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FFF Interview - The Legend of Aang (An Avatar: The Last Airbender Film Series) by TackTheCobbler

Sokka as therapist This blog is an official interview of the Fanon Fact Finders. We hope you enjoy it!

Hello fellow Avatar Wikians. Today after a sadly long while since my last interview, I am back and here today with the Fanon writer TackTheCobbler to talk about his Fanon -The Legend of Aang (An Avatar: The Last Airbender Film Series). This one was quite an interesting approach on how to improve the movie that shall not be named and an original way to write his Fanon. Let's get this interview on the move.

1) Hey TackTheCobbler, how are you doing?

I'm doing fine. School just started.

Aww, school? Hope it isn't as bad as my year is going to be. Anyway, let's talk about your Fanon.

2) Here's my first question: Why have you decided to write this Fanon, what made you want to write it?

Well, well, where to begin... I've loved Avatar since it first aired. It was one of my first shows that I really did love for more than its humor. I could not have loved the characters any more, or the action, or even the story. And, considering that my parents had briefly banned it from me (based on a clip from "Jet" that they saw out of context) youthful rebellion may have played a small part of it too. I've also been into films and filmmaking for quite a bit of my life, so even before I knew the ultimate fates of Aang and the gang I was pondering the merits of a film adaptation. And then one day I discovered the trailer for Shyamalan's version had been released, and just thought 'alright, someone's beat me to it'. Then again, I was nine years old and thought at that point that they were going to compress the entirety of the series into a two-hour movie (as opposed to my three-movie plan). At that point, I sort of lost interest in it to other things, and I moved on to other things. I actually had NO idea that the film had even been released until one of my friends mentioned it. It wasn't until one of my friends showed the opening ten minutes that I even knew what it looked like. And it wasn't until the Nostalgia Critic reviewed it that I had any idea of the film's true problems. I can still remember the night that review came up- I began renewing my plans that night. I had to save this franchise, a franchise I loved so dearly, one so clearly meant for the silver screen. I began writing the next day.

3) Why have you decided to write the chapters as a blog post as opposed to the more common method of making a page for them?

It's more a technical problem. I write in Microsoft Word, and that doesn't copy into Fanon too well. It does, however, translate well into blog posts, and, combined with the editorials I am allowed to put in the blog format, it felt like a natural thing to do.

4) What did you want to focus on most out of all the aspects you could change and improve?

I think the characterization and development was the biggest problem with the original film's screenwriting. Any one character's dialogue can be shifted to any other character. There's nothing interesting about it. Not to mention how they took the characterization of the people themselves and changed it so much that half of the characters seemed pale imitations of their voice acted counterparts. I've tried as hard as possible to put in the character development that a story of this scale deserves. It hasn't made the film short, but it has made it better, if you ask me.

5) Why did you adjust the order? You started with Aang at the air temple, and Zuko back home, why not start the way the original did?

It's to do with arranging the story for a filmgoing audience. I think the original order doesn't translate well into film in the same way that the book's opening to "The Fellowship of the Ring" isn't as suited for a film as the eventual prologue that Fran and Peter went with. Not only does it have to do with audience interest, but also order of information.

I at one point had a complete history of the war before the proceedings, but it almost felt like spoonfeeding. I like this because it tells you quite a bit about the character of Aang while still having an air of mystery to it. And, in answer to Zuko's changes, I really didn't like his scenes in the cartoon. I felt like introducing him in a more explosive way, to be a bit more of a threatening presence.

6) Why have you wrote it as a screenplay as opposed to the natural story format? Just your own personal preference?

Simply I wanted this to be more like an official Hollywood screenplay, though I would consider the idea of making a novelized version.

7) You mentioned on your main page that your ultimate goal with this Fanon is to create an interesting script series that will enthrall fans and casual filmgoers alike, with plenty of character development and epic action. How did you go about doing this?

I simply try to make this a film I would enjoy watching, as well as getting some input from family members and other site members. I have guns to stick to, but if something can appease both the fans and a general audience, I decide it's the better way to go.

8) Quite a few of your chapters are fairly short. Was this done on purpose just to give us little snippets of their lives or was it simply a coincidence due to writing it like a screenplay?

They're actually pretty long in film terms. In screenwriting, every page is a minute of screen time, and my average chapter is about 6 pages (the longest is twenty minutes) so they end up a grand total of current 121 minutes!

9) You stated that you wanted your focus on this Fanon to be towards making a more satisfying plot. From your perspective, how did you go about achieving this?

I don't feel like I'm trying as hard to adhere to the organisation of the plot as I once was, and that allows me to organize the story in such a way that it can be palatable to people. I can't take full credit for most of it though- the idea to have the Blue Spirit during the Northern Water Tribe actually comes from Andrew Rainnie's treatment (though pretty much nothing else does).

10) What do you feel was the biggest problem with the movie and how did you go about changing and improving that?

Oh, Raava... The sheer conception. The idea of fitting an epic story into something from Shyamalan. I think Shyamalan works better when he's working in a smaller scale. Just look at his 'bigger' films. The Happening, After Earth, and the big one itself, they're all terrible and ill-concieved. However, just look at his somewhat smaller films. Films like Signs, Devil, and of course the Sixth Sense don't even approach the same level of badness. I just think he's out of his comfort zone. He seems to like 2-hour films with comparatively simple plots, which just doesn't work with something like this.

And, speaking of that, that's the other major problem. There's too much plot trying to be conveyed in too little time. The thing is, I actually DO like films like "Excalibur", "Dune" or Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings", but I think I've realized what makes me like films like that and hate The Last Airbender. Those films might have an incredible amount of plot into a short time, but they also know how to keep the importance of the events on the forefront. The Last Airbender feels like cliffnotes. I've tried to cherry pick moments and weave them into a plot, while still keeping close to the original framework.

11) A more minor question. You have made a character page for Aang, but only him so why only him? To emphasise his importance or have you just not had time to make ones for them all yet?

I'm trying to revise the pages, and that will include character pages for all the leads. Eventually. School's started, time's running out (cue Pink Floyd song)

Coming to the end now but let's just squeeze in a couple more questions.

12) Who is Avatar Savi? What role will they play in this Fanon?

I actually am attempting to make up names for all of the Avatars, that just happens to be one of them. He will appear, as one of the Avatars who gives counsel to Aang in the Northern Air Temple.

13) Final question, let's wrap this up for the fans! When can we expect more chapters to be released, your fans and lurkers are waiting!

Sooner than later! I promise on my arrow! 再見!

I and your fans will holds you to it. That's all the questions I have for TackTheCobbler. Hope you have enjoyed this interview and be sure to check out his creative Fanon. This is Snivystorm signing off ---

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