• Lauren Faust Ponychan Q&A Compiled

    Good news! You all get to join me in being lazy tonight.  !!Rainbow Dash from Ponychan compiled up everything from her thread earlier and sent it over to us.  Head on down below the break for a whole boatload of insight into our favorite pony show straight from the Fausticorn's mouth. 

    Q: I gotta ask, do you think you'll ever get to chat without it turning into a Q&A?

    A: I dunno. I guess we'll see, right?

    Q: So what's up?

    A: Not much. I worked late tonight. Glad to be home. What's going on around here?

    Q:You said you intended for Twilight to eventually replace Celestia. Does that mean you intended for Celestia to eventually die/be otherwise written off?

    A: I think it's best for me to keep what my plans were to myself. It would be unfair to the current showrunners and their plans. Maybe someday, though.

    Q: what can we look forward to for your current and future projects?
    Also, do you think you'll be able to implement the plans you had for MLP into some other incarnation? Thinly veiled suggestion, I know.

    A: I will be working on developing a few projects at once over the next several months. Nothing is concrete yet.
    And I've thought about it.

    Q: Animated movies like Wall-E and Wreck-it Ralph have gained mainstream acceptance as something that can be enjoyed by anyone, not just children. When, if ever, do you think cartoons will reach the same status?

    A: We have to wait until the folks with the money are willing to give something like that a try, and for audiences to be open to the idea. Over the years, Craig and I have met more and more parents who enjoy some of our shows with their kids. I think as the newer generations have kids, we may see it happen more. Hope so.

    Q: Lauren, I've been dying to know, what was your ultimate plan for scootaloo? Also is she really an orphan? In case you didn't notice, she's my fav

    A: I can't say I ever Scootaloo as an orphan. However, I did not have specific plans for what her family deal was. If in the process of making the show it came to define, we would have done it then. Somethings you plan from the start, some things you come up with as you go.

    Q: Do you watch the shows you work on, or does being so involved in the whole development process kinda burn them out for you?

    A: I do watch the episodes I worked on. However, having worked on them from the beginning definitely warps your ability to view them. I don't think you ever see them the same way viewers do.

    Q: Did you have plans for the cmc's eventual cutie marks, or was that open ended?

    A: I had plans for Scoots and Belle, but I was still working out Apple Bloom's.

    Q: You've mentioned you had a lot of ideas for your characters that you never got to see through. Whatever those plans were, did you talk to Jayson or Meghan about what they were so that, if they chose, they could still use those plans?
    For example, you mentioned in one interview that Zecora would've been like a second mentor in Twilight, and she wound up playing that role in one of the recent episodes.

    A: I may have said a few things. I can't remember who I told what. Zecora as mentor was actually in the bible.

    Q: If a unicorn can become an alicorn, can a pegasus or earth pony become one too?

    A: In my book, yes.

    Q: Actually, I'm curious. Are you finding that producers and the like are getting more open to major/lead female characters in animated material given the success of MLP, Littlest Pet Shop, and Legend of Korra?

    A: Absolutely not. Despite it's popularity, MLP doesn't get great ratings--- not compared to bigger networks, anyway.

    Q: Was Equestria Girls in the plans when you were still working on the show?

    A: Nope.

    Q: What does being a princess in Equestria actually mean?

    A: For me it meant having certain responsibilities in terms of running the country--- just like it does in real life. Not sure what it means currently.

    Q: I'm not a Pony Channer by habit, I'm mainly here because I missed your visit to 4chan, that said It is nice to have the opportunity, on a thread on 4chan there is a debate on how much of the Royal Wedding was your work vs what was changed, if you have answered this many times before I apologise, I know that the third Alicorn was definitely not in the plan, but that's about all I can see for sure given the overall strength of the episode

    A: I ran the story room and broke the story with Rob and Meghan. I didn't see the final episode, so outside of the name and pony-type change for Cadence, I don't know what was altered.

    Q: Anyways I just was curious to know if your aloud to answer, which tv show company did you like working for more? Cartoon Network with the Power Puff Girls? or The Hub with Ponies. Was there big differences between the two stations?

    A: I must admit I enjoyed Cartoon Network more. They had more resources, a lot of experience behind them, and I was working at the studio directly with the crew, which was more fun than working remotely from my home office, which got lonely.

    Q: Lauren, In reference to all the controversial things that have happened...could we have prevented this? Do we as fans have some culpability in what has become of our beloved ponies?

    A: I don't think so.

    Q: Lauren, I loved the letters to Celestia, especially when they became a major plot point of the second season's opening in restoring Twilight's faith in her friends using her own words. Were you guys directed to include the letters by the network? Why were they eventually phased out as season 2 went on?

    A: When developing the show, I was asked to have some sort of defining "friendship device" in each show. Someone initially suggested some sort of "move," which I thought was kind of terrible. One of the execs and I worked out the Mork and Mindy style letter at the end to define the friendship lesson. I think it worked out well. By Season 2, the Hub said we didn't have to keep doing them, but I liked them and kept them up in Season 2 (did they ever stop them?) They just became so definitive of the show to me, it felt weird to let them go. I think I would've kept them going indefinitely.

    Q: Mrs. Faust, did you have any plans for more including creatures from different cultures of the world, were there and could there be more of them in the future, and could we possibly see more in the future?
    Also did you come up with the idea of Tartarus existing in the Ponyverse?

    A: Yes, I was planning/hoping for more creatures and more cultures---- I wanted Viking Caribou!!!!! I'm not entirely sure who came up with Tartarus in the story meeting room, but I do think it was me. Seems like my kind of gag.

    Q: Ok, I have a question for Faust on behalf of /mlp/
    Did you ever made any sketch or character concept of A.J, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's parents, or they were just meant to stay offscreen?
    We often ponder what could have been in contrast of what actually happened.

    A: I did want AJ's parents to have passed away, but I never defined it (when I was running it) because I didn't think they would allow it. I was holding out to see if those restrictions would change. I had hoped to make RD's mom G1 Firefly. I never did sketch any of the parents, and only had vague ideas of who they were or what they did. For details like that I would usually wait until a story warranted a definition, then define it according to the needs of the story. Rarity's parents, for example, where never planned until we needed then for the episode. Neither were Pinkie Pie's

    Q: Did you have any characters you wanted to introduce and the voices behind them ala DeLancie and Discord? Perhaps Starswirl the Bearded as another Star Trek alumni?
    A: I never, ever, ever assume I can cast a celebrity. Many don't want to slum in cartoons unless it's for a place like Disney, and even then it can be a long shot. Getting John was a shocker to me.

    Q: Really? Celebrities have a stigma against doing cartoon voice overs?
    A: Yes! We approached a few for SBFF and they all said no!!!

    Q: Was it your idea to have Twilight's mom me G1 Twilight? Because that was amazing.

    A: Yes. Though I wish the colors were even more accurate. I felt to nerdy to call the note.

    Q: Ms. Faust, if I may, why is it that the pigs and goats seem to lack sentience?
    Was this not your idea or just something that slipped through the cracks?

    A: I would've made goats sentient, but not pigs. (only ungulates and ruminants)

    Q: I've got a question concerning Luna/Nightmare Moon. In the show, we're not told what (if any) evil force may have affected Luna to make her evil. I wanted to ask, was Luna's turn to evil her own decision alone, or was it influenced by some evil force that hasn't been (and might never be) revealed?

    A: Aaaaah--- can't answer that. I'd be giving away too much of what I had planned.

    Q: What was the hardest part about working on the show when you were working on it?

    A: Schedule. It was horrendous.

    Q: Lauren, was it your idea to have the shot for shot remake of the Star Wars scene in the season 2 opener? Because that may have been my favorite part.

    A: No. The directors and the story artist planned it. I died laughing when they showed it to me.

    Q: Do you feel that shows and toys directed at young girls have recently gotten better, worse, or not changed?

    A: I think toys are getting worse and worse. I've seen some shows that at least seem to be trying. I don't see a lot that I like, unfortunately.

    Q: Did you want to add any new pony type to the show?

    A: I had an idea for seaponies. Wasn't sure about it though.

    Q: Do you know what was Craig's inspiration to create the PPG episode 'Meet the Beat Alls'? You know, the Beatles tribute episode.
    Why did he decide to create an episode dedicated to them? Is he (or you) a fan of Beatles?

    A: We are both HEE-YUGE Beatles fans.

    Q: Do you watch Doctor Who?

    A: No. And I am ashamed. Where do I even start?!?

    Q: Lauren, without getting into the details of your departure from the show, is there any possibility of reconciliation and your return to the creative team in some capacity if both parties could come to an understanding? Or are those bridges burned and everything behind you by now?

    A: I have had a hard time of letting go of MLP, but I really think I have to move on. I hope some of the themes I wanted to explore can be brought into future projects. I think I can do more of what I'd like to if I wasn't restricted to such a very young audience. Making something for kids over 10 would be more satisfying.

    Q: So Lauren, why don't you update your DA gallery? Surely, you must have things worth sharing with the world.

    A: I never have time to draw!!! It's the great tragedy of my life! And when I do, it's for work and I'm not allowed to share it!

    Q: It would be nice if you could share your show bible and your original ideas with the people working on the comics.
    They're not strictly canonical, but if I'm entirely honest I'm enjoying them way more than the show after you left.

    A: I think that bible might be the best thing I've ever done. I'm insanely proud of it. I'd love to share it, but it's not mine to share. Maybe someday.

    Q: Lauren if you had the chance, would you build your own high fantasy television show with no pre-established brand placed on it? You and the team did a great job with building a universe in FiM using greek and roman mythology but I wonder if you'd be willing to do something like this without the small crutch of an already established ruleset.

    A: Believe it or not, restrictions like that are actually helpful. When you have a blank slate, and the possibilities are endless, you get overwhelmed quick and it hard to creatively commit to ideas. If you have source material, it's more about finding connections and filling in blanks. I actually enjoy it.
    Not that I wouldn't do something original. The challenge could be fun if I had the right support

    Q: Did you have any help creating the bible, or was it all you? Any tips you could share for helping other creative designers with their own settings?
    A: I had help from Paul Rudish (wait until you see his Mickey Mouse shorts- OH. EM. JEE.) And bg designer Dave Dunnett and colorist Martin Ansolobehere.

    Q: did he work on that old style short that is coming out "get on your horse" i think it is called? the one using old Walt Disney recordings.
    A: WATCH IT NOW!!!!! http://video.disney.com/watch/disneychannel-croissant-de-triomphe-4d7b3aae690a98650d776d97

    Q: Hey Faust, as an animation fan from /co/ I love how MLP revealed the double standard regarding girl and boy shows to (some) of the world.
    Do you have any idea how to repeat that? What would be for you the perfect "girl" show that'd attract everyone?

    A: I think it's just about writing great stories and avoiding the restrictions of normal girl fare---- stuff for girls is either dumbed-down, goody-two-shoes-y and terribly art directed. There is a way to portray girls and their interests in a truly entertaining way, and as long as people aren't afraid of cooties, there's no reason everyone can't enjoy great stories, no matter what the themes.