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Interview - Chris Claremont’s X-men : Patrick Meaney’s Interview

  • Par Mulder, Los Angeles, le 8 février 2018

    Q: We have just seen your excellent documentary Chris Claremont’s X-men and we have a lot of questions to ask. To begin can you make a short presentation for our readers that don’t know you ?

    Patrick Meaney : I'm a filmmaker who's produced several documentaries about comics books and comic creators, including Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods, Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously and The Image Revolution, as well as the upcoming horror film House of Demons. Chris Claremont's X-Men is my latest documentary and it's being released on February 6th by XLRator.

    Q: Lot of actual movies and series are based on ythe Chris Claremont’s work as X-men and recently X Men: Days of future past and nextly The Dark Phoenix Saga". From Comics Book to movies and series what can you tell us about The Chris Claremont’s impact in the pop culture?

    Patrick Meaney : A major reason that I made the film is that I feel Chris Claremont's contributions to pop culture have been vastly underrated. He wrote a seventeen year run on X-Men in which he either created or defined pretty much every prominent X-Men character, and told stories like those you mentioned that have since become iconic. His work has gone on to inspire not only the X-Men films, but creators like Joss Whedon with Buffy and literary figures like Michael Chabon. He was telling long form serialized stories years before it became popular on TV, and paved the way for auteur comic writers like Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman.

    Q: what Can you tell us more about the process of creation of such documentary and why a short and a long version ?

    Patrick Meaney : The project was shot a bit differently than my other films. Most of those were shot over about a year and a half. This one was more of a slow burn as I interviewed different creators and found the right story. I initially created a forty minute version that we released for Kickstarter backers, but after producing the film She Makes Comics, and hearing from a lot of female creators and fans about their love of X-Men, I had some new material and went back in and added about 40 minutes to the film and produced the new cut, and first cut to be released widely to the public. The process is pretty much shoot interviews, edit the footage together and figure out where the story is organically. As the shoots went on, the story takes shape and then you find the right images to help bring that story to life.

    Q: X-men comics talk a lot of topics, about human evolution, about our actual society. What do you like on these comics?

    Patrick Meaney : The thing I love most about Chris's work on X-Men is the focus on characters. There's very few superhero comics where you can see the characters change and grow over the years, and that's what Chris's work was all about. It's wild to read the whole run and see the characters, situations, art and storytelling style evolve as the years go by.

    Q: X-Men #1 still the best selling single issue comic of all time and you have written it. What do you think about it?

    Patrick Meaney : As you'll see in the film, the success of X-Men #1 was bittersweet for Chris. It was a title that hit a level of sales and pop culture saturation no one could have imagined for comics, yet it was pretty much the end of his run on the book. For me personally, it's a beautifully drawn and exciting story that serves to reset a status quo Chris had spent years avoid.

    Q: Which are the best memories that you keep from your work with Chris Claremont ?

    Patrick Meaney : Definitely the coolest thing for me was getting to see Chris reunite with Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti. To be in the room while they reminisced about working on the series was so exciting.

    Q: What must be for you a great comics ?

    Patrick Meaney : The thing I love most about comics is wild ideas, and Chris's stories were wildly ambitious, with journeys into space, wild alternate realities and a lot of out there concepts. But he managed to ground that in very relatable and lovable characters. That's a perfect combo.

    Q: What do you think about Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine? Which actors can be for you a great new Wolverine and why?

    Patrick Meaney : I think Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is one of the most iconic cinema characters of recent years. I think it'd be nice for the character to rest for a while before getting rebooted. But if I had to see him back on screen, I feel like Adam Driver could do a good job of capturing the character's rage and heart of gold. But he's a little tall.

    Q: What must be for you a great adaption in cinema concerning Marvel Comics?

    Patrick Meaney : For me, it's less about being true to the comics than it is about the filmmaker having a specific point of view and finding something emotional and real in the material. Logan was a great film because it made you really care about those characters and had something to say. Hopefully more films will follow in that tradition.

    Q: Do you read some European comics and which ones are your favorite?

    Patrick Meaney : I read many English writers, which is technically European, but I'm guessing not what you mean. I've read some Moebius, which I really liked, but not too much.

    Q : Which words will you say to someone who would like to work as a documentary movies ?

    Patrick Meaney : I'd say just get started. The beauty of doc is that you don't need much money. If you can find a subject that people are interested in, then it doesn't matter if you have a lot of money, people will watch it.

    Q: What do you think about the Marvel Studios series on Netflix ?

    Patrick Meaney : My favorite Marvel series right now is definitely Legion, which I think does a great job of bringing some of the weirder aspects of Claremont's writing to the screen, while also doing its own thing. I can't wait for season 2.

    Q: What are your current projects ?

    Patrick Meaney : A horror film that I directed, House of Demons, is coming out on February 6th. It's about four estranged friends who spend the weekend in a remote cabin that used to be home to a Manson Family like cult, who did strange experiments with black magic that cause space and time to blur. It's trippy, character based and a lot of fun. Check out www.houseofdemonsmovie.com for more info.

    A film by Patrick Meaney featuring Chris Claremont
    Expanded Version Includes All New Interviews & Insight into the Franchise
    Available on VOD February 6, 2018

    We sincerely thank Patrick Meaney for answering our questions
    An huge thanks to Emily Sharp for helping us to have this great interview