Sunday, March 29, 2009

BEEMAN'S BLOG -SEASON 3 - EPISODE 21 - "INTO ASYLUM"

BEEMAN’S BLOG
SEASON 3- EPISODE 21
“INTO ASYLUM”

WARNING: YOU COULD END UP IN AN ASYLUM IF YOU AREN’T PREPARED FOR THE SPOILESR CONTAINED HERIN!!!


Tonight’s episode was written by Joe Pokaski. It was directed by our long-time line producer, first time HEROES director, Jim Chory.

As I mentioned last week, production of this episode underwent a unique and somewhat stressful situation. Because Bryan Fuller’s script for last week’s episode #20 was, initially, too complex and expensive – it was determined by the powers that be that episode #20 would be delayed and that this episode - #21 – which was leaner and more easily produce-able - would be moved up.

This type of switch-up is not unprecedented, but like all TV shows, we have a very tight and very specific prep period on HEROES… About eight days total to find all the locations, set all the new cast, and decide how all the special effects, action and other aspects of the scenes are going to be produced. Now Episode #20 had already been being prepping for two days when this decision was made… This posed a problem for Joe Pokaski, because at the time this decision was made, there was a strong outline for this episode, but there was no script. So prep began on this episode with an outline only… Joe started to write as fast as he can, but if I remember correctly – they prepped on a Thursday and Friday with the outline only and Joe trying to pound out the script between meetings… Joe had to write the whole script over the first weekend, and we producers got it at about 1AM on Sunday night. Monday was day 5 of 8 days of prep.

I must commend Joe, because given these conditions; the first draft was in excellent shape. Everyone was pretty nervous behind the scenes, because, even though the outline was strong, there is not always a one-to-one correlation between outline and script. If the first draft didn’t sing – there would be almost no time to correct it.

I was struck by the emotional strength of the scenes. The structure has a greater simplicity than most of our stories. Essentially it is three two-character stories – Angela/Peter, Nathan/Claire and Sylar/Danko (with a little HRG thrown in) there were many more two-character pure-dialogue based scenes than we ever usually get. This can either work – if the writing is strong – or can fall flat and get boring if it’s not. Obviously, you will be your own judge of whether the episode works or not – but it worked for me.

Given the crazy-short prep, it was lucky Jim Chory was at the helm. Jim has been the line producer since the beginning of HEROES. I never mention him on the blog because he’s paranoid or something and always threatens to sue me if I even mention him…. But I told him, that since my blog is primarily about direction, that when he directs I can’t help but mention him…. Anyway, Jim is an organizational mastermind. He is the force behind the scenes figuring out how to put together the crazy schedules, balancing manpower and cast and even cast requests for time off and publicity, etc. etc…. So if ever there was someone to figure how to prep an episode in only three days – it was he.

Jim is not new to directing. He has directed episodes of AMERICAN DREAMS and THE DISTRICT, two shows he worked on before…. And he has an immense amount of experience prepping EVERY director on this show and those. But he hadn’t done a HEROES before. I think he thought the rest of us producers were nervous, but we really weren’t. We assumed he’d do a great job. Maybe he was nervous, wanting to do great, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I think Jim did a great job. He’s a maniac on set. He is completely organized and knows every shot and every angle he wants. He pushes like crazy and was getting an incredible number of setups a day. A setup is what we call every distinct shot. If you use two cameras at a time you can get two setups. If you use three you can get three. For myself, I tend to do longer shots and get less coverage (i.e. setups) in a day. A lot of days, using two cameras only a few times, I’ll get twenty-two to thirty setups a day. Allan Arkush likes having more choices of sizes and shots in the cutting room so he gets closer to forty. That’s a lot…. (Now remember on a typical day we will be doing three or four scenes that add up to six, or so, pages – so twenty to forty shots is all you get to tell all those stories) Anyway – Jim was getting some crazy number of setups a day – like seventy!!! It was insane. It was good, because when we got into the cutting room – if I ever said, something like, “Oh man, I wish we had a closeup of Nathan once he walks over to this side of the room” the editor (Scott Boyd) would say, “We got it!” No matter what angle I could think of Scott would say “We got it.”

Besides getting a bazillion and a half shots per day, Jim also really concentrated on performance and made a point of intensively directing the actors. This was a good idea and, in my opinion, resulted in some excellent scenes. My overall favorite storyline is between Sylar and Danko – there are a lot of really meaty scenes in that story and a lot of great twists and turns.

Interestingly, Tijuana, Mexico was filmed in Venice California – on many of the same streets used by Orson Wells when he filmed Venice for Tijuana in TOUCH OF EVIL. If you’ve never seen this movie do so – it is, for me, a seminal movie. In film school I studied and copied this movie’s style – and the long takes, the low angle wide-angle masters in which actors recompose themselves in shots are still techniques I frequently go to when staging scenes. Allan Arkush recently gave me as a present a new director's cut of this film recently released from Criterion. It is based on a 58 page memo Wells wrote upon seeing the studio re-cut of his film, the film has been restored to his original vision and has been released posthumously You should see it.

Now, while on the one hand, moving the production of this episode up a week resulted in stress during production – it also resulted in less stress in postproduction. Because last week’s episode had been delayed in shooting – it had to be rushed through post production… As I remember, we had only 9 days to lock the picture and the visual effects of Ali Larter Freezing, etc. had to be turned over very quickly. Here the opposite was the case, especially since there were substantially less visual effects than in most episodes. There was a nice long time to edit this one, and every producer who wanted to, really got to have their turn with the film.

There were also a number of scenes omitted or drastically reduced. There was a subplot in which Noah Bennet took Micah under his wing (I’ve included a couple of photos of these scenes)… There was a follow up fight in Tijuana, where Claire and Nathan got assaulted by the college students they’d been drinking with. This was funny, because, in order to defeat them, drunken Nathan flew. There was also substantially more to the church scenes with Angela and Peter, including a scene where Peter flew to avoid the agents. These were all great, but the first editors cut was over ten minutes too long and so – in the end – they had to go.


OKAY ONTO “LOS PICTUROS”:



ADRIAN GIVES HAYDEN WHAT'S WHAT IN MEXICO



ALI LARTER IN “HOT HOT HEAT”



CHURCH



FLIGHT



HAYDEN AND ADRIAN IN “MEXICO”



HIRO AND BABY MATT (from last week but TOO cute!!!)



HIRO AND BABY MATT 2



HRG AND MICAH IN AN OMITTED SCENE



CREW WORKS ON OMITTED MICAH SCENE (they didn't know it was omitted at the time or they might have objected)



DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY NATE GOOODMAN A PICTURE OF DIGNITY



HRG CONFESSES TO LIKING THIS EPISODE



JIM CHORY DIRECTS THE CAST



MOTHER ANGELA



MAS CACAHUATE’S POR FAVOR

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BEEMAN'S BLOG: SEASON 3, EPISODE 20 - "COLD SNAP"

SEASON 3 - EPISODE 20
"COLD SNAP"

WARNING SEVERE SPOILER CONDITIONS EXIST HERIN - PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Tonight’s episode was written by Bryan Fuller, and marks his return to HEROES for the first time since season one. Greg Yaitanes directed it. It is the third episode this season he directed.

This episode was an unusual one experientially for me. It appears as episode #3.20 in our ongoing storyline – but it was actually shot in the twenty-first slot. Let me explain. At first this episode was going to be shot, on schedule, right after episode #19. I, of course, was in the middle of directing episode #19 – which was filmed right until our Christmas hiatus in mid-December. This one (as you can probably imagine from seeing it) was expensive and complex and hard to wrangle down… And so, because of these things, it was decided, mid-stream, to move up the shooting order of the more-manageable episode #21 and to move back this one. Therefore this episode was shot in the 21st episode slot – which bought it more time to be financially reconceived. This also meant, happily for me, that I got to be more involved in it. Whenever I am directing it is very hard to have too much to do with the episode that directly follows me. (That’s why we tend to schedule Allan Arkush into the slots that follow mine.)

Anyway – the prep of this episode was delayed until the New Year, and I was glad – because, I thought it was a very beautiful and well-realized script, and I wanted to be part of it. Tracy’s story and particularly the titular “cold snap” scene were, obviously, very exciting – and I knew right away that it was the kind of scene that Mr. Yaitanes always rips it up on… But the storyline that really jumped off the page for me, on first reading, was the one between Matt and Daphne, which culminates in Daphne’s realization off her death - in Paris. There was something so sad and haunting about that sequence. It also was a very unique and clever way to kill a character off. The other story I was quite fond of was Angela's. I like seeing her shown at her wits end and out of lifelines.

These icy parking garage and the flight through Paris are clearly very big scenes (and I think the audience will want for nothing, scope-wise, on this one)... but the art-versus commerce process on this one was particularly tough. There were other scenes of large scope that had to be scaled down.

Specifically, the Hiro-Ando frozen-time scene was more elaborate. It originally took place in an interior and an exterior of Janice's house, then travelled through LA and ended up in a book store/coffee shop. In the end, the scenes at Janice Parkman’s house were confined to interiors only and the action as scaled back a bit. The coffee shop/book story journey became a bus station we built in our back lot. Nevertheless, these scenes, I think, are very satisfying and funny. Ando in the wheelbarrow – to my mind – is hilarious and the twins playing Baby Matt Parkman are genius! More on that later…

I think the action with Peter and Angela and the agents was originally more complex too – but the details of this escape me now.

We had to scale back the action that was filmed as well. Besides the visual effects, the sequence in the parking garage was expensive, because the products used and the manpower needed by our FX-Meister Gary Damico to realize this scene, were very expensive. The products used were a vacuum-formed plastic that had to be designed and molded to the cars and the walls of the parking garage – a flocking product (the same thing that is used on your Christmas Trees) was then added everywhere. Finally, Ice was laid on the ground wherever actors walked. I went into the garage the day before filming began - there were ten guys in that parking garage using heat guns and glue guns for a full day – molding ice into cars and the garage and the walls.

The scene was additionally complex because it had to be divided into two distinct parts – first the water part, when Micah lets loose the sprinklers. Then our crew had to stop filming – allowing a full day to build in the ice and then we returned two days later to the garage to complete the icy half of the sequence.

It was a complicated sequence conceptually, but this is exactly the kind of thing Greg Yaitanes is good at. He laid out and thoroughly storyboarded the entire scene and we walked the set with FX crew art department and producers numerous times – literally laying out exactly what would and wouldn’t be seen – and building ice only exactly where it was needed.

Greg had the whole scene well in mind and particularly the shot that appears to move continuously around the garage ramping from slo-mo to sped-up motion. In my mind, it all turned out quite well.

PUSHING DASIES fans may suspect that Bryan Fuller’s relationship with Swoosie Kurtz got her into this role – and we’re glad it did. She was a true delight to work with. There was one day of rehearsal between she and Christine Rose. The two actors really seemed to enjoy working together. The dialogue in this scene is so simple and so wonderful that it really facilitated the performers relationship, on and off camera, to evolve quickly. It was fun for me to get a glimpse into Angela’s “real” life before The Company took it over. And her dignity in desperation in was great to see.

Back to those babies - Using babies on set is always a highly problematic thing in the first place. By law, their hours are very limited. I think a baby of that age can only be on set for a total of four hours – and can only work in front of the camera for one hour total. This is why productions always want to use twins. We saw three sets of twins for this project. We chose the little guys we did, partly because they were small for their age – but also because they had actually done a fair bit of work already. Believe it or not, these 10-month-old kids have already done recurring work on a soap opera and a number of commercials… Well, we really lucked out! First of all, both of them had the best temperaments. They never cried. They never looked at the camera – and, miraculously, they did all kinds of behavioral things exactly as scripted! This never happens! Usually, when filming babies – one can count on nothing except for the need to get a lot of gooey-cute close ups whenever the kids happen to be in a good mood.

Watch the scene where Hiro rolls Ando into the bus station. There’s a long continuous shot when Hiro takes a bottle from a frozen woman, he hands it to the baby who takes it from him and immediately drinks it… ON CUE! It’s a small thing – and probably goes unnoticed because it seems so-obviously what’s supposed to happen – but behind the monitors a cheer went up when Greg Y yelled, “cut!” OMG WHAT A BABY!!!

Last thing – Production Designer Ruth Ammon and the art department deserve special commendations this week for two complex projects that were done quickly and quite well. Turning sets into new sets. The first is that they took our old Deveaux rooftop set and transformed it into Daphne’s dreamy Parisian rooftop. First of all, the old set had been taken down and hadbeen “folded and held,” as we say. Secondly, we had to find the space on stage to even fit it. The space the rooftop set had formerly occupied was now taken up with Building 26. One of the more mundane, but very important jobs, Ruth and her crew have to do is to figure out the geometric math of how to put sets up in our large, but limited stage space. This involves a math skills. Ruth uses a big blueprint of the stage and overlays 2-D models of the sets to make sure they fit. Often she will have to make changes to the edges and shapes of a set to make sure they work in the space.

Artistically, there were a number of conversions that Ruth made, to hide the fa├žade of the old rooftop. But the most impressive was the steel structure and light arrangement that we first find Daphne sitting on.

This art department conversion was good, but it’s not completely undetectable. The more impressive job was taking the Bennet house and converting into Janice Parkman’s apartment. Bottom line – we were out of stage space and the writers knew, by now, that we would not be returning to the Bennet house for the rest of the season. Tim came up with the idea of converting the space. But Ruth and Bryan both strongly wanted the design of Janice’s to be a mid-century modern. I’m not sure how Ruth did it, because I know she had not-much money and no time. I am sure no-one would look at Janice Parkman’s and say – “Oh yeah…. That’s just the Bennet house turned over.”

A last note: All eyes were dewy as we said goodbye to Brea Grant. She has been great – and is a favorite of the cast and crew. I think she brought a lot to her role of speedster, both in terms of humor, pathos and raw spunky energy. I will miss her and I’m sure I’m not alone.

OK – I’ve got a lot of pictures this week fans…. SO HERE WE GO!

BEGIND-THE-SCENES (OR EVEN IN-THE-SCENES) PICTURES COMMENCE NOW:



BRYAN FULLER AND GREG YAITANES PRESENT DAVID H. LAWRENCE


BRYAN FULLER MONKEYS AROUND WITH THE SCRIPT


YAITANES PREPARES TO OPERATE ON THE SCENE


ICY ALI #1


ICY ALI #2


BEEMAN SAYS "I SHOULDA BROUGHT MY SNUGGY"


BEHIND THE SCENES #1


BEHIND THE SCENES #2


BREA IN PARIS (I.E. A REDRESS OF OUR DEVEAUX ROOFTOP SET


BRYAN FULLER WELCOMES THE RETURN OF LISA LACKEY


BRYAN FULLER, ALI LARTER AND GREG YAITANES - HANGIN' IN THE ICE CAVE


DP CHARLIE LEIBERMAN LEST US KNOW WHAT'S WHAT




FLY MOM FLY UP UP TO THE SKY


GREG G AND BREA IN PARIS


GREG Y SUPPORTS HIS ACTORS


GREG YAITANES PLAYS "PINCH SOME HEADS" WHILE ALI AND THE CREW LOOK ON



OUR CAMERA OPERATOR PETER MERCURIO - OPERATOR IS THE SEXIEST JOB ON SET!


I SPY GREG YAITANES AND FX MASTER GARY DAMICO


MASI AND ME


JAMES KYSON LEE STRIKES A POSE


MASI PLAYS WITH THE WILDLIFE


PUPPET MASTER UNDER A HEAT LAMP


SENDHIL AND SHOT-UP-BREA


TIM KRIING LED THE APPLAUSE ON BREA GRANT'S LAST DAY


ARKUSH AND I BID OUR 'LIL SPEEDSTER TO GO NOT GENTLY INTO THAT DARK NIGHT!


ACTRESS MARA LaFONTAINE AND I AND THE CREEPY RUBBER "STAND IN" BABY

Monday, March 09, 2009

BEEMAN’S BLOG - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 19

"SHADES OF GRAY"

WARNING – SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN!

Tonight’s episode was written by Oliver Grigsby and was directed by me, your humble blogger – Greg Beeman

Okay – so, before we get started with the regular blog – please check out go to the following link:

http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/novels/novels_library.shtml


This week, besides directing, I wrote and illustrated the weekly HEROES COMIC which appears online at NBC.com after our episode airs tonight on the West Coast - so about 1am for you East Coasters. Here’s a couple of example pages, it's Chapter 128 and titled "Puppet With No Strings."

(p.s. You can see the pages bigger online)



Right before Christmas, when I was just starting to prep the episode, the guys in charge of the comic book world came to me and asked if I would write and draw one of the 6 page comics that appear online every week. I guess they had read on my blog how my lifelong dream since childhood was to be a comic book artist. But, other than a few sketches I’ve whipped out and handed to Tim Sale to guide him for Isaac’s paintings – and maybe a handful of storyboards – no one here has ever really seen my art. I don’t know why they assumed I could really draw. In fact, this assignment made me more nervous than anything I’ve done in a long time. Sure, directing multi-million dollar episodes week in and week out may seem daunting to some. But I’ve been doing that for a long time. Drawing a comic is something I’ve never really done!

But, I try to never say “no” to challenges that come my way. So I said “YES!” The only stipulation I was given was to try to create a story that connected to the episode I was directing. Other than that there were no instructions. Low supervision and low expectation - Now that’s my kind of job!

I decided to tell the story of what happened to Eric Doyle, the puppet master, between the last time we saw him in episode 13 (laying semi-conscious on the floor of Primatech) and here at the end of episode 18/top of episode 19 (when he appears in Claire’s house and asks for help.)

I also wanted to include Rachel Mills (played by the actress Taylor Cole) who had appeared in the webisodes and now is appearing in the episodes. In the last webisode Angela Petrelli had encouraged her to do good with her powers… and so I decided to show her trying to do that.

Truthfully, writing the comic was fast. I thought about it and slept on it for a few days and whipped it out in a few hours. But drawing it?!?! Holy crap… that was slow. I did most of it over my 2 week Christmas break. First I did the pencils and then I did the inks. I worked on it for hours a day. And though quite enjoyable, it was slow!

I never had any formal art training – but between ages 4 and 18 I did nothing but draw for hours and hours and hours a day. As a teen I mostly copied comic book artists. My principle influence was an artist named Barry Windsor Smith – who drew CONAN #1 - #24. This was the comic that inspired me more than anything else in my life. In fact, I would say, CONAN #1-#24 and STAR WARS (and later THE MATRIX) have been by far the biggest creative influences on my life. I also avidly studied and copied artist Jack Kirby, who, when I first started buying comics, was doing THE NEW GODS, THE DEMON and KAMANDI at DC. Kirby’s comics were the first ones I ever bought back-issues on. I bought as many of the old FANTASTIC FOUR and THOR series as I could afford and I copied his perspective and forms and figures. Barry Smith’s work was complex and dense and Kirby’s were simple and strong – and I consciously wanted to balance both. Other artists I studied and copied were Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, and, to a lesser degree, Mike Ploog and Paul Gulacy. I’ve never met any of these men but they have all been massive influences for me.

But, after I started film school at USC at age 18, I really slowed down drawing. When I first graduated school, I worked as a storyboard artist for a couple of years – but by the time I was 23 or 24 I was working steadily as a director and I hardly ever draw after that.

So, as I started drawing this comic I really hadn’t drawn this much in 20 years. I thought I could do it, but I wasn’t sure. As I drew, though, all the skills and knowledge I’d developed so long ago (as well as all the bad habits) seemed to come right back. It was very interesting. Also, my ability to focus, was still there. As a kid I frequently remember starting a drawing and then, as I was finishing it, I’d look up and realize that 5 or 6 hours had gone by without my noticing. That happened again here.

Also, before I finish, I would like to give a shout-out to Edgar Delgado, who did the coloring on the book. I never met him - but I think he did an awesome job and greatly improved my drawings!

I guess you guys will judge if I did OK. Some panels I’m incredibly happy with and some panels I feel I just couldn’t get right. I also feel I tried to cram too much story and too many panels on a page and if I had to do it again (which I hope I do!) I will thin it out. But, overall I feel – at least – I did not embarrass myself.

Again – HERE’S THE LINK:

(REMEMBER IT'S CHAPTER 128!!!)


http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/novels/novels_library.shtml


Now, on to the episode:

Oliver Grigsby is a young man who works on HEROES as the Writers Assistant. This is his first, produced, hour of TV. He is twenty-seven years old. Some day I guess I should write an “Oliver Grigsby, Living The Dream” blog. I could go over his life story about how a young man, through hard work and generally good personality can get his first break on a show like this…. But, since Ollie ended up with me directing (and I always have a lot to say on the blog when I direct) and on an otherwise busy week, he ended up out of luck on this one.

I was, basically, happy with the script from the beginning. The Sylar/Mr. Gray story was strong and has changed very little since the first draft. From my point of view, it was all about landing the right actor for the role and then it would take care of itself. The story between Danko and Nathan also felt good to me. I knew it would take directorial effort to energize the story visually – i.e. I needed to add energy to the Nathan/Danko story so that it didn’t fall flat – but the story was fundamentally strong. The third story Claire/Doyle-the-Puppetmaster, although showing awesome promise, was the furthest from where it needed to be is the one that changed the most throughout prep. Don’t get me wrong - I was very excited about the storyline – I love Doyle’s character and I really enjoy working with David Lawrence, the actor who plays him. I also like the emotional complexities of Claire trying to find a way to fight the good fight, but without really knowing how to. But, in the first draft, though, the story was kind of complex. The story had Claire take Doyle to the comic store with her and he hid there. Agents came and Claire helped Doyle escape. There was also a scene where Doyle used his power against one of the agents, which made Claire doubt his intentions towards redemption. I knew this version was too big to accomplish within our schedule. Then there were studio/network notes that modified this story for awhile – it became much more a Sandra/Claire story for a couple of drafts. But to me, as much as I love Sandra, it got the story off-topic. Finally, between myself and Tim Kring and Oliver and some of the other writers – we re-focused the story back onto Claire saving Doyle – but in a simpler way… Which is what you’re seeing tonight.

Stylistically, I chose to be very aggressive visually with everything to do with Nathan/Matt/Danko’s story. I tried to “Michael Bay” it up… Which to me means, swoop the camera around, go handheld, get as many cool angles with as much camera movement as possible – and then cut it up like crazy in the editing room – all in an effort to add energy and tension. You decide if it works. I think it does. I also think Adrian and Zeljko have great chemistry. (Hats off to Ali Larter too, who only had two scenes - but I like them both a lot!)

I was simpler with Claire’s story, using simple camera movement and big close-ups in the first scene with Doyle and with the comic book store – I went hand held and big crane moves with the scene of Claire talking to HRG and saving Doyle from the agents – but still calmer than the Nathan story.

With Mr. Gray and Sylar I was simplest of all. I just tried to compose nice shots and let the acting and the story carry the weight. Also, in this part of the show – fate intervened. We were out of stage space to build sets. Our line producer suggested that maybe we could build Mr. Gray’s cabin as an exterior set in our parking lot. On paper, this sounded like a great idea. I knew we couldn’t really go to a trailer out in the woods – and I’d planned to do one visual effect shot – in which, when Sylar’s truck pulls up to the cabin – we would add a matte painting of mountains and woods in the background. In that shot, when we filmed it, there are actually palm trees and Los Angeles buildings in the background – but the guys at Stargate did a great job of making it look like the woods.

But… on the two days we filmed those scenes… It poured rain! Not only had we built the set outside... We'd built it out of aluminum siding and tarpaulin. Also the parking lot was on the lowest part of our stages. That meant that we worked for two solid days with the noise of a pounding rain and with a river of water two inches deep, running underfoot almost the whole time. Also, since we were, effectively, outdoors in downtown L.A., whenever the rain wasn’t pounding, there were ice cream trucks, and helicopters and even, once, a major police bust about two blocks away – and all for an INTERIOR scene!!! Aaaaghhh!!!

I’ve learned over the years that it’s futile to fight against the inevitable. So I bore down and kept a positive attitude. The most important thing was to try to keep the actors focused and not get too negative. The whole time we were shooting they both knew they’d have to re-record much of their dialogue to replace the unusable sound of rain and sirens and helicopters and gunshots….

This episode provided me with another great opportunity. I got to work with my good friend John Glover again. As you probably know, John played Lionel Luthor on SMALLVILLE, and I worked with him with great gusto for five years on that show. I’d been a fan of John’s for years before that. He had done a movie called 52 PICK-UP directed by John Frankenheimer. If you haven’t seen it you should. He played the baddest bad guy I had ever seen. That performance made a strong impression on me. Then, years later, we ended up living in the same neighborhood and I used to see him at the supermarket from time to time. I always wanted to go up and tell him how much I admired him – but I felt too dorky and shy and so I never did.

So when I finally got to work with him on SMALLVILLE I was thrilled. I told him the story about the supermarket and he says I should have said something…. But I’m not sure. My admiration for him only grew as I became familiar with his work ethic and his attention to detail. John does a lot of Broadway and he has the kind of discipline and respect for the craft (as a craft) that seems to only exist in theatre actors. At first, on SMALLVILLE, I was actually afraid to give him any performance direction because I thought he was so great. But as I did I realized he loves and craves direction. He loves to be pushed and challenged and so we developed a great working relationship which, over the years, became a friendship.

It was fun doing scenes with he and Zach, because, to me, they are cut from the same cloth. Both are incredibly serious and professional about their craft, but also easygoing and nice to be around. They also, both, have an innate understanding of how to "go for it." They can each play moments "bigger than life" and, through sheer charisma, get away with it where lesser actors would fail embarrassingly. It was a treat to have them both on the same stage at the same time!

A couple of years later I did try the supermarket thing. I don’t know how I knew what Bryan Fuller looked liked, but I did, and I knew his work from DEAD LIKE ME and WONDER FALLS. So I saw Bryan Fuller in my neighborhood supermarket and I got up my guts and told him how much I admired him. This was years before we ended up working together on HEROES. Of course, at the time, I had both my kids with me and they were little and they were hanging on me and screaming – and Bryan looked at me like I was a weirdo stalker – so I just slunk off. I’m not sure about the whole supermarket fandom thing?!

Okay – today there’s loads and loads of PICTURES!!!!!





YOUR DIRECTOR/BLOGGER/ARTIST



SYLAR AND LIONEL...EH, I MEAN MR. GRAY



"WOW! STAR TREK'S GONNA MAKE HOW MANY MILLIONS?????"


ADRIAN AND GREG G. PUMP EACH OTHER UP BEFORE FILMING


ADRIAN'S MESSAGE


ANGELA IN NYC (AKA OUR BACK LOT)


BABY MATT IS CUTE - BUT, PERHAPS, STINKY


DAVID IS THE SUBJECT OF MY COMIC AT http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/novels/novels_library.shtml
EPISODE #128
(I HAD TO STUDY MANY PICTURES OF HIM TO DRAW HIM WELL)


GREG GRUNBERG READY TO BLOW!


HEY! NO PAPARAZZI


HOW MANY CREW MEMBERS DOES IT TAKE TO FILM ONE MATRIARCH IN A LIMO???


I'M NOBODY'S PUPPET!


INTERROGATION IS A HOT AND SWEATY BUSINESS


LATE NIGHTS GO BETTER WITH A REFRESHING COFFEE BEVERAGE


LIL LADY WITH A BIG GUN


MASI AND MARA LaFONTAINE (THE BABYSITTER)


MASI AT HOME (BELIEVE IT OR NOT THIS IS A RE-DRESS OF THE BENNET HOUSE)


PAPARAZZI FAVORITE - MS. PANETTIERE


TAYLOR COLE GETS THE DROP ON DAVID. H. LAWRENCE


THE LADIES OF HAIR AND MAKEUP


ZACH AND HIS PET TURKEY