Archive for August, 2001

AOLchat/TV Guide Online with Chris Carter

Aug-23-2001
AOLchat with Chris Carter

Chris Carter: Hi. Ready for any and all questions…

Question: Chris, Lucy Lawless is well known for her role on Xena. How do you think fans will react to her playing an Agent on The X-Files?

Chris Carter: Well, I hope they like her. 🙂 We had a chance to cast someone who I had met at the…I think 1997 or 98 Emmy Awards. She came up to me and introduced herself, and said she was a fan of the show. Late last year, when it was announced that Xena wouldn’t be coming back, she and her husband sent me a nice note about what fans they were of the show. I took that as an opportunity to take someone who was a fine actress, who would clearly be looking for a role different from the one she had played for the last number of years, and figure out a way to use her in the show. And it just so happened that how we were plotting out Season Nine that she fit perfectly into the X-Files mythology. It’s interesting that Lucy studied acting in Vancouver under Bill Davis, who played the Cigarette-Smoking Man for so many years.

Question: are you really into sci-fi stuff or would you like to expand to another category?

Chris Carter: I never considered myself a science-fiction writer to begin with. I always thought of the X-Files as a mystery show that dealt with the paranormal. Now I’ve been labeled as a science fiction writer, and it’s accurate. But it is a limiting label. So, I am interested in doing something outside of that label, but that doesn’t rule out a good mystery or thriller story, which is what the X-Files primarily is.

Question: were you disappointed that Mulder left or were you excited about the new opportunities that opened up?

Chris Carter: Well, we were all sorry to see David go, but it was an understandable decision. Anything that presents itself as a problem to TV producers or writers seems like a bad thing. But, it can be a constructive thing, if you can figure out a way to solve the problem. So, what we’re doing is taking a situation — a Mulder-less X-Files. We’re adding some new characters. While it is still a 2 or 3 lead show, there are many more ensemble situations this year that I think will make the show better in some ways.

Question: With the shady disposal of the Cigarette-Smoking Man in Season 7, are we to expect any re-appearances or more satisfying closure for the almighty CSM in Season 9 ?

Chris Carter: Anything can happen on the X-Files.

Question: Chris, your shows are fantastic! “Millennium” was truly the best show on television. Any chance that it (or any of your other wonderful shows) will be released of video or DVD?

Chris Carter: They’re talking about Millennium on DVD. Beyond that I wouldn’t think there is much hope for Harsh Realm, or Lone Gunman. But, I think there are a lot of people asking for the Millennium DVD, so I think that will happen.

May I just interrupt to say “Yaaaaay!”? Thank you. *g*

Question: Chris, thank you so much for adding Carey Elwes to the cast! “The Princess Bride” has long been a favorite movie, and I’ve always thought he would be great on TXF. What are the biggest changes we’ll see early on next season, mythology-wise?

Chris Carter: Well, Cary Elwes plays a pirate with a patch on his eye, so that will be a big change..

It’s Dread Pirate Brad! LOLOLOL

Chris, cont’d: I think you’ll see when you watch the first episode, there will be some obvious changes. I won’t go into them, but they are obviously the result of the introduction of new characters, and ones who have had relationships that aren’t about sexual restraint.

Question: Thank you for bringing us The Lone Gunmen series, even if it was unfortunately brought to an end. Any chance the guys (with Jimmy and Yves?) might be appearing in Season 9?

Chris Carter: Yes. You’ll see them in the first and second episode. We’re just pulling a trick on Fox. The X-Files the ninth season will just be starring the Lone Gunmen.

This one had me ROTF. Way to go, Chris! *g*

Question: Mr. Carter, will there be a resolution to the cliff-hanger season finale of “The Lone Gunmen” on “The X-Files”?

Chris Carter: Yes. But, you really have to have been a careful watcher of that program to understand what it is.

Question: Will Doggett’s son’s disappearance become part of the mytharc?

Chris Carter: It certainly is something that has shaped his character. So I would say that it won’t be the replacement for the Mulder/Samantha search, but it is something that informs his approach to life and his relationship with Monica Reyes.

Question: Hi there, Mr. Carter. I really like the new characters and I think they bring a lot of very positive energy into the show. I’m more excited about the X-Files than I have been in years. How much will Scully be working with Doggett and Reyes?

Chris Carter: From the first episode we’ll see how she works with them, even though she is a mother. She is drawn back into the X-Files by the biggest mystery in her life.

Question: Can you make Cary Elwes say ‘As you wish’ on the X-Files?

Chris Carter: Yes. 🙂

GREAT question, even better answer! LOL

Question: What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?

Chris Carter: I haven’t seen that many movies, but I’ve seen some good ones. Last night, I saw the Apocalypse Now re-release. It was nice to see it on the big screen, but I though the original release was superior. We’ve had screenings of a couple of movies here recently. We saw Planet of the Apes, which none of us liked. And we were all big fans of the original. And the guy at Miramax/Dimension sent us a print of The Others, and we liked that. We thought it was really smart and really scary. And you can’t take your eyes off Nichole Kidman. It was scary like my favorite scary movies. They made a movie based on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw, called the Innocents. It had two creepy kids in it, and the two kids in this were even creepier. It also had a lot of good moments that weren’t effect-driven, which was nice to see.

Question: Will Scully’s pregnancy be fully explained in the next season?

Chris Carter: Yes. It’ll be explored extensively. Explained? You’re asking a lot for the X-Files.

Question: How are you doing on the next X-Files movie? Have you even started?

Chris Carter: We’re talking about it now, pretty actively in fact. If all the business can be worked out, we could see a new X-Files movie in the next few years.

Question: Chris, are Gillian and David going to make a 2nd X-Files movie?

Chris Carter: But, there’s less interest while the series is ongoing. And, yes that’s the plan to have David and Gillian in it.

Question: Are Krycek, CSM, WMM, and other people from the Consortium really dead?

Chris Carter: That’s a question that you have answer specifically… But, I will say that it looks as though all of them have met real and final ends. But, one of them is possibly still alive.

Question: Is there any chance of us seeing the faceless rebels or even Marita this season??

Chris Carter: Marita has been busy working with Jim Carrey. And, if we make any more budget cuts, we’ll have to see more of the faceless rebels, because we won’t be able to cast real actors. 🙂

Question: Will we be seeing a different side of Scully now that she’s a mother…maybe more of a motherly side?

Chris Carter: Yes. We’ll be doing the breast-feeding episode. 🙂 I think she’s going to have to balance her life between being a mother, and being a person who is still looking for the truth.

Question: Hi! Loved season 8! Keep up the great work! But we have to know FOR SURE, who’s the father of little baby William? And how is it gonna work without Mulder to play daddy?!

Chris Carter: We’re going to turn the X-Files into a sitcom called “Everyone Loves Mulder.”

Question: What did you do over the summer, we heard you were on island or something catching up on your surfing?

Chris Carter: I went on an amazing surf trip this year to Indonesia.

Come on, we want pictures! *g*

Question: Are you influenced by any current TV shows or movies?

Chris Carter: I loved the movie “The Insider,” and I think any contemporary movie… that and “L.A. Confidential” are movies I watch again and again… so I would have to say that I’m influenced by those movies.

Great taste in movies. *g* Maybe we’ll see him at Russell’s concert Sunday night. *g*

Question: I heard a rumor that there’s gonna be a new syndicate…is it gonna be headed by Director Kersh (I hate that guy).

Chris Carter: Kersh is wrapped up in a case that begins the X-Files season, but his involvement in it is, and in any larger conspiracy, may not be what you think.

Question: Will there be any scripts written by cast members? Famous authors? Aliens?

Chris Carter: Yes.

TV Guide Moderator: Is that a first?

Chris Carter: We’re going to have two of them written by aliens this year. That’s a first. And if they do well, we’re thinking about bringing them on staff.

Question: Are there any plans to “intensify” John Doggett this season? We all love watching him let loose on villains!

Chris Carter: Yes. We love his character because he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he is quick to act and do the right thing. So, I think you can expect to see more of that.

TV Guide Moderator: Was Doggett a collaborative character or was it from one person?

Chris Carter: I think it was something that we all talked about, but I wrote his voice. So, I think he was someone we all came up with together, but his voice came out of my head. But, it was something that was helped in a large degree by casting Robert Patrick.

Question: Will there be some humor oriented episodes in Season 9, or is the Doggett/Scully dichotomy not developed enough yet to play off of it?

Chris Carter: It’s tricky because Scully’s a mother, and there’s great suspicion that Mulder is the father, so you have a relationship that is unresolved and largely unspoken. So, I think it’s a little early to see Scully and Doggett get together. But, I think the humor this year will come out of situations. And also because we know Doggett better, and we’ve established his character, so we’ll see him lighten up. So, we should see that with Scully, and with Monica Reyes.

Question: How have the changes in technology affected the filming of the XF over the years and what effects do we expect this new technology to have on the XF in the future?

Chris Carter: The practical technology hasn’t changed all that much. The effects have become, I think, cheaper because of the advances in technology. You can do more in less time, so you can do it on a TV schedule. But, technology itself is still used best on the X-Files as a storytelling device, because we are all still so afraid of it.

Question: How do you feel about the movie on TV? Is it edited?

Chris Carter: There are some real slight, and you may not even notice them, deletions from the movie to fit the time format. Rob Bowman, the director, did them himself, so we’re all satisfied. It is going to show on Fox on Friday, September 14th, at 8:00.

TV Guide Moderator: Thanks so much for chatting with you!

Chris Carter: Thank you!

TV Guide Online: Tune into The X-Files on Fox on Sunday nights. Don’t miss your chance to catch the network television premiere of The X-Files movie on Sept. 14th on Fox. And visit www.thexfiles.com for all news and information about the series. Thanks for coming tonight.

Airlock Alpha: Reyes loves Scully?

Aug-04-2001
Reyes loves Scully?
Airlock Alpha
Michael Hinman

[Original article here]

It could’ve been an X-Files matching made in heaven

Move over Xena and Gabrielle.

It was a single line that erupted in a summer long of debate among fans of “The X-Files.”

In the season finale, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is giving birth to her child when Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) comments how “amazingly beautiful” Scully was during the birthing process.

So the question is now whether or not Agent Reyes is going to be a lesbian on the show.

“We talked about it,” executive producer John Shiban told TV Guide Online in a recent interview. “But we (ultimately decided) that it’s the kind of baggage that we (creator Chris Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz) that we didn’t want to deal with with this kind of character right now. We had other ideas that we were more excited about.”

Shiban says that while Reyes has “an affection for Scully that is deep and real,” there might be more implied from the season finale line than there should be.

“Most women look beautiful when they’re giving birth,” Gish said. “And it was a very authentic birth experience, so I think it was very harmless.”

Will there ever be a gay relationship on the show?

“On The X-Files, anything can happen,” Shiban said. “So I don’t want to discount anything. Life is complicated.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Special Effects on TV The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi: Special effects add to television experience

Aug-04-2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Special Effects on TV
The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi: Special effects add to television experience
Candace Havens

During Summer 2000, moviegoers watched as gigantic waves crushed a fishing boat in The Perfect Storm and Tom Cruise dangled from a cliff in MI-2. A ghostly apparition chased Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford in What Lies Beneath, and the stars of X-Men fought battles with supernatural strength as they flew through the air.

All these films and most major releases in Hollywood these days use special-effects makeup and computer-generated images to make stories more exciting. And as these effects become more refined and easier to duplicate, the same technology is being used more than ever on primetime and daytime TV.

[snip bit on Discovery Channel special]

Fox’s The X-Files and the WB Network’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer use special effects on a weekly basis. HBO’s crime-drama The Sopranos, which created a talking fish last season, digitally put the head of deceased cast member Nancy Marchand on the body of another actress in the season opener.

“We are using more effects than ever in TV, and we are streamlining the process as we go,” says Matthew Mungle, an Academy Award-winning special-effects designer who creates bizarre beings for The X-Files and is working on several feature films, including The Mummy Returns. “The TV audience is savvy, and they expect to see film-quality effects on their favorite shows. There’s no more just slapping it together and throwing it on.”

For the X-Files episode “Dead Alive,” Mungle and his crew created a body suit for a character to make it look as if he had been floating dead in the ocean for several days. “And then … when he’s in the hospital, he still has to look bloated, but his skin is dry. He gets up one night and takes a shower, and all that bloated skin sloughs off. That was another effect we worked on. We had five days to create the whole thing, and it was a real challenge.”

The short time span isn’t unusual for special-effects experts who work in TV. Two weeks before they begin shooting an episode, Mungle meets the department heads and creative forces behind The X-Files. They discuss what they want to see happen and how it can be done within the budget. Mungle goes back to his lab and develops a prototype of the creature or effect to see how it will work in full form.

“Technology has helped a great deal because I can just e-mail the director and producers a picture of what we are working on,” Mungle says. “In less than 15 minutes, I can get feedback from them on what changes need to be made. Then we start putting it all together. We use whatever is the fastest and most appropriate to make it happen. Luckily, we’ve come a long way in this business and have a plethora of materials we can use that set up quickly; otherwise, there’s no way we could do it.”