Sunday, October 23, 2016

Joss Whedon Asks Voters to 'Save The Day' on November 8th

A Special Interview with Hillary HQ

In the movies, superheroes save the world on a regular basis with fantastic powers and incomprehensible strength. But in this real-life election of 2016, every single one of us can rescue the world from disaster with a simple act of heroism called voting.

Joss Whedon, creator of two of the most beloved cult TV series of the past two decades (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly) and writer/director of two of the highest-grossing films of all time (2012's Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron), knows this very well. And for that reason, he has decided to put his next screenplay on the back burner until November 9th so that he can fully devote his time and resources into getting out the vote to defeat Donald Trump.

Because as he puts it: "Anything less than the most you can do is not enough".

Many of you may remember Whedon's homemade video from 2012 casually explaining that a Mitt Romney presidency would "put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse". Doing something similar in 2016 might have resulted in another viral hit, but after seeing the protests that marked the beginning of this year's Democratic National Convention, he instantly decided to take it further this time around. Much further.

And thus Save The Day was born.

The first video in Whedon's series (see above) begins as a seemingly typical star-studded "take action" montage before taking an unexpectedly self-deprecating and slightly raunchy turn. It was a massive success, getting tens of millions of views. But far more importantly, it prompted tens of thousands of people to get registered at within the first few days alone. It was only the first of sixteen videos slated for release before Election Day.

This "endorsement" of Hillary Clinton has also been making the rounds over the past few days:
Joss Whedon with Austin Chronicle's Kimberley Jones
Whedon was in Austin, Texas last weekend for a live music event with his folk music collaborator Shawnee Kilgore and an Austin Film Society Q&A with Kimberley Jones from the Austin Chronicle.

"It's not enough to believe. You have to act," Whedon said at AFS. "If enough people vote, (Trump) cannot win. The problem is, his running mate is not Mike Pence. His running mate is apathy...people don't care. And cynicism...people don't believe."

Hillary HQ was privileged to be granted an in-person interview with Joss Whedon about Save The Day shortly before the Austin Film Society Q&A:

SCOTT HOPKINS: Was there any one event or any one candidate that just made you go "I've got to do this"?

JOSS WHEDON: Well, when you see the monster that Kasich is, you realize the danger we're in (laughs). Honestly, I don't think they put up a single viable candidate, but the garbage heap that ate Cleveland is the one that actually got the nod. I always intended to do something, at least along the lines of the Romney vid, and I called a bunch of my writer friends and was like "let's get together and talk about ideas." I waited until Hillary got the nomination because I didn't wanna, to use a soon-to-be-overused phrase, "throw away my shot" and have everyone stand for me more than once.

Then the first day of the Democratic National Convention, before Michelle Obama sang a lullaby to make me feel better, was so terrifying to me. We were so fractious in the face of this clear threat. By the time all my friends got there, I was like "So, slight change of plans. We're not just gonna make a funny video...we're gonna make everything. Every idea that's good we're gonna do. I'm gonna put my own money into it, and this is all I'm gonna do until the election." Because I, unlike them, am not employed right now and I just feel like I can't imagine living with myself if I didn't.

SH: Well, I know that's why I started Hillary HQ in the first place.

JW: You got in there a little bit ahead of me! (laughs)

SH: Was Brexit also an inspiration? Because I noticed there was one video aimed at that.

JW: Brexit was absolutely an inspiration in terms of "let's not get complacent". I had already booked a trip to London to see some friends, because I was going to Poland and Germany to do research for a movie. But I felt so guilty about going away for a week that I was like "I have to shoot something". Then my friend suggested "how about apologizing for Brexit"?

I wrote it and shot it with a friend, and oddly enough that one blew up! We've had ones that didn't get the traction I'd hoped and then that one got six million views on Facebook alone.

SH: I noticed that there's one video focused specifically on the voting booth called "Quiet". I thought it was perhaps the most effective.

JW: I think that's my favorite.

SH: It's a great motivator. Are there any more on the way specifically focused on Election Day rather than registration?

JW: Yes. The idea was to try everything that works for me. The ethos is that voting is a heroic act and it can save us. So there's a lot of talk about downballot stuff, getting away from the hatefest even if it's very one-sided. Just remember, a lot of your future depends on things you don't know yet because you haven't read your ballot initiatives.

SH: You're not really sure where "Quiet" is going at first...and then suddenly hits you. It's beautiful. Gave me the chills for a second.

JW: I'm so glad! I thought it was the story I had to tell. The vulnerable girl who everybody picks on is the one who saves us. I've told that story before...but for a reason.

* * *
Since this interview was conducted, four more Save The Day videos have been released. Two of them are humorously horrifying previews of what will happen if Trump is elected, one completely rips apart the idea of widespread voter fraud, while another is a behind-the-scenes look at the first video. Watch them all below.

For additional videos in the coming days, visit and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. donate to Scott, he's doing this, and he breaks news. (GO SCOTT!!!)