We love chatting with talented artists! It was a real pleasure interviewing TV and graphic novel writer Celeste Bronfman, who just released her latest, My Little Pony, about her experience writing TV and graphic novels, female and queer representation and her advice for future writers. Ready?
Here we go!
Taking advantage of the fact that Celeste is an experienced writer and worked both in TV and graphic novels, we had to ask her what is the difference between writing for one or the other.
“That’s a really good question. In so many ways, it’s similar, because you’re writing for a visual medium, both of them are stories that the audience is going to absorb through images for the most part. So you always want to make sure you’re telling it in the most visually intriguing way possible, I guess. So you’re you like, it’s more fun to have, like, you know, two people like floating on lava having like, a breakup than like seeing just two people talking in a coffee shop. So in that way, it’s similar, but they’re also really wildly different roles” she shared.
“And one of the really cool things about comics is that you can kind of decide almost directly, like, of course, the the illustrators have control as well. But you can kind of say, I want this character in the foreground, I want this character in the background. And then that way, you get to, like, frame the scene a bit and block it. And that’s really fun, and something that I didn’t really have a grasp on when I switched over to comics from TV. But, yeah, it’s been a really exciting learning curve, for sure,” she added.
We love Celeste’s response! So we upped the ante a bit and made her choose between TV and graphic novels. For an artist it is like choosing between two loves, so we were aware that the question was quite difficult … but Celeste nailed her answer.
“That’s such a difficult question. There are different things I love about both. I think TV was my first love. I just like absorbed it. When I was a kid, I always wanted to write for screen and I love like seeing everyone on set together. To me that’s like, such a magical experience seeing so many people bring their visions to life and kind of feeling that excitement of filming it live and being in the moment. To me, there’s nothing better than that moment. So I think for that reason, I’d say TV”, she comments.
Graphic novels always leave us a lesson, a moral. As a writer, we were curious about Celeste’s point of view on this.
“I think for me, personally, I grew up not really seeing queer women who represented people like me on screen, I, you know, there are there of course, like queer women on screen, but they were never deriving their own stories. And so, for me, it’s really important to kind of put that representation into the shows I’m working on, or the graphic novels I’m working on. Most of my stories revolve around queer women and queer relationships, just because that’s something I never really saw. And so I think that’s really important for me as representation. So in terms of, like, what most of my stories have in common, or what I hope to be putting out there. It’s just like, I’d really love for a girl like me to see themselves growing up and know that like, there are other people and to not feel as alone. Maybe”, she comments.
And we’re listening to her and just nod and think, yes, preach (insert clapping emojis here.) Everything she said, just every word she said.
One of the projects Celeste participated in won an Emmy! It is something huge in this industry and we wanted to know how that felt for her, to have participated in this adventure that it had such great and deserved recognition.
“Yeah, I mean, not the episode I wrote but yeah, I think the series has meant so much to, you know, to me, like, I mean, for me, personally, that series is where I really grew. I feel like in a sense, that was my school. And I know that’s like a very cheesy thing to say, but I learned so much about myself in that room, so much about the writing process. All of those writers are phenomenal. Some of them have been working on the show since its inception”, she tell us.
“One of my friends had been working on it for nine seasons. So they really shepherded the series our incredible showrunner Sarah Glinsky. Just made that show a really inclusive space where we had these characters who I think I’ve never seen before on television. And it was like an incredible, incredible honor to be in that room to be surrounded by these phenomenal writers, writers who have won Emmy Award, writers who have won humanities awards. I’m so privileged to have been given that chance and do not take it for granted whatsoever.”
Celeste is an experienced writer and one of the best at her job, so we took the opportunity and asked her advice for someone looking to start their writing career, “I think, and I know, this is advice that a lot of people give, I think it’s about just doing it, just writing. They’re so many ways to put your writing up online, I started writing fanfiction. And I know I developed a community of writers. I think, write your scripts continue learning the craft”, she shares.
“And then in terms of like meeting other writers, I know it’s a bit more difficult now with COVID, but I think follow writers and love on Twitter and Social Media. And when the world begins to open up, what I used to do, and the advice they give to a lot of people is I used to go to cons and like Comic Con and go to writing panels where you can just kind of learn more about the craft, but for sure, just continue typing away and continue writing if there’s a show you love write a spec script, which is just like an episode of that show to really learn and develop. And, yeah, just if you have a passion for it, I think you will get better you will get to that place where you are saying what you want to say your voice is on the page, and you can make it happen.”
Don’t you love her? Because we do. Amen to that!
Female representation, specially WOC, is something the industry should work on and we wanted to ask Celeste, as a woman in a mostly male industry, if she thinks we need more female representation in writers rooms and to give opportunities to talented young women who can show their ideas and translate them into their work, so that they can develop their talent.
“Yeah, absolutely. I think so. So many of these spaces are very male dominated still. Very, very white, very, very… places where I think more people they need more voices. And I think it’s really it’s really an opportunity right now. I think one of the issues is not just with getting more female writers out there. But it’s also having more female women and people of color. And LGBTQ plus folks in positions of power hiring power as well,” she commented.
“So we’re the gatekeepers are so that like these stories will get through and I think everyone deserves to see themselves as the star, everyone deserves to see themselves leading the story. And I think I’m hopeful now that as as more more people who represent the society in which we live are reaching those positions of power, we have a real opportunity to see WOC and not trying to diminish that whatsoever. But I’m hopeful that the industry is changing and that more of more voices who are underrepresented will be able to kind of get their stories told.”
We can’t wait to follow Celeste on whatever adventure she joins! So it was a mandatory question to ask her about next project and it sounds sooo good.
“I have a few comics projects in the works, but I’m really excited about and I’m hoping I can announce them soon. But in terms of my own projects, I have a short film that I’m hoping to direct and produce hopefully in the next year that we just had to put aside because of COVID. And then I have a pilot I’m working about that’s really personal. That’s about fandom and fan culture and I’m excited to go out and pitch that to my manager soon. So, um, yeah. It’s all exciting. I know that’s not that’s not too much of a tease. But I’m excited. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce more soon.”
Celeste was absolutely sweet, kind, and cute. Seriously, she’s the cutest. I think her responses make it much clearer who Celeste is than I can say. She is a talented young woman, aware of the problems that the industry has, of the improvements that need to be implemented, but also of the changes that have already been made.
She couldn’t see herself reflected on TV or in graphic novels when she was little and she dreamed of making it possible for people like her to be represented, she dreamed that other little girls would not have to go through what she suffered. She succeeded and struggles every day to keep doing it. She deserves all the successes and it’s just… it was really a pleasure interviewing her.
I loved it. We spoke for almost twenty minutes and I swear I could have spoken with her for hours because she gave me an insight into the industry from experience and from her love for her work. I’m a Celeste fan and always will be. I wish I had another chance to talk to her again because it’s a pleasure to listen to her.
This interview was one of the ones that I enjoyed the most because I love learning from the artists I speak with, just being spellbound listening to them and drinking from everything they tell me. That happened with Celeste.
I love her. We love her. And I’m sure that you, if you didn’t love her already, you do it now after reading everything she had to say.
Do you like our interview with Celeste Bronfman? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
My Little Pony is available here.