GRAYHAVEN COMICS APPRENTICE- Challenge 5- The Boardroom!

MARC- How was the split of responsibilities doled out on this task? Did people volunteer or were specific tasks assigned?
JEREMY- It was pretty much a volunteer basis. I said right off the bat that I needed to step up and stand out, hopefully in a good way, by taking on the scripting task.
MARC- How do you think that you did on your portion of the task, regardless of what the judges said in our criticism?
JEREMY- I am fairly happy with the final script. As with every other script I have written,  I think it could be better but overall I think it was good.
MARC- The judges had a number of questions regardin the long term outlook and how vague some of the information was. Do you have the answers to these questions (what were the affects of the coma/serum? who was the gentleman that was abusive towards Mary Jane?)?
JEREMY- I do not have these answers. This may get me fired but outside of the script I was lost. I have never read the original story and could not find a copy. I watched some of the videos Marc provided but just to get a jist of the style of writing. But when I read the other deliverables when the other team members where posting them, I liked them and stand behind my teammates. I see the holes that the judges pointed out but I also see holes in the other teams work.
MARC-  One thing I notice is that your team often gets bogged down in the minutae of the wording in each assignment. How do you think you could have done better on this task without worrying about being EXACTLY on point with every little detail of the way the challenge was phrased?
JEREMY- I like our teams approach. We have won past challenges because of our way of tackling the tasks. The one thing I wish I could change is that I am not familiar with this or any other other Spiderman story.
MARC-  Do you think you deserve to be in this game after this week?
JEREMY- I definitely believe I should stay. For not having read any Spiderman besides the current run of Ultimate, I think I did a pretty damn good job with getting the script to fit that time period. I think it shows my scripting and writing skills and shows that I deserve to stay.

ANDREW- What part of the challenge did you contribute the most to this week?
JEREMY-I was in charge of the scene script.
ANDREW- Are you happy with your level of participation and contribution to the team this week?
JEREMY-I am happy with the final product. As I said in my response to Marc, I always think any script I write can be better. But I think I did a good job at capturing the “essence” and “vibe” of the writing style of the day.
ANDREW- Why do YOU deserve to stay in the game?
JEREMY- I think my script showed my writing and scripting abilities and show that I deserve to continue. I think it shows that i deserve to continue to show my skills.

RAY- Who was in charge of the rationale? It feels like this part of the task sort of blew up, and may have wound up taking precedence to the detriment of the other parts?
JEREMY- Sam was in charge of this task. He fept very confident about it going into the task and I never doubted him as he has done a great job this entire challenge.
RAY- What was the thought behind having Gwen in league with the Jackal, and then being in a coma?
JEREMY- Like I said to Marc, this may get me fired but I wasn’t involved in much of the planning outside of the script. I have no familiarity with the story and couldn’t find a TPB.
RAY- When it came to the sudden reveal/proposal immediately after the rescue, was this decided in the script stage, or in the plotting stage?
JEREMY- That was all decided in the planning stage.
RAY- I know this is a tight group, and I’m not going to ask you to pick someone to be fired. But who on your team did the best this week, and should NOT be fired?
JEREMY- Mary worked her ass(excuse my language) off as PM. She was on top of everything and had a hand in the creation of every deliverable. She doesn’t deserve to go.

MARC- How was the split of responsibilies doled out on this task? Did people volunteer or were specific tasks assigned?
SAM- Jeremy stated early he wanted to do the script in order to stand out on this task.  Mary then asked myself and Nathan what we fancied doing, with Nathan choosing the chance to write the following year of story lines. This meant I was placed on deliverable concerning why we chose our scenario, and why Gwen’s survival was a positive for the title moving forward.  I was happy to work on any aspect the team needed me to.

MARC- How do you think that you did on your portion of the task, regardless of what the judges said in our criticism?
SAM- Under the circumstances I think I did my job.  It was a little overwritten and maybe focused too much on the significance of the event, and I’ll own those errors and learn from them.  However, efforts focused primarily on writing the script pages and year of stories, and whilst doing this it wasn’t really established as to why Gwen surviving was a good thing.  Therefore my work was done retroactively, trying to fit a rationale and long-term positive to the change we chose and stories we came up with.

After looking at Nathan had written for the next year of stories, I then looked at the same period in the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ book of the time.  In our year of stories there seemed more connections between Peter Parker’s friends/family and the problems Spider-Man faced when compared into the original timeframe.  I figured that perhaps with Gwen surviving then rejecting Peter, and the subsequent closer linking of his personal problems to his hero problems, Peter would become more drawn on his ‘hero-side’ and less able to draw support and comfort from his personal life.  This would give him more of a solitary personality, and expand this aspect of the character (i.e who is his true personality; Spider-Man or Peter, hence the Batman/Bruce Wayne reference), presenting future writers with different area to explore and potentially  expanded emotional landscape to explore operate going forward.

As it ended up quite verbose I think some of the clarity got lost and the central idea got muddied, but reading it again I still think I did what was asked of me well considering.

MARC- The judges had a number of questions regardin the long term outlook and how vague some of the information was. Do you have the answers to these questions (what were the affects of the coma/serum? who was the gentleman that was abusive towards Mary Jane?)?
SAM-I don’t feel I can answer this adequately, as I didn’t have enough involvement, and most importantly insight, into the choices made as on what turned out to be the year of story lines, nor the longer-term outcomes.  Things got quite confusing for me early on, possibly due to my work schedule this week taking me away from the keyboard for longish stints and thus arriving back to a lot of emails, but also as I think we went too big too soon on some of the ideas, and took a long time to cut them back down to size in order to frame them in the deliverables.

I did voice reservations early that we were striking out into what I termed as ‘Clone Saga’ territory, and this was due to seeing lots of new ideas being put forward for stories, characters etc in that next year that, although maybe interesting, did little to develop the reason as to why Gwen surviving was a good thing for the book, and didn’t really have much to do with anything.  I felt that rearranging events that had taken place already in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ across the following year, but showing how Gwen’s survival fed into these, altered them or influenced them would have made for a stronger submission, and mentioned this early.

I also proposed a year of stories where Gwen’s survival acted as a catalyst for a number of events, the ultimate focus of these being her direct involvement in the rise of the second Goblin.  This was meant to spark the idea that her survival had to carry as much direct practical impact on the title as her death did, and not just end up being another event, leaving her just another piece to be played with; instead she had to play a tangible role in changing Spider-Man’s world.  However, I perhaps didn’t correctly outline or express this aspect to the group when submitting it.

MARC- One thing I notice is that your team often gets bogged down in the minutae of the wording in each assignment. How do you think you could have done better on this task without worrying about being EXACTLY on point with every little detail of the way the challenge was phrased?
SAM- I think this is due to not wanting to make what we could call the ‘elseworlds error’; an hangover from the critiques of task one.  We didn’t want to get caught focusing on the wrong things because we misunderstood the question, and losing out not due to a lack of effort but lack of direction.  During this challenge it possibly became a bit of a time-sink; we got preoccupied trying to get our heads around the details of task and could’ve used the time to produce a more polished product.

MARC-  Do you think you deserve to be in this game after this week?
SAM- Yes I do.  I’m not going to lie; this was not my performance of the Apprentice challenge so far.  However I think I did delivered what I was asked to, and helping out significantly in one other area too.

My section might have been wordy, but as we’d not put much active time into considering how the other deliverables fed into this aspect (i.e why Gwen surviving was good for ‘Amazing Spider-Man’) I felt I was able to tie things together and get us a decent number of ‘marks’ in this area.  I also put considerable effort into providing detailed notes on the initial draft script, which alongside Mary’s equally astute observations and editing helped make this one of our stronger elements, despite it not being my primary responsibility.

And beyond this task, across all the prior challenges, I believe I have shown enough promise to warrant my remaining involved.  I’ve worked hard under pressure (jumping in to finish an abandoned deliverable on our ‘Franchise Resurrection’ task),  shown my ability to adapt in new scenarios (my press outreach on the ‘Marketing and Promo’ task), displayed my creativity (coming first in the initial ‘Ultimate All-Star’ challenge), and shown I can organise and direct a team successfully (the ‘Crossover’ challenge, where my team won 4-0).

Even with the criticism of both our team and my own deliverable this time out, I believe I’ve show enough promise to survive this boardroom.
RAY- Who was in charge of the rationale? It feels like this part of the task sort of blew up, and may have wound up taking precedence to the detriment of the other parts?
SAM- I was.  My element was over long and will cop to that, but I strongly content the suggestion that it took precedence in any other way other than word count.  It was written retroactively, after the initial script and year of stories document, and in the absence for any true consensus on why the group felt keeping Gwen alive was a good thing for ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ going forward.

Some team members chose separate sections to go off and work on alone but with no agreed end state or direction , so when I sat down I had to make do with what everyone had done.  If anything the rationale was written in subordination to the other aspects, the year of stories in particular, with my previous answer to one of Marc’s questions illustrates my thought process to this effect.

On our previous successful creative task (the crossover) we took longer to work out the ideas as a group, which although frustrating some at the time, meant that when the myself as team leader pulled these together into a structure they existed under a unified concept.  This then gave the other deliverables a foundation to grow from, something we unfortunately lacked here.  Seeing everything as separate components to be brought together at the end ignored the fact that each needed to feed into the other.  So I actually believe that in light of this, my efforts to throw a sheet over things and give them some sense of unity helped our task more than hindered it.

RAY- What was the thought behind having Gwen in league with the Jackal, and then being in a coma?
SAM- No idea on the thought behind that, sorry.  Again, this demonstrates the issue I had with my own deliverable in that it was cut to fit the decisions made by others, largely without discussion or explanation.  Had I been in a position to spend more time at my keyboard over the course of this task I would likely have asked more questions, so maybe that i my fault.  But as it was I barely had enough time to complete my own deliverable and provide the significant amount of feedback I gave on the script section.

RAY-  When it came to the sudden reveal/proposal immediately after the rescue, was this decided in the script stage, or in the plotting stage?
SAM- Straight out the gate I proposed that we add a significant element instead of Gwen’s death in order to there still be some significant change in the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ world at this point, and floated the idea of Peter being forced to or choosing to reveal himself to Gwen.

The first time I saw the suggestion of Peter also proposing at this point it was (if I recall correctly) in Nathan’s initial year of stories document.  However, as there had been a flurry of emails many on different threads which I’ll openly admit (and did at the time) I found hard to follow between my sessions at the keyboard it might have got floated elsewhere first.  I did not love the idea, and made the suggestion it was a bit much, with an alternative of using it as a cliff-hanger if we had to.  I maybe could have made my objection to this clearer at this point.

Later when it was incorporated into the script I commented on the overkill of Peter revealing himself AND proposing in the same panel in feedback, again stating it perhaps be used as a cliff-hanger.  At this stage it seemed to have become accepted as part of the story, so can be ultimately traced back to the plotting stage.

RAY-  I know this is a tight group, and I’m not going to ask you to pick someone to be fired. But who on your team did the best this week, and should NOT be fired?
SAM- Mary.  People will look at the team leader in this situation, but throughout the task she was available (something I cannot claim to have been unfortunately), firing out responses, organising, editing and collating the separate sections together.  And that isn’t even taking into account her creative contribution.  She absolutely put in the most work and should not be fired.

GLENN- Marc kinda touched on this but your team asked a LOT of questions about this task.  There seemed to be a new question nearly every day.  Do you feel there was some miscommunication on our side or misunderstanding on your side that effected your ability to do the task.
SAM- No, as I said to in response to Marc’s similar question I think it is a bit of a complex, based on seeing misunderstandings costing people in other tasks.  It wasn’t miscommunication from the judges.

I do think our group ‘overloaded’ a little at the front end of the task, with some ideas getting too big too fast, and we maybe lost a little perspective of what it was we were doing, and I also found the multiple emails on many different, seemingly random threads maddening at times, but otherwise we were okay on communication.

GLENN-  It seems that the majority of the team were unfamiliar with this story (or Spider-Man in general).  Why did you choose it when this is a pretty big handicap to overcome?
SAM- I didn’t feel unfamiliar with the story, and felt that at times I was able to bring information to the task about the source material that helped out, and avoided serious errors, such as ignoring Gwen’s catatonic state during her fall.  I made one factual error in forgetting Gwen had got over her blaming Spider-Man for her father’s death, but Nathan caught me there, in a similar fashion to how I caught the ‘dazed’ Gwen thing; that’s teamwork.

But it is one of the most classic stories in comics, and if you look online it takes you literal moments to find both digital version and reprint versions at a very low price.  And as this is meant to be a facsimile of a real writing job there really is no excuse not to have sought it out; knowing that issue at least was central to the task.

GLENN- You lost points from each judge on the last section.  Who came up with the majority on it and was there no discussion on giving a more detailed run through of the further impact such a major change would have?
SAM- Mary took the last section.  As with a fair chunk of the creative work, these deliverables were created in relative isolation, though in similar circumstances to my own, the long-term out comes section was pretty reliant on the more hefty, and direction-setting one year of stories.

GLENN-  What was the thinking behind the introduction of a new villain in the Gentleman rather than elevating an existing rogue?  It was a good idea I felt (if underdeveloped) and want to hear more about the thought process.
SAM- No idea, sorry.  Was one of the aspects that became ‘canon’ for our story while I was away from my keyboard.

GLENN-  Did you feel obligated to fit the Punisher in considering he was introduced as a result of Gwen’s death story wise and feel somewhat restricted because of this?
SAM- I had suggested the use of Punisher in my story ideas, primarily as his origin was tied to that of The Jackal and by proxy Gwen’s death, and I had at that point used this relationship to illustrate how Gwen’s survival was influencing events in just as powerful manner as her death, and by still using elements from the rich world of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ of that era.  In this context he was involved initially in the revenge quest of, then the capture of Miles Warren.  Warren’s knowledge of Norman Osbon being the Goblin, gathered while working with Punisher, and subsequent interactions with Gwen from behind bars led in directly to the rise of Green Goblin 2.  This was a kind of ‘ripple effect’ story suggestion, in which the Punisher was pivotal, and all the characters involved acted in accordance with their personalities.

Nathan subsequently inserted the Punisher into his story, but performing a entirely different function, which did not reflect the above.  Perhaps this was out of obligation as I’d both directly suggested the character, and that we perhaps use the elements from the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ world of the time, but I don’t know.  I certainly don’t think that utilised correctly Punisher would be restrictive to telling a good story, but maybe we didn’t use him correctly.

 

ANDREW- What part of the challenge did you contribute the most to this week
SAM- My deliverable was the rationale for the use of and positive impact of the reversal of Gwen’s death on the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ title going forward, so I put a lot of work into that.  I was essentially providing the thread of reasoning that linked Gwen’s survival, the choices made in the year if stories document and alterations therein made to the book.  However, this was done retroactively, and was discussions had focused on the minutiae of these aspects, rather than on longer-term and deeper impact of the event it was tough.

As much of what remained ‘canon’ in terms of aspects like Harry killing his father, and the ‘gene-cleanser’ thing we created and greenlit while I wasn’t in a position to respond adequately I found myself less effective perhaps lending a dissenting voice, or attempting to suggest alternatives.  Where this did happen it met with only limited success.

ANDREW-  Are you happy with your level of participation and contribution to the team this week?
SAM- All things considered (i.e. my availably, my requested deliverable, general input to the team); yes, I am.  As well as working on my own section I spent significant time providing what I felt was urgent and required input to the script section, including catching errors and presenting ideas that ultimately went into improving that.  Despite the fact I had very limited time over the time period of the task in which to work on it I put the hours, and the brain-power into this challenge, regardless of the outcome.

ANDREW-  Why do YOU deserve to stay in the game?
SAM- I’ve shown the a range of skills across this process.  In terms of my creative work, both alone (task one) and in a group (tasks two and three), where my contributions have been the source of either significant points gained for my team or success.  In terms of organisation and motivation, I have led a team to victory (task two), and pushed well outside of my comfort zone in order to bring significant success to my team (task four).  Even in a task where I was immune from being ‘fired’ I applied myself to not one but two deliverables, and despite our eventual narrow loss both of these were well received by the majority of judges (task three).  I have NEVER been carried in this process.

Ultimately, while this task has not been my finest hour I have still worked hard, contributed both ideas and feedback to try and improve and shape the task, and I do not feel I should go home here.  I have more to bring to the table too, and don’t want to go home before I’ve shown more of what I can do.

MARC- How was the split of responsibilities doled out on this task? Did people volunteer or were specific tasks assigned?
MARY- The tasks were offered on a volunteer basis first. That was my decision as PM because I did not want to assign anyone a job they would feel that they were repeating from previous challenges (although I did make it clear that if the tasks weren’t adopted quickly I would assign them). As usual, this team stepped up. Jeremy wanted to “up his game”, expressing a strong, specific desire to take on the scripted pages. I felt he deserved that chance and no one disagreed. Nathan quickly volunteered to write the outline, and as usual, Sam offered to do “whatever [was] needed.” Because Sam has extensive knowledge of the Spider-Man title, he took responsibility for writing the first deliverable, describing our choices and reasons why rewriting Gwen back to life would be a long-term, overall benefit.

MARC- How do you think that you did on your portion of the task, regardless of what the judges said in our criticism?
MARY- My deliverable was the long-term plans brief and was the last of the four documents to be written. I chose to wait and write it after I was familiar with the revised story line we created.

While I was fairly satisfied with my paragraph regarding the future of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, I was never comfortable with the rest of the summary. Next to Jeremy who was completely unfamiliar with the original story, I knew the least about the “Amazing Spider-Man” title, therefore it was difficult for me to clearly envision its rewritten future. I did my own research, and attempted to use our choices, rationale, and outline documents to help frame a long-term plan, but I feared predicting specifics. That is directly related to my tendency to veer off into “elseworlds”, a mistake I have made in previous challenges and did not want to repeat.

Unfortunately, this past week was problematic for my teammates in terms of availability: Nathan spent a lot of time on aircraft; Sam, in addition to the time difference challenges, was working double shifts; and Jeremy had additional responsibilities at home. I mention this not to make excuses but as simple statements of fact. Their extra offline time played into the fact that I received no feedback on my deliverable, despite sending it out with a specific request for opinions and suggestions three separate times. Ultimately, I went with a document that I believed was sub-standard. I could not predict the reception it would receive.

I would like to note that I did receive comments back from my teammates after the submission had been sent in. Those comments would not have made significant changes to the deliverable as you read it.

MARC-  The judges had a number of questions regarding the long term outlook and how vague some of the information was. Do you have the answers to these questions (what were the affects of the coma/serum? who was the gentleman that was abusive towards Mary Jane?)?
MARY- I do not have those answers. Both Gwen’s coma and the “Gentleman” were written into the outline, therefore I thought it better to include than to ignore them in the long-term brief, despite the fact that I did not expand upon the concepts beyond mentioning them. I did have ideas about extrapolating stories but was, again, wary of venturing into an elseworld situation. In retrospect, I didn’t want to let my team down by writing the wrong thing; instead, I let them down by not writing anything at all.

MARC-  One thing I notice is that your team often gets bogged down in the minutae of the wording in each assignment. How do you think you could have done better on this task without worrying about being EXACTLY on point with every little detail of the way the challenge was phrased?
MARY- As a team and as individuals, we have been criticized in previous challenges for misinterpreting tasks. Therefore, I believe we have all begun to over-think the wording of the assignments. This week was particularly difficult in that regard. As a group, we all read the task statements differently, and as a result, the judges received several clarification emails from me. In each case, your responses ended our debates; we accepted the secondary explanations and got on with our tasks.

In my opinion, our hyper-vigilance about the deliverables is related to two things:

1. This team is very cohesive despite the inherently competitive nature of the overall Apprentice experience. Since the beginning, “Team A” has been comprised of very bright, intense, talented and success-oriented people. No one on this team likes to “get it wrong”, which sometimes results in some obsessing over “getting it right.”

2. Again, this is just my opinion, but I also think that fatigue is becoming a factor – even an extra player on the team. Working on Challenge 5 resulted in the most contentious week this team has experienced to date. Time was short, pressure high, and the stakes grow more intense as the number of competitors decreases. I realize that we had the benefit of an additional team member compared to Hive Mind, but I wonder if the shorter length of their very creative, successful submission might speak to similar issues from a different standpoint.

MARC-  Do you think you deserve to be in this game after this week?
MARY-

Based on the amount of work I did: yes.

Based on the quality of my work, with the exception of my own deliverable: yes.

Based on my deliverable (the long-term plans brief): no.

Based on my ability to learn from my mistakes and improve: undetermined.

Based on my performance as Project Manager: no.

I knew going in that this was a very complicated real-life week for me to be PM, but since I was the only team member who had not taken on that role, I agreed to do it when perhaps that was not a wise decision. I gave the job my best effort, but did not perform to the best of my ability as a manager, based on what I know I can do from real-world experience.

ANDREW- What part of the challenge did you contribute the most to this week?
MARY- My main contributions were two-fold:

(a) I spent a great deal of time reading and making editorial changes to and suggestions for all of the deliverables. Virtually all of these edits were well-received by the authors/my teammates and with very few exceptions were incorporated into the submitted documents. The last of those tasks was over two hours spent formatting our script. Jeremy wrote the content and designed the layout with input from Sam and myself (Nathan was travelling during the time this was being worked on). Once Jeremy was satisfied with his writing, I put the script into a more formal, and I hoped, professional format. At that time, I also took the opportunity to compare the script to our outline to ensure that the two stories were aligned, and made a few last-minute edits that I hoped added some drama to the visuals. The “polishing” of this particular deliverable concerned me because “the quality of the scripted scene” was singled out as a main judging point.

(b) A lot of communication was necessary this week – all of it constrained by individual schedules – therefore a significant portion of my time was spent making sure that all team members were up-to-speed on what was happening with each deliverable, questions about content, collective decision-making, and clarification of a variety of issues – and I have a swollen email box to prove this. If polled, I suspect my teammates would admit that there were too many emails from me, but I find that preferable to a lack of communication (and blame a certain amount of repetition on sheer exhaustion).

ANDREW- Are you happy with your level of participation and contribution to the team this week?
MARY- I spent every available waking moment on Challenge 5 this week. Since I had not another minute to give, it is impossible for me to be unhappy with my level of participation.

I am happy with my contributions with the exception of one task: the Long-term Plan Brief deliverable. It was inadequate, for reasons outlined in previous responses.

ANDREW-  Why do YOU deserve to stay in the game?
MARY- The answer to this lies in the qualities you are looking for in the eventual Apprentice winner.

If, at the end of the day, the things I have done right are more valuable than, and outnumber, the mistakes that I have made, then I deserve to stay in the game. If my contributions show the types of skills, talents, and creativity needed to create comics, plus the ability and willingness to learn what I don’t know, then I deserve to stay in the game.

RAY-  Who was in charge of the rationale? It feels like this part of the task sort of blew up, and may have wound up taking precedence to the detriment of the other parts?
MARY- Sam wrote the rationale deliverable and I assisted with editing. Significant edits were made to shorten this document although it remained perhaps lengthier than you might have wanted.

As his teammate as well as PM on this task, I deferred to Sam’s superior knowledge about the title in terms of content. Sam’s writing style is detailed and academic, which is something I personally appreciate given that I have done research/academic work in the past. In this respect, I was probably not as objective an editor (even an informal one) as would have been ideal. It would have been better to step back and look at this document and its place within the set of deliverables for which I was ultimately responsible. I did not make enough effort to do this.

 

RAY-  What was the thought behind having Gwen in league with the Jackal, and then being in a coma?
MARY- I cannot speak to these issues. Nathan wrote the outline which is where those aspects of the story came from; he and I did not have sufficient time to discuss either of these points. Our online conversations were often brief and happened when he was in airports waiting to board a plane.

Also, when Sam did not object to these plot points, I felt that they were likely in keeping with the title as Sam is detail-oriented and I trusted his ability to consistently pick up on issues that did not make sense to the story.

RAY- When it came to the sudden reveal/proposal immediately after the rescue, was this decided in the script stage, or in the plotting stage?

MARY- If I recall correctly, this was in the first draft of the outline. We felt it was a dramatic way to end the issue with Gwen alive and also leave us with opportunities to take the continuing story line in new directions, as the deliverable asked. As well, we felt that the proposal – and particularly Gwen’s response – would make readers excited for the next issue.

 

GLENN- Marc kinda touched on this but your team asked a LOT of questions about this task.  There seemed to be a new question nearly every day.  Do you feel there was some miscommunication on our side or misunderstanding on your side that effected your ability to do the task.
MARY- If anything, I think we struggled as a team to agree on interpreting the tasks. Our group had not had that problem in the past and I don’t think there was anything particularly different with the Challenge 5 instructions that made them more difficult to understand. Our team was tired, pressed for time, and I think, overly concerned with “doing the right thing.” Ultimately, every issue was overcome because we all work well together. The fact that we disagreed on so many points did not interfere with our ability to relate to one another or get the job done. And we were very appreciative for the excellent feedback from the judges when we did ask for clarifications.

GLENN-  It seems that the majority of the team were unfamiliar with this story (or Spider-Man in general).  Why did you choose it when this is a pretty big handicap to overcome?

MARY- Actually, Sam and Nathan were both very familiar with Spider-Man and this story. I had read some parts of the “Amazing Spider-Man” title, and had what I would classify as a “fair” sense of the story although certainly not as extensive as Sam or Nathan. Only Jeremy had not read the story or title before and he did research on his own to try to catch up.

The opposite aspect of our selection was that we were much less familiar with the other choices. Of the entire list, the team’s knowledge about the death of Gwen Stacy and Spider-Man was the best – and as far as I was concerned – only choice for us.

GLENN- You lost points from each judge on the last section.  Who came up with the majority on it and was there no discussion on giving a more detailed run through of the further impact such a major change would have?

MARY- The Long-term Plan Brief was entirely my deliverable. I wrote it. As mentioned in a previous answer, I tried several times to get feedback from my teammates because I was uncomfortable with the content (or lack thereof) but due to external factors like time differences and team members’ availability, I did not receive any feedback in time to change the document before submission. I felt from the outset that the quality of my deliverable was poor, but I needed and wanted support from the others to improve it. That document stands as my biggest regret of this challenge.

GLENN- What was the thinking behind the introduction of a new villain in the Gentleman rather than elevating an existing rogue?  It was a good idea I felt (if underdeveloped) and want to hear more about the thought process.

MARY- I wish I could help you with that, but this character came from the mind of Nathan, the member of our team with immunity this week. Again, I reiterate my regret that Nathan and I did not have the collaborative time available to review finer points like this one from his outline.

GLENN- Did you feel obligated to fit the Punisher in considering he was introduced as a result of Gwen’s death story wise and feel somewhat restricted because of this?

MARY- This would also be a point that Nathan could best answer. For me, this question – and my lack of ability to answer it – is indicative of my limited knowledge of the Spider-Man title. I can only say that I struggle with many of the DC/Marvel questions and tasks because I do not have the extensive knowledge or the background of having read many of these books in recent years. At one time, I read a lot of comics, but moved away from them for many years and have only recently experienced a revived interest. Within the constraints of the Apprentice game timeline, it simply isn’t possible to familiarize myself with most aspects of so many stories while at the same time put in the work necessary to fulfill the challenge requirements each week.

ALMOST 30 HOURS LATER….

The judges spent the past 24 hours actively deliberating what to do here. This was easily the toughest week we’ve had yet. There were lots of different ideas thrown around, but very few of us were on the same page. In the end, Drew stepped in to settle this. Here’s what he had to say:

“This was one of the toughest weeks we’ve had yet. Both teams missed the mark in some pretty big places with their projects but also delivered some very strong elements of their projects with the result being a narrow victory for Hive Mind.

Mary you were project manager this week. You admittedly weren’t overly familiar with the material and tried your best to manage the team and move this story in a cohesive direction with what you had. You were also responsible for one of the pieces of the final project we didn’t care for that much, the long term plan. But you have had a very good run so far and your team mates all agreed in the board room that you SHOULD NOT go home.

Sam you also made some mistakes with the project this week and also have put together a very good run in this game. No one has singled you out as someone who needed to go but this was one of your weaker performances in the run. You did however explain your reasoning for the decisions made this week adequately.
Jeremy, you’ve had some ups and downs this season. Admittedly it would have been very easy to send you home but the truth is your contribution to the team was what the judge’s liked most in this week’s project and you defended your gameplay very well.

Unfortunately it seems like Nathan was the member of the team who contributed the least, as far as the judges feel but he has immunity given his win from last week so all things being equal, Nathan, this would have been a costly week for you but immunity is immunity. We hope you take the opportunity and come back strong again next week.
So the judges went back and forth with who to fire. Do we go for the Project Manager who ran the team that was responsible for the loss but had her first and only misfire thus far? Do we go for a player that’s had an up and down game but battled hard this week? There were no easy answers and we’ve debated this internally for nearly 30 hours.

Jeremy, you will not be rejoining your team this week.

Mary, you will also not be rejoining your team this week.

Sam, you also will not be rejoining your team this week.

We have decided for the last time this season to do a No Fire based on the closeness of the final projects, the overall game play this season and most importantly the Q&A in the boardroom.

And effectively immediately the teams are disbanded and you are going into individual challenges for the remainder of the game.

The next couple of challenges are going to be especially crucial as since we opted for two no fire weeks there will be at least one double firing coming up to stay on schedule.

Steve, as winning project manager you do have immunity this week but we would love to see participation from you either way.”

And now the next project…stay tuned. It’ll be posted very soon.

 

 

PAST EPISODES—

WEEK FIVE

Challenge #5 Task  (The Rewrite)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/23/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-the-rewrite/

Challenge #5 Complete Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/27/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-completed-rewrite-projects/

Challenge #5- The Judge’s Thoughts- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/28/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-judges-feedback/

WEEK FOUR

Challenge #4 Task (Marketing) –http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/13/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-marketingpr/

Challenge #4- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/21/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #4- Judge’s Thoughts Boardroom-http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/22/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-judges-thoughtsboardroom/

WEEK THREE

Challenge #3 Task (Milking the Franchise)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/05/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3/

Challenge #3- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/10/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-completed-projects/

Challenge #3- Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/11/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-judges-feedback/

Challenge #3- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/12/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-3rd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK TWO Challenge #2-Completed Projects-  http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/03/the-apprentice-2nd-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #2 Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-judges-feedback/

Challenge #2- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK ONE

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