Horse News Presents: The Gauntlet with Jim Miller, MLP Director

Horse News Presents: The Gauntlet with Jim Miller, MLP Director

Jim'll Nix It.
Written and filmed by Foal Duke, hosted by Chelis and Shellshock

Now then, now then! At HarmonyCon, amidst the bomb threats and alcohol, editor and self-proclaimed God Chelis tried out a new format with French-rugby-midfielder-lookalike Shellshock. Welcome to The Gauntlet.
    Jim Miller, or Big Jim, current director of MLP FIM, was our victim. The rules were simple. Chelis asks Jim the stupidest, cringiest questions ever heard at a con, and he MUST answer.
    If he answers, 1 point. If hIs response makes Chelis laugh or react in shock, 2 points, whether the response contains an answer or not. 1 point for each other person in the room.
    If Jim avoids or fails to answer, Chelis gets 1 point. If Jim tries to be funny but fails to make him laugh, Chelis gets 2 points. If Jim laughs or reacts to a question, Chelis gets 2 points. Again, 1 point per other person Chelis makes laugh.
    As cameraman, I got to judge. Shellshock counted as a spectator. He is the umpire, and will ask any question he feels can move things along.
    Find us at @HorseNewsMLP. The video is below on our channel at #horsenewsmlp.




Very briefly, I asked Jim, before Chelis chased me away with his editor's whip, to give his influences.
    BJ: 'So, influences... Uh, Looney Tunes, Muppets, punk rock, metal music, weird art, comic books, stand-up comedy... is that enough?'

Chelis rambes a bit: 'We thought of a thing called the crucible. We took the most awkward questions ever asked at conventions, put them in a... [gestures awkwardly] cup.'
    BJ tries his blanking strategy early on. 'Is that a Wu-Tang cup? When you were holding it like this it looked like one.'
    SS tries to keep control' 'These are all real questions that have previously been asked to a VA, director, show staff, whatever, either in a panel or at a party, something like that.'
    BJ: 'So it'll be fun, I guess?'
`    SS: 'You can call it that! That's definitely a word that we could use.'

Chelis: 'Alright, first one, right off the bat... Why is Sunset Shimmer not in the show?'
    BJ: 'She is in the show! She's in Equestria Girls!'
    Chelis: 'Apparently that's not good enough for some people.'
    SS: 'Some people!' (Points to Chelis

Chelis: 'What is your favorite Ed, Edd and Eddy slash fiction?'
    BJ: 'Y'know what? I don't reany of those things. It always kind of bugged me that the characters are twelve! And if you're doing any writing or... art... with them doing inappropriate things... they're still twelve!'

Chelis lets the side down: 'Quick follow up - Ed Edd and Eddy, is it set... what--'
    BJ: 'Are you drunk enough yet?'
    Lots of laughs from everyone. And points for Jim.
    Chelis tries again: 'Is it set in a specific decade? It felt like a 1950-ish kinda feel.'
    BJ bravely tries a straight answer. 'The main thing is that we were not going to show any modern technology in the show - it's between the 50s and the 80s. So there's no cellphones, no computers.'
    'Danny really wanted everything to look iconic, like a phone being a dial phones with a corded receiver, and those big Bakelite things you could kill someone with.' Lots of laughs.

Chelis: 'What is the weirdest thing you've dome in front of a mirror?'
    BJ: 'Well, I look like this, so looking at my own reflection in the mirror is probably enough.'

Chelis looks at a question: '...Oh God.'
    BJ: 'You wrote these out! Why are you surprised at what you wrote?'
    Chelis: 'What was the first thing you'd do if you switched bodies with Chelis?'
    BJ: 'Well, what else is there to do in life!?' The conversation degenerates into chaos.

BJ sees his chance and decides to take over: '"Why are earth ponies in human form so slutty?" Isn't that kind of subjective?'
    Chelis: 'It is...'
    BJ avoids answering, so a point to Chelis: 'I don't work on EG so that doesn't even apply.'
    Chelis: 'You could ask Rosetti...'
    BJ: 'Yeah, but just cause someone looks like... and it's subjective. I mean, if they're making their own choices and it empowers themselves, is that slutty?'
    A viewer: 'Don't you feel bad? I mean teenage girls, being considered 'slutty'?'
    Everyone nods in consideration.
    SS: 'Other people asked these questions, not us!'
    Chelis: 'Don't shoot the messneger here!
    BJ gets points for giving them a lecture and putting them on the back foot. The conversation then degenerates into chaos again and heavy French from BJ. I have to rush in and spray everyone with the fire extinguisher.
   
Chelis tries a surefire hit: 'Why isn't Sunset Shimmer in the show?'
    BJ: '...These are just YOUR questions!'
    Chelis: '...I may have written one or two--'
    Elley Ray Hennessey is in the background, laughing. Points to Jim.
    BJ: 'Two! That's two already!'
    SS admits: 'It's the same question twice now...'

Chelis: 'Do you have a black binder?'
    BJ: 'A black binder? I have a couple of green binders... Is there a significance?'
    Chelis: 'Black binders are um... not-for-safe-art that people sell.' Offscreen laughter. Points to him.
    SS translates that into Sober: 'Is any of the art you sell NSFW?'
    BJ: 'Oh, so, so much! Because I have so much time to do useless art.' Elley laughs offscreen.

Chelis looks at the next question... 'I haven't asked that one yet.'
    BJ: 'Oh, OK. Are you allowed to game the system like that?'
    Chelis: ' For that question, yes. It's our rules.'
    Chelis: 'What do you think about the dark side of the fandom? That's really famous.'
    BJ could miss a big opportunity for points here: 'The dark side of the fandom? There's only one dark side to the fandom? What do I think of it? I don't know where to begin to answer that!
    SS tries to help: 'What comes to mind?'
    BJ: 'Well, I'm not a fan of the alt-right part of it...'
    Chelis: 'Well, we're thinking more of--'
    BJ: 'The dirty stuff? Hey man, eh, whatever makes you happy. I'm not in a position to judge. I like weird stuff. People like way weirder stuff than me. If it makes you happy and you're not hurting anybody, have fun.'

Chelis: 'What is the most awkward situation you've been in at a convention?'
    BJ: 'This one right now.' Big laughs.
    Chelis tries to regroup: 'Second most, second most...'
    BJ: 'When was the first time we met?'
    EVERYONE laughs, so a lot of points to Jim.

Chelis: 'OK. OK. Fave fanfiction?'
BJ: 'I don't read fanfiction!'

Chelis: 'Because you're an artist, do you accept exposure as payments?'
BJ: 'Hpmh! No! If I could swear on this I'd say "F, no!"'

Chelis: '[Sighs.] Fave NSFW artist?'
    BJ: 'I don't look at that stuff!'.
    Chelis: 'I know... People just keep asking these questions. Don't shoot the messenger!
    BJ: 'Is that next question "Why is Sunset Shimmer not in the show?"?'

Chelis: 'Do you have a waifu?'
    BJ: '...A waifu?'
    C: 'Basically, a character who you--'
    BJ: 'I KNOW what a Waifu is! I'm not handicapped, mentally! I understand the question.'
    C: 'But do you have an answer?'
    BJ: 'No! Because... I have... a real job. Nah, I'm kidding. I'm being mean.'
    SS: 'Why isn't Starlight Glimmer your waifu?'
    BJ: 'She's not real!'
    C: 'She's trash! Also, Shellshock, she's not real.
    Everyone is shocked. BJ goes on the offensive: 'Is that your waifu? Did I just break your heart? Is that what I'm hearing? That SHATTERING sound?' Shellshock begins to sob.
    C: 'And if you look closely, you can actually pinpoint the second where his heart breaks!'

Chelis: 'Are Cadance and Shining Armor in an open relationship?'
    BJ: 'You have to ask them!'
    SS: 'We're asking you!'
    BJ: 'Ummm... I think they're in a committed relationship.' So, he's avoided that twice and Chelis gets two points.

C:  'If you had one wish, what would it be?'
    BJ: 'Um, for this to be over.'
    Everybody laughs.
    C: 'Same, same.'

Chelis fumbles with the cards: 'The most awkward questions asked - now, let's fix this - to you in a Q and A panel in a public setting?'
    BJ: 'You know I don't really keep track of those... What comes to mind is a few, for whatever reason, I couldn't understand what they were wanting to ask. And that's always weird, because you want to answer it, especially as they took the time to come and ask it, and you want to be polite, but you're like "I dunno..."
    'One guy was asking about, like, a commercial we'd never seen, cause it was very regional and din't play in Canada, and that really was strange. He wanted a legit answer and I didn't have one for him as I didn't know what he was talking about.'
    C: 'That's actually a pretty good answer, but it's going to go right back down.'
    SS: 'We're talking bad ones.'

Chelis: 'Hottest MLP character?'
    BJ tries to be funny, but fails, so Chelis gets a point: 'Hottest? Uh, well, Twilight when her hair was on fire in Season 1. She was literally hot...'
    C: 'We should've worded that better...'

SS: 'How come she hasn't done that since?  You're the director.'
    BJ: 'There's no reason as nobody wrote it into another episode.  What, you want us to repeat jokes!?'
    SS: 'I dunno. Maybe. It's worked for Ed, Edd and Eddy!'
    Everyone is shocked.
    BJ: 'Seriously though, we weren't supposed to repeat jokes! Danny Antonucci would get mad!'.

SS: 'What was it like working with Danny?'
    BJ: 'It was good. He was very demanding, but he knew what he wanted and he had a very clear vision for the show. We were just trying to rise up to his - this isn't an awkard question; it's a legit one! - made us all rise to meet his standard which I don't think we attained but we worked very hard.'
    SS: 'Well, we can't keep beating you down.'
    BJ: 'Well, what's ever stopped you before!?'
    Chelis is being a wimp: 'Well, it wasn't us technically...'

Chelis: 'If you were to raise one character from the show, who would it be, and why is it Starlight Glimmer?'
    BJ: 'Chelis.'
    C: 'I'm canon? Oh, that's a shame (!)'

    BJ: 'Not anymore. I erased you from the show.'
    C: 'Yeah, the series has gone downhill since I was introduced.'

Chelis: 'Fave anime?'
BJ: 'I don't watch a lot of anime, so Akira, I guess? Ninja Scroll? That's a safe answer.'

Chelis: 'Oh, OK. Next important question - why is Sunset Shimmer not in the show?'
    BJ puts up his hands, and goes for broke: Oh, I was gonna tell you something...'
    SLAP.

Chelis finds the right question after recomposing himself: Why is my OC not in the show?'
BJ: 'Wasn't that the same as the other one? I erased you from the continuity.'

SS: 'If you were putting together a show, who would be your dream team for writing, producing, voicing? You've got an unlimited budget and time.'
    BJ: 'That's a pretty big crew... I'd probably want a lot of people I'd already worked with. I'd bring back a lot of AKA Cartoon guys for storyboarding. There's a lot of choice people on pony I'd bring in.
    'I mean the pony team's pretty amazing. Cody Devon's a great producer. Zoe's a great production manager. Writing staff? I dunno. Probably John O who worked on Ed as I have a good relationship with him. Rebecca Dart for art director.
    'Korakoshcah (sp?) for character designer. Like, there's so many talented people in Vancouver, you could throw a rock and hit one.'

Chelis: 'I think it's already been asked plenty of times, but I want to ask again - how tight is the animation community in Vancouver?'
    BJ: 'Pretty tight! It's like a weird, dysfunctional family! A lot of us know each other. Y'know. There's a lot of studios and people just move between them.
    'So, there's a lot of people getting jobs; there's a lot of word of mouth reccommendations from people already there.'

Chelis: 'For a new member of the Vancouver animation community, how are they usually received when they first join?'
    BJ: 'Pretty well! There's a lot of animation schools in Vancouver so we have a constant influx of newcomers all the time. And, some studioes are better than others for mentoring, but depending on the time available for productions they try to mentor.
    'A rising tide lifts all ships, so if you can make those working with you even better it makes your life easier.'

C: 'Back to the hell! How much of your paycheck, as a percentage, is spent on Tim Horton's?'
    BJ: 'Tim Hortons?? Zero! I hate Tim Horton's!'
    SS: 'Really?'
    BJ: 'They're awful. The doughnuts are the McDonald's of doughnuts. They're fine, and if someone brings one to work I'll eat one, but their sandwiches are crap, I don't drink coffee so I don't go their for coffee... there's so many better places to eat.
    'I can go on a whole rant about how I hate Tim Horton's being so identified with Canadian culture. It's dumb.'

Chelis gets very... American: 'OK. If there was another national brand--'
    BJ: 'I don't want to identify brands with national culture! Are you happy that McD's is associated with the US - or ALL fast food places?'
    Chelis gets very, very American: Well, yeah, so there'd be less lines at the In-and-Out.
    BJ groans. 'OK, fair enough, but that's such a regional thing.'
    C: 'Yeah, but it's the best region.'
    BJ: 'But you're not even in California anymore.'
    C: 'OK. Here at HarmonyCon, there are two In-and-Outs closer to here than the What-a-Burger. Which means What-a-Burger's shit!'
    BJ: 'No, it means you're conveniently located.'
    SS: 'What did we get $100 of, last night while we were freezing to death? Was it In-and-Out? No! It was What-a-Burger!'
    C: 'I didn't get $100 of anything...'
    SS: 'Well, you didn't. PurplTinkr did!'
    C: 'Yeah, well, that sucked. What-a-Burger sucks.'
   BJ: 'Still, there were nice things happening around us last night. You were directing traffic! You were a bit of a hero!'

Chelis: 'I was just trying not to get shot for wearing a poncho... OK. Last question... Do you regret agreeing to The Gauntlet?'
    BJ:' No, it's fine. I regret having to sit besides you for ten minutes.'
    Chelis laughs. And that's 2 more points to Jim!

And that was that! We're very grateful. Jim actually offered to do it again tomorrow if it didn't work! How very nice of him, especially as he was the clear winner and would love a chance to rub it in our faces again. This format needs some work, I need a coffee,** Braeburned needs some cash.

--Foal Duke

*He says this even though he lives in Texas and we were filming there. Why?
**With scotch in it. And Toilet Duck. Working with Chelis does this to you.

Comments (27)

  1. Big Jim is a real sport for enduring this.
    ~Super Trampoline

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