• BABSCon - Show Writer Panel Day 2

    Ex: Looks good in a hat

    It's day two here in the wonderful world of BABScon, and with it brought yet another writer panel following the one from yesterday.  The staffers up front were noticeably dead tired, what with the 10AM start time of this thing.  The human body wasn't meant to wake up in the morning. It's just unnatural! Especially when alcohol is involved!

    Regardless of how exhausted they were, we still had a whole bunch of Season 4, Future episodes, Sea Ponies, and other questions answered. Head on down below to break for all of it!

    On the panel this time around: 

    • Meghan McCarthy
    • Natasha Levinger
    • M.A. Larson
    • Amy Keating Rogers
    • Josh Haber

    Note: These are summarized general responses

    Future Episodes

    How often are you told by Hasbro to write a story around a product?
    Meghan: Its actually a small percentage.
    Natasha: She wishes you wouldn't blame them (the writers) when its obvious.

    Is Princess Skyla real?
    She is just a toy as far as they know.

    Will we see more character development for Spike?
    He has two really good episodes coming up. They see him as a little kid in a way, with the innocent accidents that go along with that role.

    Failed pitches?
    Amy: Some of hers ended up as journal passages in the Journal of the Two Sisters book.
    Larson: A friendship between Luna and Applejack at the beach.

    Are the cutie mark crusaders going to get their marks soon?
    Of course, and become alicorns too

    What was your favorite song? 
    Meghan: This Day Aria, and an upcoming song in season 4
    Larson:  At the Gala
    Amy: Smile Song
    Josh: Apples to the Core

    Any more Doctor Who references?
    Meghan: Probably!

    Will Maud Pie ever return?
    They love her, and hope she can come back. She should have a spinoff series.

    What do you think of sea ponies?
    Amy keeps pitching them and Meghan keeps turning them down.
    Larson: Seaponies would be really good friends with Skyla

    Will Flutterbat return?
    They dont know, anything is possible.

    Will changelings return?
    Meghan: how do you know you haven't?

    Personal/Past Season Questions

    Do any of you have any talents you have wanted to work into episodes?

    Amy: The Pinkie Pie rap was a lot of fun. She likes making up silly songs and raps. 
    Meghan: She likes Soccer, and wanted to add Soccer!

    What characters do you find the most difficult to write?
    Meghan: Applejack because she's the most even keel. Its hard to push her to places that are fun.
    Larson: Spike because he's a little bit generic.
    Amy: Spike again. The interaction between the mane 6 is easier.
    Natasha: Applejack again
    Josh: Twilight due to how much needs to go into the character to keep the story solid. Shes more complex and hard to joke around with unlike Pinkie Pie who is more random.

    Favorite characters to write for as a pair?
    Josh: Rarity and Applejack in simple ways, or Applejack and Rainbow Dash in Castlemania.
    Meghan: Also Rarity and Applejack, because they have such contrasting personalities but still manage to be friends
    Larson: Lyra and Bonbon
    Amy: Rainbow Dash and Twilight

    Plots they wrote that were too serious for a kids show
    Meghan: There was one that they were afraid would make people cry.  No details given on it though. 

    How important are the horse puns for the show?
    They totally hold the show together. They ran a summit where they spent the entire time just writing horse puns.

    Do you ever work with the animators directly to make sure everything happens as you wanted it to? 
    The animation staff is in Canada while the writers are down here. Things between the teams aren't completely direct outside of the usual forms of digital communication, but they pull it off really well anyway.

    What is your favorite style of comedy?
    Natalie: Where people are lying and have to keep lying to get out of it
    Larson: Situational comedy
    Amy: I Love Lucy Style

    Would you change anything about season 4?
    Meghan is pretty pleased about it so far. Josh wishes it was longer.

    What has M.A.  Larson been doing since season 3 while off season 4?
    Wrote a book, and a screenplay for a movie based on it.

    What was your original goal for MLP and how did it change?
    Lauren's original goal was to create an awesome show for girls with strong female characters. It has been achieved.

    Are we reading into things too deeply?
    They have a general plan, but the story dictates what comes next. It just sort of happens. They put a lot of thought into it, and Hasbro approves and denies things as they come. Its a combination of the two while writing the scripts to make things interesting and funny. The fandom being overly critical is just part of the experience of interacting with art and perfectly natural.

    With the CMC getting older and their voices changing, will that change how they are written?
    Meghan: they are probably skilled enough to sound the same.

    What were you thinking when you were making Sunset Shimmer?
    Meghan thought of the worst manipulative and evil girl possible in college and ran with it.

    What is your personal favorite aspect of the show?
    Meghan: That its about something, and the lesson in each episode dealing with real life conflicts.
    Amy: How happy it is compared to the more jerky shows out there in kids TV.
    Josh: You can watch it with your younger kids without having reservations about them being exposed to inappropriate content.
    Larson: Just how nice it is. He is sick of the cynical stuff. Everything is well timed jokewise