The Jeph Loeb Interview

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OG: Was it hard transitioning from the Buffy universe to Smallville? Do you ever accidentally call Pete "The Black Xander" or want to bring Willow in to make out with Chloe? JL: Hmmm...Okay, after I stopped laughing from the question, no, I don't get my wires crossed, although I have such respect for the writers and Joss at Buffy that it did get a little tiresome for the Smallville staff to hear about "Well, on Buffy they did this" or "On Buffy they did THAT." It was like talking to your new wife about your ex-wife! (Not that I've ever done that.) So, as I grew into Smallville, most of that stuff was left as giant memories. Bottom line, they are both wonderful shows, run by enormously talented people whom I'm very lucky to be associated with. OG: Do you think the writing dynamic would be changed if the offices were in a state with looser polygamy laws? JL: Yes. We'd get nothing done. OG: Any chance Smallville might one day be an animated series? JL: Anything is possible. I leave that kind of big-sky thinking to Al Gough and Miles Millar -- the two creators and exec producers of the show. OG: What's the writing process like on Smallville? How much direct control do Al Gough and Miles Millar take on in going over the scripts and in what happens in individual episodes? JL: We have a writing staff of eight folks, including me, that is entirely overseen by Al and Miles. We sit in a huge room and "break" stories all day (that is, take the story and go from concept, to short paragraph, to detailed outline.) Then, the outline is assigned a writer from the staff (which could include Al and Miles), and the writer goes off and writes the first draft. From there, the writer gets input on the script from the studio, the network, and most importantly, from other writers. It grows as it takes into account the needs of production and costs. But, it all comes down to Al and Miles, who are there at every step of the way -- making it better. They are extremely encouraging to try new things, knock down new doors. Their vision is quite strong, which is what it takes to make a successful series. OG: About production stuff -- how often does it happen that things can't be done on the show for money reasons? Have you had any really cool ideas where you said, "Wow, that would be great, but it would be too elaborate to do the special effects for that"?

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