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Derpy Hooves News Feed

Sunday, January 8, 2012

News from BroNYCon

By midori-no-ink, via bronycon.org

Thanks to EverFree Radio who livestreamed almost the whole BroNYCon, I was able to take part in that marvelous event. Thanks so much! Many thanks also to anyone who made the event possible in the first place.

At the moment I can only draw on my memory, my notes, and the raw recordings on Justin.tv for compiling this post. However, I’m looking forward to EverFree Radio putting up wonderfully edited recordings of all the important events, and then I can also add the seconds based on the authoritative source material.

Update 2012-01-12 16:48Z: The final recordings are up. EverFree Radio collaborated with Barnard Film (who will soon start the production of a live-action Friendship is Magic movie, Ecce Bronies) in compiling a complete recording of the voice actors panel. Their recording of the interview with Daniel Ingram is available too. These are the basis for the minutes I give in parentheses.

The events I’m focusing on here are the Q & A session with the voice actors and the interview with Daniel Ingram. Enjoy my trademark unordered lists after the break.

First, the voice actors Q & A:
  • The most important bit first: Tabitha St. German still always has cookies to make the joy of the recording sessions complete. (26:05)
  • The mysterious smallish studio where Madeleine Peters went to record the CMC theme may have been the studio of a friend of Daniel Ingram which Ashleigh Ball mentioned hesitatingly: “We did some of the singing at Daniel Ingram’s friend’s studio, I think it was, at the beginning, but now we’re doing everything at Studio B.” (27:04)
  • When asked about their current work for the show, the VAs were perfectly evasive. On the other hand they openly talked about season three in more general terms. Until early December the recording—at least that of a song—had only reached the season three Christmas episode, according to a tweet by Shannon Chan-Kent she has since deleted. The VAs interviewed by EverFree Radio roughly confirm this time frame. In the Madeleine Peters interview there is also an ominous sentence that slightly suggested to me that there might be some sort of pony dearth or a hiatus ahead. However, in response to a question about her singing, Ashleigh Ball said “I’m totally excited for future episodes of whether I’ll be singing or not.” At that point she hesitated and Andrea Libman suggested “Maybe, kind of, sort of”; Ashleigh continued, “Maybe… Who knows what’s going to happen… I don’t know… Nothing…”; and Nicole Oliver helped out with a “Lalalalala!” (1:08:30) So apparently there are episodes beyond S03E13 in the planning. Thank Celestia! The only way I can think of to reconcile this with the possible hiatus would be that season three remains cut short but a fourth season (perhaps premiering in late 2013) is on the horizon. This is mere speculation of course. Hasbro may want to have a well-rounded sixty-five episodes ready for syndication but still continue the show.
  • When asked to imitate what they think Derpy’s voice might sound like, there was first confusion over Derpy’s gender, then the moderators pointed out that they may be “treading thin ice” with regard to “future revelations” and “contract things.” Ashleigh then wondered “Does she not have a voice yet?” “No,” except for that one legendary word. At this point the VAs tried to mock-inconspicuously segue to the next question: “We’re not at liberty to say.” (1:00:32) So it seems Derpy gets a voice; and given that they seemed so confused by the fact that we weren’t aware of this, and given that Jayson Thiessen has mentioned a “Derpy bit,” it’s probably going to happen in season two already. (I forgot to include this at first. Thanks to TheVampirate for reminding me!)
  • It was wonderful to see how Nicole Oliver constantly took charge of caring and watching out for everypony, whether on stage or in the audience.
  • I noticed this dead-on perfect advice by Nicole Oliver for dealing with haters only just now while adding the minutes: “I think the way I’d rather address it all is, we’re here for positivity, and you know who you are, you know what you’re about, and you don’t have to prove anything to anybody else but yourself.” (58:04) I’ll use this quote as my standard rebuttal now whenever the topic comes up. Stop hiding your art, your body, your orientation, your meetups just to make the fandom ore palatable to bigots!
  • Shout-outs were shouted out for Maddy Peters’s fundraiser for World Vision, as well as the Humble Brony Bundle and Bronies for Good, who are wonderful partners of Your Siblings! (32:25)

And second, Daniel Ingram:
  • He describes “the whole process of putting a song together,” which “takes three or four months in some cases.” Usually, he first gets the script, the lyrics, and directions on how long the song should be (recently, however, they let him write the lyrics more often), then composes it and records a demo—usually with Shannon Chan-Kent or Rebecca Shoichet accompanying his piano—and sends it off to Hasbro. If they approve, the actual production starts, where they add the individual instruments and the whole orchestra. Only months later the vocals are recorded with the actual voice actors. (13:58, 15:18) I’ve noticed that such data can be valuable for testing or improving the consistency of one’s mental timelines.
  • Daniel didn’t actually really get the permissions from Hasbro to publish the two demos on his SoundCloud account. (18:50) Thanks Daniel! Who knows if we’d have them otherwise.
  • The CMC song came up again. Daniel said that there was one version where the three VAs, all brilliant singers, were instructed to sing badly. This version, however, was rejected by Hasbro for being not quite bad enough. The final version was made even worse, but on a level that may not be immediately apparent to not so musically-skilled ponies. (20:00) These latter two versions are probably what also Maddy Peters referred to. The version Sibsy (during a season two mareathon) and Jayson Thiessen (on the last BroNYCon) referred to—sung by “a totally different singer”—may have been a demo Daniel recorded months earlier. Or at least this is my current hypothesis. He hopes that he’ll get an opportunity to record a good version at some point.
  • Writing underscore (background music) is much more stressful in his experience. William Anderson regularly has to produce almost twenty-two minutes worth of music within a week. (24:07) Huge kudos! The underscore is written some eight or nine months after Daniel composes the songs.
  • Besides At the Gala, he has “a bunch of new favorites now.” Many of which we may not know yet. (32:02)
  • At first he requested “a really good acoustic version of Pinkie Pie’s Smile Song.” Everypony was a mix of startled, amazed, and unbelieving. The moderator quickly asked whether he was really referring to “the unreleased Pinkie Pie Smile Song,” and Daniel quickly corrected himself: “I meant the Laughter Song.” Phew, mindfuck averted. (34:41) But Daniel, that song has even been covered on a bucking bike already.
  • Almost toward the end, the worst possible thing happened: The very moment Daniel started singing his guitar version of the Laughter Song, Skype derped bad. (39:25) Perhaps the bits that got through can be used for some vocal glitching? I know Daymare will appreciate it.

Yup, that’s all I got thus far. (Apart from a new magical friendship.) It’s past 5 a.m. again, and again I’m involuntarily reminded of a certain song. Sleep well, everypony.

Update 2012-01-09 06:29Z: I added a mention of the Derpy question to the VA summary. Thanks to TheVampirate for reminding me. Their comment is below.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot the part about Derpy's voice possibly existing. When asked to do their version of what derpy would sound like if she had a voice they were kinda like 'she doesn't?' and then their answer became kinda like no comment.