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The Simpsons Movie Screening and Q&A


Tomorrow night (11/6), at the Directors Guild (7920 Sunset Blvd.), Asifa-Hollywood is screening The Simpsons Movie – preceeded by a reception (at 6:30pm) and succeeded (at 9pm) by a question and answer session with the filmmakers. There are still a few seats available – RSVP to (310) 369-8033

I’ll have the honor of moderating a Q&A with creator Matt Groening, director David Silverman, writer-producers Al Jean, Mike Scully and executive producer James L. Brooks. I’ve never met Brooks before and that will be quite a thrill. He’s one of Hollywood’s greats (Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi and on and on… not to mention Carleton Your Doorman and The Critic).

If you can’t make it tomorrow night – and keeping the questions strictly related to The Simpsons – what do you think I should ask Brooks, Groening, Silverman, Scully and Jean?

  • “Could you guys bring back Sam Simon? Man, he was FUNNY!”

  • AmPhotog

    There is a growing trend toward studios creating live-action productions of popular cartoons and animation properties. Would you ever green-light a live action movie/feature of The Simpsons?

  • Will the Tracey Ullman show shorts ever be released on DVD?

    What’s the deal with the never-completed short “Nazis on Tap”?

    Is the Writers Guild strike going to have a huge effect on the show?

    Why aren’t there a lot of extras on the upcoming DVD of the Simpsons Movie, especially the one-or-two-more-movie’s worth of deleted scenes?

  • Ron

    Why did you wait so long? Why didn’t you come out with the movie ten years ago?

  • Was the production of an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon short ever considered with the release of the Simpson’s movie? (or any other Fox movie?)

  • robiscus

    why didn’t you re-assemble the writing teams from the genius 4th, 5th, and 6th seasons instead of helming the writing abilities yourselves?
    especially since you haven’t ever done the majority of the writing?

    because it showed in the movie…

  • How do you keep a property like the Simpsons ‘fresh’ after a decade?

    How long do you see the series continuing on television?
    (not syndication)

    Are there more Simpson films in the future??

  • Near the end of the movie, when Homer and Bart are once again hammering shingles up on their roof, a bird sings. What is the bird, how was it chosen, and where did the sound file come from? It’s a bit hard to identify the bird and although I think I know what it is, I would like to be sure!

    Natural sounds in movies really matter. Filmmakers go to great lengths for accuracy but often throw in natural sounds, particularly bird sounds, “willy nilly” which can result in some egregious avian bloopers. This particular song, if it’s what I think it is, would narrow down the number of potential Springfields by about 50%!

  • tom

    I’d ask if it’s more or less difficult producing the program now, in a popular culture that they’ve already made so Simpsons-like.

    Fox seems to have allowed other Groening- created pitches and one show to wither and die without any real support. Is there any obvious reason for this corporate distance from these proven moneymakers?

    Is Seth McFarlane as much of an annoyance as we all assume him to be?

  • Alex

    What were some of the more interesting Simpson spin offs pitched?

  • Chris Webb

    Here’s what I would ask Jim Brooks, Al Jean, Mike Scully and Matt Groening:

    “Could you lend me a few million dollars?”

  • Chuck R.

    I was going to ask about the bird, but Mary beat me to it.

  • 1

    You know how Matt Groening’s signature appears on practically every piece of official Simpsons artwork (like the movie logo up there)? I want to know, does Matt Groening seriously draw all of that himself?

  • Bartman

    You should ask Mike Scully why his stint as EP of the series (1997-2001) produced what are regarded as some of the series’ least watchable episodes? Also ask what it was he actually contributed to the film.

  • Andrew

    In response to 1, I see the same thing on pictures of King of the Hill and Family Guy- Mike’s and Seth’s signatures are always on still drawings, respectively. This leads me to believe the person who signs the drawing doesn’t always draw it.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Can you ask Matt Groening what his drawing style was influenced by? I see Ralph Baskhi, Gabor Csupo and Flesicher, but aside from that I can’t really tell.

  • Nic Kramer

    Why did Brad Bird leave the series? The show was never the same after that, except for the movie of course. It was worth the wait.

  • I second the DVD question. I was really disappointed when I read what was on it.

    And…can you save the future of animation by making Seth Mcfarlane “disappear”?

  • Jenny

    1) have and will you ever make peace with family guy?

    2) the popular opinion is that The Simpsons have gone downhill: what sorts of changes have you seen the show make tone wise during the past 18 years?

  • red pill junkie

    You should ask him his reactions for the fact that, according to a recent poll conducted in Britain, concerning the 100 most important living geniuses,he’s currently #4, beating not only Nelson Mandela (#5) but also cosmologist Stephen Hawking (#7)!!!

    PS: in case you were wondering guys, Spielberg tied with the Dailai Lama in #12 ;-)

  • John A

    I can save 1 and Andrew the trouble of asking their question and answer with a simple, “no, they don’t”— and those ‘signatures’ are’t always real either.

  • Why do you continue to grave rob and rape my treasured adolecent/teenage TV watching memories over and over and over again?

  • What ever happened to the spin-off idea of “Tales from Springfield”?
    How about producing an animated Radioactive Man episode?

  • I think the DVD question is answered by the age-old plan of double-dipping. I’m sure we’ll see a better DVD somewhere down the line.

  • Mr. Semaj

    What was the exact date Matt came up with The Simpsons?

    Many fans claim that Season 9 was the end of The Simpsons’ “classic era”, which largely involved a major change in personnel (Brad Bird, David Silverman, Bill Oakley, and Josh Weinstein among those leaving). How did the remaining producers feel about this?

    Is there a chance Matt will write anymore episodes?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > I think the DVD question is answered by the age-old plan of double-dipping. I’m sure we’ll see a better DVD somewhere down the line.

    Hey, if it worked for anime titles like Evangelion, it’s gotta work for The Simpsons!

    Amusingly, I went to this one page that mocked what some people thought should have been the DVD we get instead!

    Most of what’s said above me are REALLY GOOD questions far more than the one I would typically ask Matt if I got the chance, and that would be…

    “When will it all end?” :-)

  • This is a VERY good question I’d like to ask Matt:

    According to several sources, he claimed that: “We’re not ready to cancel yet. We’ve got so many characters and storylines to work with we could go on for years.” OK, not exactly word-from-word, but here’s the Qs:

    Did you REALLY say that Matt? Do you honestly think that Simpsons will continue for another 20 years, getting worse and worse every season? Isn’t it about time you stopped beating the horse now that its dead? Heck, even “Friends” had to end at some point. Either they stop imitating FAmily Guy or just stop altogether.

  • When was the last time Groening actually drew something with his signature on it?

  • When’s the Life in Hell movie coming out?

  • doug holverson

    Is Mr. Groening cooking up a third show?

    What does he think of Fox treating the Seth MacFarlane crap like gems, while treating the Futurama gem like crap?

    Was the small press comic Captain Saucer one of the many influences on Futurama?

  • Kelly Tindall

    “Matt, what do you think of the endless and unproductive jackass-like braying about the quality of your show? Do these people need to get a life, or do they need to change the channel?”

  • I have several questions:

    Are there any plans to change the Executive Producer of the series?

    Can we have more classic Burns and Smithers, please? Why did he have such a minor role in the movie?

    Why do Itchy and Scratchy talk so much now?

    Could you write more scenes so Silverman can make really funny and crazy animation of Homer?

  • Please ask if they’ve considered doing a “Treehouse of Horror” movie. And yes, seeing Itchy and Scratchy or Life in Hell shorts in theaters would be great!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Roberto González says:
    > I have several questions:
    > Are there any plans to change the Executive Producer of the series?

    Heh, don’t even know how many have came and went on this show!

    > Can we have more classic Burns and Smithers, please? Why did he have such a minor role in the movie?

    Being reminded I was a little let down we didn’t get as much of them in the film (aside from the nice little bit during the end credits that felt like they needed to put it in there).

    > Why do Itchy and Scratchy talk so much now?

    Why go on living? :-P

    > Could you write more scenes so Silverman can make really funny and crazy animation of Homer?

    Rather bring back the “twister-mouth” action on Bart (missed the really good animation in those earlier seasons). :-)

  • intergalactic

    Riddle me this Matt Groening…

    With all the sucess, wealth and fame you’ve gained from The Simpsons how come you never started up your own animation studio?

  • For Mr. Groening: will there ever be a compendium of Life in Hell strips? Why isn’t there an online archive of the strips?

  • Jerry, now this is a fun game!

    For the filmakers:

    Why does the FAIRLY ODDPARENTS special “Channel Chasers” relies on the opening title sequence, why don’t they know THE SIMPSONS formula- why not spoof Butch Hartman back at him to tell how dumb the writers were?

    Why doesn’t Bart says his catchphrases often anymore?

    I’ve noticed in a Simpsons Tracey Ullman short that Itchy and Scratch seem like it based off of Tom and Jerry (basically the MGM gags), and it was told on Animal’s Planet’s 50 greatest Animal TV stars. But the Harveytoon people think it’s a parody of Herman and Katnip.
    Is that an incorrect statement?

    For parody suggestions- Why don’t you do parodies of Famous Studios cartoons- especially ones from the 1940’s- like Little Lulu, Little Audrey, or the Screen Songs. Rumor has it that you spoofed the Max Fleischer Color Classic “Somewhere In Dreamland” in The Simpsons.

  • Thanks everyone! I will try to get answers to some of your questions tonight. Hopefully someone will record the Q & A, but I’ll report back here with the responses I get.