• Director Panel with Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller

    Interested in what goes on at the top of the food chain over at DHX? Jim and Jayson held a panel here at the wonderful world of BABSCon explaining just that! Everything from our influence on the characters to the entire Weird Al story was fleshed out.  Head on down below the break to read it all!

    (These guys are hilarious, and this is the most bare-bones explanation of their responses, so be sure to watch the stream once it's on Youtube)

    Quick Notes:

    DJ-Pon3 was just an afterthought DJ for fun during the episode, and evolved because of us. She probably never would have returned. Hasbro really liked the fan reaction and wanted more.

    Bulk Biceps/snowflake was born out out of a joke at a board meeting about a random pony that kept
    interrupting with "YEEAH!" He eventually ended up with massive muscles and an actual part in the show.

    Episodes are completed about 8 Weeks ahead of the air date.

    They feel satisfied with the overall arc of season 4.

    They still have Lauren's intentions in mind, asking themselves how she would have done things and staying true to the characters that were established by her, with their own spin on it of course. They constantly ask themselves how they can make it more entertaining and fun to watch. 

    They were born in 1976 and 1977, so expect the Star Wars and general pop culture references to continue long into the future.

    Jayson spent quite a few nights trying to get the live action shot of Boneless to work, including crafting the rubber chicken on his own.


    What's the difference between a 22 minute episode and full movie from your end?
    In a small episode they are much more stressed for time to keep it within the required length.  A lot of things are cut to make room.
    In a longer format, you don't need to sacrifice as many of the scenes you really want to cover, and it lets you build up the scenes longer. 

    Did Equestria Girls halve season 3?
    No, they knew season 3 was 13 episodes before Equestria Girls even popped up.  It was a budget thing. They had decided on season 3 before the craze of bronydom hit, so the ones funding the entire idea of a g4 revamp had to be cautious.

    First reaction to a job working on Pony?
    A lot of them weren't too excited to work on a show for little girls, but the material Lauren came up with sold them on it for the most part. 

    Do you see yourselves as a longer term cartoon like the Simpsons?
    With every loose thead that is tied up, another new chance appears (twilight becoming a princess).  Each season hopefully has a satisfying end with potential to explore more until Hasbro stops throwing money at it.

    How much influence does Hasbro have over the overall show?
    The writers come up with episode ideas, sometimes Hasbro execs bring something up, and they too bring some up.  Everyone collaborates on each idea.  Sometimes Hasbro doesn't like the direction something is going in with the brand, but overall they are super supportive of what they want to do.  Mike Vogel and @Wheelofcheese really help out. 

    What inspired them to become directors?
    Jayson started as an animator without ever thinking he'd become a director, but over time with more experience and interest he started getting more involved with stuff further up the chain.  Jim had a similiar story, with more focus on story telling. 

    What things did you love that you had to leave behind due to room?
    The G1 Face in Too Many Pinkie Pies was cut twice before finally making it into season 3. In Luna Eclipsed Rarity dresses Rarity as a pink princess, complete with Tabitha already finishing the voice acting on it, but there wasn't any room for it. 

    Watercooler talks around the office?
    Game of Thrones, Breaking bad, Cosmos, general science stuff, and dorky things overall.

    Whats going on with the wilhelm scream in MLP?
    It is a long standing tradition with audio guys. They like to give everyone the chance to add fun little things. Sometimes they have to axe it just because it takes away from the narrative. (This part turned into a whole bunch of fart jokes, dubstep, and other general sillyness)

    Do you ever send something to Hasbro just to see if it will be rejected?
    They like to push it as far as possible, because a lot of times Hasbro will surprisingly agree to something.  They prefer to ask forgiveness not permission. Sometimes simple things in the show like ponies wearing safety gear or objects being less sharp looking are requested. 

    How was it to work with Weird Al? And the general Weird Al Story:

    When the PMV popped up covering Weird Al's song, and he responded to it, Jayson sent him a message for fun asking if he'd like to voice a character on the show.  After an entire year of, Al finally sent him a direct message apologizing for taking so long to get back to him, and saying he'd be up for it. 

    Jayson got to fly down to L.A. to work with Weird Al.  He was extremely friendly and easygoing about the entire thing.  He really cared about making it good, including hours to almost a day of music recording.  He wanted it to be absolutely perfect and commited fully.  The coolest guy ever essentially.

    When the episode aired, Jayson got an email from Al saying it was the best episode he had ever seen and that he and his daughter were over the moon with how well it turned out. 

    Flash Questions:

    Do they enjoy the animation that comes out of the fandom?

    Have you ever had a script axed completely?