QUESTION: So, are you happy being an animation director?

LM: It’s never been an easy job. It can be draining. But it’s still a really fun job. I mean, we get to work on great stories with iconic characters. I know people who would kill to work on Batman and Superman. When you think of it that way — well, if I weren’t working in this job, I’d definitely want to. A little bit of the excitement is taken off because I’ve done it so many times, but it’s still a really cool thing to do.

SL: I love doing long-form animation. I’ve been offered to go back to TV series, but I like this better. Direct-to-videos are hard — you have a short amount of time to create a world from the ground up every time and, once it’s done, it goes on the shelf and you move on — but I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with BSP (Broadcast, Standards & Practices — the network’s content watchdogs). What I love most is that you get to tell stories people can love, you can have emotional pain and great action, and you get to work with things that are too adult for children’s broadcasting. That’s the stuff that I like — telling full stories. So I’m very happy.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite part of the job?

LM: The best part is when you see the film start to come back (from overseas animation studios) and it’s looking good. That’s a really nice part. When you see it coming together to be something good, that’s very satisfying. You know all your hard work has paid off.

SL: I think it has to be working with the story and the characters. I love the development of the characters and how they fit into the story, helping their growth, even if it’s subtle or small. I like finding the core of what our story is about and trying to push that story. I think most of the time it’s about the characters and their conflicts in the beginning, and how they resolve those conflicts. On this film, we were able to do that a lot even after production had been underway — particularly with Batman’s motivation, and showing why it was important for him to stay behind and get Watchtower online. Superman believes one thing; Batman has a different opinion. It’s a conflict, and it pays off later.

QUESTION: You’ve been living with this film for well over a year. Can you still watch and enjoy it?

LM: I enjoy it most with a new audience. You get to see their reactions, and it makes me look at it in a new light. I enjoy watching all of our movies, which is a good thing — it’s nice to be able to watch what you’ve done and feel good about it.

SL: It’s hard sometimes, because when you’re making a movie, there’s so many things you want and wish for, and you still tend to see the things that are missing. In this case, I’m comfortable watching because there are so many things that were done right. I’m not comfortable watching some of my older stuff. But this is one of the best movies I’ve ever worked on, and it’s very satisfying. I think there’s the right amount of action, good conflict, good closure, and intelligent characters. They’re not just one-dimensional characters. So it’s satisfying to watch.

QUESTION: What’s the DC Universe film you hope to direct some day?

LM: I want that Aquaman project, but I doubt we’ll every make it.

SL: I’d love to do Sandman from the Vertigo line. I don’t know what kind of story that would be, but I’d love to work with Neil Gaiman because I really loved those comics.

QUESTION: Now that you can see the final product, how do the voices match their animated characters?

LM: Gina Torres and James Woods are probably my favorites. Everybody loves Owlman. He’s such a unique character. Gina is really good as Superwoman — she has this strong, seductive, confident voice, and it makes you fear and respect her. Mark Harmon is really good as Superman. At first I was worried because I thought his age might come through, but his voice really works well. It’s funny because when we started watching the voice with the animation, it struck us how you could hear little tones of George Newbern and Tim Daly — two of our regular Supermans — in his voice, which is pretty cool.

SL: I really liked Mark Harmon — he’s got a gentle streak and it goes really well with the strength of his voice. When he was in the recording booth, I thought he might be too gentle, but it works even in the scenes where he has to be more assertive or powerful. I think it works really well because it never crosses that line of him being mean or not genuine or sneaky. It’s very pure, just as Superman should be.

I also thought Josh Keaton did a great job as Flash. He’s hilarious. So much of these movies are based on the acting, and Josh really sold it. The chemistry between characters was good, too. James Woods and Gina Torres have this strange relationship, and their acting makes them real characters. They really engaged their personalities. That’s what good actors do. The voices in this cast really flesh out the characters and give them texture.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s official website.

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About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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