a bit more info for you Josh. I admit I don't follow
ratings at all but some do. Evidently someone at the
Xena forum with a bit more insight to the ratings noticed
this discussions and posted this info to be forwarded
While Xena may have been heavily marketed to kids
(and still is I'm afraid) the kids audience that Josh
claims xena is a hit with has taken the biggest ratings
nose dive (about 60%) - both in the states and abroad
re -season 3 ... while adults and teens have fallen
over 40% overall
In the states
Season 2 Xena had a 4.1 kids rating - it now has a 1.8
rating (down 56%)
these numbers updated to Feb 6th of season 5 and will
continue to decrease since xena was down 12% overall
this feb sweeps from last feb sweeps
a quick calculation of audience loss since xena's hay
day of feb sweeps of S2
These are the AA season averages -
that is the average of the ratings from the season opener
to the day indicated for a particlar season for women
(age range) men (age range) teens kids...any given demographic
rating of 1 = 1% of the total US population in that
the US has the following numbers of people in these
Adults 18-49 = 123,900,000
women 18-49 = 62,660,000
children 2-11 = 39,430,000
Adults 25-54 = 116,820,000
so a 1 rating/1% of say adults 18-49 represents over
3 times as many people as a 1 rating for kids
An AA rating of 1 = 1% of the US households
there are just over 100 million US households
Xena March S2 Vs Oct S5 /Feb S5
post feb sweeps Season 2 xena was at:
fall Season 5 started out at:
by Feb 6 of season 5 xena was at:
3.6 -- 2.2 --2.3---- 2.1-- 2.0-- 2.7- 1.8
the slide continues with teens and older men ditching
the show at a greater rate than women in season 5
the change in xena demo's over time
3/30/ S2 (25 wks into season 2)
5/25/S2 (33 wks into season 2)
3 weeks into Season 4 (note how men bailed S3 faster
than the women)
22 weeks into Season 4 (march)
(women have now also dropped out)
2 weeks into Season 5 (Oct)
kids took a major nose dive - didn't come back for xena
S5 to feb 6th
older men and teens are ditching the show faster than
women in season 5
AND IN AU
TV Ratings in AU for Season 2 eps
The airing of season 2 of Xena placed it around 58th
on AU ratings list - with 360,000 viewers over all and
for children ages 5-12 Xena was coming in around 5th
highest watched show for the kids with 244,000 viewers
(68% of AU viewers were kids season 2)
Season 3 Xena dropped to 72nd (down 53%) with 170,000
The kids turned the show off !
The bulk of the shows audience is adults and If the
shows success is to judged on the basis of the kids
ratings - its failed miserably - season 3 cost it over
60% of the kids audience no matter where it airs
advertisers have figured this out - just look at the
commercials that get aired during xena
Mr Tapert marketed a show world wide as a family show
- he did a 180 season 3 with the content - and the world
responded - the kids went to bed without xena
Alot of info there, but it does make a point to who
is actually watching Xena and once again backs my statement
that Xena isn't a kid's show.
got me, man. "I, Claudius" was a show for kids, "Xena"
is a show for adults.
I think you pretty much show your attitude really well.
And for the record I never said Xena was a highly intellectual
show, just not a kid's show. I mean "Debbie Does Dallas"
isn't highly intellectual, but nevertheless it isn't
made for kids.
I was asking about where you openly contradicted what
Rob and Lucy have both stated. This was your comment:
but that's where you're wrong, obsession-breath. "Xena"
is a kid's show.
star of the show) and Rob(the executive producer and
creator) said different. You used your above comment
to expalin the Joxer character and scenes for your episode,
but you explanations went against what other's have
said. I simply questioned you on it. I even went further
to explain many scenes and storylines that aren't subject
matter for kids. You never addressed any of these issues
in your responces.
since you haven't explained in any way how your comments
go against Rob's and Lucy's and only went to cuss me
out for confronting you on it I'll think I'll put a
bit more on what comes from the mouth of Rob and Lucy
than what comes the mouth of you, and that is that Xena
IS NOT a 'kid's show.' Yes kids do watch but it is not
a 'KID'S SHOW.' If you want to go against that claim
then give me an open explanation of what Lucy and Rob
has said and explain how the subject matter I detailed
is 'made for kids,' instead of the usual 'f**k off'
you need to learn how to handle confrontation. You say
you want to have good discussion, but the moment you
get negative feedback or any type of confrontation it's
'f**k off.' That's real mature. You want debate and
discussion here, you got it. I'll debate and question,
and when I see you make comments like you did that go
against what other's(higher in the know than you) say
I won't let it go.
definitely go with what Rob and Lucy say. I'm wrong,
it's a show for adults. Sophisticated mature adults.
question. Why do you have the comment about trying to
keep this a PG-13 site, why you many times you use comments
and language that is clearly unsuitable for kids?
mean I know that is you and if you had kids you probably
wouldn't care of they were subjected to that kind of
language, but most parents don't want their children
being exposed to that. If you are going to have a website
open to the world then you need to show respect to all
your possible visitors and take responsibility by putting
up a disclaimor on the Q&A page warning that their may
be offensive language.
but that's just how things are supposed to be done when
dealing with material that may be offensive to many
the fuck are you? Drop dead! You don't like my website,
don't come here. And if kids don't like it they can
go somewhere else, too. You know, this whole "For the
kids" bullshit really gets me down anyway. Everything
doesn't have to be suitable for everybody. Quite frankly,
I don't give a rat's ass what's good for kids.
just don't get the point do you, Xena is NOT a 'kid's'
show as you have claimed.
admit that you have seen very few episodes and know
only about the ones you direct. We'l let's see, the
past 3 seasons that consists of what "KS", "F,F&G",
"ISAIH", and "ITSF"; 4 of the lightest episodes their
are. Go back and watch all the episodes, especially
from season 3 on and tell me Xena is a 'kid's' show.
Watch in season 3 when Gab is impregnanted by a demon
and gives birth to an evil daughter which Xena tries
to behead and then goes on to kill Xena's son which
leads to Gab killing her own daughter and Xena dragging
her a couple of miles behind a horse. Or season 4 where
we have the hole way of love vs. the way of the warrior
theme which has Xena getting her arms cut of only to
turn into a demon to behead her enemy, or the scene
with her and Borias going at it doggy style or Ceasar's
wet dream of Xena riding him. Of course I mentioned
some things of this season. Have you actually seen all
these episodes. I don't think so, so do a bit more research
before you label the show as a 'kid's' show.
visit any forums on the internet, mostly adult women;
go to any convention, mostly adult women. Sure many
kids watch but that doesn't mean it's a 'kids' show.
I mena Rob and lucy said themselves it wasn't a kid's
show; comment on that since you contradicted their words.
I'm sure many little boys go through the older brother
or father's magazine stash look at Playboy. Because
they view it doesn't mean it's a kid's magazine.
a bit of advice, if you want to have this Q/A/discussion
section to your website you need to try and be a bit
more objective. You are very eager to critisize anyone
and anything in the entertainment industry(from Spielberg
to Hanks) yet never one objective negative word comes
out about Rob, Ted or Bruce; three of your buddies.
You get offensive when I mentioned it was sick for this
show to be directed at kids with it's content(even when
you've only seen a few episodes where I've seen them
all) and say so what, he's rich. Let someone else, who
isn't one of your buddies, put this kind of content
out and say it's directed at kids and see if you are
so quick to back them up.
OK, "Xena" is a show for adults and really sophisticated
entertainment and I just haven't been picking up on
it all these years. And I suppose "Gilligan's Island"
and "Charlie's Angels" were, too. And why are you so
desperate to catch me or Rob up in a lie, or have me
criticize Rob? Rob's not only my friend, he's my employer.
I must say that you seem rather antogonistic. This is
probably due to watching all that TV. You might try
reading a book, then you'd see that TV is a pretty light-weight
medium in its totality, and "Xena" is certainly not
one of the heavier shows.
Hi again Mr Becker, and thanks for answering my former
queston. Here's another one for you.
not asking you to actually criticize or depreciate anyone's
work, but... Is there a Xena episode you wish you would
have been directing ? And what would you have made differently
in it ( basically...do not feel compelled to post a
storyboard here... unless you're in the mood for it.)
Thanks again for your consideration.
seen very few other episodes beside the ones I've directed,
so there are no episodes I can think of that I would
have liked to direct.
read in your response to another question that the demographics
for Xena put the majority of the fans in the 7 to 12
year old range. Guess that explains why it speaks to
my inner child. :) Seriously, I find it difficult to
believe that bit since most of my friends (with kids)
who watch, don't think their children should (watch)...
"too *adult* for them" to quote them exactly.
was wondering how those demographics are collected...
the Neilsen boxes (again)? I live in a heavily populated
area in Central California and have never met ANYONE
who has had one of those boxes. And *yes* I do ask quite
a few people just out of curiosity... makes for a good
dinner party conversation starter anyway. (I have always
had a sneaking suspiscion that those Neilsen people
are taking ya'll for a ride. Those boxes are probably
all piled up in some double-wide in the West Texas Planes
in front of Derryl and his other brother Derryl,who
are endlessly channel surfing via their Universal Remotes).
I think there have historically been some fairly "adult"
themes on Xena, not to mention the subtext issue, well...
and the many romps or near romps Xena has taken with
variouls male co-stars on screen. I am having a hard
time corellating that with a 7 to 12 year old age group
of primary viewers. I am probably obtusly naive in thinking
that such scenes are a bit much to allow a 7 year old
to view. May I ask, if you had a 7 year old, what would
your take on this be?
myself love the messages in Xena, and have found inspiration
in the central story of Love and of Redemption it tells...
two souls lost... each in a different way... finding
in one another the motivation to grow, and the acceptance,love,
and forgiveness they needed to help them learn their
place(s) in the world. I know an awfull lot of adults
who voice a sense of vicarious affirmation they get
from the show... acceptance of many aspects of their
own humanity via Xena and Gabrielle's journey toward
understanding each other and themselves. I wonder what
it means sociologically speaking that a show whose supposed
primary audience is 7 to 12 year olds, speaks so profoundly
to so many adults of all ages?
of Many Rather Befudled Fallen Angels,
show may well speak profoundly to some adults, but it's
intended for children. "The Simpsons" is definitely
made for kids, but it's probably the brightest show
on the air and most of the jokes are not aimed at kids,
but nevertheless, their main demographic is kids. Quite
frankly, I don't think "Xena" is anywhere near as smart
as "The Simpsons." But both are kid's shows. If I had
a 7-year old, which I don't, they could either watch
everything or nothing. As John Steinbeck said (and I
paraphrase), kids will find out everything sooner or
later, they may as well get on it sooner.
you say Xena is a kids show when I have interviews in
my hand right now of Lucy and Rob in which they say
that Xena isn't a kids show.
both say Xena is much darker than Hercules and many
things in Xena isn't suitable for children and that
parents should screen Xena before letting the children
watch. They don't sound like comments about a kids show,
and those words come right from the man's mouth himself.
And do you really think things like seeing a skeleton
rip through a pregnant Xena's stomach, or the slaughter
of an elk and Xena and Gab drinking it's blood, or many
of the sexist jokes that always appears with the Joxer
character, etc., which we have seen this season, are
traits for a children's show. Do you think Lucy sticking
her tongue down Kevin Smith's throat(from Eternal bonds)
or taking her clothes off and attemting to seduce him(Amphipolis
Uner Seige) are traits for a childrens show. Or do you
think Ted's character drugging Renee's character to
make her think she has amnesia then lying to her to
make her believe she's his wife and trying every thing
he can to get into her pants(Married With Fishsticks)
are nice messages for kids to see. I seriously hope
not, yet this is what we get week after week on Xena.
like I said I have comments made by Rob and Lucy in
my hand here that say Xena isn't a childrens show. You
seem to be contradicting what they are saying.
if Rob is shooting for the 9-12 demographiic with the
content we have seen on Xena this past season, some
of which I've mentioned above, he's a sick man.
doesn't have to shoot for the 7-12 demographic, he's
got it. If Rob is a sick man, he's also a rich, sick
man that has found a formula for appealing to millions
of people. The show isn't everything you want it to
be? Who gives a shit? The show's on in about 120 countries
around the world.
I also thank you for the go-ahead on generating some
lively discussion here.
am struck by two things you have mentioned - the importance
of the material one is working with (and understanding
it!) and the value of communicating with your actors
- making suggestions, listening to their imput, putting
them at ease, helping them to look good, and helping
them to bring out the full meaning of the material.
know, while that may be rare in films (and TV) nowadays,
that's pretty much standard practice for good stage
directors. Given that you've always concentrated on
film, I wonder why that is? Is good directing good directing,
no matter what the medium? Do too many directors in
this day and time come from a tech background (cameraman,
editor, etc.) exclusively? (I'm thinking of Barry Sonnefeld
for example.) Are stage directors by definition more
focused on substantive things, rather than camera angles
and special effects?
finally, have you ever been, or would you ever be involved
in a stage production?
our group I have been quoted, usually derisively, since
high school as saying, "Live theater is dead." I still
stick with it, too. It's just not a very vital medium
at present. Movies just go out to a lot more people.
And now it does seem that many directors do come from
technical backgrounds and don't know how to talk to
actors. I believe that actors do need to be spoken to
occasionally, if for no other reason than just to see
how they're doing.
I just put it bluntly. Kindrid spirits could have been
so much better. I loved the VERY FEW scenes we had dealing
with Xen and Gab and them wondering whether to stay
with the amazons or not. That should have been the main
story the episode dealt with and most of the scenes
should have dealt with that.
the episode had to be corroded with the Joxer storyline,
which had absolutely no purpose other than make the
character look like an jackass. Everytime I waited to
see what was going to happen with Xena and Gab the scene
would swith to Ted and he would do his same old schtict
which we see every time he appears. Unless your a 2
year old, seeing the same thing gets old real quick.
one question, when you sit back and wach the wrestling
scene do you honestly think it was done well and the
acting by Lucy and Ted was right on? If so you seriously
need to see an eye doctor. There is such a thing as
a little over the top and you guys definately showed
it with this scene. It was embarrassing. I think Lucy
is a wonderful actress and proved it several times this
episode, but she just doesn't do that over the top slapstick
well. When I was watching her and Ted I had to turn
my eyes because it was so embarrassing. I mean a little
child may think it's funny, but give me a break. Way
over the top.
show could have been great if the show had centered
around Lucy and Renee and their story. Unfortunatly
Sam's little brother and Rob's buddy can't seem to find
any other work than what they give him so he once again
ruined what could have been good entertainment. I really
wish the man could find at least some other work on
his own. I mean his character is nothing more than a
clown, so there is no diversity in the character so
it would be okay to se the character a few times each
season, but when he appears in half the episodes a season
it just kills the show. I guess that's the perks though
when your born into the right family. I know Ted's your
buddy, but I think the man is more cut for bagging groceries
than working in front of the camera. He simply isn't
an actor and is no where in the league of someone like
Renee. I mean if the man is as talented as you claim
him to be, explain to me why practically everything
you see him in is a Sam Raimi or Rob Tapert production.
My guess is when Xena ends hell be out of a job, so
if Jack is still airing he'll start invading their sets.
When I hear you make comments about how talented the
man is and comment on how proud you are of the idiotic
wrestling scene, I can't really take any of your comments
you could try and develop a children's program. You
definately know how to shoot things entertaining to
adoloescents. Unfortunatly Xena isn't a children's show.
but that's where you're wrong, obsession-breath. "Xena"
is a kid's show. That some adults like you watch
it is its strange and interesting cross-over ability.
The real demographic is about 7 to 12, and they LOVE
Joxer, and probably loved the wrestling match, too.
What you need to do is either, A. Watch a show for adults,
or B. Stop taking kid's shows seriously.
partner, hope all is well. Please name a few must see
Steve McQueen films.
any new developments on "If I Had A Hammer?"
Bravo JT! I could not have expressed myself better,
new on "Hammer," other than I'm starting to get disturbed
by the sound house that's working on it and their seeming
lack of progress. As to Steve McQueen, who I like very
much: his very first film is "Somebody Up There Likes
Me" with Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano is terrific film,
then there's "The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape"
(one of my favorites), I sort of like "Love With a Proper
Stranger" and "Baby the Rain Must Fall," is pretty good,
with just an awful title song that McQueen fakes playing
and singing, "The Cincinnati Kid," which has both Ann-Margret
and Tuesday Weld at their babelicious best, "Nevada
Smith," "The Sand Pebbles" (another one of my favorites),
"Bullitt," "The Reivers," "Junior Bonner" (directed
by Sam Peckinpah, with some brilliant editing), "The
Getaway" and "Papillion," which is yet another of my
for the go-ahead on the rant. To your "forum for ideas"
point, the format of this page, while great for Q&A,
doesn't really lend itself to a lot of discussion --
it's set up for more one-way communication (toss something
over the fence, wait for you to respond.) If you are
interested, it's pretty easy to set up a message forum
where people can reply to each other and your posts
highlight in red. (Here's an example, if you're not
familiar with what I'm talking about : http://boards.stratics.com/cgi-bin/shadowbane/postlist.pl?Cat=&Board=shadowdev
that I would replace the Q&A section, but it might give
you another avenue somewhat closer to what you're looking
feel free to have your site mgr email me if they want
help setting one up. like I said, it's not really hard
already had that here, and it was immediately misused
by the Xena fans who turned this into another Xena forum.
I don't think people coming here need to communicate
with each other, I was just expressing my hope that
people would discuss ideas here, as you have done. Perhaps
bring up a good old movie they just saw on TV, an interesting
cinematic approach they saw somewhere, whatever. Oh
well, I'll go with whatever comes down.
would be the first critical directing principles to
teach to a class of first time director`s on stage?
the text, meaning read it at least several times. Also,
don't let the actors just stand there, try to keep them
moving. There's something to start with.
god, man, how do you manage to keep your composure on
this forum? I mean, i read this stuff on a couple-times-a-week
basis (clearly not as much as you) and half the time
I just want to throttle some of my fellow posters. Now
it occurred to me that you've likely had the same thought,
but (as you have a career and therefore must try to
remain professional) can't really just lay into them.
I don't have a career, so I think I shall.
MELISSA. Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, reading
your messages, I'm half convinced your're someone at
RenPics having a bit of fun with Josh. You actually
expect him to print out a bunch of ill-formed, worthly
questions written ENTIRELY IN CAPS LOCK to Robert Tapert
and say "Hey, man, could you answer these for some chick
on the internet I've never met who can't figure out
how to use a keyboard? It's for a school project!" Please.
Josh even TOLD you he wouldn't do it for you, and you
reply "HEY ARE THEY DONE YET?" I'm sorry, that's just
too sad to be true.
To the others with school projects.. Wow. I'm not even
IN Hollywood, and I wouldn't answer your questions.
Here's a bit of advise for you : Your teachers aren't
going to know. Pick a director you like, preferrably
one relatively obscure (spielberg doesn't do many homework
assignments anymore) and make some shit up. Hollywood
is based on lies anyway. They'd probably give you a
bonus for creativity.
To Them That Hate Josh For His Opinion Of American Beauty.
I've seen the movie, I don't happen to think its great,
but then again, who the hell am I? Some anonymous guy
on the Internet. Guess what? So are you. No one cares
what you have to say. Josh didn't call you to tell you
his opinion, you came here. To his webpage. If you feel
that strongly about it, don't bitch -- Fight back! Beat
Josh at his own game. Put up your own website, write
a glowing review, and see if Josh logs into your page
to tell you why you suck.
To all you xena freaks (in fact, doesn't one of you
actually use the handle "xena freak"?) You know, it
seems pretty clear to me that directing xena eps is
pretty much a day job for Josh. He doesn't really know
that much about the show (other than the episodes he
has directed) and while he's bright enough not to piss
on a golden goose, it would appear to me that he's not
*that* big a fan. He obviously loves the people, and
I'm sure the paycheck doesn't hurt. He does a good job,
and he seems quite willing to answer technical questions
about the show.. but he's hardly an expert on lucy,
or renee, he's certainly not calling them liars and
he doesn't really, *really* seem to know (or care) how
good of friends they are in real life -- which is probably
a good thing, as it's not really his concern. He's certainly
not going to help you find them, or stalk them all the
way to NZ, or ask renee out on a date for you.
yeah, I know this isn't a public forum, so I'll end
my rant here. Josh, if you decide not to post this message,
I'll certainly understand -- it's just as bad a misuse
of the forum as half of the other questions seem to
up the good work, and next time I'll ask some legitimate
questions, I promise.
ahead and vent away, particularly when you're defending
me. I've always hoped that this Q&A section would actually
be a forum between people discussing IDEAS, since ideas
are what excite me. That's not how it turned out, however,
which is OK, too. If someone has something to say, either
good or bad, you see I'll post it. I do want this Q&A
to be a lively place for folks to visit.
book are you reading right now? What is your favorite
genre? And, have you been watching the Turner Classics'
tribute to Oscars?
am reading (and I'm just about done) "Wizard: The Life
and Times of Nikola Tesla" by Marc J. Seifer, which
is very well-written and I've enjoyed it immensely.
I suppose if I had to choose a favorite genre it would
be drama. Yes, I've re-watched a few of the Oscar-winners.
I just re-taped "Ben-Hur" in letterbox. The 1931 version
of "Cimarron" is on tonight, which is a big deal for
me in that I have every film that's won Best Picture
on tape, except "Cimarron" and "Cavalcade" (and "Shakespeare
in Love," but I'll get that soon).
happened to Scott Spiegel? He seemed to have so much
promise. Does he stay in contact with Rob, Sam, and
Bruce? Does he have an agent?
lives in Hollywood, I know that. No, he doesn't stay
in touch with anyone, nor, apparently, does he answer
his messages. He and I haven't spoken in years, although,
whenever I do speak to him it's always pleasant.
am looking forward to seeing Kindred Spirits. I live
in Chicago. We get everything a week later. So this
Saturday-I'll finally get to see it.
from other sites, there has been a lot of great feedback
involving this ep. It seems everyone is complaining
about how the 5th season has been going between gab
and xena. Or should I say the lack of. But it doesn't
really matter. I am a devoted xena fan and will watch
just wanted to let you know how i appreciate the great
effort into directing the episodes........ thanks
hope you like it.
first want to congratulate you for the great job you
make ; keep doing such good episodes, please. But I
mail you to ask you this : I'm french, and here, entire
scenes are often cut off from the episodes. For example,
the killer rabbit scene in ISAIH was reduced to the
beginning of it, when it jumps on Gab. Did you know
there were such enormous cuts, and how do you react
to the fact that your work - hard work- is simply partially
erased ? Despite these cuts, I can only acknowledge
the quality of your directing and patiently wait for
the next time I'll see your name on the TVscreen. Thanks
for your attention, and good luck for all your upcoming
watched Xena in other countries and seen how they recut
them--it's crazy. What particularly annoys me is they
will ignore the commercial breaks that are given to
them, then cut in other ones. It sucks!
biographical question of sorts, if I may. Bruce Campbell
often refers to his new show having overtones of "F-Troop,"
"Wild Wild West," and "Get Smart," all of which were
popular when you guys were kids in the late '60's and
early '70's. And of course there are Three Stooges references
in many things you and/or he have done (which I love,
by the way!) So I'm curious - before you *seriously*
got into watching movies, what were your favorites?
TV shows, movies, books and magazines. For example,
did you get into the Batman craze, did you read MAD
and Eerie magazines, were you a Hardy Boys fan?
August (a truly inquiring mind):
started watching movies as early as I can remember and
taking them quite seriously. As a kid I loved TV, particularly
Saturday morning cartoons--my favs were always the Warner
Bros. stuff and Rocky & Bullwinkle. I adored "Batman"
in it's mid-60s incarnation with Adam West, as well
as the original "Star Trek." I was devoted to Mad Magazine
from probably 8 years old until 11 or 12 when I switched
to National Lampoon. I never liked any comic books,
Famous Monsters, Eerie, EC or any of that stuff, although
all my friends did. But I was a serious movie fan by
the time I was 10 years old. I was also an avid reader
of books from quite young, 9 or 10, and I still am.
you always make the point of how (not)close Lucy and
Renee are. I'll just ask you flat out, are they friends
or not? Not (best)friends or soulmates or whatever,
but just friends who like each other.
reason I'm asking is because in every interview each
give they say how much they like each other and how
good friends they are. Here's a small excerpt of an
interview that Renee gave to her fan club:
I think, other actresses come on the set and may feel
threatened by our friendship. And it's not that Lucy
and I should or shouldn't act a certain way, we're just
very close! We're always talking about our lives. Some
of it is gossip, maybe a little meddling. But most of
the time, it's about parallel feelings that we are having
in our lives. I've had wonderful girlfriends before,
and people I love as sisters, but Lucy is more than
that. I have so much respect for her. And she's someone
I'm inspired by.
has made many comments in the same tone. Are you saying
Lucy and Renee are lying here? We all know they aren't
soulmates like Xena and Gab, but are they friends and
do they like each other, point blank? Funny, because
if you say they aren't then you in essence are saying
they are lying in pretty much every one of their interviews.
not for one single second intimating that anyone is
lying. Lucy and Renee get along wonderfully well and
work together beautifully, they just don't sit together,
that I've seen. Do keep in mind that they spend 12 hours
a day, 5 days a week together. Bruce Campbell is one
of my very best buddies, but we generally didn't sit
together when we were making "Jack." He had his shit
to do and I had my shit to do.
what if Xena question for you. Now it seems as the director
you are in control of what is shot, but as you have
also said, this is Lucy and Renee's show and no one
is going to make them do anything they don't want to
would you handle it if you wanted to shoot a scene and
Lucy or Renee didn't want to do it. For example, let's
say Renee felt the howling at the moon in mud scene
was to embarrasing and didn't want to do it. What would
you do in that situation?
I know you've said before that Lucy and Renee are very
professional and great to work with so I'm sure that
wouldn't happen, but it's just a what if.
out of curiousity, I hear normally they spend anywhere
from 10-14 hours on set a day. I know all that time
isn't spent shooting. When you've been there what do
Lucy and Renee normally spend their time doing when
they aren't actually shooting.
never had the problem, so I'm not sure how to respond.
It's not like anything we're going to shoot is a surprise
when we finally get to shooting it. If anyone has an
objection, it's undoubtedly been aired by then. Soon
after Lucy broke her hip she was objecting to doing
certain scenes, like jumping off of high places, and
we worked it out. For the most part, however, actors
don't object to doing scenes, that's their job. As to
what Lucy and Renee do between set-ups, they blab with
the cast and crew around them, just like everybody else.
The Xena fans won't like to hear this, but they never
was reading a scriptwriting handbook by Alfred Brenner
and it raised a few questions I thought you might know
the answer to. First, he talks about not paying the
agents upfront to read your material. Would this mean
those who do this are not really agents? He also talks
as if you don't need an agent to sale material (and
I believe I have a better chance than an agent you have
to pay upfront). I've heard your script writing tales
so I know your sales history, but I thought you might
know a little about it. I just couldn't understand this
since they have the whole solicited/un which I understand
to mean you need an agent. Obviously, I'm just learning
about all this. Also, do sitcoms differ from hour dramas
in set up...the following is the way I understand it...you
have to number every new angle you have instead of every
new scene. A confusing aspect was "favoring so and so"
and "including so and so". Any light you can shine on
these questions would be deeply appreciated.
I'm not mistaken--and I could be--agents are not allowed
to charge up front for anything in California. Then
again, you may not be in California. Anyway, nothing
you write should be numbered, that's strictly for the
shooting script and the numbering is generally done
by the 1st A.D. Also, as far as I'm concerned, scripts
should NEVER include any discussion of angles, which
is not the writer's domain. The writer's job is to say
what the location is, INT. JOE'S HOUSE/LIVING ROOM --
DAY, not how it will be shot.
Alicia Gaspar de Alba
thank the GODS for putting you at the helm of "Kindred
Spirits." It is the first time in all of Season 5 that
I have seen the old Xena & Gabrielle, their relationship
issues, their exhcange of looks, their prioritizing
of each other. Graciasgraciasgracias. I notice from
your passport that you and I share two things: we are
both Leos and born in 1958. Very cool. My question:
I've been writing to Lucy via Sharon Delaney for several
months now about my recently-released novel about the
17th-century Mexican nun that was known the world over
as the "first feminist of the Americas" and Latin America's
"Tenth Muse." Since I know Lucy loves to read and that
she has a soft spot in her heart for nuns, not to mention
historical fiction, I've been wanting to send her a
copy of my novel for months. In fact I even dedicated
her a copy and wanted to give it to Kevin Smith at the
Pasadena Con, except I never got the chance to get close
to him for his autograph. I would so much love to give
Lucy her copy of the book, SOR JUANA'S SECOND DREAM,
as a birthday present from me, a professor at UCLA.
Do you have any ideas? Would you be willing to help
out a fellow Leo (you know how stubborn we can be where
the heart is concerned) and perhaps allow me to mail
the book to you so that you can give it to Lucy for
me? If you'd like to check up on me to verify that I'm
not some crazed fan, please check out my own webpage
any case, I thank you for reading this, for being the
fine director that you are, and for spreading the Xena
will not forward anything to Lucy. However, if you sent
something to Renaissance Pictures, which is located
at Universal Studios in Universal City, California,
it might very well find its way to Lucy, but I promise
YOU ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS?? I KNOW YOU ARE PROBABLY
REALLY BUSY, BUT I REALLY NEED THOSE QUESTIONS THAT
I ASKED YOU TO DO FOR ME BECAUSE IT'S DUE THIS FRIDAY,
AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE I CAN INTERVIEW. E3VEN IF YOU
DO NOT HAVE TIME, STILL PLEASE E-MAIL ME BACK SO I CAN
KNOW IN ADVANCE.
IN A LAKE!!
was wondering if you could comment a little on the process
a script goes through once you get ahold of it. The
reason I ask is because though I've liked this season
of Xena some of the dialogue and sometimes the overall
structure of stories has not been as satisfying as past
years. (Acting/Direction/Production Values seems as
high as ever) Can directing save a bad script? Or are
you stuck with what you get? Maybe you could talk about
changing a script in a way that you thought improved
change things a lot more than most TV directors, so
I'm the exception, not the rule. Most directors treat
the script like it's nailed in stone, as many script
supervisors have informed me. Particularly in the funny
episode, which is what I've mostly done, I'm always
looking for another laugh in the scene. In many instances
I add what seems to me like an obvious punchline that
just isn't there. One I'm particularly proud of is in
"Warrior . . . Princess . . . Tramp" when Meg gets Joxer
out of prison and he asks, "What's the plan?" and she
kisses him. That's what's scripted. I added, after the
kiss Joxer asks, "That's the plan?" Meg says, "What'dya
think?" Joxer grins, "Good plan" and they kiss again.
The whole schtick of Meg stealing silverware and it
falling out of her dress at the end I added. In this
new episode I added all the whittling, the wrestling
match, the fact that the final scene is at night (it
was scripted as Day for some insane reason), Xena's
line, "If I was an Amazon," all the eye-poking, nose-grabbing
between Gaby and Joxer, all the "fat pervert" dialog
with the Amazon kids, the idea of Joxer coming on to
Amazons as they walk by, the "Spagetti and eyeballs,
mine" line, the "I'm attached to my eyes, both of them"
line, Rhea's line, "It's called kissing, wanna try it?"
Joxer's line, "You're a Pagan, I'm a Zoroastrian, how
will we raise the children?" the "How was that?" "Pathetic,
just remember these three words: practice, practice,
practice," of course, everything Xena says in the ring,
"I am the ultimate woman! And I will crush his head
in the thighs of doom!" Everything Ted says he came
up with, but all at my behest. Xena's final line of
the wrestling match when Joxer passes out, "Everytime
you turn his brain off," etc. They're all over the place.
on "Kindred Spirits!" There's a tremnedous amount of
positive buzz about the return of the "warm, caring"
relationship between Xena and Gabrielle that hadn't
been seen in some time. (And I'm glad you didn't have
to splice in any scenes of Selma Blair doing the Batusi.)
Raimi's line about "I resent that." "Do you deny it?"
"No, I just resent it." Straight from an old Stooges
short, if I'm not mistaken. An ad-lib by him?
- you had indicated earlier that both XWP and "Jack"
would be using local directors exclusively from now
on. Did you mean the remainder of the season, or in
Stooges line was put in by both Ted and I. Regarding
the Kiwi directors, I certainly hope that doesn't apply
to next season also, but it very possibly could.