeably caustic, owing either to insufficient information or simple misunderstandings. More recently, the level of positive coverage from the media has been trending sharply upward. What do you make of all the articles - both positive and negative - and why do you suppose that the general perception has changed, beyond simply increased exposure to the show?

    When I accepted the job in the first place, I expected that the usual “ew gross, girls!” response was inevitable.  I even expected that people would actively hate it without even watching it.  So, when the first uninformed, unjustifiably negative articles surfaced, I was disappointed, of course - but not surprised.  I just thought of the girls who’d finally have a worthwhile cartoon to watch and tried not to worry about the folks we weren’t targeting.  I knew (or at least I thought I knew) we wouldn’t sway their biases no matter how great the show was.

    23. You did well in that! Of course, any discussion of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic would be shortsightedly incomplete without targeting the most incredible online phenomenon of 2011: Bronies! I'm a brony, Lauren - as are scores of thousands of other teenaged and adult fans of MLP:FiM. First off, how and when did you and the team first learn of the brony phenomenon? How closely did you end up following it as the first season progressed?

    Oh gee - I feel old to admit I did not know about 4chan until I was checking comments on an episode that had been put on YouTube.  Someone pointed out that people were freaking out about the show on 4chan, so I moseyed on over and WOW - was I surprised!  I checked in regularly (strategically ignoring unsavory material as best I could) and pointed it out to some other members of the crew.  Then came Equestria Daily and Ponychan.  I couldn’t believe how the fandom was spreading - or the amazing creativity that was coming out of it!  It was just such a FASCINATING turn of events, and I was simply riveted.

    24. What aspects of this brony phenomenon took you by surprise? How did it impact the direction of the show and morale of the crew? What were the most encouraging aspects of this newfound fanbase - conversely, what logistical difficulties accompanied our advent?

    Just how it kept growing and growing and growing and how it seemed to inspire a revolution of kindness on the Internet!  It never ceases to amaze me.  I think the surprising fanbase invigorated the crew and kept us going when we were getting exhausted.  There’s no better morale booster than making an actual impact.  I can’t say it affected the direction of the show beyond crossing Derpy’s eyes, however.  All of Season 1 and the opener for Season 2 were written and underway in production by the time the brony phenomenon took hold.  We couldn’t change anything at that point.

    25. The Hub television network has earnestly been reaching out to us in the recent months. What's your take on primary vs. peripheral demographics? How did you seek to unify the two, and what do you expect will be the standard moving forward? Put succinctly, how do bronies affect ponies - in our purchases, discussions, fan works, and the rest?

    While we were moving forward on Season 2, we all felt that we attracted this audience with the strategy we laid out to attract girls and their parents - so we didn’t think there was a need to change the approach, at least as far as the show is concerned.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  However, even outside of bronies, I was hoping that some of the “nicey-nice” restrictions would be lifted for Season 2 or that we’d at least get more wiggle room. Not because I had a need for edginess, but because I thought we were going to start running out of ideas to explore within those restrictions.

    26. Thanks for all of your answers so far, Lauren. We truly appreciate your candor and willing communication with us. As this Q&A draws to a close, could we touch upon a few lighter topics before we conclude? First of all, the four EqD blogponies - Sethisto, Cereal Velocity, Phoe, and myself - are all extremely grateful that you agreed to this interview. How closely do you follow Equestria Daily and other major pony fan sites?

    I will admit I still check in on EqD almost every day, and I checked Ponychan when episodes premiered to get feedback.  I consider them very valuable resources - and, frankly, fun!  I also admit I’ve occasionally contributed to discussions, and I’ve even dropped a few spoilers for fun - yay for anonymity!  I totally lurk, guys...so careful what you say!  ;)

    27. Wow, thanks much! (And how clever of you!) How about the rest of the fanbase - fan art, music, videos, and the like? You and several other FiM crew members have been very active on sites such as deviantArt and Facebook. This high level of communication and interaction with the fanbase has been unfailingly valuable, and we most certainly appreciate it! How often are you able to keep up with all of the pony fan output - and would you like to say a few words to those who create it?

    Not to disappoint, but I’m afraid I don’t read fan fiction - I just don’t have time, and I don’t want the accidental influence.  But I love looking at fanart, fan comics, custom toys, and the YouTube mashups.  There is some talent out there that completely floors me.

    28. Thank you so much, Lauren - believe me, we all sincerely appreciate your support! Now, once again, new horizons are spreading before you - horizons as yet unknown to the rest of us. As much as you can, without giving anything specific away, could you tell us what we can expect from Lauren Faust in the months and years to come? What's the next move for you, and how - and, more importantly, why - are you blazing that trail? How have ponies shaped your philosophy and outlook moving forward, and what do you expect will be your single most poignant and lasting memory from your time as the watchful shepherdess of the pony herd?

    I have a lot of irons in the fire right now, and I’m waiting to see which one shows the most promise.  It is still difficult to sell animation for and/or about girls, but MLP gives me something to point to as a successful example.  People didn’t even believe girls’ shows could be legitimately funny and that boys might actually watch them...yet, between Powerpuff Girls and FiM, there’s proof that lightning can struck more than once.

    The most lasting effect working on this show will have for me is the literal 'dream-come-true' facet of the opportunity.  Not only was it a chance to bring one the most inspirational aspects of my childhood to life in the manner I had dreamed it could be since I played with ponies as a child, but it was also a chance to put my theories about entertainment for girls into practice.  Seeing it work so well that it brought in an additional, unexpected audience was a triumphant bonus.  However, what will also stick with me is the sadness I felt when I realized I had to leave it. It was a horrible, painful decision. It still stings...and I suspect it always will.

    29. We'll definitely miss you moving forward, Lauren. Thank you for all you've done so far. How do you expect Friendship is Magic to end when it inevitably (and unfortunately) does? What do you foresee taking place in the final episode? More personally, how would you like to see the show end when it inevitably (and unfortunately!) does? What would constitute your ideal final episode?

    Not to give a disappointing answer, but - as I won’t be involved, I don’t know how to expect the show to end.  I had my own ideas for an end to work towards, with certain characters fulfilling specific destinies. Only some of those plans were well-formed, though; others, I had hoped to work out as the series progressed. I’d rather not share what my plans were at this time - it will diminish what the new people in charge ultimately do. Plus, it just really bums me out that I can’t do them.

    30. Stepping back and viewing the larger picture, how do you perceive this show has shaken the stereotype of a young girls' show? Friendship is Magic is certainly a constructive step toward portraying that media in an intelligent and positive light, but a large stigma nevertheless persists. In your estimation, what's the next step - and what else must be done before that detrimental stereotype can begin to fade into irrelevancy?

    I think the show may have opened the minds of a number of specific individuals, but I don’t think its influence is really far reaching enough to make that big an impact - yet. I’ll be curious to see how the attitudes of the young girls and boys who enjoy the show grow as they do. Perhaps having enjoyed the show will make them less resistant to similar content as they grow older, and perhaps it will inspire them to create similar things.

    Next steps are just to continue in this direction.  Networks and studios need to be willing to give feminine concepts a try, the people who can make this kind of stuff need to be given more chances, and audiences need to put their preconceived notions aside and give female content a try.  They need to somehow let go of the idea that liking something feminine is belittling. I think that last one is the tallest order of them all.

    31. How do people such as bronies factor into this situation? What distinctions between a "boys/guys" show, a "girls/gals" show, and a "family" show should and should not exist, to you? Why do the current distinctions exist, in your mind, and how can people such as the teenaged and adult MLP:FiM fans influence executive and marketing mindsets toward these programs? At the root of it all, is the "divide" between the genders dwindling ever smaller - and what will it take for males and females to be equal as humans?

    I love the idea of “all ages” entertainment - media that is enjoyable to male and female, young and adult.  But the perception currently out there is that, if the main character is a girl, or if a significant portion of the cast is female, it is “for girls” only and exclusively.  And usually, if something is planned for both genders, it means most of the characters are boys - and that maybe, if you’re lucky, there are a couple of girls who get to tag along.  I long for the day that female characters are not considered novel.

    At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the evidence that some specific content will attract mostly women and girls and that other content will mostly attract men and boys.  I think that’s okay too - not to mention fun.  The problem is the positively ancient issue that a girl will watch a show or a movie about a boy - but a boy won’t watch a show or movie about a girl.  The people who profit from media need to protect their investment, and they know they’ll get a larger audience and make more money if they default to “for boys.”  It remains the most common reason why girl stuff isn’t made.

    The only thing that will change this is support.  The audience supplies the ratings and the profits, and that’s what the money people are looking for.  If you like a show involving girls, watch it and buy the stuff.  Spread the word, refuse to be ashamed, ask for what you want, and visibly support artists who do it well.  All of this encourages the people with the money to give this kind of content a chance.

    As you said, the divide between the genders may be dwindling...but the gap, in my opinion, is still large. If you look around you, people still insult boys by comparing them to girls (“pick up the pace, ladies!”) and praise girls by comparing them to boys (“wow, you draw as good as a guy!” - to quote what someone once said to me when I was a student). The question of what it will take for everyone to consider the genders equal is way too big a question for me. I have no idea. But I think it’s up to everyone as an individual to carefully and honestly evaluate their own attitudes and at least try to make things better - if only in their own lives and the way they treat people they know.

    32. Thank you so very much for taking time to answer all of these questions, Lauren - and for spearheading the magical cartoon that is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. We love it, and we love you too. To you and the rest of the FiM crew: Thank you all  - so immeasurably much. This concludes the Equestria Daily Season 1 retrospective interview with Lauren Faust. On behalf of everypony, I wish you the absolute best. If you've any final thoughts or comments, Lauren, please share them with us.

    Just a great, big, extremely sincere thank you to everyone who watches the show!  This kind of fan reaction is the sort of thing every artist dreams of but doesn’t dare believe can actually happen.  I always worried that, despite the late nights and work-filled weekends - the blood, sweat, and tears (well...not blood) that went into the making of this show - it would go almost unnoticed, as many shows do.  You guys make it all worthwhile, and I can’t thank you all enough.

    --------------------------

    Until next time, pony fans, this is Tekaramity signing out. Thanks, Lauren! Now...and forever.

    419 comments:

    1. Post-script:

      Lauren Faust brought us Season 1 of Friendship is Magic. While she has since passed the torch to Jayson and the rest of the crew for Season 2 and beyond, I could think of no better way to honor her

      inestimable contributions than by allowing her to supply this last precious look into virtually everything and everyone that fashioned Season 1 of MLP:FiM into the brilliant set of 26 cartoon

      episodes that it unquestionably is.

      To Seth, I say thusly: Thank you ever so much for creating and maintaining Equestria Daily. You truly have become the nascent unifier and nonstop laborer of the brony community. We love you, brony.

      To Cereal, I say thusly: Thank you ever so much for your seen *and* unseen contributions to EqDaily, including your audio engineering. You're a leader here - and a strong one. We love you, brony.

      To Phoe, I say thusly: Thank you ever so much for your endless encouragement and support to the efforts of pony fans everywhere. Staying up 'til 7 AM fine-tuning this interview with you was

      supernatural. We love you, brony.

      Finally, to Lauren, I say once again: Thank you for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

      For ponies.

      - Tek

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    2. Oh my Tek. First Jayson Thiesson, and now Lauren Faust? I am the purest flavour of grape jelly right now.

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    3. Second question...
      My face ºoº
      Do we have to thank Michael Bay for these ponies!? OH MY GOD!!!

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    4. @Tekaramity that's either copypaste or you just type really freakin fast. lol

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    5. This is actually really fun to read... Good job, blogponies!

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    6. This is the kind of stuff I like to see.

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    7. Tek has been taking the awesome dial and turning it up to 11 lately.

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    8. BOW DOWN!!! BOW DOWN!!!!
      BEFORE THE POWER OF LAUREN!
      OR BE CRUSSSSHED!
      BE CRUSSSHED!!!

      BYYYYY....

      HER JOLLY BOOTS OF DOOM

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    9. Also, I imagine the alicorn in the picture is supposed to be Lauren? Poor lady, so tired and stressed all the time.

      Brony artists, you know what to do...

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    10. @Rubidia

      Yes, that's Lauren. She drew that just for this interview! =D

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    11. Lauren Faust is too damn awesome. I've love these interviews, it just shows how much the creators appreciate us!

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    12. Ok, this is awesome. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

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    13. LAUREN FAUST, IS QUITE THE CHARACTER HERSELF.

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    14. Outstanding interview! This is the first interview I have read on ED, now that I see how insightful it was, perhaps I shall go back and read the others :D

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    15. Well, that's the third canon alicorn to me.

      Faust. The Author.

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    16. This is why I love Lauren Faust.

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    17. This is why I come to Equestria Daily.

      It is really awesome to be part of a fandom that is appreciated by its creator.

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    18. all i can say is now that lauren has moved on i hope that they don't change mlp:fim in hopes that it will appeal more to the bronies. i hope it stays the same great, innocent, cute (awesome!), show that we all love (as opposed to something that has been produced to target bronies specifically.)
      i don't mean to sound skeptical, but lets hope that mlp:fim stays the same show that we all fell in love with.

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    19. Question 4. I want to see that 2 minute short.

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    20. QUICK!
      GET THIS BITCH UP TO 6 STARS NOW!
      NONE IS MORE DESERVING OF IT THAN THIS.

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    21. I can tell this is going to be great even before reading it.

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    22. @Phoe

      Excellent! I foresee a tide of new Lauren-alicorn fan art is on its way...

      This could actually be a good theme for a contest or something, draw the Lauren pony doing something, and possibly give'er some colours. :V

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    23. This is amazing.

      Also, I was intrigued to learn about her original plans for a more balanced combination of adventure and slice-of-life style stories. I loved the episodes like Dragonshy and Stare Master that had that more adventure-y vibe and I hope they keep that up in later seasons.

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    24. @nottelling Why? If it ain't broke don't fix it that's what she said in the interview. Anyways awesome interview and thanks Lauren.

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    25. I thought Lauren was staying on as a consulting producer for season 2? Is she leaving the show all together?

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    26. I though that she only stepped down and not leave the proyect.....:'(

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    27. "And Luna, though good, was meant to be associated with darkness and night - and these are considered (by some) to be iffy themes for a show for young girls - so she had to slide to the wayside."

      Oh the irony...

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    28. Lauren has been trolling us by releasing spoilers anonymously?

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    29. I'm a little saddened how extremely feminist she is, but I guess I've just never seen the issues she has. Still awesome, and sad to see her go. The mere though of MLP ending, and this fandom dieing out, is depressing. It really is a "revolution of kindness" the likes which I've never seen inspired througout the internet.

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    30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    31. Lauren lurks EQD, planned for more Luna and Zecora originally, and dropped spoilers as an anon? Dang... She gets more awesome every time I hear about her.

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    32. This right after the Jason interview? Color me impressed. Or did you have these hidden away to build hype for Saturday =P

      I'm curious if some of those restrictions she was talking about /were/ lifted. Some of Jason's comments make me feel like they were. Though, frankly, they were able to do a lot even with them.

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    33. FIM really is the most technically impressive flash animated cartoon produced thus far.

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    34. @Ragona

      The issues are out there, trust me. It's the kind of thing that meant GI Joe: Sigma 6 didn't get a Scarlett or Baroness or Lady Jayne toy, because boys won't buy them. It's the kind of thing that means certain advertising is run during a day, or that certain characters are seen as offputting. It is all around, and it doesn't take a feminist to see them. Granted, studying feminism shows just how widespread they are (please, study first or second wave feminism and feel comfortable going down the girl aisle, I dare you!), but really equality is something we should all strive for.

      The work of Lauren and like-minded people to her is just the kind of subversive elevation of all people that we need.

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    35. I really liked this, it was a very good insight into things. Im very glad episodes were chosen to be twenty two mins as opposed to eleven.

      On another note I shudder to think of what kind of Equestria I would rule had it been done by someone else.

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    36. Also, I feel the art direction was an interesting innovation in that most shows aimed at girls are overly bright, garish, oversaturated and plagued with waaaaaaay too much pink. I think the colorists achieved something that is definitely feminine, but unique in that it is still extremely appealing, pleasant, and devoid of cooties, if you know what I mean. ;) - Lauren Faust

      I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU. Although I would call your show devoid of 'diabetes' from too much pink (ahem, sugar).

      Thanks for giving me something to watch.

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    37. I'm falling in love with Faust

      The fact that she was raised in my state makes it all that much better.

      Maryland represent

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    38. You should have asked her who was best pony/her favorite pony.

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    39. And I just finished that.

      Well, it's oficial. We are awesome <3

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    40. ...I think I'm crying a little. What an amazing person, in every aspect of her life. Bravo.

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    41. her answer to question 31 is FLAWLESS.

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    42. First off, must mention that fabulous header you all undoubtedly prepared for this occasion; too much coolness yo.

      And secondly, this has certainly been an eventful, and thrilling week of exclusive scoops here on Equestria Daily! I obviously picked a good time to get more involved with the community, and I'm so thankful for that. Aside from the thrill all of this behind-the-scenes discussion provides me as a formerly-aspiring animator, once again as with Jayson Thiessen it is just so incredibly gratifying to read about all the time and passion and amazing talent that has gone into creating this series. And how they, crew and creators alike, have been so blown away by the fan response (as I have). There's just so much love and happiness spread all around; it really makes me feel tingly inside.

      In any case many kudos to you Miss Faust, and my sincere thanks for all the joy your work continues to bring to your many fans. You are fabulous! ~<3

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    43. @James Corck I had the same reaction.

      "Michael Bay's success is the reason G4 exists!?"

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    44. Lauren Faust is Best Pony.

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    45. >MY FACE WHEN HOLY HNNNGH gonna read all

      would marry and love

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    46. @Ragona

      LOL SERIOUSLY? Do you still really think that feminism is a bad word?

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    47. @The Cyan Flash

      You are correct

      LAUREN FAUST IS BEST PONY

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    48. Lauren, you truly are a master of art. Here's to you, MLP living for as long as she can run, and to every single damn awesome brony (both male and female) here.

      *cracks a champagne bottle on a ship made of champagne bottles and stands back to see the massive frothplosion*

      Let the show live its course, and let it be known in the history books that we were here and we shall stay here for as long as the memory of Faust and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic shall live.

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    49. I love everything right now.
      If it weren't for season 2 my life would be complete right now.

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    50. Also, inb4 champagneception and I herd u liek champagne bottles... :D

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    51. what

      Gigantic interviews out of nowhere with both Jayson and now Lauren before season 2 begins?

      MY BODY CANNOT TAKE THIS LEVEL OF AWESOME

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    52. If this post is stickied, I suggest scaling down the picture, it is quite annoying to have to scroll through it.

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    53. Cant wait for the upcoming seasons

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    54. That was... heartwarming, I guess. Only word I can really think of for it, great interview!

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    55. Amazing.

      Major thanks to the EQD staff and Lauren for all the time it took to make this happen.

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    56. TL:DR

      Faust is amazing. Tell me something I don't know.

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    57. Brilliant Q/A. Throughly enjoyed.
      I cannot thank all the wonderful people who bought us FiM enough.

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    58. Oh gawd Lauren is watching us...Must...behave! Okay, this interview was just spectacularly done. Thanks blogponies! And of course a HUGE thanks to Mrs Faust for shedding some light on how this all came together, it was a great read and I leave here with some great new knowledge.

      Also if by chance you read this, thank you Ma'am, for giving this 25 year old red neck truck driver from Vermont something to cheer him up at the end of the day. Thanks for everything Mrs Faust.

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    59. Well, now this is just absolutely touching. It's already amazing that the creator of the show would give an interview for a group of fans in a peripheral demographic, but to give us one this candid and heartfelt is nothing short of heartwarming.

      I'd just like to say "Thank you" to Lauren (in the off chance she reads this) for creating such a wonderful, unique, and entertaining series. It's obvious you put your whole into making the series as great as you possibly could, and I can't wait to see what you have in store with your other projects.

      Also, a thank you to all of the Bronies out there. THis is honestly and truly one of the most welcoming, kind, creative, imaginative, resourceful, funny, and completely engrossing communities I've ever come across, be it in real life or online.

      And finally, and enormous thank you to Lauren for creating a show that has so greatly altered the way I view media. I will freely admit that I was once the type to blow off shows because they were "childish" or "girly", but thanks in part to this show, and these fans, I've come to open my mind a lot, as well as become more accepting and tolerant as a person. If nothing else, you all have helped to vastly improve the outlook of one guy.

      Thank you so very very much.

      Now onward to season 2!

      (ps. Rarity is Best Pony js.)

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    60. I guess we're never really going to know what prompted Lauren to leave this wonderful project behind, but I guess it's all in good hands.

      Still sad to see you go, because your vision has been wonderful to see, Lauren! Thanks for everything!

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    61. Wonderful interview. It may sound really odd to hear, and without going into too much detail, but ponies may have saved my life, and for that, I am grateful to Lauren, the entire crew involved in MLP:FiM, and the bronies who eventually brought it to my attention. My eternal thanks.

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    62. Thank you. Just thank you. There is nothing I can elaborate or articulate that would be worthy of how I feel. So just thank you.

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    63. Wow. This is awesome. I think it is amazing how connected and involved the creators of this show are with their fans. It truly shows that they put their heart and soul into this show, as opposed to "it pays the bills." I have a lot of respect for Lauren, Jason, and all the rest of them, too.

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    64. That's intense. This totally made my day. :)

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    65. the content on this cite is making the wait bearable until season two.

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    66. That was a wonderful read, I always knew they had a huge amount of work ahead of them to make season 1, but wow a double speed schedule and up to 32 episodes at the same time. That is just mind blowing.

      I know the show is in good hands, but it is still bittersweet that Lauren is stepping down.

      Now if someone can just pry that Pony Bible out of her hands and mass produce it.

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    67. First an interview from Jayson, now an interview AND a personalized picture from Lauren?! What is going on here? I thought this was a small blog run by a few tired, overworked ponies, not a legitimate newspaper! This is unprecedented!

      It continues to amaze me how far this site has come. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this in my lifetime. I doubt I ever will. And don't take this lightly; this is literally what I would expect from a full on magazine or website dedicated to animation or television shows. This goes above an beyond any and all expectations.

      Simply astonishing. I have no more words, because I give them all to you.

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    68. Lauren, you have our most sincere thanks - best of luck from here on in, and I'm sure everypony hopes you'll carry happy memories of MLP and the fandom with you :)

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    69. I vote for anon comments to be reinstated so that Lauren can drop more spoilers :3

      DOES WANT MORE LUNA EPISODES T.T

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    70. I love you, Lauren! Please have some of my cookies!

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    71. Lauren lurks on Ponychan, fillies and gentlecolts. We may want to watch ourselves.

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    72. As Pinkie Pie would say: 'And that's how Equestria was made!'

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    73. Two huge interviews, one right after the other, with probably the two people who have influeced this series of pure awesome the most? Color me very impressed!

      The amount of support from creators to fans have been nothing short of unbelievable.

      Ponies sure have made my life more... lively. More positive. Certainly more tolerant about people thinking differently. I love this community.

      Thank You, Lauren, for bringing this to us. <3

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    74. Read the whole thing... towards the end manly tears were shed. Truly the most rock solid tears of overwhelming honor, gratefulness, sadness, and joy. We often comically use the phrase "you just won the internet" to someone who has done something epic. Well, ma'am, we don't need to tell you that because you LITERALLY conquered, liberated, and enlightened the internet in a way that will undoubtedly go down in the history books for a multitude of disciplines. Lauren Faust... you won the internet.
      I give you my most honorable salute. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty for your career, your fans, and your ideals.
      T_T\

      I eagerly await your next great creation, but for now:
      "See you cowgirl, someday, somewhere!"

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    75. Dropping anonymous stealth spoilers? Haha, nice! :)

      Lauren's OC DEFINITELY deserves alicorn status.

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    76. ~Educational and Informative
      They have those for Canadian broadcasts as well? Thought those only applied to US broadcasts? Or was that because Hasbro was a US company?

      ~yay for anonymity!
      Hmm, perhaps having anon comments for blog posts may come back at some point?

      Really awesome retrospective. It's cool to have audio interviews, like with Jayson Thiessen, but I have to say the written interviews tend to be much more coherent and detailed, most likely because the guests have time to contemplate each answer. Going forward, I'd motion for more written interviews.

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    77. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    78. "I’ve received a lot of notes from men in the military who are fans of the show"

      *spit take*

      ...that explains the popularity of the Dash salute...

      XD

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    79. *Contented Sigh*
      All is right with the world... Because of ponies.

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    80. Manly tears were shed.

      Thank you, Lauren. We'll miss you.

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    81. Lauren Faust, you're incredible. As a pony crazed fan and as an individual; your responses show a real depth of insight and passion into the work you undertook with this, and likewise in your earlier projects. It's neigh nigh time that the fandom explosion that's happened, and is happening still, happened for you. You deserve it.
      Thank you.
      As a frequenter of ED, the time and effort that goes into creating, managing, and continuing this site must be greater than we see. For that, thank you deeply indeed.
      I never knew what I got into, watching that first ep so long ago to see what the hype was about... I'm so applebucking joyous I did.
      Thank you!

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    82. Another epic interview, this time from Lauren Faust! So much thought and process to read...did anyone catch that Lauren Faust and a couple of her friends built a 40-FLIPPING PAGE BIBLE THAT DESCRIBES ALL OF MLP:FIM?!?! What secrets DOES Equestria hold?

      Lots and lots of behind the scenes titbits here and there...the show is originally going to have 11 minute episodes? Thank Celestia they stick to 22 minutes. Luna and Zecora originally going to appear more in Season 1? All because there were less adventure episodes during that season? This has gotten a lot more interesting, AND it makes me wanna see more Season 2.

      Thank you everyone - show staff (the guys from Studio B, Top Draw, The Hub, and Hasbro), and the male and female bronies; for being involved in this phenomenon. Less than a year since the show debuted, and it's soaring with a lot of attention from the unlikeliest of the corners!

      I cannot wait for Season 2. It will be a blast! I also can't wait what will Lauren Faust do next.

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    83. I teared up as I read this. I just love Miss Faust, and I love everything she has done to create such a brilliant, enchanting cartoon.

      I really don't know what to say except thank you, Miss Faust. Thank you so very very very very very much!

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    84. She lurks bronies. She lurks...for all we know, she could be anypony. Even...ME!

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    85. "I checked in regularly (strategically ignoring unsavory material as best I could)"

      Eheheheheh... sorry. Even though I don't contribute to that PARTICULAR aspect of 4chan... sorry.

      ^_^"

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    86. Slightly surprising that Faust didn't know about 4chan before FiM. Considering how well she reacted to the /co/ threads, I thought she was more familiar with their culture.

      Anyway, interesting interview. Very nice of the creator herself to directly interact with us. Thank you for sharing your insights and creating the show!

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    87. @staplesponge

      (Obligatory TF2 joke)
      THE ANON IS A BLOODY SPY!

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    88. I hope Faust gets to start up that show she wanted to make. How tragic it would be if every show she touched turned to gold except the ones she wanted to turn to gold...

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    89. When and if Seasons 4 and 5 roll around, I'd be happy to see a Brony-targeted show. You know, because TV show creators always run out of ideas at about that point. And what do they always do? They turn to the community! And the community for FIM are the Bronies.

      But not until AFTER the creators run out of ideas. I want to see pure, genuine, uninfluenced pony until there is none left. After that, the community is the way to go.

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    90. I don't normally like OC ponies, but when I do they're Lauren Faust's OC ponies

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    91. My sincerest thanks to Lauren Faust for this amazing interview. The detail of her responses was incredible. I love seeing the human element she weaved into her responses, and how her own experiences shaped her vision. She certainly was lucky to have that vision meet the executives it did--with so many other artists, any vision applied to a commercial work gets horribly bastardized.

      Also, did she seriously just tell me that some of those random anons in the past were actually her leaking spoilers? No way! The communication age is certainly something amazing.

      Finally, big thanks to EqD and the community for making it so far. Hard to believe that EqD + Bronyville have had four hour+ interviews with five different staff members in less than a week. This level of contact, this experience of seeing inside the minds of these artists and the workings of the studio itself, would not be possible without you guys. Here's to freedom of communication and the untold stories it brings us.

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    92. Lauren if you read this, thanks. I went from laughing about the silly adults watching this show to BEING one. You made something special.

      I don't know why you're leaving, and I worry about what that will change, but here's to a great first season and best wishes to the FiM crew for season 2. Thank you!

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    93. "Yay for anonymity! I totally lurk, guys...so careful what you say! ;)"

      ...coincidentally, I have an image macro of you smiling while holding several Galaxy Girls plushies which I'd captioned "Just as planned" saved in my picture folder...

      ...I think it just blinked...

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    94. @GaruuSpike
      I second this idea as a good compromise between two viewpoints.

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    95. Wow that was a long but great read, thanks for putting it up and thank you Lauren for being so open to us ^^

      Would you even imagine what the show would be like if they didn't have to rush it?
      I think the level of awesomeness would be highly life-threatening.

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    96. @iAndster

      *brohoof* Fellow Marylander!

      Even though I have alot of faith in the FiM team reading this makes me very sad to see Lauren go. She's an amazing artist and person and this excellent interview just confirmed that for me even more. Someday, when this is all over, it would be cool to find out what her original "destinies" she had in mind for the Mane 6 was.

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    97. That was an amazingly well done interview. Good job Tek.

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    98. I hope there will be a lot of seasons to come. :D
      I can't believe that Guys from the military watch MlP:FiM Now, that's manly. :D

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    99. @ Unknown
      There IS somebrony on this site named 'Anonymous'
      Things that make you go 'hmm...'

      And, to return to a somber, yet happy atmosphere, and to quote the new banner that I did not notice:
      "Thanks, Lauren, for everything."
      - Bronies Everywhere

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    100. I wept. I honestly and sincerely wept. Thank you so much Lauren.

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    101. Some awesome stuff. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I still feel "guilty" about my love for ponies, mostly because I know of the belittlement that will come when people find out that a 26 year guy watches MLP. I'm hoping this will change once I get my pony shirts and start to wear them on the daily basis. It's time to confront my fears.

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    102. Lauren Faust's pony needs to be hintdropped at in the official show.

      Faust is The Creator. She created the universe as the ponies know it. Celestia ain't got sh*t on Faust. Faust controls everything. Celestia just has the sun.

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    103. Dammit Tek!!! I literally GASPED when I saw this. I. DO. NOT. GASP. I am one of the stoic-est ponies you'll ever meet.

      Welp off to read it :)

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    104. Most of the time, I'm being an elitist douche about these things. I only ever post a comment if I feel like I've got something unique and/or clever to say. I mean, what point is there in being one of several hundred comments that boil down to "woot"?



      This time is different. I'm going to be entirely unoriginal. Lauren, "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is awesome and you should feel awesome. Thank you for everything.

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    105. "...the blood, sweat, and tears (well...not blood)"

      Awwwwwwwwwww...

      *puts away knife*

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    106. I am quite literally speechless. And I think this was posted the same time I burned out my laptop speaker! ...Damn. It's almost white-hot and smells of burnt wires and plastic. Fun!

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    107. She said Derpy, not Ditzy-Doo. It is canon! Well, maybe not, but one can still hope!

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    108. @GaruuSpike Yeah, screw Celestia and her elitist attitude! It's like she thinks the sun shines out of her-

      ...

      ...oh.

      ...

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    109. For once I can't say tl;dr, I read ever single word and loved ever bit of it!!!

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    110. Amazing interview and I can't thank Lauren Faust enough for everything she did for the show.

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    111. Will we ever know why Lauren had to leave MLPFIM? It seems like she really didn't want to.

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    112. Why does it feel like such a sad goodbye? ;_;

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    113. There are tears in my eyes. It's so great to read this. So much work put into this great show... and it was all, so, so worth it. Thank you a ton, Faust. You made my life a little more happy. :D

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    114. THIS!
      This right here is what I love about bronies as a community.
      The fact that the creator of the show can communicate with and in fact somewhat participates in the fan world is just awesome!
      I cried of happiness while reading this.
      Just so awesome!

      That and I have read some fan-fics that if a few things were changed (ponies to humans) could rival best selling novels.

      Thank you Lauren Faust,
      Thank you so much!

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    115. I was certainly skeptical when this show first came out, but it was only a matter of time and...yeah, bronified. Thanks to Lauren Faust and everything she did for MLP:FiM, this show actually got me through my own dark times. A pity she is leaving it, but godspeed and good luck to her in her endeavors from here on out. I am also delighted by the creative process of it all behind the scenes. So here's to you Lauren, your endeavors and for the 2nd season!

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    116. "It seemed to inspire a revolution of kindness on the Internet!"

      This, more than anything, is what I'm most amazed about. And what I love the most. Seriously who'd have thought a year ago that memes based around love, tolerance, kindness and friendship would suddenly prevail over trolls and bullies? Or at least prevail enough to detach itself and form a sustainable community?

      The world needs more of that. The world needs more Faust. I'm really looking forward to seeing what she's going to be up to next :D

      <3 to all

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    117. It sucks that she won't be on the team anymore. But, what are you going to do? It is still her visions in the show though too. I really like how they still kept the show going as "meant for little girls", but was keeping an eye on and being involved with the /b/ronies.

      And when I seen that this show has so many things rooted into the old cartoon network shows, I thought "No wonder I like Lauren's My Little Pony, It has roots from most my favorite childhood shows." This Q&A really made my day.

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    118. Part of Lauren's decision to leave was the need to look for something to do. You can tell by her creative track record that she doesn't sit still for too long.
      >PART
      This is not the entire(ly true?) reason she left.

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    119. That... That was amazing. Watch your mouths, bronies, Lauren can hear you... :)

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    120. Thank you, Lauren, thank you guys and gals in the animation, in the writing, in the delicious music and voice-acting - thank you all of you forever.

      Thanks!

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    121. @seth, phoe,cereal

      do you guys like working on the blog? or is it sometimes to much. because we bronies can't express our gratitude for you in words. you guys are my heros along with lauren faust

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    122. If I hug my computer screen is it the same as hugging Lauren? *hugs* Great interview EQD!!!

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    123. You guys impress me every time you do this. the fact that you are capable of these interviews is humbling and inspiring. Nowhere else have I ever, EVER, seen interviews with such professionalism and structure coming from the heart of a fan community. In complete honesty few professional interviews have this quality specifically because they lack that aspect of truly caring for the knowledge it gives. This is tight, thorough and fascinating on a level I only dreamed I could grasp at. Again you ensure that this community looks respectable and stands apart from all others, if we as a whole can maintain this sort of composure we may see the day when we reshape how the world (at least the corporate one) views and interacts with fans -especially female ones- as a whole. I love you guys to pieces and you make me proud to be a Brony
      @Tekaramity

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    124. Lauren Faust is a great person and she should feel great. Always.
      Alicorn Faust for best pony 2011.

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    125. Bravo, bravo!
      Lauren's words touch the heart and soul.

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    126. Classy lady. Great woman of cartoons. Yessir.

      Heh. I like the alicorn Lauren. I predict she'll be inducted into fanon, maybe as the parent of the royal sisters. Stories usually envision Celestia and Luna's progenitors as being saintly and godlike and perfect and regal, but I dig the thought of the creator of Equestria being more of a zany, frazzled, overworked type of parent trying desperately to balance all her plates, an art which Celestia later perfected. It's more interesting than the old "Ineffable Cosmic Almighty All-Wise King/Queen" trope.
      But what would her name be? Maybe we'll pull a Stephen King and just name her "Lauren Faust." The little ponies will be so perplexed, they'll say "Huh? What kind of name is that? Those nonsense words don't mean anything! Is it some ancient unknown language of the goddesses??" And Celestia will say "Nah. It's just that when she showed up there wasn't yet anything to base names on. She had to make it all. So she just called herself something which sounded nice."

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    127. Sorry to get all Grammar (actually Usage) Nazi on you, but... In Ms. Faust's second answer, we have "peaked my interest" rather than "piqued my interest." Sorry to be a pain, but that stuff drives me nuts. The article was EXCELLENTLY proofread otherwise!

      Anyhow, love the show (and the Puffs and Foster's), and wonder if, at 45, I might be the World's Oldest Brony. Also, I've become a daily visitor to this here EqD... Keep up the good work, everypony! :)

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    128. I just gobbled that up with my eyes. Good stuff.

      - So basically if it wasn't for Michael Bay and Transformers we wouldn't have FIM. Food for thought.

      - I loved the credit she gave to Tabitha St. Germain! I agree her voice is funny. Maybe next up we can have interviews with the voice actors next.

      - I'm glad she talked about the restrictions with a kid's show. People get schizophrenic when it comes to kids, it's not rational. I remember when I was watching Cardcaptors on Kids WB and they cut out the Japanese words (because seeing Japanese words would scar kids mentally or something).

      So it's good that she lets us know why there can't be more edgy stuff. I guess we should be grateful that Rarity got to kick the Manticore.

      - I'm guessing by 11's she means short segments like Animaniacs which would've been a travesty (not Animaniacs but that format for this show.)

      -It's funny how she talks about there was concern Pinkie Pie was annoying.

      -I'm so glad she cleared that rumor about how FIM was originally suppose to be a magical girl show. I feel at peace with that now.

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    129. What an outstanding treat it was to find this! And what a bittersweet feeling it imparted on me in the end. I do hope that Ms. Faust's involvement with the show isn't as completed as this interview suggests. I too had thought she was going to maintain some scaled back level of involvement, but perhaps that was just a reference to the work she had already put into season two up until the point she left.

      I want to add my thanks, both to her for her wonderful work and her openess to the fans, to this site for providing such engrossing content, and to all the other fans for making up such an encouraging community!

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    130. Another amazing interview... thanks Faust for talking to EqD! I'm glad you did what you did, and made this show so amazing in the process. A thousand thanks, and another thousand wishes that your future projects are as prosperous as MLP: FiM has been.

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    131. I just want to say thank you to Lauren Faust.

      As an animation student, it is people like you that I inspire to be.

      With that said, I'm very curious what the original CMC song sounded like. Any chance we could get our hoofs on it? ( EqD? Faust? Any other ponies? :P )

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    132. seceretly printing this because my mom took my phone away APPARENTLY SHE DOESNT KNOW MY NEED OF PONIES xD

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    133. That was just too awesome. Thanks for everything Lauren!

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    134. Oh and the Faust Pony. How glorious is that. She needs a lot of "Applejuice" for writing I see!!

      Someone please fully color Faust Pony.

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    135. Luna is mingles with the darkness! Awesome :3

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    136. "And Luna, though good, was meant to be associated with darkness and night - and these are considered (by some) to be iffy themes for a show for young girls - so she had to slide to the wayside."

      This saddens me, I hope we see Luna very soon after the two parter.

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    137. I was a little disappointed when I heard about how much Hasbro affects the behind-the-scenes, forcing them to change stuff so it's more marketable as a toy and giving restrictions on what they can and can't do. I'm hoping they have/will lift said restrictions so it appeals more to bronies, but at the same time, I don't want it to lose any of it's innocence. (IMO, for that, you don't have to avoid adventure or dark themes, just keep it free of sex jokes and toilet humor, and cute ponies don't hurt.) Anyway, I just hope season 2 is as awesome as I'm expecting it to be.

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    138. I saw this and shit my pants. Never thought it would happen, wow. Great interview. Nuff said. Thanks Lauren for MLP: FiM. You changed my life for the better, I used to hate everything (like school *facehoof*) and now after watching the show, I haven't had one bad day in over three months! Every day brings me hope (and ponies. :3) and joy. Thanks for that! :D

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    139. @Flutterfan

      I think by 11 she meant something like Adventure Time or Regular Show (their episodes are 11 minutes long), that's all

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    140. who here wouldnt KILL to see that bible...and that 2 min selling pilot?
      lauren has alwas and will allways be the goddes of the cartoon world..cant say that ive seen anything shes worked on that i DIDNT like

      very sad to see her move on from mlp but..if they stick to her bible then they should be able to keep going for a good long while if they keep getting the green light

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    141. I hope the restrictions are loosened, I really, really don't want to miss out on things because they aren't allowed to do "scary" things.

      Seriously though, I know a little girl who occasionally asks to watch me play Story of the Blanks.

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    142. Lauren Faust: you did a good thing. Thank you.

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    143. I had thought that I would never have enjoyed My Little Pony, yet alone another girls like I did with Powerpuff Girls and Kim Possible. However, it was around February when I first heard of this cartoon. My curiosity got the better of me as webcomic artists (one in particular (Pembroke)) started posting pony comics. Eventually I gave in and watched episode 12. Despite my assumption that Applebloom was the main character, I had actually enjoyed the episode but had to put it off when I still had college. But as I progressing through college in my first year, I had the sudden urge to continue watching more of this strange yet beautiful cartoon. It was then that I was watching many episodes (there were 17 at the time). Throughout the week I went to watch all the other episodes I had yet to watch.

      This was the point in which I become a brony so quickly even if I did not initially wanted to watch the other episodes ASAP. (though I did when I saw my second episode) After running out of episodes to watch, I was scouring around the interest to find out more about this cartoon. It was then that I discovered Equestria Daily. At the time there was only Sethisto managing the blog. The blog felt like the perfect place to frequently visit when I wanted more ponies.

      Then that was when I heard of the HUB. I had thought that the only way to watch the episodes were on Youtube. I desperately wanted to find out when new episodes would air. Even if the time slot initially wasn't accessible as it is now, I would always drive home from college just to see the episode when it would air live. And I never regretted watching a single episodes. Though some were not equal in quality (READ: not terrible), I finally recaptured that feeling of waiting every week for a new episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

      I even felt sad when season 1 ended that I thought that the series was over. Lest I forget this was around the time season 2 was green-lit. I felt happy to know that Hasbro did not want the series to end. I outta thank them for letting you work on this show along with your vision envisioned in the show (Pinkie Pie is a character who makes you feel like you are actually watching a cartoon, which once again not many cartoons have this ever).

      This decade did not have many cartoons that I treasured as much as this one did. I am so happy that the production team of FiM and the HUB had the series. Come to think of it, this cartoon in my mind is exactly what I loathed for since the 90's cartoons. Lauren Faust, not only did you work on this show and ensured the quality of the cartoon I felt that only the 90's cartoons had, you also had built a series that is treasured by so many bronies that this is the first ever cartoon to have forced me to dive into a fandom based on a cartoon.

      My final paragraph lies to special thanks to the entire production team for putting special care into such an awesome show thought to have been forgotten. Thank you Equestria Daily staff for managing this blog and delivering content to help me survive (not literally!) the season drought (never had this feeling from a cartoon before!). Thank you Lauren Faust for everything you have done for making one of the best cartoons ever. And thank you bronies for creating quality fan work that has made us happy .I am suprised at how fast we have grown and how fast we actually are growing. Thank you Hasbro for the approval of this series. You have made the right decision to allow Lauren Faust to work on one of your properties and made it popular.

      Once again Lauren Faust. If you are still reading this, we will greatly miss you. I hope I get to hear about your next project (or whatever you're doing) very soon...

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    144. That was absolutely epic!
      I can't wait to see what Jayson has to say once season 2 ends. Because we *are* having another one of these for every season, right?
      Please say 'Yes'. Please say 'Yes'.

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    145. Thanks again Lauren for making such a great show (and standing up for us girls that want to go into the animation industry)
      I love your work, and wish you the best of luck on your future projects!
      ^_^

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    146. This was perhaps the best interview I have read online, pretty much about anything. The questions were extremely thoughtful and intelligent, and Lauren's answers extraordinarily complete and fulfilling. I learned a lot about the production process from this interview; why it is positively educational!

      Amazingly fine stuff all around. Just wonderful!

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    147. Seriously, as a cartoonist myself, this really does pull certain emotional strings.

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    148. Amazing interview. Cheers to the entire EqD crew for landing this and sharing it with all of us, as well as for bringing us this fantastic blog to be one of the major centers for this utterly astounding fanbase. Also cheers to Ms. Faust for her vision and imagination that brought us this show that we all enjoy so thoroughly.

      I have to admit that even now I still at times have difficulty fathoming the impact this show and its unintended fandom have had and are continuing to have on the Internet. As a fan of various anime series over the years, I can tell you that anime fandom is intrinsically a cynical and somewhat negative thing. Many anime fans are used to turning their noses up at non-Japanese art or animation and there's a lot of bile tossed back and forth over various series and their relative quality.

      It's almost been a bit alien to me, then, to find a fandom that has been as supportive...as creative...as positive...as flat out awesome as the bronies have proven themselves to be time and again. It has been fantastic for me and my own creative endeavors to have gotten even just some of this support for my fics. As I write this, I am nearly finished with what will be my fourth MLP:FiM fic and I eagerly look forward to sharing it with you all.

      I step back and I look at the full body of work we have created thus far and am stunned. All the fanfics, the art, the music, the remixes, the custom toys, the in-progress games and media projects...the sheer volume of it all boggles the mind. Then I remind myself that this is based on just the first season's worth of episodes alone and has all been accomplished in less than a year's time.

      Just imagine what there will be even just halfway into season two.

      Keep being awesome, bronies. Love and tolerate each other and especially those who would try to tear us down. One day they'll come around. And never forget or doubt for a second that this is the greatest fandom for any series ever.

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    149. I must admit, I had not even heard of a new My Little Pony series until about mid-July this year. When I did, my first thoughts were, "Oh, another installment of that girls show. Great." However, after watching the show, I loved it! I never thought that I could like My Little Pony. EVER. But they have made something really special here. I've not been so moved by a show in such a while, so this was quite awesome!

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    150. Wow, just...wow. I am in shock and awe and TODAY FEELS LIKE THE BEST THING EVERRRRRRR!

      Thanks for everything, Ms. Faust. Your show has helped me mature a bit and have more confidence in myself and I can't express in words how awesome you are. Keep on doing what you do!

      To the EqD staff: The work you guys do is awe-inspiring and a boon to bronies everywhere. You're all super cool in my book, and I can't wait to meet Sethisto at BroNYCon! Should the day ever come where EqD sounds the call for all bronies to unite, I will gladly fight under this banner, screaming "TRIXIE IS BEST PONY".

      To all other bronies that are awesome: *brohoof* Nothing more needs to be said.

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    151. I...I...aw......Lauren, you're the best. But I do have to ask, why did you leave? I still haven't heard a answer for that. And I compare you leaving FiM to Steve Jobs leaving Apple. The only thing that could possibly make him stand down was old age making him reduce his stress levels, and he's still not gone. This was one of your dream experiments, why did you leave so soon? You couldn't have stuck around for Season 2 at least?
      The only consolation I have for this is that you'll still be around working on other shows. I grew up with Foster's and am now loving FiM to bits, so thanks for everything!

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    152. Best thing I've read in so long - this community is almost proof positive that the internet community may yet have a hope of showing itself to not be the complete waste people used to regard it as...so much awesome in such an unexpected place.

      I have no words to describe how much I love each and every one of us for finding the strength of character to not just enjoy something like this with an open mind, but for also managing to establish such a strong positive community that we can all be proud of. {Barring a few extremes, naturally}

      This isn't a fad, and this isn't a cult...this is an appreciation of creativity, a community of intensely amazing individuals, and a celebration of everything good and positive in the world.

      Friendship is truly Magic - let us never forget that!

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    153. @Blaze*Continues Clap* Wow, just wow... Thanks Lauren for everything you've done and good luck in the future!

      Thank you to the EQD crew for doing this, you really help make the community what it is =)

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    154. That was a read that was more than worth my time. Such insight to the creative process (and to learn that Hasbro was so awesome about it) was very interesting to see.

      I'm grateful to Lauren Faust and the entire crew behind MLP for getting me to like something I never thought I'd like in a million years. Their hard work is a testament to what excellent writing, music, and animation can do for any theme. Even if it is meant for little girls.

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    155. One last thing, that no one can disagree with here. Lauren pony is best pony.

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    156. "Working on up to 32 episodes at a time..."
      +w+

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    157. this site is now god tier, It always has been actually.

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    158. If Lauren isn't seeing this massive flow of thanks, adoration, and other words (dumb misplaced thesaurus...), somepony better link her here. NO SERIOUSLY GO NOW TO HER DA ACCOUNT AND SPAM I MEAN LET HER KNOW.

      As for my two bits, I would also like to add my name to the petition of thankfulness. Mrs. Faust, I would like to speak for everyone here that we are honored that... that...

      well, for damn near everything!

      For pouring not only time, effort, and money into My Little Pony, but also your childhood memories. For pouring out your soul into this show. For saving lives caught in the far brink of depression. For changing all of our views of both children's TV shows as well as girl's shows.

      May all you future endeavors be glad, whatever they are, wherever you go. And wherever that is, many will follow.

      Thank you.

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    159. I had, while reading, envisioned replies to several of these questions. However, by the end, my eyes were so blurred with tears of appreciation, happiness, and gratitude, that I could not properly compose them.

      Bless you, Lauren Faust. Bless you, and all those who supported and now carry on your vision for this franchise.

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    160. >Here's hoping it dispels some of the idle gossip about the intro arc.
      Why was the word "idle" included? The idiom isn't necessary; I don't see why the gossip is particularly idle --
      >Lauren mentioned Zecora in her previous answer
      >some of the idle gossip about the intro arc
      >idle gossip about the intro arc
      >idle gossip
      (ಠuಠ)

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    161. thanks to Lauren for taking time out of her schedule to acknowledge everyone once again. im really amazed at how involved she can be with the fans of her works at times, especially more recently with MLP. O:

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    162. So Lauren, how does it feel to be one of the most powerful women in the world now?

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    163. "[...] But I think it’s up to everyone as an individual to carefully and honestly evaluate their own attitudes and at least try to make things better - if only in their own lives and the way they treat people they know."

      Not only do you create one of the great series out there, but you also have an ethics of happiness (if I may use that term) which is very similar to mine: Everyone is an individual without exception, it is best to get to know others through communication rather than through images and prejudices. Just because I do not do to others what I do not want them make me, I should not judge people by prejudice if I do not want to be judged the same way.

      Respect Lauren Faust, respect! :') *Brohoof*

      PS: I would like to apologize if my English is not perfect, because it is not my native language, so... ^^;

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    164. I'd love to see an edgier season 3 pitched towards slightly older audiences. That would make my life.

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    165. @Tekaramity

      By the way, Hasbro, can we have a My Little Pony movie directed by Michael Bay?

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    166. i dont have anything funny or cool to say so....THANK YOU LAUREN. FOR EVERYTHING

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    167. oh and thanks to the EqD crew YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME TOO

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    168. Is that Lauren's OC?

      I think ANYONE would be turned off by the rather ironicly named precursor to MLP

      It's ironic that bayformers actually lost hasbro a good deal of fans while FiM gained a whole ton of fans.

      But Hasbro was already doing poorly to the TF purists that seem to dominate the fanbase, so Bayformers probably was a good idea to target another audience. Course then animated and prime came along....

      Wow a guy who worked with 2SD also did Dexter's lab AND FiM? No wonder there's so many antics in this show.

      I do think FiM's first season had a proper mix of friendship episodes and action epiosdes. Amusingly I made a music video sort of related to that which I may try to submit to ED.

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    169. Doesn't read fanfic? I guess I'm not surprised. But I still think it'd be great if stuff like Dangerous Business and Past Sinswould be great if made a reality(with considerable tweaking). Never mind accidental influence. Let's have some intentional influence. The authors would no doubt be honored to have even a few of their ideas canonized.

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    170. There was so much in that interview that I'm not even going to try to comment on all of it; I'd need pages. I'm looking forward to season 2, but I'm kind of sad we won't get to see Lauren's plans for the characters.

      Thanks, Lauren. Keep being awesome.

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    171. @busparkingonly You run into a minefield of legal issues when it comes to that unfortunately.

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    172. Lauren, I shall always remain a fan of this awesome show you have created forever.

      Cross My Heart...

      Hope to Fly...

      Stick a Cupcake in my Eye.

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    173. Great read, <3 you Lauren. Thanks for everything. :)

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    174. Thanks Lauren, for the art, the show, and the insight into making it.

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