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Latino Review Interview Marti Noxon

8 August 2011 Leave a comment

‘Fright Night’ Set Visit: Interview With Screenwriter Marti Noxon


By Melissa Molina on August 01, 2011

here are a few female writers who make a lasting impression on a genre, particularly on the horror or sci-fi persuasion. Screenwriter Marti Noxon has been one of the it-people in town when it comes to adding some nice spice onto any script she writes. She’s better known for her writing on a couple of television series including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but has only began crossing into feature films just recently.

“Fright Night” is Noxon’s second time adapting a known property, the first being “I Am Number Four.” After dipping her feet in the adaptation waters, she talks to us during the set visit about carefully rewriting the known property, vampire films nowadays and her own take on 3D.

Latino Review: How did you keep the heart of “Fright Night” intact in your script? It had a lot of heart in the characters, you loved every single person in that script. How do you translate that?

Marti Noxon: It’s funny cause that would be the heart of why I got the job. Other people had come in and talked about vampires while I had come in and talked about the relationship between Ed and Charlie and also about the relationship between him and Amy. I was much more interested in the stuff that I had always felt like I wanted some filling in on in the original movie. I had a lot of questions and I loved the original movie for just that reason. Certainly my training on “Buffy” was all about character, what’s the story you’re telling, what’s the theme and what’s the relatable thing for the audience. I feel like, oh yeah, I know what that is. I felt like there were a lot of seeds in the original movie that hadn’t been fully exploited. And the great thing about DreamWorks was that they were really committed to making a movie with a real first act. I feel like because of that decision, that’s why we’ve drawn like Craig Gillespie, Colin (Farrell), Anton (Yelchin) and all these amazing actors because we wrote a character movie that also happens to be a really scary. I think because probably, I wouldn’t say scarier than the original but because time moves on, it affects some of what they are plus I think it feels just a little more real. But that was exactly where I was coming from.

Latino Review: Can you talk a little about some of the changes that were made. For example, Peter Vincent is now a magician instead of a television show host. Why did you guys change some of the characters this time around?

Marti Noxon: Again, it’s however many years later, and there’s not really, I mean — the people who were watching that movie had a very strong point of reference for Peter Vincent being a TV horror movie host. There are few still out there but it’s few and far in between. So we were trying to think of — I was really inspired by the idea that Penn & Teller have this amazing supernatural collection. And I was like, well, who can be a real asset? It has to be set in Vegas, specifically because I have been thinking about that for a long time, having spent some time there during the election. I was out in Park County and these various places and I thought where better for a demon to hide out than in Vegas? It’s a transient population where people sleep all day and party all night. Nobody would notice if people just went missing, you know? I’d already been thinking about Vegas and it was a natural — I knew about the Penn & Teller museum and I was like okay, we’ve gotta make him like this but can’t be cynics like Penn & Teller.

Latino Review: When it came to changing parts of the original, did you feel the need to keep certain scenes from the original in there?

Marti Noxon: With this movie there were some classic sequences that we knew we wanted to take a different turn on, reinvent, but reference for sure. There are a couple of key moments in the film that I wanted to change in order to surprise people. There’s one moment in particular where I think that if you know the original movie, you know what’s gonna happen and it doesn’t happen.

Latino Review: Can you tell us what it is?

Marti Noxon: I can’t tell you. I hope that people who love the original will feel like there’s enough of the original, but we definitely reinvented.

Latino Review: Can you talk a little bit about the film being in 3D and what’s your own opinion on using 3D?

Marti Noxon: It’s interesting because I feel like the culture around 3D, particularly the directors, is really changing. It’s gone from feeling like you have to have these giant pop-out moments for the audience, like “Wooooahhh,” to feeling it more as an atmosphere. There are many opportunities in the script for real 3D moments, but we didn’t say “Ok, Jerry’s gonna like leap towards the camera at this moment.” It was much more like “Where is it natural in the movie to have that?” We emphasized it, but it gives a much more immersed feeling to the whole movie. The whole time you feel like you’re in it. It’s beautiful, I mean just watching it on the screen, it’s incredible.

Latino Review: How much effort did you put into how the vampires were gonna be in this while paying homage to the first one?

Marti Noxon: I had a specific take on it, and of course the people who designed the creatures and the look then took that and expanded it. It’s hard because everything has been done. One of the great things about the original movie was how great some of that design was. I think we sort of modernized that, I don’t think we tried to create an entirely new vampire, but we definitely had a theme for the vampire. One of the first things that happened when I worked on the movie was they said “Yeah, we’re just kind of thinking that this vampire is more like Jaws.” So you’ll see some sort of almost shark-like elements in the design.

Latino Review: As a writer, how do you avoid the Buffy comparisons? How do you break Buffy-speak? Do you find yourself falling into writing the characters like that?

Marti Noxon: Yes and no. I would say part of the reason why I survived the Buffy experience was because of my ear for that. I mean, it’s not nearly as stylized but it’s funny. I went back recently and watched some Buffy because I was doing some lecturing and I was like “Wooow! We were giving The Gilmore Girls a run for their money.”What’s so funny is that I was so critical of other people’s highly stylized dialogue because it’s so unreal. I went back and watched a couple of episodes and was like wow! Nobody ever speaks about spin, you know. The goal in this one was I think to more create a language for the teenagers that felt authentic, and they’re more clever than I am for sure. It takes me longer to make up their dialogue than my own words.

“Fright Night” arrives in theaters everywhere on August 19th, presented in 2D and 3D. Keep your eyes out for even more interviews from the set visit here on Latino Review.

Original Interview at Latino Review

Yahoo Interview Marti Noxon

1 August 2011 Leave a comment

Buffy’s Marti Noxon on Joining Glee, Why Britanny is More “Evolved” Than Most

TV Guide – July 27, 2011

There are many reasons the Internet exploded when it was announced in June that Buffy the Vampire Slayer executive producer and fanboy favorite Marti Noxon had joined the writing staff of Glee: She has plenty of cult cred, thanks to her days working alongside Joss Whedon, but her resume is also littered with top dramas including Mad Men, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy and Brothers & Sisters.

“Geeks and musical nerds are all the same people,” she says. “There were only so many places to hide in high school: One was the A/V club and the other was the drama club. In Glee, the two meet so beautifully.”

We caught up with Noxon Saturday at Comic-Con, where she was promoting the upcoming remake of Fright Night, to talk about what she’ll be doing on Glee — and how the Fox musical might allow her to deal with some unfinished Willow-Tara business:

How did you come to join the writing staff of Glee?
Marti Noxon:
I had worked for Fox a lot back in the day, and actually [20th Century Fox Chairman] Dana Walden, who I like to call co-president of awesomeness, it was her idea. She suggested it to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan and they were really great about it.

Did she tell you they needed more people?
Noxon:
I think what she felt was that Ryan and Brad have a new show going on FX, American Horror Story, and it’s pretty well-known that they, together with Ian, write everything. That’s a lot. It’s not like other shows. I worked on Mad Men and [creator-executive producer] Matthew Weiner puts his mark on every single script and rewrites them all, but they’re only doing 13 episodes. On Glee, they’re doing 24 or something! It’s crazy. They realized they could use some help.

I’m on as a consultant, which means I’m part-time, but they also hired a great writing staff, people I’m really excited about and am currently getting to know.

How much of the show have you seen? Were you a fan?
Noxon:
Absolutely. I was more of a first-season person, only because I didn’t get a chance to watch Season 2; I got super-busy. But I know that Season 1 I really dug. Some of the story lines were so out there, but I totally love that! I was just like, “This is just off the hook! It’s bananas.” We’re having a lot of fun thinking about next season.

The thing I did get to see recently was Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. It’s so good. It’s really charming and inspiring and they make some really smart choices, I can’t wait for people to see it. And I can take my daughter to see it. She’s 6-and-a-half, so I can’t always let her watch the show! “Mommy, why is everybody kissing everybody?” Although she does have lesbian grandmas so she’s ready for Glee.

How will it work with you being a consulting producer?
Noxon:
Usually what it breaks down to is you spend more of your time helping shape story rather than writing scripts. One of the good things about consulting is that you leave the writers’ room for a couple of days, things progress, you come back and you might have a fresher take. The thing that can happen in a TV room is you can get “teamthink,” you can all go down a crazy path together. Sometimes I say working on a story in a writers’ room is like saying the same word over and over and over again until it doesn’t make sense anymore. Like, you say it until you don’t know what you’re saying.

Are there any characters you’re excited to help write stories for?
Noxon:
It’s weird; everyone’s a Brittany (Heather Morris) fan. The number Heather has in the Glee movie is just stupefying. She manages to be both incredibly wholesome and one of the sexiest people you’ve ever seen, which is an amazing thing to pull off. I would love to write some Brittany stuff. I wouldn’t mind getting into the whole Santana-Brittany thing, especially because of Willow and Tara on Buffy.

How so?
Noxon:
It stems from one of the things we had talked about doing with them on Buffy that we never did. It’s so politically incorrect to make a character gay and then make them “un-gay” again. Like once you become gay, you’ve crossed over, or, you’re not allowed to be a person who doesn’t want to be defined by a label like that. You’re not allowed to be a person who says, “I just love that person right now, and maybe I’ll love something else at some point, so I don’t really want to say if I’m gay or bi or straight or anything else. I just love this person.” I feel like that’s where Brittany is. Without overthinking it, she’s very evolved.

Have you talked to any of the executive producers about exploring that further?
Noxon:
Yeah, it’s a big area of discussion right now. “What is Brittany? What’s Santana (Naya Rivera)?” But I also think they did a lot of stuff last season about Kurt (Chris Colfer), and there’s a lot that’s been said on the topic of coming out, so I think theirs may be a slow-burn story.

What’s the creative priority heading into Season 3?
Noxon:
I feel like if there’s a mandate it’s just about keeping it fun and keeping the characters true to themselves. Nothing revolutionary. Doing what Glee does best and doing it through the whole season.

Some critics complained that the second season was erratic, and that sometimes one episode felt different from the next.
Noxon:
I don’t mind that. I feel like that’s my feeling to a degree about True Blood sometimes. But it’s one of the reasons I love that show, because you go, “I did not see that coming. And I never would have!” Sometimes it can feel a little disorienting as a viewer, but I just love the element of surprise and that’s what I loved about Glee’s last season. “Yeah! Here’s an entire episode where they’re huffing at the dentist’s!” It’s also just always incredible clever.

The mission going forward is like that for any show: You’re carrying on what worked from the season before, and looking to the first season to see what people liked about that… But you can’t get too reactive.

Buffy started as a high school show, but the characters graduated on to college and it went on for seven seasons. What’s your take on the idea of characters graduating on Glee?
Noxon:
I think it’s kind of inspired, actually. I do. It is risky, believe me, I understand that it’s risky. On Buffy we had a hard time at certain point, I mean, we stopped voluntarily at Season 7. It was not something the network was clamoring for, but we got tapped out. And I think Glee is a franchise that could go on for a really long time. There’s a lot of talented, wonderful actors out there. I think it’s a risky move but I think it’s awesome.

And they have brought in new kids successfully, including Chord Overstreet [who won’t return] and Darren Criss
Noxon:
I loooove Darren. I’m a huge fan. He’s magic. He’s made of unicorn dust; he really is. I just get so happy whenever he is on the show. In the Glee movie, as much as I was enjoying it, I was like, “Where is he already? Bring the happy back!” Obviously, I’d love to write some stuff for him. So yes, they’re all incredible, but as a show choice, graduating characters is a really interesting, really bold choice that could really work. I think Ryan is on to something.

The third season of Glee premieres Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on Fox.

Original Interview at Yahoo

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