Ask the Failcrew – Winter Is Still Coming

Send in your questions to @made_of_fail on Twitter or our Tumblr queue (questions can be asked anonymously!) and we’ll post short answers to one question each Wednesday!

Season One on DVD. Season Two about to air soon. Alina’s chapter-by-chapter re-read on Second Time Around.

I’m excited. Are you excited? ’cause I’m excited.

This week we asked the Failcrew: What author, filmmaker, or artist has inspired you the most, and why? Don’t forget to join in the discussion in the comments! And send in more questions, we’re starting to run low!

Dana Miller (@y_draig_goch)
Garth Nix, O.R. Melling and J.K. Rowling.

Dayna Abel (@queenanthai)
Terry Brooks was the first fantasy author I ever read. My grandma bought me The Elfstones Of Shannara for my 11th birthday and I had to read every other book he’d ever written. He’s who fully cemented my interest in fantasy and showed me the wonder of what a magical world could do.

Evelina Burke (@Eviey)
I took artist to mean musician so I so for me it’s Amanda Palmer (which, considering I’m a horrid singer, makes the choice even funnier). The first time I saw her perform was as one half of The Dresden Dolls, opening for Panic! At The Disco (before the lost the exclamation point, then regained it only to lose two members). Well, P!ATD fans (kind of like Twihards, but less crazy/intense) hadn’t bought tickets to see some weird duo sing songs that weren’t catchy and easy to sing along to and they were going to stand there, snapping their gum and be all “Oh my god! This is so boring. I’m going to roll my eyes and be bored until the pretty boys show up” until these people left the stage. And amidst all this Amanda Palmer didn’t bat an eyelash while she and Brian Viglione played the most amazing music I’d ever heard (what I later found out they called brechtian punk cabaret). Her reaction to that indifference just… it was the first time I really saw someone doing something they loved, not giving a shit if the people around them liked it or not. And now I’m babbling and being repetitive… and I kind of don’t care if you like it or not (please like it of I’ll cry). Oh, and if you were wondering about Panic! At The Disco… I’m sure they were fine. I don’t really remember.

Kevin O’Shea (@alliancesjr)
Storytelling I’d definitely have to say Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and Michael Stackpole, though my dialogue’s been taken over by Joss Whedon and art direction by whoever it was that did the Deathly Hallows movies.

Rowan Bristol (@RowanBristol)
David Schmidt of Sword And Cloak Productions. David is a gifted writer and artist, and makes some of the creepiest character-driven horror I’ve seen. No matter what, he creates. He’s always making. Whether it’s a feature-length film about a haunted apartment complex, or a PSA in favor of hemlock, there’s always something new and amazing he’s working on. Every day I don’t create, I think of his example and soldier on. Or watch his puppets critique horror movies.

Sabra Schirm (@cue_face_palm)
I am going have to go with one(?) of each, since I could not chose between the three when it comes to inspiration.

As a lover of film, I focus more on the film itself rather than gravitate toward one particular film-maker. However, there are two movies in particular that I have always found deeply moving and inspiring, so I have to give credit to the directors.
So, Guillermo Del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth and Francois Gerard for The Red Violin. Both movies were beautifully made and are films that I can see again and again. The fact that these films are both visually beautiful and also tell a deeply compelling story speaks to the part of me that is very, very visually oriented. So, kudos to those two, most definitely.

For an Artist, I would have to chose by drawing lots, as choosing between artists is like choosing between different fruits that I love: I love them all equally, but I love a peach differently than I love red grapes, or a strawberry. So, instead of playing favorites I will first say that I find them inspiring for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because I find their work intriguing or beautiful and find that sort of art inspiring. So, here goes: Sandro Botticelli, Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, M.C. Escher, and Edward Gorey.

Last but most certainly not least, for author I will straight out say that I adore Shakespeare, if only because I started reading the plays when I was ten, and if not for that, I would not have fallen in love with theatre. Theatre has been a long-term passion of mine, whether I am on stage or running the back-stage. I will forever be grateful to my cousin for introducing me to Shakespeare and thus theatre. So there.

5 thoughts on “Ask the Failcrew – Winter Is Still Coming

  1. Aw, crap. Forgot to get mine done in time.

    Arthur C. Clarke taught me how to dream realistically. How to imagine the possibilities that lie beyond us, find a way to actually approach them, and then study them in a way that finds actual understanding and appreciation.

    Douglas Adams and the Monty Python crew taught me how to be silly and brilliant at the same time.

    James Cameron taught me how to tell a story, how to build characters, build sequences, build a narrative. How to save exposition for when it’s absolutely essential and deliver it in a way that comes directly from the characters and the story. How to never forget the emotions of the moment that drive a scene and make it stick with people. Sure, his dialogue is a bit stiff, but that’s what the inspiration of Howard Hawks and Amy Sherman-Palladino is for. :)

    Katsuhiro Otomo taught me how to do with visuals what Cameron does with writing.

  2. Likewise. Knew there was a reason I opened up gmail yesterday.

    George Lucas. Say what you will about his later work (and one of those earlier duck-related films), Star Wars kicked off all of my geekery. Still have the books.

  3. In terms of writing, not that I write much at all anymore, probably Kelley Armstrong. Her world-building and her characters are fantastic. I’ve probably read most of her books at least three times.

    In terms of art, probably Lauren Faust and all the people who work on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I really like the style of that show.

    Also, Sabra, I am impressed you understood Shakespeare as a ten year old. When I was ten I was just reading kids books.

  4. Authors/Writers:
    Stephen King…I’m still working my way through the nearly 30-some-odd of his books I own. I try to read at least two each year. The Stand’s my favorite of all time, and continues to inform my own writing.
    Stan Lee & Alan Moore…the two who revolutionized superhero comics in their respective eras.

    Mostly comic book folks like Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Junior and Senior, Bernie Wrightson, and pre-batshit insanity Frank Miller. Also artists and designers who experiment, like Dave McKean, Milton Glaser, Banksy, Picasso, Geiger, etc.

    If I had to name just one, I own all five films by Darren Aronofsky and I probably love each one more than the last.

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