VISITORSITE.NET - V INTERVIEWS
Posted JULY 29, 2009
VisitorSite.net Special Feature: Interview With V Executive Producers Scott Peters and Jace Hall (Part 2 of 2)
By Craig Byrne - VisitorSite.net Webmaster
Continued from the previous page
How has 9/11 informed any of the events of the new V?
Scott Peters: You know, 9/11 really informs my storytelling. The 4400 was very similar in that vein. I think that's maybe why I gravitated toward V when it came my way, because to me, I just remember sitting watching television in tears, having never been to New York in my life, and not knowing anybody involved directly with what happened, but everybody was affected by the exact same event and the exact same moment, and then to see all of these different aspects and stories that people brought to it was incredibly moving to me. So, to me I love that storytelling, to have a large ensemble cast, who are all affected by one spectacular - and I don't mean that necessarily in a good way - but in a huge event that affects everybody's lives, and then to see how that trickles down to their existence and their realities. In a show like this, what's really fun is you get these unexpected crosses. You'll see characters that are completely in different storylines that will, through a very plausible way, cross each other in unexpected ways. In fact, we're discovering that in the writer's room every day. I think that's going to be a lot of fun.
Has there been any announcement made about when the show will be premiering?
SP: We're told November. We haven't gotten an exact date yet, but what's great for us is that it was originally announced at upfronts as a January show, and I think we're pretty excited by the response people are giving to it. I think for whatever reason, they split it up a few months. It made us nervous for a second, because we were like "We have to do when?" But we're fine. We're actually really excited. We start shooting August 10.
How many episodes are written?
SP: We're on our third episode right now. I wrote the first one with an old mentor of mine, Sam Egan. We have an awesome writer's room. Jeff Bell has some aboard the show, and I couldn't be happier. He's a terrific guy. He's immensely talented. And so we're breaking #3, we're talking about #4. The first one's written; the second one's being written, so we're moving along.
Jace Hall: I've been in the writer's room. It's a very good, diverse group of people. Very sharp. Reading the next episode that came out of there, and the hotness - take it from me. As a viewer, I'm looking at this as what I would like to see. It's really trying to capture the potential. I think the people who've seen the pilot see the potential for how cool it could be, and we run with it. They're really doing it; Scott and the team, they're really doing it.
SP: What's really gratifying is when we turned in the first draft to the network and the studio. We always knew this was a series, but now we really understand what kind of series this is going to be. It's like what people were saying, "is it going to be a war picture every week?" And we told them, "no, it wouldn't be every week," so they were asking what it was going to be? I think the first episode, we've realized after seeing two of them back-to-back, we start to understand the direction the show's going.
What kinds of technology and weapons do the Visitors use?
SP: As Jeff and I said at the beginning, there are some tweaks we're still doing. We're doing a little bit of a reshooting for the fight, because we feel like we want to make the Visitors even more formidable, and even more awesome, and we actually do want to introduce a tiny little bit of Visitor tech that comes in, because some of the thoughts when we did it - the original intent was that they would come in with silent weaponry. They wouldn't use guns, and they wouldn't use lasers, because if they ever got captured, they wouldn't want a piece of alien technology laying around. They also don't want to draw attention, so they don't want anything that makes noise. They're very adept at hand-to-hand combat, which all makes logical sense, it's just that the feeling was that it lessened a little bit the ability to have them be seen as formidable as they are, so we're going to be adjusting that a little bit.
What we're determined to do is introduce a new piece of Visitor tech, and try to do it every episode. Certainly try to give a little bit of culture and peel back the onion on what their mandate is, and what they're really behind, and what's really going on, and to see the political stuff that goes on aboard the ship, just like we have political stuff underneath the ship.
Who is on the writing staff?
SP: Jeff Bell, obviously. Sam Egan. Cameron Litvack. Diego Gutierrez. Angela Otstot. Akela Cooper. Christine Roum. And Charles Murray. It's a fantastic group of people. Everyone is so smart. Everyone's bringing their A game. We spent the first two weeks just talking about the world.
Are we going to be seeing more of the inside of the mothership?
SP: Hell yeah. [Laughs] That's also a mandate of ours for ourselves. Yes, it's mostly an Earth-bound show, but we love the candy of going up and seeing the inside of this place, and what we're developing is the ability to show you the very different aspects of the ship. We have a terrific piece of technology that basically, none of the ship exists. It's all green screen. So, it only exists in a computer, so when you see that hallway when Chad and Marcus had their talk, that hallway was constructed from a virtual reality world. The technology gives us the ability to drop the camera anywhere in that map and point it, and we see on the screen exactly what it would be like if it were in a real world. So, if somebody's walking across and the camera tracks them, the background will shift as it should in a shot that would not be a virtual reality. So, it really gives us the opportunity to explore that world, and not feel like one man against a green screen, and not be able to interact. It's really exciting.
JH: Great sci-fi always has this element of discovery, so what better place to do it than on this ship?
Can you talk about the Visitor Youth aspect of the series?
SP: It was a little tip of the hat to the original, I think, as well. Youth often will look at things in very black and white terms. It's either great or it's terrible, or it's good or it's bad. As you get older, you start to see the shades a little bit more between things, and so I think it's very easy to get the youth interested and excited about something that's new, and maybe it's something where someone who's a little bit older will pull back and go "wait a sec." There's a great argument on both sides, seeing Tyler and Erica's scenes. Tyler just thinks his mom doesn't get it. "You're just set in your ways, you don't want to explore anything, you don't want to give a new idea a chance. Why are you criticizing this so easily?" And her point is, "Why are you embracing this completely?" So it's an interesting divide of generations.
What kind of mom is Erica Evans going to be throughout the series?
SP: One of the great dynamics is that Erica is accused by her son of never being there. Because she's an FBI agent in the counter-terrorism division. So at 3 o'clock in the morning when the phone rings, she has to go, or if it's in the middle of the afternoon and they were going to do something, she's got to drop it and go. And so, this has affected him for however many years, and it's coming out, but now in addition to that, she needs to be falling into the leadership roles of leading the Resistance, and so she's going to be struggling to find ways of keeping her son safe, and making sure that everything's okay with him. It's going to be a huge struggle for her to try and keep that relationship viable, because she can't really tell her son what's going on.
It seems like it will only get worse.
SP: That's exactly going to be her issue. It's "if I had a hard time fixing it before, how am I going to fix things now?"
Big thanks go to Mr. Peters and Mr. Hall for taking the time to participate in this interview.
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