Archive for April, 2000

Salon.com: USCB conference: A close encounter with Chris Carter

Apr-28-2000
Salon.com
USCB conference: A close encounter with Chris Carter
Russ Spencer

When the creator of “The X-Files” makes a rare public appearance, things begin to get weird.

Chris Carter, the world leader of the sci-fi geeks, is also the definitive anti-geek. You might expect the brain behind “The X-Files” to look like one of those guys you see at the “Star Trek” conventions sporting a mullet haircut and glasses held together with duct tape, but Carter doesn’t even wear glasses. He’s tall, tanned and handsome, well-scrubbed and well put together.

He made a rare public appearance recently in Santa Barbara, Calif., which is where he lives part-time. It’s also the place he most likes to surf. That’s what they say about him in the online chat rooms, anyway. They also say his nickname is “Carver” from his days as a writer for Surfing, and that he surfs goofy-foot, which means he keeps his right foot forward. He chose the character name Mulder because it’s his mom’s maiden name and named Scully after famed baseball announcer Vin Scully. But if you’re an “X-Files” fan worth your salt, you already knew that. There’s little they don’t know about him, those fans. In the chat rooms, Carter is commonly referred to as “God.”

After Carter was introduced to a packed auditorium of 800 at Santa Barbara’s gorgeous seaside University of California campus, the audience erupted into sustained, possessive applause. Carter strode onstage in tan pants and a blue, button-down oxford shirt. God was in the house, and he was wearing Banana Republic.

Before Carter arrived, the middle-aged woman in front of me had been wringing her hands in anticipation. When he was 10 minutes late, I feared a nervous breakdown. Now that he was here, she breathed easier but looked like she might cry.

Carter carried himself as though he were meeting up with some dudes for a beer. Despite being the ’90s’ most intense purveyor of paranoia, his entire demeanor in person seemed to say, “What, me worry?” After the applause died down, he initiated a penchant for deflective self-deprecation that would last all night — “I have a lot of family and friends who are probably wondering why you are clapping.”

Carter was introduced by Constance Penley, a professor and chairwoman of the University of California at Santa Barbara Film Studies Department, who has herself written extensively on science fiction. “The creation of ‘The X-Files’ was arguably the most important event of the decade, except for possibly the discovery of the Mars rock, or the impeachment of the president,” Penley said. “Of course, in the ‘X-Files’ universe, the two would be connected.”

Penley continued to gush: “The show was so sophisticated in its presentation of the ethical and social dimensions of science that you would have thought that Chris Carter had been trained as a philosopher, rather than a journalist.”

A philosopher? A blue-collar guy from Bellflower, Calif., a crummy Los Angeles suburb? His dad was a construction worker; his mom, a housewife. He earned a journalism degree from cheap California State University in Long Beach in 1979, paying his way through school as a potter. For a while, he did construction. He started working as a reporter for Surfing magazine but, after seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” six times in six days, began to entertain the idea of becoming a scriptwriter. He was encouraged by his screenwriter girlfriend, Dori Pierson.

That’s when things began to get weird.

In 1985, Jeffrey Katzenberg, while still head of Disney, saw a script Carter had written and gave him a development gig for $40,000 a year — chump change in Hollywood, but twice as much as Carter had ever made in his life. He worked on such forgettable product as “Meet the Munceys” and “B.R.A.T. Patrol.” But his work impressed an up-and-coming suit named Peter Roth, and when Roth became president of 20th Century Fox in 1992, he stole Carter away to develop new shows. Carter’s “X-Files” pitch didn’t fly at first. Too out there. But Carter did some research, showing in part that 3 percent of all Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens, and Fox took a chance.

Carter’s story, obviously, is too whacked to have been scripted on any show besides, perhaps, his own. “It only proves he’s an alien,” Penley said. “He has been placed here by creatures who did not know how to construct a believable narrative about how one becomes a television producer and creator of a mass cultural phenomenon.”

Carter’s appearance in Santa Barbara came just a day after he began work on the final episode of the show’s seventh season, which he revealed will be called “Requiem.” It could be the last “X-Files” show. Carter and Duchovny’s contracts come up this season. And even though Gillian Anderson is still under contract, she’s said to be unsure about returning. Meanwhile, Duchovny has filed a lawsuit against Fox protesting what he sees as sweetheart rerun licensing deals.

“EliΓ‘n GonzΓ‘lez’ future is more certain,” Carter remarked.

But even after 160 episodes, Carter said, he still has more stories to tell, and would like to keep going: this, despite the incredible weirdness that the job has brought into his life. As he told the crowd in Santa Barbara, the weirdness began before the series even made it on the air.

From the start, Carter envisioned the dichotomy of an inquisitive, credulous male lead working with a female lead who combined elements of rationalism and skepticism with a deep spiritual yearning. The studio accepted Duchovny immediately for the role of Fox Mulder, but didn’t warm to Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully.

“Gillian was unknown and when she came in she was disheveled,” Carter said. “She wasn’t a very good salesperson for herself. But she had an intensity and an intelligence — and she cleaned up well. I couldn’t get the executives to see what I saw, no matter how much I tried, and it really came down to the idea of how she would look in a bathing suit. And I kept saying to them, she’s not going to be in a bathing suit. She wasn’t the bombshell they envisioned. They thought it was going to be a show much more like ‘Hunter.'”

The only thing more difficult than dealing with the suits was dealing with the FBI. “Early on, I was calling the FBI for some research. And they were very kind. They talked to me about procedure and protocol, and then one day they just cut us off. They wouldn’t accept our calls and then about two weeks before the first show aired, a call came in from the FBI and they said, ‘Who are you and what are you doing?’ And I swear to God, it was like J. Edgar Hoover reaching up from the grave. I was that nervous about it, as you can imagine.”

The FBI’s tune changed, though, when the show became a hit that glorified its work. “All of a sudden we started getting calls from agents, individual agents, saying that they loved the show,” Carter said. “And by the end of the first year they took us on what they call the ‘Jodie Foster tour’ of the FBI. They rolled out the red carpet as they had done for her in ‘The Silence of the Lambs.'”

Of course, the show hit just about the same time as the Internet started to take off, which added a whole new dimension to fandom, and to Carter’s job as producer of the first television show to ever attract such a huge online following. “The Internet and ‘The X-Files’ grew up together and it was great,” Carter said. “The show originally aired at 9 o’clock on Friday night and at 10 o’clock, I could get on the Internet and see what people thought of it. It was great in the beginning.”

But even that got weird. “It became overwhelming; it was too much,” Carter said. “I used to see every single piece of Internet mail. And now I see the reams of stuff after every episode and I ask them not to put it on my desk. It’s not because I don’t care anymore — it’s because I think there are lots of voices out there trying to be heard, and a lot of it ends up being shouting. A lot of people do it just to get attention.”

The intense fan passion for the show meant his personal appearances could also take on an element of otherworldliness. “The autograph sessions at events like this are always really odd,” Carter said. “People try to slide you things, tapes of their abduction. My wife and I have gone to bed at night listening to tapes of people’s abductions. It’s better than counting sheep.”

The obsessive-fan phenomenon played itself out in living color in Santa Barbara. The event opened with Carter showing clips from the series. Then questions came from Penley and another film studies professor, Lisa Parks. Then the night was turned over to audience questions.

That’s when things began to get weird.

Carter was asked if he had ever been dropped on his head as a child. He was asked about his surfing. He was asked about specific episode elements too arcane for anyone but the most hardcore fan to understand. He answered every question, no matter how bizarre, with the same low key sense of humor, as if he knew better than anyone how absurd it all was.

Had he ever been abducted?

“I have never had an experience with an alien, and I think they owe me a visit because I’ve been their best P.R. man ever.”

“What are you horrified by?”

“I would say an IRS audit.”

“What about Mulder’s fascination with pornography?”

“He’s a lonely man.”

“Explain the apparent homoeroticism between Mulder and Skinner.”

“We’re saving that for the cable series. The ‘Triple X-Files.'”

In the end, Carter left the impression that he doesn’t take the fandom and his own place in it especially seriously, but that he does take his role as a popular storyteller with the deepest sense of personal gravity and responsibility. “The X-Files” gets raves in part because it addresses so many of the central themes of life in the United States at the turn of the millennium — a wariness about technology, a wondering about the deeper questions of life and a distrust of big government.

It is his ability to bring these issues forth in story form that makes Carter want to continue, despite the weirdness, and makes him so valuable to a culture that needs an intelligent mirror of itself. And he revealed in Santa Barbara that what all the wondering and yearning really come down to is not paranoia, but society’s increased need for a spiritual touchstone.

In his last statement of the night he talked about Scully’s personality traits. “The most difficult thing to reconcile is science and religion,” he said. “And so we created a dilemma for her character that plays right into Mulder’s hands. So that cross she wears, which was there from the pilot episode, is all-important for a character who is torn between her rational character and her spiritual side. That is, I think, a very smart thing to do. The show is basically a religious show. It’s about the search for God. You know, ‘The truth is out there.’ That’s what it’s about.”

Then he sat down to sign autographs, and listen to people’s abduction stories.

That’s when things began to get weird.

The X-Files Magazine: The Next Files

Apr-18-2000
The X-Files Magazine [US, #14, Summer 2000]
The Next Files

[Typed by Gayle]

You have to hand it to Frank Spotnitz. No matter how busy he is, The X-Files executive producer always makes time to answer our questions. And right now, in the midst of wrapping up the show for the year, putting together the Lone Gunmen spinoff and juggling many more new projects at Ten Thirteen Productions, you can bet he’s pretty busy.

The X-Files Official Magazine: You described Season Seven as “the year of the actor.” How did David Duchovny’s new episode and Gillian Anderson and William B. Davis’ first episodes take shape?

Spotnitz: David’s getting to be an old hand at this. This is the second one he’s written by himself. He co-wrote “The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati,” and he contributed story ideas in previous seasons. He’s the veteran. Gillian came to Chris early in the season with an idea that she’s worked on very, very hard. I think it’s going to be exceptional and unlike anything we’ve done before. Bill Davis, we talked about his idea for months and months before we finally hit upon just the right way to approach it. He went off and started writing and then we went through the revisions process, like any other writer. What I really liked about it [was the pairing of Scully with the CSM] because the truth is you haven’t seen much of those characters together at all. When you think back on the mythology of the show, there are obvious connections to draw between those two characters. I thought it was a really interesting idea.

The X-Files Official Magazine: How did you manage to schedule the episodes to allow the actors enough time to prepare for their behind-the-camera duties?

Spotnitz: For their own separate reasons, it turned out that David and Gillian’s episodes needed to be shot in the order that they were, but it really works out perfectly. David is light in Gillian’s episode, so he can be prepping his directorial effort while that is shooting. Everything just fell into place. We had to be very clever in the way the script preceding Gillian’s was written. She had to be very light in that to make time for her to prep her directing. That story works out very nicely because Scully comes in by telephone. It really is a Mulder case.

The X-Files Official Magazine: Can you reveal anything about the finale?

Spotnitz: Of course not. [Laughs]. What I would say is that Chris has always had in his mind what the end of the mythology is. I think you will see important ideas about the relationship between Mulder and Scully, what they mean to each other, and about what the catch phrase of the series, “The Truth is Out There,” means. Beyond that, I would be as vague as I always am about these things.

The X-Files Official Magazine: Will any characters die?

Spotnitz: I wouldn’t be surprised.

The X-Files Official Magazine: What other developments are in the works at Ten Thirteen?

Spotnitz: There are a number of movies I can only hint about because none of them are definite yet. There are a lot of things going on actually, it’s just which one of these horses will exit the gate. We’re preparing ourselves for life after The X-Files, whether that’s the end of this year or the end of next year. The movie development process being what it is you need to start thinking about it early because it takes a long time for things to become reality. We’re as busy as we’ve ever been in that respect. There are so many ideas floating around.

FilmScoreMonthy: Downbeat: Harsh Realm

Apr-09-2000
FilmScoreMonthly
Downbeat: Harsh Realm
Jason Foster

[Original article here]

Jason originally wrote the following for use in "Downbeat," our section in FSM dealing with current scores and the challenges featuring well-known (and some not well-known) composers. He talked to Mark Snow about Harsh Realm -- which was canceled before anyone could blink. So, we didn't run the piece. Recently, however, Harsh Realm has been broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel so we thought we'd dust this off: -LK

Having already cemented their place in TV shows dealing with the paranormal, ten-time Emmy-nominated composer Mark Snow and X-FILES creator Chris Carter are at it again — this time with the series HARSH REALM.

Described as a tense and edgy contemporary-looking virtual reality adventure along the lines of THE MATRIX, Snow says that HARSH REALM should easily lend itself to music, much in the way THE X-FILES has.

“THE X-FILES is such a great show. It’s like scoring a mini-movie each week,” says Snow. “And coming from the same people, HARSH REALM, from what I’ve seen of the pilot, I expect the same quality which makes scoring the shows much more inspiring and a pleasure rather than just work.”

While Snow’s weekly scores for episodes of THE X-FILES have tended to stay in a similar musical ballpark throughout the entire series run, he says that won’t be the case with HARSH REALM.

“I think that it will be a combination of many, many different styles because the show is virtual reality at least 80 to 90 percent of the time,” says Snow. “I think they’re planning to have many different virtual worlds from periods dating back to the Dark Ages, futuresque, and all over the world. It’s going to be wide open to a lot of different cultures and we’ll be using a lot of different musical styles.”

Snow has enjoyed the musical freedom he’s been given in his previous collaborations with Carter and crew. But he points out that with a successful show, freedom isn’t all that rare an occurrence.

“Well, once you get on a TV series that’s successful, basically it’s the first ten episodes where everyone is involved and giving a lot of input into the project,” he says. “Then if they’re happy and feel comfortable, they leave you alone and then you have the freedom to experiment. My experience with X-FILES has been just that. After the first bunch of episodes, I was left to my own devices and felt totally uninhibited by whatever I wanted.”

Much like the music for THE X-FILES, and most television scoring in general, Snow will not develop different character themes for HARSH REALM. While that isn’t something that would be very difficult to do, Snow says it would be very limiting.

“The TV show works better for me to have themes for situations rather than people,” he says. “I think that by now if you had a theme for Mulder or Scully you’d grow sick of it. That’s why it’s not about themes for them as much as it is the situations they get in to. Each week the situations are, as you know, colored so differently and there are so many variations of the themes — so to keep my interest in it and to keep it sounding fresh, I prefer to score new thematic material every week and I think that’s how it’s going to work for HARSH REALM.”

One of the trademarks of THE X-FILES is Snow’s very memorable main title melody. But unlike his scores for that show, Snow says he’ll incorporate the HARSH REALM main title theme into the different episode scores.

“I’ll be able to use the theme as underscore a lot more than with X-FILES and certainly variations of it,” he says. “I also have a four-minute version of it where I’ll be able to take sections of it and use for underscore which will help the identity of the show. I’m looking forward to that. With THE X-FILES, I never used it (the main title) in the underscore. I did use the theme for the feature film, and come to think of it, I did use it a few times after the film because I liked how it sounded. I’m looking forward to having a different approach for HARSH REALM.”

While Snow says that nobody involved predicted the success of THE X-FILES, he says the ingredients are there for HARSH REALM to be successful, but says there’s really no way to know that.

“I can only do the best work I can, cross my fingers and hope that it will be another hit show,” he says.

Snow has also chosen to shed a little light onto the recent rumor that the name of FSM’s own Jeff Bond appears somewhere in the HARSH REALM main title.

“I’m not going to say it is or isn’t,” says Snow. “People are welcome to try and speed up, slow down, or play the music backwards to discover what’s there. It’s kind of like the 60s when people played that Beatles song backwards to try to hear it say, ‘Paul is Dead.'”

The truth is out there.

AOL chat with Gillian Anderson

Apr-07-2000
AOL chat with Gillian Anderson

TVGLive3: Joining us right now is Gillian Anderson. Thanks for coming to chat.

TVG Gillian: Hey, everybody! I’m here. Thanks for waiting…

Question: What motivated you to write and direct an X-Files episode? Did you achieve what you wanted to achieve?

TVG Gillian: I had been asked recently if I would ever consider writing one, and I initially thought that I might attempt to write something with one of the other writers. Then I was asked if I ever had an idea myself, and I described something that was more of a couple of images. And the motivation for the episode was based on those images. So someone asked if I wanted to write one. So, I sat down one evening and wrote the entire outline for episode. And I think that it majoritivily what I had envisioned. There are certain areas where you have to let go… and let go. πŸ™‚ There are certain pieces of dialogue which had to be taken out for timing purposes. But I think it still makes sense.

Question: Did you write the entire outline of the script in one sitting, or was it gradually developed over the course of the year?

TVG Gillian: I wrote the outline in one sitting. And then I wrote the script, the first three acts, over about five months. Then continued to tweak it until we started shooting.

Question: where did the inspiration for your episode’s story came from? luv you!

TVG Gillian: Just from those two images I had. The rest came seemingly out of nowhere… LOL

Question: Gillian, Can you give us any background on “all things”? What’s your favorite part in the episode? –Agent Amy–

TVG Gillian: I think my favorite parts have to do more with camera work, with particular shots and transitions from one scene to another scene. I hesitate to speak too much about it… I feel like I’ve been describing it in interviews for the past couple of weeks, and I’m kind of at a point where I just want people to see and have their own reactions and responses to it.

Question: Did you ever write scripts while in school?

TVG Gillian: Never.

Question: what authors do you read? what kinds of books?

TVG Gillian: I think I’ve only actually read like two or three books over the past seven years…which makes me kinda sad. The last book that I read from start to finish is “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb. Most of the time it’s difficult for me to allow myself the time to read. Between the episodes and other scripts, and the rest of my life, if I do read, it’s usually more spiritually minded books. And one of my favorites of those over this past year has been a book called “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron.

Question: Gillian, I am looking forward to Sunday’s episode. Did you like writing and directing? And also , what actors/actresses have been the biggest influence on you?

TVG Gillian: I did enjoy it very much. It was an incredible learning experience for me and an insight into how hard and complicated the task is for writers and directors. I feel like I learned so much in the whole process from beginning to end. I think influentially, let’s see, actors… Well, the usual response from female actors Meryl Streep, Kathy Bates. Kevin Spacey I love… Stephen Tucci. I love it when actors take it upon themselves to create material. I love what Sam Mendes has been doing. I love what Stanley Tucci has been doing. I think that Paul Thomas Anderson is very talented.

Question: After so many years of playing Scully, was it easier or harder than u thought to write for the character? LGW

TVG Gillian: Easier to write for the character. Scully has become so much a part of myself, and it was just second nature for me.

Question: Are you going to be watching the show with everyone else on Sunday?

TVG Gillian: I am. Some friends are throwing a little gathering for me and we’re all going to watch together.

Question: How long does it take for you to learn all those medical terms in the show. Seems like one can easily get tongue tied.

TVG Gillian: I guess I do kind of learn them… It kind of depends. I study the script the night before and show up at work and work on them throughout the day… continue going over them and over them. Working on getting my mouth around them.

Question: What did you think of William B. Davis’ script? Was it fun to work with someone who was obviously eager to work with you?

TVG Gillian: Yeah, it was. I thought it was good. It’s tricky… I’m not sure in the end how much of it was his. Our scripts are syphoned through Frank and Chris. Sometimes they let them be, sometimes they readjust them. But, I think it was good.

Question: Is the title of your episode based on the ee cummings poem?

TVG Gillian: No. It’s not. The title is close. It speaks to that which is innate in everything, and the unity of life energy and all of us and of all things.

Question: What is the first thing you are going to do after the X-Files wraps up shooting for the season?

TVG Gillian: I’m attempting to take the summer off, especially if we come back next season. I’m going to be doing some travelling… I hope. πŸ™‚ Try and relax. Read a book. πŸ™‚

Question: Do you have any pets??

TVG Gillian: Oh, yes… πŸ™‚ We have a dog and two bunny rabbits, some coy fish and a horse.

Question: How did you decide on doing “The House of Mirth”? It is so different from your previous works. ~Karey

TVG Gillian: I’ve always wanted to do a period piece, and I loved the book and was in awe of Edith Worten, of her writing. I’d been a fan of Terrance Davies’ previous work, and it seemed like a good idea.

Question: Hi Gillian. Can you tell us if there is any validity to the rumors you may be in Episode 2 of Star Wars?

TVG Gillian: Not so far. I haven’t been approached. I would love to play a Jedi, but there is no validity as of yet. But, you’re welcome to push for it for me… LOL

Question: Was it difficult to direct an episode in which your character is so prominently featured or was that helpful to you?

TVG Gillian: It was not helpful AT ALL. It was a mistake… LOL It was difficult to split my focus in so many ways, and I hadn’t forethought that as much as I could have. It was also a challenge to stay present in a scene that I was in, and at the same time remain on the outside enough to give notes to the other actors as a director would.

Question: Have you given any thought about going back and doing stage work?

TVG Gillian: Very much. I was considering doing different pieces over the summer, and have been looking for the right project, and will eventually — probably either in New York or London.

Question: Wow! You go girl! You’re so talented..the first woman to write and direct an episode of The X-Files.

TVG Gillian: Thank you. πŸ™‚

Question: Are we going to see a different side of Scully in this week’s episode?

TVG Gillian: Yes, we are. And I think it may shift things slightly for future episodes as well.

Question: At the NY xfiles expo two years ago, you said you would feel weird directing David Duchovny in an episode. When you actually did it, was it as strange as you thought?

TVG Gillian: It wasn’t THAT strange. I didn’t write him in very much of the episode so it wouldn’t be too strange. But he was very acquiescent.

Question: We’re all in love with Scully’s knee-length fitted black jacket! Can you tell me who the maker is?

TVG Gillian: She has a few, and I couldn’t tell you any of them. I think that Thari is one of them. The others… I couldn’t tell you.

Question: Do you plan on doing any more animation films; you did an excellent job in Princess Mononoke

TVG Gillian: Thank you, and I would love to. It would depend on the project.

Question: What is it like to know that you are the first women on XF to do this, I know what if feels like to be in a boys club, I played football my Sr. year of high school. I just wonder what it felt like to you?

TVG Gillian: I’ve been in the middle of a very powerful boys club for the past seven years, and have gotten used to it… as much as anyone can. I actually found everyone, especially the men, to be incredibly supportive, gentle and agreeable from the moment we started working on this together. And the crew was just phenomenal. And at no time did anyone ever roll their eyes… which was great. And they all did exactly what I said! LOL

Question: I would like to know what your dream role is–any character from any play or piece of literature that you could choose.

TVG Gillian: I have many. Many and none. I love some of the contemporary female roles that have been written in films. I loved all the characters in American Beauty and Shakespeare in Love and Magnolia. Historically, I’d love to do Lady MacBeth. I love to do Hedda Gabler. And eventually, I’d love to do Blanche.

Question: is most of this script your own words or did you conference a lot with Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter to get the right feel for the dialogue? I imagine that you wrote most of the dialogue since you know Scully so well.

TVG Gillian: I wrote most of it. And then the next step was to go through it with Frank and determine which order of scenes was most effective and what the right tone for each of the scenes. And then I went back and I rewrote, and we kept going through that process for a while. Brainstorming and me re-shifting. Then Chris stepped in and rewrote. Then, I went back and tried to get it back to my original idea… πŸ™‚ Which worked. πŸ™‚ A lot of it was a matter of lack of time I had after a certain point. So, once and a while there were short scenes that we would both write, then come together and hash out the best version. This was way at the end, when there were a couple of weaker scenes that needed some fixing. Then, Chris actually wrote the final scene, because we’d left it up to the last moment. And I was already in prep and didn’t have time.

Question: Gillian – Do you plan to do more projects involving writing and directing in the future? – Becca and Erin πŸ˜€

TVG Gillian: I would love to. I”m not sure what form that will take… whether it will be from scratch, or adapting a novel, or directing someone else else’s script. But, I would love to do more of it.

Question: Can you give us any hints as to whether or not this will be the last season? ~Mystic

TVG Gillian: If I knew… I’d give you a hint. πŸ™‚

Question: Gillian, when you began directing all things, did you discover that you had learned alot from watching the Directors on your show for the past seven years? Heidi from Phoenix

TVG Gillian: Yes. I was very nervous that I didn’t know anything, until I started to work out my shot list and I realized that I knew a lot more than I thought I knew.

Question: Did you enjoy working with your sister on the episode Christmas Carol? ~ Melissa

TVG Gillian: Yeah… I did. πŸ™‚ She just visited… actually they just left yesterday, and I was thinking about that. It was fun, and I think she did a great job. I think it was exciting for her at the time.

Question: What is your favorite Hobby?

TVG Gillian: I think the only hobby I have, and it’s one that I’ve started since January, is riding.

Question: What has been your favorite episode thus far this season?

TVG Gillian: That’s a good question. I’ve actually missed the last six episodes, and it’s the first time I’ve ever missed some. But, with the whole writing and editing and such, there just wasn’t time. In fact… I’m not sure I can remember what we shot this year…LOL

Question: Gillian, you’re the best!! Thanx for bringing one of my role models to life every week! I’m so glad you’re writing an episode..My question is when did you find the time to write?

TVG Gillian: I have no idea… πŸ™‚ I wrote in between scenes in my trailer. I wrote a little bit on weekends, as much as I could. And as much over Christmas as I could.

Question: We will lobby Lucas for you! Gillian for Jedi! What type of music do you like?

TVG Gillian: I’ve been listening to a lot of soundtracks lately. I like the Magnolia soundtrack, and one for The Hurricane. And I’m listening to Annie Lennox’s new album. And Moby. In fact, I use one of his tracks in my episode. And Red Hot Chili Peppers. And this album called Ron Rocco…. guitar music. I like a lot of world music.

Question: In the show filmed like “cops”, was alot of that improv? It seemed that is was hard for you to keep a straight face at times (or was David trying to crack you up?). How much artistic license do they allow you?

TVG Gillian: I don’t think it was trying to keep a straight face or cracking up. It was just so intense and nothing like what we’d done before. And everything was reacting in the moment on a whole new level than what we’re used to that there may have been a feeling that we were flying by the seat of our pants. Because we were. πŸ™‚

Question: Have you had the opportunity to work with real F.B.I. agents, as tech advisors for your show?

TVG Gillian: Technical advisors we work with when there’s specific medical procedures that we need to adhere to.

Question: to Gillian, Is there one material item that you can’t live without?

TVG Gillian: My daughter. I’d say she’s material… LOL

Question: Are you nervous about what the public’s reaction will be to your directing debut?

TVG Gillian: No. I made this episode for myself, for many reasons. To see if I could do it, and as a vehicle to express some philosophies that I believe in. I’ve done the work… and I’ve let it go.

Question: Can fans expect a second X-Files movie?

TVG Gillian: Most likely. Almost certainly.

Question: Would you say you are more skeptical or less skeptical than Scully at this point in the show?

TVG Gillian: I’ve always been much less skeptical.

Question: Did anyone pull any practical jokes on you during the filming of ‘”all things?”

TVG Gillian: No.

Question: When did you get your DGA card?

TVG Gillian: I’m qualified now. I applied for it as of this episode.

TVGLive3: Thanks for chatting with us tonight Gillian.

TVG Gillian: Thanks everybody for coming. I hope that you enjoy the show. I want to remind everyone that throughout the month of May on the Gillian Anderson website is an auction of X-Files memorabilia. The proceeds of which will go towards NF Inc. Thank you!

TVGLive3: You can catch Gillian’s directorial and writing debut this Sunday night at 9PM on Fox. Good night.

University of California Santa Barbara: A Conversation with the Creator of the X-Files

Apr-21-2000
University of California Santa Barbara: A Conversation with the Creator of the X-Files

[Unknown transcriber]

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Chris Carter’s lecture at UCSB. It was a great evening! He talked to us for a couple of minutes, then showed a clip reel from all 7 seasons of The X-Files. (Even a clip from David’s new episode, Hollywood AD) Then there was a discussion between he and some of the professors from the college. Afterwards the time was turned over to the audience for questions. I was about 4th or 5th in line and was able to speak to him. Let me just say that his answers are not much better than watching the show. He is cryptic and somehow managed to escape answering all questions that would give any sort of definitive answer. Very frustrating.

My question to Chris Carter was about Samantha. I had read that Chris had envisioned the outcome of her abduction somewhat differently than what actually happened on the show. His answer to me wasn’t really an answer. He told me that all the character’s evolve on the show. He doesn’t know exactly what will come of them and Samantha’s fate wasn’t too far off from what he had envisioned. I asked him what he had originally wanted to happen and somehow he got around having to answer it. Oh well, I was able to be one of the few to speak to him in front of an entire audience, it was a really awesome experience.

One of the people I was with got up and asked a question about “all things”. Okay, the question that was asked was concerning the events during the time between Scully falling asleep on the couch and getting dressed in the bathroom later that night (or early morning I should say).

Chris was hesitant to answer that question, but the crowd was anxiously awaiting an answer. Chris told us that the end of the episode might not make much sense now, but in future episodes the event will have much more meaning. We will understand what truly happened. In fact, he said that the scene will have great importance in the future. However, later on he commented about why he never let Mulder and Scully have a physical relationship. He said that people don’t really want it, and it was a sure way to ruin the show. People think they want it, but they really don’t. He also mentioned that when a relationship becomes physical, it ruins everything. I am sure that his wife, who was present in the audience, loved hearing that last comment.

After the lecture, Chris stayed to sign autographs. My friends and I split up into the two lines that were forming. I got into the wrong line along with my best friend. Luckily my other friends were in the correct line. We joined them and when it came time for us to speak with Chris we told him of the time we were on set. My friend told him that we knew someone who worked on set and he asked us who. He knew who we were talking about and it sounded as if they got along pretty well. He noticed David Duchovny’s and Dean Haglund’s signatures on our items we brought to have signed. He told my friend that it was good thing to hold onto. I finally got Chris to sign my movie script. I was very happy. Now all I have to do is get Gillian to sign it:) We took a picture with Chris and had to hurry because there was such a big line, but he was a very nice guy, and I had a wonderful time.