It is a lot more common to see films based on comic books than vice-versa. What I also noticed is that the quality of many licensed products is not always, well, the best. However, I can not say this for the motion comic based on the upcoming movie 'Repo Men.' The gorgeous short adaptation of the upcoming film is brilliantly executed, with a script written by comic writer Jimmy Palmiotti ( Power Girl) and Eric Garcia ('Repo Men' screenwriter). The art in the motion comic is done by artist Dennis Calero. We recently caught up with Jimmy and Dennis to ask them a few question about the differences between working on a print comic versus a motion comic, and they had a lot to say. Check out the motion comic above, directed by Repo Men film director Miguel Sapochnik, and the brief interview with the two creators below. Repo Men hits theaters this Friday, March 17th. The motion comic is also available for download on iTunes.
Comic Vine: How did you get approached to write the script for the 'Repo Man' motion comic?
Jimmy Palmiotti: Jeff Krelitz gave me a call telling me about the project and if I was interested in writing two shorts for it. After watching some parts of the film and reading the screenplay I got the feel of what they wanted and heard the “voices” of the characters in my head and it was pretty easy to dig in from there. I had a lot of good, solid direction.
Dennis Calero: Jeff Krelitz, the producer, and I, had discussed turning Xmen Noir into a motion comic a few years ago. When the oppurtunity to work on Repo Men, I jumped at the chance.
CV: Is writing a comic script different from writing motion comic?
JP: Its different because there is a bit more direction and time restraints…but I have written for both animation and live action film before, so it really wasn’t a problem. In the end, its all about getting your character defined clearly and telling the story at hand so the point comes across. Its what I do on a daily basis..
CV: Jimmy, what is the script writing process like when you are working with a director like you did with Miguel Sapochnik and Dennis what is it like having a director?
JP: Well, we were doing two different jobs and he has enough talent that I wasn’t worried how he would handle what I was writing. My direction in the script was limited to setting up the situation and getting the point across. When you are working with someone with that much talent, you know handing it off and letting him do their thing will only make the piece even better. I was pretty excited about what Miguel was doing and when I saw the final treatment, even more pleased. I think what he put together with Dennis Calero’s illustrations is simply perfect.
DC: Odd! Ha! It was weird, but a satisfying way to collaborate. I actually learned a lot from Mig, and still am as we work on part 2. I didn't get to work with Jimmy directly with the first script, so it was much more about working with Mig. Again, the director had a very cinematic approach to working on the art, and it mainly involved the motion of the "camera." When you do static artwork, a lot of it is about implying motion and depth, but in this case, we could actually have motion, as well as sound and hearing Jude Law's actual voice come out of my drawing was weird, I assure you.
CV: How did you prepare? Did you watch the film?If so, did you enjoy it?
JP: I read the script and watch a ton of scenes to get the voice of the characters and feel for the world. I was instantly in love in what I was seeing so again, it was an easy gig. I loved it.
DC: Mig, the director, came from storyboarding and illustration work in film, so he had a plethora of material generated, including complete 3D walk-throughs of the sets for me to look at. Images of all the equipment plus I did get to see about third of the film, which was fun and dark and oddly humorous, which is a lot like me, actually.
CV: Jimmy, how was it writing with Eric Garcia?
JP: Well, I am a fan of his work…really enjoyed what he did with matchstick men and loved the screenplay for repo men, so knowing what I was working on not only had his blessing… but his talent as well on the script…well, was really exciting for me. The world he creates and the characters he brings to life are so vibrant and flushed out…this was a real treat for me to even be considered for.
CV: Dennis, is it very different drawing for a motion comic opposed to a regular comic? What is the process like?
DC: For me it was. usually when Double Barrel gets artwork, it's standard sheet work that they have to then digital cut apart and animate. Because of the way I work, inking primarily digitally, I could actually give them layered fieles which made it easier for them to animate and we could actually have a wider discussion before the art was created.
CV: Is the script for a motion comic much different than a regular comic strip?
DC: The script isn't, no, but what you do with it is. The writer calls for a lot of stuff, you know, visually, which gets altered or thrown out as the director decides on different ways to approach the presentation of a scene. So in a way, I suppose it's a lot like a movie in that aspect.