Archive for May, 1998

Soundtrack.Net: Interview with Mark Snow

May-27-1998
Soundtrack.Net
Interview with Mark Snow
Dan Goldwasser

[Original article]

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Mark Snow regarding his work on the X Files television show, and the upcoming feature film. Mr. Snow will be signing copies of his score album to the film on June 6th at 1pm at Creature Features in Burbank, CA. The album arrives in stores on Tuesday, June 2, and the movie opens nationwide on June 19th.

Flashing back five years. How did you get involved in The X-Files? Did Chris Carter approach you?

It was a friend of mine, who was the Executive Producer of X-Files in Canada, R.W. Goodwin. He was a producer of TV stuff for quite a while and when it came time to choose a composer, Chris Carter didn’t have any relative or friend or anyone he knew -It was basically his first show – so Bob Goodwin recommended me. About 10-15 other guys were recommended all over the place. One of the reasons it worked out was that I was on the way from his house in Pacific Palisades to Fox Studios, on Pico. I was working on a low budget movie and he heard what I was doing and really liked it, but gave me no indication that he was going to hire me. He said, “Thanks for your time”. Came back a second time again, and I had no indication whether he liked it or not. Two weeks later I got a call from the agent saying “You have this pilot,” and I thought, “Okay, so what, big deal?” No one knew that this would be what it is now. I mean the pilot is good, but I don’t think anyone who saw it thought that this would be one of the great TV shows of all time, or the most popular. And I remember, at times, saying to my agent “I don’t know about this, these people are really weird – maybe I shouldn’t do it.” And he said, “You know, you just tell us and we’ll get you out of it”. Oh my God! Luckily it all worked out.

You came out with a CD two years back (“The Truth and The Light”). Why do you suppose dialogue was placed over your music?

Someone, I forget exactly who, had the idea that it might make it into a cool radio-play or something where the fans could recall the episodes more clearly if they had the dialogue marked with the music and I don’t think that proved to be too smart. I would have liked to have just pure music, and a lot of the fans commented on that. But with the X-Files movie score, it’s going to be all music.

How has the success of Materia Primoris (The X-Files Theme) worldwide affected your professional standing in the television music industry?

It’s certainly positive – it’s certainly good. But it’s not as if just doing that made me the guy that everyone wants to work with on every project. Luckily I’ve worked with a lot of people in my career, and if this X-Files thing never happened, I’d still be working. Not on this level of success or exposed, but I’d still be making a living. But the theme is real icing on the cake, and it’s really fantastic. I remember writing it was really effortless – no drudgery or anything. It came out so simply.

I did write four themes before that one. Chris Carter sent over some music and told me to make it “like this” or “like that”, and I kept doing itand he was nice about it, but after the fourth one, I said “let me try one – a completely different approach – and let’s see what happens”.

Have those unused themes appeared anywhere in the show?

Never. Some of them are distinct themes, but nothing like the present theme. But looking back on them, they are darker, heavier, louder. The coolest part was when I went on vacation in France, and the X-Files theme was the number one record in France and England at the time – that was pretty cool.

Is The X-Files movie your first mainstream theatrical feature?

Yes. I was a little nervous before I got hired to do it.

So there was a possibility you wouldn’t be working on the movie?

Not that I know of, but I’ve learned working in this business for a long time now that you don’t take anything for granted. I could see that hiring Jerry Goldsmith or James Horner wouldn’t be too out of whack.

If I’m not mistaken, in the television shows you have used primarily synthesizers to perform your music. How was it using a full orchestra for The X-Files movie? Which “sound” do you prefer?

It’s impossible to do the orchestra stuff with a weekly show – there’s no time. Just flat out no time.

How much time did you have on the movie?

I had a couple of months, but what made that difficult was that it would constantly change – re-cut and re-cut and re-cut.

And you were doing the TV show at the same time.

Right, so that was – I just got out of a two month big-time stressful deal.

Do you achieve the same textures with an orchestra?

When the show started five years ago, they wanted synthesizer sustained type atmosphere ambient sound design type stuff, to weave in and out. Over the years that became very tiresome and I began doing more musical things: more melodies, more musical. And so it has evolved to a more musical show, and the score of the movie reflects that. You know, themes, and musical themes, and sound effects as well. I’m happy to say that the orchestra music has almost a traditional quality at times. It will be much bigger.

What can you tell me about your involvement with David Nutter in Disturbing Behavior.

He was the director of a lot of the X-Files episodes – a very talented guy. He went off and did Disturbing Behavior, which I’m actually going to see tonight at a test screening. I haven’t done anything yet – it’s a temp version of it. He was loyal to me, and liked what I did and, lives in the neighborhood. He’s very talented and I’m glad that I’m free to do it.

Having worked with Nutter on the X-Files, would you like to see your professional relationship with him grow to a point similar to that of Herrmann and Hitchcock or Williams and Spielberg?

Hopefully the loyalty factor will be there. But day to day, you hope and pray everything works out. There’s a director named John Gray whose done a few TV movies and I’ve done his stuff – he’s an old friend – and hopefully will do everything he does. And David Nutter, Chris Carter hopefully we’ll continue to work together too on different projects.

How was it working LA when the production was in Vancouver? Will the move to LA change anything for you?

Absolutely nothing. The show is dubbed here, so there is going to be absolutely no difference for me.

Will we ever see a release of a score-CD (with or without dialogue) from Millennium? And Nowhere Man?

Oh. Well, I don’t know how long that show is going to be around. But Fox talked about doing a music album of it, and if there’s an underscore part of it, those cues wouldn’t have dialogue. But I’m not sure anything is going to come out on that show.

Nowhere Man there’s been some interest from record companies to release the music, but it was a union thing with Disney, and Disney hasn’t been all that forthcoming in letting go of it.

Do you think that there is almost a guaranteed success for the X-Files movie?

It’s going to be absolutely fascinating to see how it goes. Nothing in this business surprises me anymore, and it could have some monster opening weekend and then sputter out, or have a mediocre opening and then just have legs like crazy and go go go. People will watch that instead of the reruns. For it to truly be a big smash, the non fans have to have an interest in it too. There’s a lot of huge action – I mean gigantic things. With the advent of computer graphics, the fans will have fun seeing things that we could never do in a million years on TV.

This past season we’ve seen a new direction for the music in The X-Files. One episode that comes to mind was the “Post-Modern Prometheus” episode. How did you approach that episode differently than the other episodes?

Well, in that show in particular, Chris Carter directed it, and he wrote it, and he temp tracked it with music from Elephant Man, and said that this was the direction he would like. It’s kind of a “boutique” show – it’s a stand-alone show that’s not connected with the big global conspiracy business. Those are the two classifications of shows – the stand-alone shows, or the big Cigarette Smoking Man conspiracy shows.

What about the Halloween episode for Millennium?

That was great – total fun.

Was there any particular episode of The X-Files that you enjoyed scoring the most?

Well, I don’t know about the most, but the ones that come to mind are the “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'”, “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”, “Humbug” – it’s funny because I think that all of those are Darin Morgan shows. Another one from this past season – “Redux”.

Do you think there will be enough material for another CD?

Everyone really commented on that, and really loved it. I’m hoping that’s what they’ll do.

You have a CD signing next Saturday at Creature Features in Burbank, and you did one a few years back when the other CD came out. How does it feel to meet your “fan base”?

Well, it’s always gratifying when people like what you do, and the people seem intelligent – not like people showing up in Fox Mulder trench-coats or something – and asking intelligent questions about pieces of music they thought was good. It’s really gratifying.

What have been your influences?

I don’t think I had time in the past five years to have influences, but I would have to say the standard 20th Century sort of classical guys. Stravinsky, Bartok, Ravel, Prokofiev, just to name a few, and then more esoteric guys. I remember Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Planet of the Apes was one of my earlier influences – I was like “Wow – I’d like to do this stuff.”

Congratulations on your continued success with The X-Files – I look forward to seeing the movie and hearing your work!

Source: Dan Goldwasser; Soundtrack.Net [www.soundtrack.net/features/article/?id=19] May 27, 1998.

Compute Me: Interview With Rob Bowman – Producer of the X-Files

May-16-1998
Compute Me
Interview With Rob Bowman – Producer of the X-Files
J.A. Hitchcock

Originally found here

The Washington, D.C. Expo was his first. He looked totally exhausted, rumpled and hot. A security guard sat with us for the entire interview.

J. Hitchcock: What do you think of it so far?

Rob Bowman: Well, let’s see. They forgot to pick me up at the airport last night

(Security guard) Now, now, we’re making good on that tonight. After some good-natured ribbing with the guard, Bowman answers my question.

RB: It’s a really positive outcome of hanging out in a hotel room in Vancouver for four years. I never thought all this would happen.

JH: What do you think of having the Expo here (White Oak, a former top secret military installation in Maryland) instead of at a hotel or convention center?

RB: Oh, it’s fun! It’s a lot more fun and inventive and like any episode of the X-Files. You read more into it instead of just going into a banquet room and knowing what to expect. They’ll think there’s some connection between the facility and us. Actually, if we walk around and get any ideas, there will be. I think this is more fun for the fans, absolutely.

JH: Are you going to Detroit next week?

RB: No, I still have to work on the movie. I’m in the final mix of the movie, we’re still working on visual effects shots, so I’m knee-deep in it.

JH: Have you had a chance to walk around yet?

RB: No, I came in here, shook hands and saw you. I’m curious to see what the place really looks like, since this was a research facility.

JH: Can you tell me a little bit about the movie?

RB: We’ve finished scoring the music, now we’re doing the final dub and mix, incorporating the dialogue, sound effects and music for what will be seen in the theaters. We are racing to approve the final 55 visual effect shots, out of over 200. Which means to me, that just before it comes out in the theater, we’ll be putting in the final shots. It’s a pretty scary time.

JH: What’s the big difference working on the film versus the series?

RB: The series you get a script and go – there’s not a lot of sitting down and talking about it and it’s over and done in eight business days with the first unit and five business days with the second unit. I’ve had two birthdays since I’ve been working on this movie. And because the single investment of this one installment is so huge compared to one episode (of the series), you’ve got the attention of the studio at every moment. Although, they were very good about letting us make this movie, they were never on the set, if they were it was just to say ‘hello’ and that was it. There was none of the standing over my shoulder or second-guessing anything. But, the stakes are much higher and everything has much more importance and you have to discuss every nuance of every moment of every scene and you also – the greatest thing is the expectation. Because of the TV show, the fans were really having some high expectations of the movie and I don’t know if it’s possible to ever live up to them, no matter how good the movie is. The biggest difference is with all those elements at our disposal, still matching the expectation of the series is the basis – I don’t know if we’ve done it, but we could not have worked any harder. We have all killed ourselves making this movie.

JH: Did the script change a lot?

RB: There were some reductions because of the budget we had to work with, but it didn’t change that much. There was some dialogue polishing that Chris (Carter) wanted to do, story clarification that people had some questions about. The problem was that every single draft was on red paper to make it impossible to photocopy and the revisions weren’t typed on the cover page like the TV show, so I’d have to guess there were maybe 10 drafts. Chris is a fairly accurate shooter, right from the beginning, so it didn’t change that much.

JH: After this? What’s up?

RB: We’re currently in the process of hiring a new crew for Los Angeles, because the show moves there next season. We can’t bring any of the Vancouver crew because of work permits, so we’re pretty much starting from scratch for a crew. We expect to go back and do at least some of the early episodes, but whenever and whatever they want, I’ll speak to Chris first.

JH: So is this like a working vacation for you?

RB: (laughs drily) Almost. I’m trying to keep my brain awake. The fact that I actually directed some more episodes while I was doing the movie has burned the candle pretty hot this year.

JH: Are you ready for this crowd? He was scheduled to go on stage in a few minutes

RB: I have no idea. I’m just gonna do it. What is it like?

JH: It’s crazy. They’re wild. They scream at everything. You could say the sky was green and they’d scream.

RB: I directed 13 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I was the “A” director right from the beginning, so that was 10, 11 years ago? So I got hit at a very young age with that intense fanmanship and lots of interviews and lots of visitors on the set. I didn’t know it was going to happen on the X-Files. But I’m completely unprepared. I literally got in the car right off the dubbing stage and flew here. I have no idea what to expect.

The guard gently reminds me it’s time for Bowman to go onstage. Bowman shakes my hand firmly, then heads off to the crowd waiting for him.

People Online: 50 most beautiful people, 1998

May-11-1998
People Online
50 most beautiful people, 1998

CHRIS CARTER

TV PRODUCER Not until he made paranoia and paranormal creepiness prime-time staples did fair-haired surfer dude and The X-Files creator Chris Carter reveal the dark side lurking beneath his shimmery mane. His cult show achieves out-of-this-world ratings, but the former editor of Surfing magazine admits that when he began dealing more with gloom than good vibrations, “a lot of people looked at me and didn’t know where it came from.”

Perhaps from beyond? No, from the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, where Carter, 41, was voted Mr. Smile and Mr. Flirt by his senior high school class (allowed only one superlative, he had to abdicate Mr. Smile). A surfer since the age of 12, Carter, who is married to screenwriter Dori Pierson, can still be found most mornings at 6 in the ocean near his home in Pacific Palisades, catching waves, paddleboarding or swimming to keep his 5’11” frame in alien-fighting trim. And the force is with him. “I think I’ve been asked a lot more than most TV producers to go on-camera,” Carter says. “But I just do what I do and don’t think about the package.”

That hasn’t stopped rabid Files fans from making Carter a pinup alongside series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. “He grew up in Southern California and looked like such a surfer boy that people wrote him off,” says his longtime friend, writer/producer Robin Schiff. Despite his “junk-jewelry blue” eyes, she adds, the somber “Fox Mulder character is a good alter ego for him because both men are good-looking and are very passionate about what they’re doing.”

Because “skin really takes a beating” out on the briny, Carter slathers on sunscreen every morning. “I have to be careful with surfing,” he says. “It’s still an addiction to me. It’s all I want to do, and that’s the big dilemma I have with it.”

That’s nothing compared with what Duchovny and Anderson face each Sunday night — as well as in next month’s X-Files movie. Still, Anderson deems her boss yet another unexplained phenomenon. “Chris is a wonderful storyteller,” she says. “But he never reveals too much. I feel like I know him, and at the same time I know absolutely nothing about him.”

Hmmmm, eerie.

TV Guide: Chris Carter, X-pert

May-??-1998
TV Guide
Chris Carter, X-pert
Matt Roush

The master of shadowy mystery sheds light on The X-Files’ high-risk journey to the big screen

There’s not much time left. It’s early May, two weeks before The X-Files’ fifth-season finale airs and just little more than a month before “The X-Files” opens. The deadlines are fast approaching, but for a man who’s spending every waking minute in editing rooms putting the finishing touches on his TV and movie projects, creator-executive producer Chris Carter shows little sign of wear. Sporting a deep tan magnified by the white T-shirt he wears in his unassuming bungalow office on the Twentieth Century Fox lot, Carter admits he was able to sneak away from Los Angeles amid the chaos for a four-day surfing weekend at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. “I’ve got a ways to go to get back in any kind of respectable surfing shape, but it was really a good balance for me,” says Carter, 41, who was an editor of Surfing magazine before turning his attention to the darker, murkier, conspiracy-riddled waters of The X-Files. Surfing, he says, is “one of the few times I enjoy the fruits of my labors.” A surfboard with the X-Files logo is on display in his office, a symbol of his dual obsessions.

For now, Carter concedes it’s a “nutty job” to juggle movie and TV production. “I’ve been running on adrenaline for the last five years and I continue to. And I rarely get sick, because I think my body is working at a peak level.” A good thing, considering what’s at stake.

TV Guide critic Matt Roush sat down with Carter to talk about this pivotal moment in his series’ history.

TV Guide: Making an X-Files movie during the run of the series could be considered the riskiest thing you’ve ever done.

Chris Carter: I guess the perceived risk is that you can answer too many questions. The X-Files has always been about posing questions, and any time you give an answer, then you pull the rug out from under people. But in a movie, you can’t do that. You have to have a beginning, middle and end, and there has to be a big revelation, there has to be something monumental in the movie. Something has to change for the characters. And of course, this is a movie that is going to be sandwiched between years five and six, so I’ve got to carry on with the television series. What it allowed me to do was explode many of the themes we’ve been playing with and perhaps give some big answers but suggest other big questions at the same time. I think it will be rejuvenating for the series and hopefully will bring more viewers to the show.

TVG: Isn’t there a danger that if you leave questions unanswered, moviegoers might consider this film a big tease?

CC: I think the movie delivers in a big way, in terms of the plot and the characters. I don’t believe it’s going to give anyone the impression we’ve held back or pulled punches.

TVG: Even a fan like Rosie O’Donnell recently complained the show can be so dense and confusing you almost need Cliffs Notes to figure it out. Are you worried that someone who doesn’t know the show will be too intimidated to turn out for the movie?

CC: We brought a lot of people who were not familiar with the show into the theater [for test screenings], and they liked the movie. But that was one of the hurdles in doing it. There are a lot of people who don’t watch The X-Files, and we wanted the movie to appeal to those people as well. But what you never want to do is forsake your hard-core fans, to take them through the tedious process of character exposition — to redefine and reestablish those characters. This required a cleverness that I hope we accomplished in the course of the picture.

TVG: Without getting into the specifics of the movie’s plot, was this a particular story you have wanted to tell from the very start of the series, or did the movie just come along at the right time for you to tell the next chapter on a larger canvas?

CC: It’s kind of a combination of all these things. The series’ mythology really grew organically. It wasn’t something that had been completely mapped out. But I remember saying to [former Fox programming executive] Bob Greenblatt, who bought the show so long ago, “I promise you Mulder won’t see a spaceship on this show for five years.” And although he has seen things that he believes to be spaceships, we have always suggested that they might in fact be military hardware. I have sort of made good on my promise, and that should give you some idea of what happens in the movie.

TVG: There has also been a lot of buzz in the press about a scene in which Mulder and Scully kiss. You’ve often said you wouldn’t play that card, that they will never really take their professional relationship to an intimate, romantic level.

CC: Nor should they. I’m not saying it would never happen, but I think the characters, if they’re being true to themselves, would be careful about finding themselves in that entanglement.

TVG: After this high-profile movie experience, will it be tough to go back to the weekly TV grind?

CC: What I learned in this process is that there are a lot of things you can do on the small screen that you can’t on the big screen. You can have characters talk at length on the small screen, and a scene that could be interesting and complex and dense [on TV] would be deadly on the big screen, which ironically is really a minimalist form in this regard. I’m very interested in going back to small-screen stories.

TVG: But what if the movie takes off and becomes a Star Trek-style franchise? Would the TV series be over at that point?

CC: That’s one of those hypothetical questions that, because there are so many variables in it, it’s very hard to answer. Could the series continue without Mulder and Scully but the movies continue with them? If you were clever enough, I’m sure you could.

TVG: Looking back at last season, it was very interesting to see how you played with issues of religion and faith, especially where Scully was concerned, as she survived cancer and learned she had a daughter who would later die.

CC: We began the season with the loss of Mulder’s belief [in extraterrestrials]. You were stealing something from the character, taking away the foundation for his existence. At the same time, we were playing with Scully’s religious beliefs, so the characters were shifting places. It wasn’t that Scully was believing in the paranormal as much as in the miraculous. As a lapsed Catholic, she had the foundation of religious fundamentals, but as a scientist, she pushed away from that. Now all of a sudden, she’s accepting things that are beyond her ability to see, touch, taste and feel, and that’s a big step for her character. I’ve always thought of this show as extremely religious. When you say, “The Truth Is Out There,” if you substitute God for the truth, it’s really a search for meaning, a search for faith.

TVG: I know you’re especially proud of last season’s black-and-white episode “The Post-Modern Prometheus,” based on the Frankenstein story, which you wrote and directed. Your version of the monster ends up as a guest on The Jerry Springer Show, months before it took off in the ratings. Did you know something we didn’t?

CC: It’s just a strange coincidence. It’s not like I was prescient. I actually took an interest in Jerry Springer. I came home late at night and turned it on and was just amazed by it. It seemed to me a perfect place for these characters I had rolling in my head to end up. I figured he’d say no, but he said yes. It’s serendipitous.

TVG: What do you think compels people, even yourself, to watch his show?

CC: I think it’s the anything-can-happen aspect for me. I’m just very amused by it.

TVG: Working under such scrutiny now, do you ever long for the early seasons when the show was still something of a well-kept Friday-night secret?

CC: It hasn’t changed that much for me. As the audience and popularity grows, that has certain gravitational aspects, but the work and my life are almost exactly the same. I always eat lunch at my desk, rarely eat dinner anyplace other than my desk. My fine china is Styrofoam. This is our existence. Everybody who works here has never slowed down. The success allows you certain freedoms, because people start not to question what it is you’re doing. The popularity of the show is a good thing, but the ethic and the approach is still the same. It’s still a cult TV show in my mind.

Vancouver Sun: X-Files cameraman pictures L.A.

May-??-1998
Vancouver Sun
X-Files cameraman pictures L.A.
Alex Strachan

Joel Ransom hasn’t decided if he’ll follow the show to California, but his memories of doing it here are still vivid and moody.

If Joel Ransom has done his job, nothing that meets the eye during tomorrow’s season finale of The X-Files will seem artificially posed, self-conscious or self-serving.

As the New Westminster-born, Port Moody-raised director of photography for The X-Files during its final season in the Lower Mainland, Ransom worked cheek-by-jowl with directors like Rob Bowman, Kim Manners and R.W. (Bob) Goodwin, supervising a tight-knit crew of Vancouver-based lighting technicians and camera operators (Marty McInally, Simon Jori, Mark Cohen, among others) to create some of the most compelling images seen on mainstream television.

Sunday’s season finale, The End, closes with a cliffhanger that will presumably — nothing is truly what it seems on The X-Files — be resolved in The X-Files feature film, which opens in theatres on June 19.

For Ransom, The End will be bittersweet.

At age 36, he was elevated through the ranks after Emmy Award-winning cinematographer John Bartley stepped down after three seasons and the producers were left scrambling for someone who could do the job well and quickly. In less than three months, Ransom went from being a junior camera operator to second-unit cameraman to director of photography for the series’ main unit.

His first shot called for the midnight burial of a stillborn baby by a trio of inbred brothers in a driving rainstorm.

Naturally, it didn’t rain.

“That was just unreal,” Ransom recalled, with a wry laugh. “Unbelievable. No rain. Can you believe that?”

A rain-making machine poured so much water on the scene exposed surfaces looked like they were covered in black ink. The lighting crew went a little nutty with the special effects, simulating lightning, and the result was a weird, disjointed, fevered dream of dark blues and blacks — a guaranteed sleep-wrecker for anyone who saw it.

For Ransom, fighting the elements became a routine part of the job.

Last October, while lighting the side of a barn at night for a shot in a Chris Carter-directed episode, it pelted rain all night long. Every time the density of the rain changed — every five minutes, it seemed — the lighting had to be changed to compensate for the change in rain.

As if that weren’t enough, the entire episode was being filmed in black-and-white.

“Scared,” was how Ransom described his feelings that night.

Weather played a big part during The X-Files’ five-year run in Vancouver, and not always the way one might imagine.

On the final day of filming The End at Riverview Hospital’s Crease Clinic last month, it was so hot outside that the crew was reduced to wearing unbuttoned shirts and shorts just to get through the day.

For a scene where a young chess prodigy, played by Jeff Gulka, is being grilled by psychologists, the sun streamed in behind him through a closed window, the light carefully filtered and manipulated by bafflers set up by the crew. The backlighting — a visual signature of The X-Files — was striking.

“Sometimes, you get lucky,” Ransom said.

For a scene in which Gillian Anderson and guest-star Mimi Rogers watch the child’s interrogation through a glass window, Ransom photographed Anderson’s facial reflection on the glass for her reaction.

Ransom doesn’t know yet if he will make the move to Los Angeles with the show. Other technicians have tried, and even though some have received clearance from U.S. immigration authorities and membership in the southern Californian union, none has been guaranteed a position.

Nobody in the core group of key crew members wants for work — having The X-Files on a resume is as good as a lifetime job guarantee in the province’s still-growing production industry. But many crew members who are unattached to the Lower Mainland would like to move with the show.

Ransom is philosophical about how the look of the show will change next year.

“It will rain less,” he said, and laughed.

Ransom suspects that, regardless of who photographs The X-Files in Los Angeles, any change in look will be subtle. The more difficult task will be recreating the mood and teaching a new crew about the show’s idiosyncrasies — idiosyncrasies that make it unlike anything else on television.

“It’s a moody, textural piece,” Ransom said. “It’s one of those shows where you’re always working on the edge of exposure, and figuring out how the frame will react to it, getting to that fine line where there’s detail, it’s not grainy, but there’s still a nice image.

“You’re always working with layers of light. It’s a wonderful show to work on that way, because you can screw around with day scenes and night scenes and basically play with it, do it however you want, to give it an odd or interesting look.”

Ransom is reluctant to offer any predictions about where the show will go from here.

“We’ve been joking about it — oh, what are you going to do now, killer palm trees?

“It’s going to be tough for whoever shoots the show. It was tough for me to start my shooting career with this show, and figure things out day in and day out. But that’s the great thing about this industry. You’re always learning.”