To Peter Chung-the "property" of Aeon Flux : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread

Peter, you have created work which has shifted the minds of viewers; something which is that effective must deserve the highest praise. However, do you sometimes feel that this, your "baby" of sorts, no longer in essence belongs to you? Much as songwriters' pools of work are open to all interpretation, where all opinions are valid, how every song means something different to each individual, do you feel that the core of Aeon Flux has been robbed and that its very original light has been canvassed so much it is deadened and redundant? Evidence for this include how ridiculous some interpretations are, and in your words, "geeky". Of course it is necessary for people to feel for the cartoon, but when they incorporate it into a part of their realistic life they seem to cross the line...actually they sprint through it. Do you sometimes feel that, godamnit, Aeon Flux should not mean as much to an individual as it does to you, and that all too diligent reading against the grain actually angers you? Furthermore...there is nothing you can really do about it. Do you think that since you introduced Aeon Flux to the world at large, it no longer belongs to you, that somehow, the gist of each separate episode has been raped, mutated and distorted by overly eager minds?

In this you regret Aeon Flux?

-- James Wan (, June 10, 2000


Sorry about this but I'm forgetful in my targets. I also meant to ask you, as inobtrusively as possible, as my intention is never to offend, but just out of sheer curiosity, that whether your own personality lent angles to Aeon's enigmatic character. Is shaping Aeon playing out your desires or an extension of your personal tics and traits? All this and I really am not asking whether you're a foot fetishist or not! :-)

-- James Wan (, June 10, 2000.

I never thought he was a foot fetish type, but I found it interesting that he used it as a component in her personality.

-- Barb e. (, June 10, 2000.

I would think that as a writer, one would want to share his/her ideas, thoughts with the world. I mean isn't there more to writing that for one's own enjoyment and self satisfaction? Half the fun of writing is to keep the readers guessing and coming back for more. In this manner a writer can convey thier feelings or whatever more affectively. Even when one just comes out and says what they feel/think it's very hard for a person to understand. If one puts it in a form that someone can relate then they have a better chance of making themselves understood. I myself find it impossible to express what i am feeling or whatever and making myself heard. Peter chung has a beautiful way of expressing himself and i love it! He has allowed me through aeon flux to view the world entirley different, Chung is a true genius! And after reading his message in response to leisure, i now see things a bit more clearly. I used to view a movie, cartoon what have you, by seeing more of the exterior rather than the hidden interior, thus not gaining anything but brain damage from humbly thank him for allowing me to share in his creation of aeon flux.

-- Lady Morgan (, June 11, 2000.

Lady Morgan, I thoroughly respect your opinion, and I wish not to rile or irritate you, moreover just to make debate. The sharing of your property for the enjoyment of others, to "keep them coming back for more", which you described...isn't that just like whoring your wife?

-- James Wan (, June 11, 2000.

Hummmmmm, i guess in some people's opinion it could be considered that. but the way i think of's not!.....but think what you will if it amuses you. And i don't care if you make comments and debate with me as you put it. that's half the fun of comming here. :o)

-- Lady Morgan (, June 11, 2000.

dear james.... the metaphor of "whoring your wife" is necessarily different and without comparison to lady morgan's "keeping them coming back for more." indeed, creating a work of fiction, which inspires analysis, and profiting at another human being's expense is hardly similar by any stretch of the imagination. while your original question, that is to say if chung regrets aeon flux because of all the analysis/corruption it has inspired, is a valid and interesting query, i would like to point out that chung, in creating a pattern of deliberately ambiguous narratives, clearly invites the audience to probe. the occupational hazard for one who creates any given work runs the risk of having that piece "handled" by the audience. and by the way, this occupational hazard is welcomed by most "auteurs" if not for any other reason because art, whatever kind it may be, is ultimately a dialogue.

-- illy (, June 11, 2000.

James, just out of sheer curiosity, are you as annoying in person as you are in writing?

-- Peter Chung (, June 12, 2000.

James. So many questions..... I only have a couple. But they are more about the creation of animation and the industry in general. Does working within commercial animation for companies that are essentially about making money effect your work in a completely negative way? If they set up criteria that restricts some of your original ideas/intentions, does this conflict create an opportunity for greater depth in your work? or do you feel their that their rules/control are just (for a lack of a better term) a pain in the ass?

-- William (, June 12, 2000.

William, it's usually true that the more lucrative a particular project is for me, the less I'm likely to get creative satisfaction from it. In the case ofadvertising, besides paying well, I believe it's a valuable outlet by which to expose very large audiences to styles of animation that they normally might notencounter. Unlike a show targeted for specific audiences, commercials are, by and large, seen by everybody. Many viewers who would never think ofwatching Aeon Flux or Alexander have seen my style through my commercials, and are as a result, (I hope) ready to accept a wider range of approaches to animation. Also, from a purely technical standpoint, the high budgets of commercials allow me to experiment with tools which would be prohibitively expensive on a T.V. series.

By the way, as part of my involvement with Madhouse studios, before the work I did on Alexander, I did a 15-second sequence of cel animation with their staff for a T.V. commercial for the planned Aeon Flux game. It's the most elaborately produced rendition of Aeon Flux so far and could serve as an example of how Aeon would look as an animated feature film. Since the game was never released, the commercial never made it on the air. So, in case anyone's wondering if there's any Aeon Flux animation in existence not included in the three videos that have been released, the answer is yes.

Ironically, I find it less painful to work in the blatantly money-driven commercial field than I do in the field of mainstram network programming. At least with commercials, the mission is clear: sell your client's product. With a network show, say the animated Batman series or a show on Nickelodeon, the desire to express personal ideas comes into conflict with the commercial interests of the network. I'll let you know that I get plenty of offers from the big studios to design and direct their projects. I almost always turn down these jobs, even if they pay well. After my experience on Aeon Flux, I've decided that the aggravation isn't worth it. If I write and direct my original ideas, I'll only do it on the condition of total creative freedom. Fortunately, it looks like I may have the opportunity to do so soon.

-- Peter Chung (, June 13, 2000.

Peter, I actively think you're a bit of a prat. Do you enjoy insulting your fans? I wonder if you are irritable or just plain disrespectful. My evidence for your rudeness? Well, you have slated dedicated fans as "geeky" and "annoying". Whilst I cannot deny the brilliance of your work, as a person, you suck. Am I annoying you? Can it, your replies no longer interest me.

Disillusioned Fan #15.

-- James Wan (, June 13, 2000.

Sigh... ah, well, it was fun while it lasted, folks... Peter, if you're going to bug out, I can understand. Thanks a whole heap, Mr. Wan. Way to stoke them flames.

-- Charles Martin (, June 13, 2000.

James, you asked for it, here it is. If you've read any of my posts, you'd know that I'm extremely appreciative and flattered by the interest of my fans. Humbled even. For a long time, I resisted joining the discussion here, largely because I feel awkward putting myself in the position of authority this forum (being devoted to my creation) would confer on me.

You began by posting a message regarding the meaning of the episode "Leisure". I was glad to oblige an answer-- a lengthy and quite detailed explanation on the origin of the episode where I took great pains to describe the thought process behind the piece, the method of interpretation I use, and why I thought other theories were off track. Hey, I even went to the topic near the bottom of the list called Leisure: Episode Analysis and read every entry. (Did you?) I stayed up late at night composing my answer, reworking the words to make sure nothing could be misconstrued, posted the answer to your question, and went to sleep exhausted. As an aside, since I've found that everything I've said in the past about Aeon Flux, even thoughts that have been casually tossed off, has somehow managed to be filed and catalogued and remembered, you can bet that I'm extra careful what my messages say.

Next time I log on, what do I see? No acknowledgment from you that you've read my reply or even care about its contents, but instead, two new posts asking me yet more questions. And not appropriate ones. The first one is not worth my time, because it's not an honest question, but a baited one. Do I regret Aeon Flux? What kind of answer are you expecting? If you'd pay more attention to what I've already written on this board and less time listening to yourself ask questions, you'd know what a useless question this is. I've already said that I hope to do more in the future with Aeon, that doing the show has made my career in the animation field, leading to greater opportunities, that I've continued to be involved in developing the Aeon Flux feature and game. Are these the statements of someone who regrets?

More specifically, you ask if I'm "angered" by the various ways in which fans have decided to interpret my work and read into it messages that were never intended. Well, anyone who's paid even the slightest attention (and I'm convinced you have not) to all that I've written for the last couple of weeks on this board know that I not only expect viewers to find their own meanings, but that the nature of my writing process demands that they do. Why on earth would this "anger" me? Damnit, what the hell have I been saying all this time?!

And by the way, you're the one who calls the interpretations of other fans "ridiculous", not me. So who's the one insulting my fans? "Geeky" is how I describe a viewer that has lost perspective. However, I don't regard such a person with ridicule.

Okay, then you go on to ask "as inobtrusively as possible, as my intention is never to offend, but just out of sheer curiosity, that whether your own personality lent angles to Aeon's enigmatic character. Is shaping Aeon playing out your desires or an extension of your personal tics and traits?" Again, what kind of answer are you expecting from a question phrased this way? I don't even understand the second part-- are you aking me if it's either one or the other? What are you doing, trying to psychoanalyze me? I've had reactions to my work range from those who were astonished that I revealed so much of my personal nature through Aeon Flux, and those who thought it was pure commercial escapism with no cues whatever to the personality of its creator. It's not my job to figure this one out for you.

If you'd bother to read my message in reply to your question on "Leisure", you'd read the answer I already gave: "People often ask me why I came up with the character of Aeon Flux. Am I personally a gun-leather- s&m fetishist? (by the way, the answer is no.) In truth, I could probably tell essentially the same stories-- stories about betrayal, guilt, the problems with communication, etc, using a different protagonist, say a potato farmer living in the steppes of Kazakhstan. But who would watch it?"

I think this tells you all you need to know about the strategy involved in shaping Aeon.

Thinking all this, I thought I'd pass on replying to you on this topic. Your next post, however, pushed me. Your retort to Lady Morgan's message was again, an attempt at baiting, and I think extremely rude. First of all, your choice of the analogy "whoring your wife" was stupid, since you were addressing a lady. (I guess you couldn't say "whoring your husband", since these words aren't in a sexist's vocabulary)

Second of all, you have the annoying and revealing habit of prefacing your statements with qualifiers in an attempt to pre-empt criticism against them. James, when someone starts his statements by saying "my intention is never to offend", and "I wish not to rile or irritate you" you can be sure that what follows is going to offend, rile and irritate. Otherwise, why would you try to qualify yourself this way? And regardless of what your intent might be, if your statement irritates, then you are irritating. A drunk driver does not intend to cause injury, but his thoughtlessness does not excuse him when injury occurs as a result of his actions.

James, I honestly don't care if you leave this board with an embittered attitude against me and my work. I enjoy conversing with fans as long as the discussion abides by certain standards of etiquette. I've honestly enjoyed the time during the last couple of weeks posting messages here and engaging in the exchange of ideas. I've received numerous e-mails which were encouraging and heartwarming. I've spent far more time coming online to join the forum than I expected to. It's addicting. But I'll say that if I see any more messages from you in the same vein as you've given so far, your questions will be ignored.

-- Peter Chung (, June 13, 2000.

Peter your passion is super, but please, you should have taken my advice to "can it". Don't waste my time with self-centred whining okay honey? Read what I typed again-does it infuriate you? Why? Because you are more important? I denounce you; I challenge your morality, your integrity, your beliefs and your attitude. You are my insect and I shall prove so. So I see you're a tortured man to frequent this board and to labour such detailed truths...well my God it seems there has been another to die alongside Christ. How sacrificial are you Peter? As a word of warning, instating your authority and your own importance will get you nowhere since many recognise, hey like it or not, you're just a human. And a very obnoxious one at that. See that one coming Pete?! Keep your replies short and never, ever challenge me again-I will show you up for the tiny curled animal that you are.

Even better, don't reply-but we know this is both impossible-I challenged your ego too. Guess I'll always have the upper hand Mr. Chung.


-- James Wan (, June 13, 2000.

James, I did read again what you typed at the top of this page, and yes, it is infuriating. I recommend you do so yourself. The entire thrust of your question is engineered to entrap me into saying something that would drive a rift between me and my fans. Your choice of words is inflammatory, designed to provoke discord, not understanding. I'll quote:

"do you feel that the core of Aeon Flux has been robbed and that its very original light has been canvassed so much it is deadened and redundant?"

"Do you think that since you introduced Aeon Flux to the world at large, it no longer belongs to you, that somehow, the gist of each separate episode has been raped, mutated and distorted by overly eager minds? "

Are you trying to get me to blame my viewers for the robbery, deadening, rape, mutation and distortion of my work? Sorry, pal, I won't engage in this kind of game.

Oh, and what kind of answer were you trying to get out of Lady Morgan? Honestly, do you imagine she could have replied, "why yes, James, it IS just like whoring my wife!"

Explain yourself. Or don't.

-- Peter Chung (, June 13, 2000.

Mr. Chung why even bother with people like that? i mean they just want to get a rise out of you. my motto is, if you can't get rid of them then humor them! haha, for i do respect everyone's point of view no matter how stupid or vauge the are. but i certainly hope that you will still come back despite your recent encounter with James. lol... For i for one do very much admire all of ur work and it's many forms. I also very much enjoy reading ur messages, and am greatful that frostbite found you. You are a true genius in the world of animation. And ur work is a constant inspiration for me and my friends.

-- Lady Morgan (, June 13, 2000.

Thanks Lady Morgan. You have more patience than I. To friends of the forum, I'm sorry about the ugly turn this dialogue has taken. I guess I probably should have just kept my mouth shut, and moved on. Umm... would someone care to change the subject?

And James, I'd like to take back what I said about not caring if I've left you feeling bitter. I know I should have tried to resolve our differences in a more civil manner. And yes, you're right, I'm just a human-- but what made you think I thought otherwise?

-- Peter Chung (, June 13, 2000.

Jesus. Reading this has put a damper on my whole evening. I think it's time to just, you know, just gracefully let the matter drop.

-- Frostbite (, June 14, 2000.

haha Frostbite, i was wondering when you were going to show up!

A very good idea Mr. Chung i'll have to come up with something that is worth you while, humm that will be a bit hard to do.

-- Lady Morgan (, June 14, 2000.

Wow! Just got back and I've been wondering what transpired while I was away. I spent a lot of time lazing around looking at the blue sky from a boat and marveling at Peter Chung's incredible mind, and how lucky we are to have him at our forum, SEVERAL times. And how much good info he has imparted to us. And how I'd like to cuddle him like a teddy bear for allowing us to get to actually know him at all, when I come back here to find that intelligent mind can corner and put a boor in his place in a way that took my breath away. So this is where Aeon learned her skills. Impressive.

-- Barb e. (, June 14, 2000.

"Total creative freedom soon"-ooooh, can't wait.

-- Barb e. (, June 14, 2000.

Response to To Peter Chung-the "property" of Aeon Fl

That's an interesting subject right there.

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, June 14, 2000.

Response to To Peter Chung-the "property" of Aeon Fl

The upcoming project, I mean. Y'know, this *is* a public forum, and a very intelligent one at that. If the occasional yahoo drops by (like a certain HTML "wizard" whose name I won't mention), let it be the exception that proves the rule. And Peter, maybe I can't speak for everyone, but I'm just glad to have you here as a person. Your posts rip!

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, June 14, 2000.

Peter, from your last post (concerning the commercial nature of the field you are working in now and the creative control you have on projects) it felt like that you are viewing animation now more as a purely artistic outlet (for enjoyment) rather than for the pursuit of a greater intellectual content in animation? Do you find you are happy to enjoy the thrill of making static images move and become alive (something many beginner/amateur animators like myself are just discovering) with a greater emphasis on the creation of something beautiful. I can imagine their is also a great deal of satisfaction from working an idea through initial concept, pre and post production, with it finally being completed and, in most cases, aired. I guess this is all related to the motivation behind your work.

Also, the brief mention of the ad for cd-rom game sounded like a path you wish to travel more, testing new ground in animation techniques etc...?

-- William (, June 14, 2000.

How do you start to be a beginning animator? William, what do you animate?

-- Kittymoon (, June 19, 2000.

There is a lot of computer animation software available. Also there is easier packages like a great off-shoot of Adobe photoshop called Image-ready, it lets you create animated gifs etc... that can be exported as movie files (quicktime etc...) the more conventional studio animation techniques using cels is costly and labour intensive. It just takes too long for someone that can only spend weekends/free time on it.

-- William (, June 20, 2000.

William, did you have to take animation classes to understand the mechanics of these products, or was it self explanatory? Seems to be a pretty easy principal, but a complicated field. I thought Peter's explanation of the hand held shots in the purge, regarding the green filter and all gave some insight as to how expensive it must be, and how absorbing for an artist it must be to want to bring to life their art. Ever create any yourself?

-- Barb e. (, June 20, 2000.

I must admit I have only attempted the rather easy techniques. After realising that it is possible to do small animation work with the resources I have at hand I decided to start developing some concepts, characters etc... I am still doing that at present. I would like to investigate the actual process of studio animation (cels, cameras, timing etc...) my knowledge is pretty general. I would encourage anyone to look into simple animation though it is a lot of fun, just make sure you have lots of time on yours hand :-)

-- William (, June 20, 2000.

I've been inspired to become an animator/filmmaker ever since I first encountered Peter Chung's philosophies of filmmaking. Lately I've been experimenting with using a video camera to record animation at about 5 frames a second, having to time the start- and stop-time of each frame manually by listening to the whirr of the tape. Needless to say, it's really slow and painstaking work, but other options are really out of my league at this point. I've been using sheets of tracing paper as cells and it works pretty well. I've also considered getting video transfer hardware to somehow edit or record single frames onto the computer and to put them to motion there. Anyway, not much has come of the whole thing, yet. I've slowly been developing characters and stories to animate, but most of them are so sweeping and epic in scale that I'll probably only be able to create them a mini-scene at a time. William, I'm interested in hearing about your efforts in animation, if you'd like to share any more.

-- Matthew Rebholz (, July 28, 2000.

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