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Amber BensonAmber Benson - About Projects - Comixfan.com Interviews
By Remy Minnick
Friday 7 October 2005, by Webmaster
AMBER BENSON: SLAYING WITH SHADOWS
Amber Benson may be best known as Tara Maclay on Joss Whedon’s hit TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but her talent does not stop there. She’s written comics for Dark Horse, and co-created Ghosts of Albion alongside Christopher Golden for the BBC. She went on to star in the independent film Chance, which she not only wrote but directed and produced. Comixfan caught up with Amber Benson as she added another comic book series to her resume, ShadowPlay for IDW.
Comixfan: You’ve worked in television, animation, movies and comic books. What about the medium of comic books has kept you coming back to do more work in it? Do comic books offer you anything creatively that you are not able to do in another medium?
Amber Benson: The reason I’ve come back to comics is because it’s become the only place that I have true autonomy. This may not be the case for every writer, but for me I have had the most freedom in the comic world. And that is an extremely appealing thing.
Comixfan: Your first comic work was doing Willow and Tara: Wannablessedbe for Dark Horse comics. What have you learned about writing comics since then?
Benson: I was lucky enough to work with Chris Golden on my first few forays into the Comic World. He’s an amazing teacher and friend who has helped me to become-I hope- a better writer. He made sure that I didn’t mess anything up too badly on the Willow and Tara stuff. Now that I’m doing work on my own, I just try and write what I’d like to read and leave it at that.
Comixfan: How did you get involved with IDW, and what interested you the most about doing ShadowPlay?
Benson: I actually got involved with IDW through a friend, Steve Niles. Shadowplay was originally supposed to be for his Bloodsucker Tales series, but there were some changes and we ended up creating something original for IDW instead.
Comixfan: Ashley Wood came up with the title for the mini-series, but what does ShadowPlay mean to you?
ShadowPlay #1Benson: Shadowplay... the quiet desperation played out by all the odd little creatures that exist in the shadow of our own reality
Comixfan: Each issue of ShadowPlay contains two separate storyline, one by you and one by Christina Z. What is your story about?
Benson: Demon Father John’s Pinwheel Blues is about...well, if Oliver Twist and a vampire mated this would be their cuddly little baby.
Comixfan: What has it been like working with Ben Templesmith?
Benson: Ben is an amazingly gifted artist. It’s been such an honor to get to work with him. He brings my little world to life in incredible detail, rendering my ideas so beautifully. The stuff looks absolutely gorgeous.
Comixfan: You are currently filming in Romania. What project are you working on, and how is it going?
Benson: I’m making a film for the Sci-Fi channel called Gryphon in Romania as we speak. I get to be a warrior princess and kick a little ass. If only they knew the real, clutzy me, they’d have never let her near the sword and the cross bow and the horses.
Comixfan: In any medium, what do you find to be the biggest strength of your writing and what do you think a good story needs to capture today’s audience?
Benson: It’s taken me a long time to realize that the only person you can ever creatively please is yourself. Now I strive to create things that move me, things that I would enjoy reading. Then it ceases to matter what anyone else thinks about your work. You can only do what is inside you and you must learn to never second guess yourself. Yes, other people’s input can be helpful, but your must follow your own instinct and do what you think best suites your creative endeavor. A good story can encompass the life span of a single tear or the epic history of an entire civilization... The writer has to create a story that has a unique voice, that’s all.
Comixfan: You’ve worked with Christopher Golden on Ghosts of Albion for the BBC, what was that experience like and is there more Ghosts of Albion to come? How does directing an animated series vary from directing live action?
ShadowPlay #1Benson: Chris and I just completed a novel based on the GOA universe for Del Rey which will be coming out the beginning of November. Creating that series for the BBC was really invigorating. We got to create a whole new world, and then see it come to life in half the time it would take in film or television. I actually directed the first animated installment, which meant that I was in charge of creating the soundtrack for the piece. I worked with the actors and created the soundscape - music, sound effects, etc. The whole thing wa a wonderful experience. But it didn’t differ that much from live action directing, as I was still working on a one on one basis with the actors.
Comixfan: What other projects do Amber Benson fans have to look forward to?
Benson: I’ve got the Ghosts of Albion: Accursed coming out from Del Rey in November, I’ve got Shadowplay in October, and three movies hopefully coming out next year, as well as Gryphon for the Sci-Fi Channel. I’ve been a pretty busy girl this year.
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