Long before Joss Whedon took the helm of The Avengers and steered the Marvel franchise to the second highest box office grossing film of all time, before Buffy and Firefly, he left his job at a video store to start his first writing gig on the sitcom Roseanne. That is where Joss Whedon learned his craft on the job.
Coming from a long line of television writers may have predisposed Joss Whedon to writing for television and film, but he didn't realize his love for writing until after he graduated from college. Even then, Whedon admits that he had to figure out how screenwriting worked while he was already getting paid to do it. Whedon explains in this first video from BAFTA's On Filmmaking series how he approaches story ideas and how being a true romantic, and therefore a cynic, colors his work.
In the second video, Whedon talks about writing for characters that others have created and making them your own, how comedy comes naturally to him but never in the form of writing a joke, and how television is really a training ground for writers to learn the craft of filmmaking.
Whedon wraps up his interview by describing how writing and directing are part of the same process for him, directing with absolute conviction to get collaborators to believe in his vision, and advising new filmmakers to just "make stuff, make stuff, make stuff."
Does Joss Whedon's approach to story, writing and directing resonate with you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.