lunes, marzo 12, 2007

Más del Paley Festival

El primer día os colgamos las fotos del evento, ayer os trajimos un resumen de lo más importante que se dijo en esa conferencia con fans y periodistas, y hoy, por si eso no os había parecido suficiente, os traemos la transcripción literal de todo lo que se dijo aquel día en dicha charla. Muy interesante y con algún que otro Spoiler. Merece la pena "perder" 10 minutillos en leerlo:

In attendance (by dais seating): Wade Williams, Rockmond Dunbar, Rob Knepper, Amaury Nolasco, Sarah Wayne Callies, Dominic Purcell (who keeping with Linc, had his top three buttons undone and I wanted to slap him), Dawn Parouse (Exec. Producer), Matt Olmstead (Exec. Producer) and Paul Scheuring. It was announced that Wentworth and William couldn’t make it due to shooting.

Moderator: Some journo formerly of Forbes and TV Week.

The clip chosen to kick off the night was a clip from Johnny Cash Live from San Quentin. Odd choice seeing as that the clips usually tie in to the show. I would’ve thought ‘Oz’ would have been the clip or the show “The Fugitive”

They showed the pilot, which I was happy to see again because there were things I missed initially such as Michael having articles about Sarah, Abruzzi and on the window in his apartment, that LJ was a delinquent. It was also the first of Michael’s “oh-shit-I’m-actually-in-prison” looks.

The first question of the night was geared to Paul Scheuring and about how the show came about.

Paul It came out of desperation. I came out of a writing partnership and when that happens, there’s always the question of who is actually the writer. I was flipping my wings, trying to find a project when Dawn suggested the concept to me.

Dawn; I really respected Paul’s vision. (talked about how they collaborated on a few projects that never went anywhere). We pitched a book and I told him that if it didn’t sell, we could do this (story). At the time they (Michael and Linc) weren’t brothers.

Moderator: It was an interesting concept but more for a feature film.

Dawn: They say that about all good things.

Moderator: Matt, how did you get involved?

Matt: I came late. I just jumped on the gravy train. The pilot was already shot when I came aboard.

Moderator: When ‘Lost’ became a hit, networks were suddenly interested in serial dramas again.

Paul: That’s the good and bad thing about TV. I’ve had ten or twelve projects in turnaround (feature film wise and nothing was ever made), but in TV they get your script and they will tell you in the first or third week yes or no. ‘Lost’ was not out yet, but Fox had ‘24’, but they didn’t want to do it as a series. They wanted to make it a mini-series. They wanted Steven Spielberg to be involved in it. I met with Spielberg and he was interested but as long as it didn’t interfere with his directing. By that time “War of the Worlds” went to film, so he had to pull out. Then September of that year ‘Lost’ had a huge, huge, huge debut and suddenly all the hoops I had to jump through (to get the show made) disappeared.

Moderator: What were you doing before this?

Wade: Trying to get a job. (He goes on to say how he got the script and didn’t want to audition for this character that was so horrible and despicable, mainly because he had a four-year old child and didn’t want his child to see him in that light).

Moderator: Has your child seen you on the show? (or something like that)

Wade: During the commercial breaks, when my wife is watching ‘American Idol’. My child asked “Is that you putting the guys in jail? You’re a bad man.”

Rockmond: I had just finished “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” which was my first job in a year. I got the script and I thought, “This is awesome, I love this show!” I auditioned and called my agent and said, “I ripped it, I ripped it, I did it!” And they said, “You didn’t get it.” ( I wasn’t too clear on the next part, but some how he ended with the recurring role. I blame my notes). The first day (on set) I saw Amaury (as Amaury) “Hey, Papi!” The show wasn’t picked up yet.

Paul: We saw him (Rockmond) and we said, “That’s our guy’, but he had been cast in “Head Cases”. So we thought, ‘Do we take a chance on him and just not see C-Note for six or seven episodes and hope that “Head Cases” will go on and no one will watch it----

Dawn: We didn’t say that.

Paul: We did, we did! We’re glad we made that bet.

Rob: Fortune and luck. I had did these two projects “Good Night and Good Luck” and “Carnivale” (applause). Then I didn’t do squat for some time. My wife said, “You gotta get a job”. See, I’m in that middle actor category (referring to character actors who are really a dying breed since big name actors take on those ‘character’ roles as challenges) in between actors who are getting a lot of money or no money. I wanted to do something I loved so I thought, “I love acting and I love nature”, so I decided to teach acting at UCLA. I went to Northwestern—didn’t graduate. So I went to all the unions putting up fliers, “Learn acting by someone who’s done it” and I noticed there were a million other, “Learn acting by someone who’s done it”. I put in for a job at the Will Rodgers State Park. I based my character on “Carnivale” on Will Rodgers. I was going to clean cages, I didn’t care. I’m not too proud. I was going to wear that hat, (be) Ranger Rob. I got the job at UCLA. (he mentioned how he decided he had to keep trying at acting) I auditioned the same day that singer-Michael…Michael…

Rockmond: Bolton?

Rob: Jackson. I auditioned the same day Michael Jackson was acquitted so I went if Michael Jackson can get way with it….I called UCLA and had to bow out because. I didn’t hear from Will Rodgers Park until the show took off and they called to say ‘You’ve got the job---but I don’t think you need.” They were big fans of the show. (he went on to say that he now makes donations to the Park)

Amaury: My story’s not as interesting.

Rob: But you’re cuter.

Amaury: I didn’t want to do it because I’m a very bad reader. Dominic loves to do it. (Dominic gives confused look). Read. I take comics and I imagine what they’re saying. So for a script to pull me, it has to be really good. What I’m trying to say is…

Dominic: You can’t read.

Amaury: English is my second language. But the script was so good. It was a real page turner. When the script came around, it lists all who are involved with the project (producer, writer wise) and I didn’t know them—because I don’t read. (He recalls going to the audition for the studio and how he was so nervous he as going through bottles of water so by the time it was close for him to come in , he was in the bathroom) Paul was in the stall next to me and he told me they really wanted me; like ‘don’t fuck it up’. (He catches himself and speaks to Sarah’s stomach) Don’t say those things.

Sarah: For those who don’t know, I’m pregnant. When I went to Fox to audition for the scary people, I left my keys in the ignition, so I went in and auditioned, got out and called Triple A. They told me it won’t be long. I’m sitting on a bench waiting and one by one the people I auditioned for walk past me and Paul walked by and said, “Do you really need this job?” I felt like the girl in ‘Dirty Dancing’; “I carried the watermelon”. It took four hours for Triple A to get there, but in between that time I got a call from my agent telling me I got the job. I think I got it out of pity.

Dominic: I was surfing in Hawaii for a show called (mumbles) ‘North Shore’. (the cast cheers). I had a development deal with Fox. I had a relationship with them since John Doe, so I was in cruise-y, development mode. They sent me the pilot script and it was amazing. When I went in (to read) I was very cocky. Very arrogant like, “I got this character down.”

Donna: You had gotten in a fistfight with an actor from ‘North Shore’ the night before too.

Dominic: We’re not going to talk about that.

Sarah: That was me.

Dominic: Paul kept asking me if I wanted to run it (the scene) and I said, “No, no.” But I got it the next day.

Moderator: How did you chose Joliet Prison?

Paul: The conceit of the series is that it’s a maximum security building. Modern jails are too sterile—not the place for escapist fare. We looked at (the prison where ‘Shawshank Redemption’ was filmed), but at Joliet had the feel. They took us to all these pipe systems and I remember coming out and seeing these prisoners cutting grass and thinking, “Are they real or for effect?” And the guards just said, “They’re from the Annex. They’re short.” Meaning they have 30-days or less (in jail) and no one’s going to escape if they have such a short time to serve.

Amaury: Except Sucre.

Paul: Joliet is so depressing. It oozes from the walls. Its cell block is one sided, two stories and we needed a big cellblock and lots of lighting. And I was just bullshitting around because I’m a feature writer and nobody listens to us, but I said I needed a bigger set. Writing for TV is totally cool. They paid for it.

Moderator: Why the move to Dallas?

Dominic: Yeah, why did we move to Dallas?

Paul: We have a 30-mile radius to shoot in and we needed to be able to (mimic different locations). 30 miles outside of Chicago and you get the Midwest. So our Line Producer suggested Dallas.

Dominic: He’s from Dallas. His family lives in Dallas.

Matt: What? It’s cool in Dallas. 80 degrees.

Sarah: I’ve never seen you in Dallas.

Rob: It was 122 degrees once. That’s Valley weather.

Moderator: This show has it’s share of violence. (Rob gives a ‘who me?’ look and points to Wade) How is the violence used on the show?

Wade: The brothers sacrificing themselves for the other is a theme that carries so much weight; the stakes can’t get much higher than that. It works for the universe we create. It’s a show about people in prison not people who sell flowers.

Paul: It’s a show about ramifications. Usually heroes are untouchable. They never get their toe chopped off. The chase scenes aren’t as harrowing because we all know how it’s going to end. (Prison Break shows that anything can happen to the hero).

Matt: Our body count is at 44, but we got the most outrage from when Bellick killed a cat.

Moderator: For the actors. When you’re doing a scene that has a high level of violence, is it hard to shake it off at the day? (At this point I’m wondering what show he’s watching because it’s not that violent)

Dominic: That’s a good question. Obviously, I don’t have the level of violence like Linc.

Moderator: I hope not.

Dominic: It depends on what kind of actor you are (he thinks and thinks). No, not really.

Sarah: Usually your primary focus is on the other actor-at least it’s supposed to be. It’s a strange paradox. We work in a world of illusion and the best actors are ones that keep that element of reality, not trying to show everyone how hard you can throw a punch or whatever it is you do (eyes Rob).

Rob: (Rob gives a ‘who me?’ take) That’s a great way to look at it. You’re doing it (the scene), but you keep it in your head that you’re an actor. Me, Wade and Dominic have kids and you have to let it go for kids. It’s been harder this second season. (paraphrasing) All the murders T-Bag has committed was justified. He only kills because he wants to stay alive. It’s self-preservation.

Dominic: A lot of our characters are redeemable. We want them to succeed. If you play a character, that you can’t root for, you lose interest. All of these characters have a soul.

Paul: Actors know the difference (in the type of violence committed on the show). I can see what Sarah is saying, but when Rob agrees my mind went ding, ding, ding, ding. He’s a method actor. During the first episode (after the pilot) there was a prison riot scene and T-Bag’s recessed in the sequence and I’m running around managing 100 extras and Knepper walks by and (sticks out tongue). It’s a real razorblade and it’s not part of the scene. That’s in his head—that helped him get into character. That’s why I laugh.

Moderator: It’s often said, if it ain’t on the page, it’s not on the screen. Tell us about the writing process.

Paul:It’s a group thing. There’s me, Matt and five other writers. It’s a creative democracy. It’s the first writing room I’ve been in and I’ve heard they’re usually cliquey and catty, but (not this staff). We don’t automatically shoot others ideas down. We give each other shit, but we support each other.

Matt: Every writer (we have) is a heavy hitter. I wrote for NYPD Blue and we didn’t have a writers room; you pitched your idea and you went off to write your script. We didn’t get a lot of freedom, but it’s different on ‘Prison Break’.

Amaury: Not because they’re here and not because I don’t want read the scripts (mimics going through script for his lines) Me---me—me. I heard from a director—a feature film director—that’s there’s nothing better than a dead writer (but our writers are great). There are actors on the show that call and they want to find out (what’s going to happen). Not me. Every page I turn I’m like (turns page hesitantly) I’m not dead am I?

Moderator: It’s a hit in America, but also oversees. Are you surprised how well it translates?

Paul: The three components of the show---I went to Europe and Japan in November and I was overwhelmed by the reception—the three components are a cast of hunky fellows (Sarah makes a “what about me?” look_

Dawn: Pretty ladies.

Paul: The universal conceit of the show is the love between brothers and US government bashing.

Dawn: We’re huge in Venezuela.

Paul: I was in France and approached by a Malaysian woman and she was given me retroactive creative notes about the first season finale.

It’s opened for questions from the audience.

Q: The first season was Prison Break. This season; Prison Break: Manhunt. Is there going to be another name change for Season Three? Also can you tell us anything about Season Three?

Paul: Fox loves their shows to be branded, so it’ll stay Prison Break. There’s three episodes left.

Moderator: In other words he’s not going to tell you.

Q: This is for Rob. Are you surprised by the sympathy fans has for your character who is child rapist and murderer.

Rob: What did you do with your life? I played a child rapist/murderer. They usually come up to me and (acts frightened), but then they say, ‘ I love the show, but I hate your character, but I feel for him too’. I credit the writers who gave him a backstory.

Sarah: Rob and I went to the Indy 5000----

Rob: 400,000 people chanting “Prison Break”.

Sarah: Let me tell you, they love T-Bag. It was a bit terrifying. I’m like, “Do you know what he stands for?” He has a creepy appeal.

Paul: It’s the reflection of an actor who shows up (and does their job well). If Rob wasn’t that guy and didn’t have the chops (to pull off the character) then he’d be gone (*This was a continuation of an earlier insight of how they weren’t sure about the character so they had another character in mind in case T-Bag didn’t work out). Same for Wade and Rockmond. We show the dark side of the heroes as well.

Q: Is there any improvisation?

Dominic: We don’t have a lot. Usually in TV, you’re handcuffed by the writers. I experienced that on ‘John Doe’ and it’s frustrating as an actor. But what’s great about this show is that the writers allow us to change lines so that it flows easier. It’s an ensemble and we’re one big family and try to make it work. I’ve been constantly surprised by what the writers have given us.

Amaury: In spanish, I got away with a lot of things. I kept cursing in spanish.

Sarah: One of the censors was like, “Wait a minute!!!”

Moderator: Is there a lot of problems from censors?

Paul: You’d think it’d be the violence, but it’s things like you can’t say g_ddamm and the homosexual sex is a bit of a question mark. That’s why we use a lot of innuendo and slang that is too hip for the censors.

Dawn: The character’s name is T-Bag! (everyone laughs).

Paul: There’s a line in an episode where T-Bag is insinuating raping Michael and he says ‘leather donut’. (Rob recites the line as T-Bag). Standards and Practices said it’s a bad word, you can’t use it. But the word came out of me being with a friend drinking in San Francisco and he asked me, “Did you say leather donut?” And I’m like, “What? What’s a leather donut?” It means nothing.

Q: Is there the worry about being killed.

Amaury: Yes!

Paul goes on to talk about how he loves the actors and he knows them as individuals with families and it’s hard to kill them off.

Paul:Before the show even goes to air, we agree to terms with the actors. We have contractual agreements before you hit the screen (like Dominic is contracted for 44 episodes so we can’t kill him in the third episode). We have a kinship and these are down to earth, cool people. My biggest fear was that I’d have a bunch of putzes because there’s a lot of them in this business. You feel for them, but Prison Break is a finite show. No one is doing Prison Break Season 8.

Mod: Are you sure?

Paul: Prison Break on Mars.

Rockmond: It’s nerve-wracking. I called Matt and said, “Am I in episode seven?” Where are we going with C-Note or is C-Note going? Like the Tweener scene. Is Tweener gone? Or is Tweener gone, gone? (I’m guessing he’s talking about reading the script before it’s shot. This led to an uncomfortable vibe in the room due to the elephant in the room called Lane Garrison’s vehicular manslaughter charge).

Q: Is it true that the show was intended to go for only two seasons?

Paul: The original concept was that the show would go for 44 episodes with the assumption that people would watch the show. Networks have a commodity. If Matt and I say Prison Break is over after 44 episodes, Fox would go, “You’re over in 44 episodes”. (he goes on to say that he and Matt have written the 44 episodes the way they wanted to. Season 3 will close the door on Season 2 and they’ll go from there.) It’s the best of both worlds.

Q: Have we seen the end of the tattoo?

Sarah: You don’t care about the tattoo. You just want to see Wentworth with his shirt off.

Paul: The tattoo will be in the next episode His tattoo definitely has a beginning and a end.

Q: Do you get much mail from those in the penal system?

Sarah: Lots. (looks around and sees no one responding). Is it just me? I get a lot of letters from prisons. If I were incarcerated I wouldn’t want to watch a show about prison. Do doctors go home and watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Dawn: I’m surprised wardens let prisoners watch the show.

Paul: There’s a law that when you get a call from a prison it shows up on your caller ID. I was with Wentworth and his phone goes off and he looks and it’s a call from a prison. He said he had to change his number a few times.

Q: Can we get any hints about S3?

Dawn: It’s gonna be good.

Paul: It’s going to be closer to the earth. More brutal. We’re going to rachet it up a notch. Not all the people up here will be around.

Matt: This is the first I’ve heard of this.
Paul: No, all the actors will be around (meaning Matt will be gone. He mentions that they’ll have units shooting in Miami, Dallas and another city I can’t recall).

Q: How good of a kisser is Wentworth?

Sarah: We had finished the scene in the train and I was so overcome with morning sickness that I nearly vomited all over the poor boy. But before the scene I told him that I hadn’t had an outbreak in over a month and you should’ve seen the color drain from his face. I won’t say anymore than that.

End of panel discussion and beginning of the mob scene that was the meet and greet. They all hung around took pictures, posed with pictures signed autographs until they were dragged off stage. Wade noticed one guy who was trying to get a poster signed and although he was already offstage, he ran back out and caught up with the guy as he was about to leave and signed the poster and posed for more pictures with fans.

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