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Steven S. DeKnight: Interviews

22 January 2012 Leave a comment

Steven S. DeKnight – INTERVIEWS

2012:

20 Jan: Whedonopolis – Spartacus: Vegeance Red Carpet Interview 

Jose Molina: Interviews

22 January 2012 Leave a comment

Jose Molina – INTERVIEWS

2012:

22 Jan: Nerdist Writers’ Panel 

Jane Espenson on Crazy Sexy Geeks Podcast

24 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson chats about Husbands and Once Upon a Time with The Crazy Sexy Geeks. You can listen to the podcast here.

Jane Espenson: Is TV Writing The Best Job Ever? from the Huffington Post

16 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson

Writer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Rge O.C., Gilmore Girls and more.

Is TV Writing the Best Job Ever?

Posted 12/14/11


Hello, Gentle Readers. Who’s up for a good blogging? I know I am!

I used to blog on my own site, expounding on the art and craft of television writing. But I stopped one day when I realized that I had expounded myself into the ground. There was nothing left for me to teach. That was a few years ago, though, and since then I’ve learned new things and refined my thinking on a lot of the old things. Right now, I’m writing for the network hit Once Upon a Time (ABC), and for my own web series Husbands, so I’m topped off to overflowing with knowledge.

When I get a chance, now and then, to contribute to these pages, I can explain how storytelling has to change as audiences get better at anticipating twists, and how to write compelling stage directions, and how to deal with the fact that you can’t goddamn swear on the TV, but right now I’d like to start out by addressing the fundamental question: IS TV WRITING THE BEST JOB EVER?

Well, it is stressful. Parts of it can be awful, just awful. You will make mistakes that will be broadcast to millions of people. You will be kept away from your bed by work, and kept awake in your bed by worry. You will almost certainly be made fun of by people with cruelly fast wits. You’ll be rewritten. You will have to say “thank you” when complimented for lines you didn’t write. You will have to bite your tongue when criticized for choices you didn’t make. You’ll be asked to make decisions about costumes and hairstyles. You will have to compromise your vision because an actor or set or special effect or executive isn’t cooperating. You will be punched in the self-esteem. You will cry.

The answer is YES.

It’s the best job ever, because as down as that downside is, the upside is so much upper. The up is so up even the down is up. You are handsomely paid to sit around with intelligent people, talking about a TV show. You laugh all day long. And if you’re writing for a comedy, you get to stay late and laugh all night, too. You quite probably drive through the big gates of a Hollywood studio on your way to work, just like Lassie did. And sometimes you get to put computer to paper and put words in the mouths of talented actors who then, get this, act out your story for you. That part is crazy. Even after 20 years, it still seems nuts to me that these gorgeous talented people breathe life into words I wrote. And if that weren’t enough, another talented person points a camera at it and shows it to everyone you went to high school with. It’s frakkin’ amazing.

It does suffer a bit from being hard to attain. People talk a lot about how hard it is to get into TV writing. And that’s true. But there are new TV writers every season. I see them showing up, shiny and scared, every year. Also, there is the new and amazing world of web series, which meets almost all of the goals except the part about the handsome pay. I recently entered that world withHusbands The Series, and found that not only did it provide most of the upside, it also avoided a lot of the downside. You get to hear the words you wrote all the more clearly when you’re listening just to satisfy yourself, not several layers of bosses.

TV writing (and web writing) is the best job ever. I feel lucky every day. I learn every day. And they pay for lunch every day. Score. Hang around and I’ll tell you what I know.

Original Post at The Huffington Post

Marti Noxon Joins Ouija Project

6 December 2011 Leave a comment

Marti Noxon has been hired to work on the script for Ouija a Hasbro and Platinum Dunes project. Ouija is said to be a “family adventure in the tone of The Muummy centering on a family who has to deal with otherworldly chaos that is unleased.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Jane Espenson Talks Husbands with We Love Cult

6 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson is a crown short of being named “The Queen of All Genre Television”, so when she teamed with Youtube sensation Brad “Cheeks” Bell, actor Sean Hemeon, Alessandra Torresani from Caprica, and sitcom director Jeff Greenstein, the geekosphere took note.

I interviewed Jane, Cheeks, and Sean about the now concluded first season of Husbands, concerns about typecasting, and if they care about offending people. Take a look at what #TeamHusbands had to say.

Sean, Brad, Jane, season 1 is through, you earned your success merit badge, is season 2 definitely happening and can we expect a Husbands DVD, Blu Ray, or Betamax in the future? Not VHS, VHS is gauche.

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: VHS is so not gauche. It’s totes got retro hipster appeal now. Cassette tapes too. Now, CDs? Those are gauche.

Jane Espenson: We don’t know yet about a season two, but we are exploring the idea of some kind of bonus content. We’ll see. And we’d like to make a DVD or iTunes version – this is all still up in the air.

Are you looking to aggressively sell Husbands as a TV show or are waiting for TV to come to you?

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: Ha! TV coming to us? Does that ever really happen? I don’t think anything can get done in Hollywood unless you’re shopping it in some capacity or another. Unless maybe you kill someone and they want an exclusive… say, there’s an idea. 

I’m open to many future avenues for Husbands. My main priority is the ability to produce the show we envision and to retain the incredible creative team and cast we have assembled. The platform is all a part of the details.

Jane Espenson: We’re not waiting. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say we have a “TV or nothing” attitude. We are talking to people with the means to help us continue the show, through whatever means.

The world that you have created for the show is, sadly, a fantasy world where full marriage equality exists, and where a baseball player can be out of the closet and in the spotlight. I’m curious, what made you choose to make Brady a baseball player?

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: I think I might have suggested athlete and Jane is the one who settled on baseball. I wanted someone who was opposite of Cheeks in every possible way and also high profile. Obviously there is still plenty of taboo about openly gay men in the sports world, so it just sort of made sense. 

Jane Espenson: We wanted Brady and Cheeks to both be public figures, to raise the stakes in maintaining the marriage, but we wanted them to have different relationships with their fans.  By making Brady an athlete, we gave him a much more conservative fan base, which gives him very different concerns than Cheeks.

If you will, talk about Jeff Greenstein’s involvement in the project and what that meant to you all. 

Sean Hemeon: I have been absolutely spoiled by having Jeff as a director! He’s the real deal – a genuine stand up guy. He’s the biggest little kid I know and really tries to keep a fun and drama free set. He has a graceful way of steering the ship. He makes it look effortless. And certainly has enough great stories to keep anyone entertained for days!

Jane Espenson: Oh, man, we couldn’t have done this without Jeff.  Jeff is a long-time writer and executive producer, and also an accomplished director.  We needed his keen eye and keen mind. More than anything, it was Jeff who made the show look like a show. 

Sean, Brad, is there a concern about typecasting? 

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: If my role as Cheeks provides so much media exposure that the public just can’t see me as anything else, I’d consider that a high end problem. I should be so lucky. I also think that much of that question is up to the actor and his abilities. Ultimately, I see it like this: I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and cross that bridge should I come to it.

Sean Hemeon: Not at all worried about it. Brady’s not a typical gay character – he’s just a guy who happens to be gay. You could see him in straight situations and gay.

Glee just had an episode where two gay characters lost their virginity. The sun still rose, the seas did not part, and kittens didn’t take to the streets with switch blades. Naturally though, some people were up in arms. You guys didn’t really seem to offend anyone with Husbands and I’m wondering if that was a surprise and if you would have cared about offending people?

Sean Hemeon: We, as gay men, offend people every day just by being out and open in our daily lives. If others want to be bothered by it, then its fine by me cause its their day they’re ruining, not mine. I’m happy in my gay world.

I don’t think, though, Husbands set out to offend people but rather to support people… we got a fan letter from a young boy in the middle of the midwest who saw Husbands and became hopeful that one day he could be out, married and HAPPY!

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: I would have cared about offending people if we’d done so for the sake of a joke, such as throwing a group of people under the bus to make a gag or punchline work. Other than that, for the people that are already morally opposed to what we’re creating, why should I care about offending them? They’re not our audience. They can watch Nancy Grace. They’ll be happier in doing so, as will Nancy Grace.

Jane Espenson: I was kind of looking forward to the kitten gangs because that sounds adorable. But yeah, the viewers are much more ready for content like Husbands than I think some people realize. As we’ve taken Husbands online, we’re finding that we don’t just have a lot people watching, but that there is a core of highly engaged superfans. What we have not found is the opposite – there’s been very little negative reaction and certainly no core of haters. The world has changed a lot in recent years and Glee is a show that’s reflecting that change. So is Husbands.

——————-

You can re-watch or discover Husbands for the first time by going to HusbandsTheSeries.com. 

Oh, and genre fans, here’s a bonus question for Jane Espenson…

Did Barnabas really die in Caprica?

Jane Espenson: I didn’t see a body.  If you don’t see a body, the writers are probably keeping it open for a reason.

Original Interview at We Love Cult

 

Marti Noxon Discusses Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with Movies.com

21 November 2011 Leave a comment

Marti Noxon to Re-Write Disney’s Live-Action Tinkerbell Movie; Discusses ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Problems (Exclusive)

By Peter Hall | Nov 16


Earlier today Movies.com had the pleasure of speaking with Marti Noxon, a series writer and producer on fantastic shows like Mad Men, Glee, Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ahead of the December 13th DVD and Blu-ray release of her last feature film, Fright Night. We spoke mostly about how she approached updating the beloved ’80s vampire film, how the gender politics help pin it to a new generation (yes, there’s more going on in Fright Night than you might realize), and how hard the film marketplace makes it on writers trying to play with new ideas.

We’ll be sharing the entire interview when Fright Night hits stores in a few weeks, but today we wanted to share the portion dealing with that last topic. Noxon, who also wrote the screen adaptation of I Am Number Four, is no stranger to having to develop scripts within such a market and trend-driven climate, so we wanted to talk to her about what exactly is going on with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (another script she wrote) and why it’s seemingly locked in perpetual production turmoil. In the process we also learned that Noxon has been tapped to write Disney’s live-action Tinkerbell movie, Tink, and how she plans to make its focus different than most Disney fairytale movies.

 

Movies.com: What is going on with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and why do you think it’s such a difficult project to get off the ground?

Marti Noxon: That’s a really good question and I really can’t say because my experience with Lionsgate was always great. They are committed to doing it and really smart and my experience with Craig [Gillespie] was, again, great. Everybody seemed very pleased with where the script ended up, so it’s really a little baffling. I would say it probably, in my suspicions, has to do with the marketplace. It’s very hard to sell a comedy-horror concept. As much as it’s already pre-sold and popular much in the same way Fright Night was, it’s still a little risky. At the same time, you get a success like Zombieland, but then something will come along that makes people nervous again, so I feel like there’s a little bit of that problem, particularly on the casting side. It’s hard to find an actress who is super hot because they might not be inclined to take a risk on something that has a 70 / 30% chance of working, you know? I think it’s more to do with the marketplace than the logistics of the actual project.

Movies.com: Is it as difficult as an outsider like me imagines to get a wholly original project made these days? Do wholly original concepts still have a chance or has the market made that much harder?

Noxon: Oh, it’s really hard. I would say it’s close to impossible to get something that’s not, in the genre world, already somehow branded. And even most solid dramas are still based on popular books. Writing something that’s just straight out of your brain without any kind of IP is really tough, but we do our best, but the market is why I’m tending to do stuff based on other material.

Movies.com: So what is next for you in the film world?

Noxon: A couple of things. I’m doing a re-write on Elizabeth Banks as Tinkerbell, kind of in the Enchanted world. It’s about her coming to the real world in a non-fairy form. That’s about all I can say about it, but part of my attraction to that was what we were talking about earlier [the aforementioned gender politics].

It’s hard to write or even find a movie for eight- or nine-year-old girls that isn’t about, ya’ know, “I need a boyfriend!” I mean, Tinkerbell has a job! She’s one of the few characters in that fantasy world that actually has a job. I have a seven-year-old daughter and I want more movies for her where afterward I don’t have to make something up like, “You know, the job of running a kingdom is really hard work, and she and the Prince are going to have to communicate a lot…”
Original Interview at Movies.com
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