Lauren Montgomery Talks Supergirl & Apocalypse
RD: What was the biggest challenge about this particular project?
LM: I would say that because it was based on a comic already. The previous ones I worked on were both original content. Justice League was very loosely based on the comics so it was practically original content. This one was very, very close to the comic. So it was helpful and it was also kind of hindering at the same time. You want to stick to the comic as much as you can, but if you see something in the comic and it's not working in the story you want to be able to change it, but you have to make sure that the audience will respond to the change, especially if it's a moment the audience really likes. It makes you second-guess yourself. If I say, "That doesn't make any sense or that power is dumb." I have to think to myself, "Is this something, that if it were gone, would the fans of the story be upset to see it gone?" Is it a moment they really remember or really love and identify with? You have to set aside your personal preferences, because we're making this for the fans and we need to give the fans what they want to see.
RD: What are some of your influences?
LM: I guess the Batman series and the Superman series. Those are my biggest experiences with those characters. I draw lot of their personalities from what I learned from those series.
I was really influenced by Batman: The Animated Series. I watched a lot of that when I was in high school. I really liked the storytelling, because it was so different. It was storyboarded very differently than anything else I had seen up to that point. A lot of animation can be storyboarded very boringly. It's a lot of flat staging, but Batman: The Animated Series was one of the first series to really change it up and used a really different storytelling style. Even as a child I noticed I was a lot more dynamic than the majority of other shows out there. I was drawn to it.
As I got older I watched a lot more anime. I was really influenced by Cowboy Bebop. It's similar to [Batman], because they used that cutting around technique. Those are the most influential on my directing and storytelling style.
LM: I would love to do a Batgirl: Year One. That would be my dream to do that as a movie. But they're not pushing for the female stories, because they don't seem to make money. It's a business. If they can't make money on female stories then they won't make them.
I would love to anything with Aquaman in it. I like him as a character; I think he's fun. And we don't get to work with him too often. I like underwater stuff. There is a whole other world you can tap into with a lot of potential. I would love to see us have the chance to bring a whole underwater world to life. That would be a lot of fun.
RD: What are you working on next?
LM: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. That one is similar to Batman: Gotham Knights, which tells some of the smaller stories of the Green Lantern Corp. members. That will come out around the time the movie comes out.
I'm also working on Batman: Year One with Sam Liu. That one is directly based on the comic too.
RD: Will Emerald Knights have the anime style that Gotham Knights had?
LM: Kind of. We used a Japanese studio to animate the majority of it and I think one of the shorts went to a Korean studio. It won't be as different from story to story as Gotham Knights, because that was put out to a bunch of different directors and completely done overseas. With Emerald Knights, we storyboarded it here and had it animated overseas.
RD: What was memorable about the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse project that you'd like readers to know?
LM: The nicest thing about it for me was that it was such a dominantly female cast. I always try to do something goofy for myself whenever I can fit it in. In Green Lantern, I gave him his Sailor Moon transformation, which I will never be able to do again, that was my only chance, so I used it. In this one I got to take Kara on a shopping montage. I knew that opportunity was never going to come up again. You can't send Superman or Batman on a shopping montage.
Rick DeMott is the director of content for Animation World Network, VFXWorld and AWNtv. Additionally, he's the creator of the movie review site, Rick's Flicks Picks, which was named one of the 100 best movie blogs by The Daily Reviewer. He has written for TV series, such as Discovery Kids' Growing Up Creepie and Cartoon Network's Pet Alien, the animation history book Animation Art, and the humor, absurdist and surrealist website Unloosen. Previously, he held various production and management positions in the entertainment industry.