To celebrate the Blu-ray release of The Spectacular Spider-Man: The Complete Series, now available to own, Marvel Animation Age has caught up with Director Dave Bullock. In this exclusive interview, Bullock talks about working on the show, dealing with a character as cinematic as Spider-Man, and his favorite moments from the series. Read on...

MAA: How did you come to work on The Spectacular Spider-Man?

Bullock: I had worked as a storyboard artist with Producer Vic Cook when he was a director years prior on a Tarzan series. Myself and Adam Van Wyk were the action storyboarding team to beat in those days, which is why Adam was my first call when I agreed to direct on Spectacular Spider-Man.

MAA: The series followed the original live-action Spider-Man movie trilogy, in which Spider-Man's movement was beautiful in its fluidity, and the fight scenes were incredibly complex. Supervising Producer/Director Victor Cook aimed to match Sam Raimi's movies in this regard, what were your thoughts on the same?

Bullock: Vic is one of the few cartoon directors I've worked with who throws out traditional cartoon staging thinking and always tries for a more live-action approach. It's one of the things that sets him apart as a filmmaker working in animation and one of the reason I enjoy working with him. His infectious smile is the other [laughs]!

MAA: The series featured complex webslinging sequences, despite Spider-Man's character model being quite simplified. Was there ever any thought that the swinging scenes would too difficult for the animators?

Bullock: We never held back on that production or on the animators, so I think they pretty much always delivered. I have to hand it to Sean "Cheeks" Galloway though - designing a smart show that more than one overseas animation studio could work with is no small feat and he showed a great knowledge and design understanding for such a young fella at the time. Besides his art is appealing as hell!

MAA: Which characters were your favourites to work with?

Bullock: I really enjoyed directing the episode "The Invisible Hand," which featured The Rhino. Story artist Adam Van Wyck's fight sequence between Spidey and The Rhino in and around The Daily Bugle is one of the best action sequences ever in any animated toon!

MAA: You directed "Natural Selection," which introduced The Lizard. Dr Connors' transformation into The Lizard is a brutal looking scene. Where did the inspirations for it come from?

Bullock: I was really freaked out as a kid by An American Werewolf In London and hoped to leave a similar (but smaller) mark on our youthful audiences' mind. We didn't have cracking bone sound effects, but we used lots of interesting angles and shadows to creep you out.

MAA: The show featured an ever-evolving symbiote costume throughout the "Venom" story-arc. Which version was your favourite?

Bullock: Venom is one of the all-time great Spidey villains and I was fortune to have been able to work with him in all of his forms. He had a real creepiness to him when Peter was trying to rip him off of his hide in that bell tower.

MAA: "Intervention" features black and white flashbacks for the main bulk of the episode. Is there any difficult in working in an episode without color?

Bullock: That was Greg Weisman's idea. At the time I was hoping for a monochromatic look, which would have also worked fine, but making it black and white instantly let the viewer know this was a flashback and not some altered dream reality. Greg was usually right! The black and white look was achieved in post-production quite easily.

MAA: You've worked on a high number of great superhero cartoons, both as a storyboard artist and director. What stood out on The Spectacular Spider-Man for you, above the others?

Bullock: Despite the tight deadlines and the demanding production, it was the love for ol' Spidey. Most of the crew and production team really enjoyed working on the project and had a great time updating Peter's adventures for a younger audience.

MAA: Are there any Spider-Man characters you would've like to work with but never got the opportunity to do so??

Bullock: The Kingpin has always been a favorite, but he never made his way onto the show. Instead Tombstone was used to fill the role of mysterious mob boss, which worked I thought.

MAA: To wrap things up, what's your overall opinion on The Spectacular Spider-Man?

Bullock: I thought Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps did a great job in writing and boiling the characters down for a younger audience and planning out a fun storyline with several building threads. The movies were great, but I think Spidey works best in a serialized format. Way to go, fellas!

Marvel Animation Age would like to thank Dave for his participation in this interview and and his outstanding work on the show. He can be found on Twitter at @KingRonok. Cheers, Dave!

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