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Cinescape: Vince Directs!

Vince Directs!
Melissa Perenson

X-Files co-executive producer Vince Gilligan has written some of the best episodes of series including this year’s “X-COPS”, but he recently did something with one coming this week that he’d never done before… he directed it. Gilligan took some time from his schedule to chat with Cinescape Online contributor Melissa Perenson about the challenges of helming “Je Souhaite,” which takes a contemporary twist on the old story of a genie in a lamp.

Over the years, Gilligan has worked with a number of skilled directors, including Kim Manners and Rob Bowman. When asked if their influence or his work as a producer prepared him in any way for directing, Gilligan revealed, “Time spent in the editing room was very helpful. We’re on such tight schedules, and there are so many different shots to get. And if you know exactly what it is you want and exactly what it is you need from an editors’ point of view, then as a director who know what shots you’ll actually need. And which shots you can live without. [The crew] was very helpful and supportive, and that made it a lot easier for me.”

Gilligan doesn’t want to mislead you when it comes to his first time directing gig. There were unexpected problems, which Gilligan explains, saying, “On one of our last days on the stage, there’s this pigeon family up in the rafters [of the soundstage], and they’re messing up all of the dialogue that David [Duchovny] and Gillian [Anderson]. Meanwhile Kim Manners was directing the final episode of the season, and they needed to take over the soundstage from us and get working on their show. So I had a hundred people, including Kim Manners, standing behind me as I’m trying to finish off this last shot of the scene.”

More specifically, regarding this week’s episode, what prompted Gilligan’s idea to explore genie lore? Gilligan answers, “I had an image of someone cutting the lock off of a very old self-storage unit and finding something very weird and X-Files inside a dusty, dark, and cold storage unit. I can’t really say how it came about, but it was the idea of someone finding a genie, finally, inside a storage locker, that appealed to me. And I figured at that point, if we’re doing a story about a genie, it’s real hard to make it very serious, really scary or dark. It seems like it’s inherently sort of goofy, the idea of finding a genie, period. The episode just sort of took a life of it… scary or serious.”

As one might expect, an X-Files take on genies has it shares of unique twists. .. except what Vince says regarding that may be a spoiler. So, if you’d rather not know until Sunday night, move along to another story by using one of the links at the right.

Still there?

You have been warned.

When asked if there were any interesting twists to be found in the episode, Gilligan revealed, “One of the brothers wishes to be turned invisible at will. And his new-found life of invisibility lasts all of about five minutes before he gets killed, and then the fun twist that either John [Shiban] or Frank [Spotnitz] came up with was that even after he was dead, his body is still invisible, so then Scully has to autopsy an invisible body.”

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One Response to “Cinescape: Vince Directs!”

  1. […] Knowing that Je Souhaite might have been his swansong working on the show, Gilligan initially hoped to write a more serious and terrifying episode. However, the script just developed in a more humourous direction: […]