Did you decide of the story yourself or where you given a outline to use?
I was given the freedom to decide on the original story myself and then Tim Kring weighed in and Jim Martin and I started working together on all the rewrites and revisions.
What was it like to work on a smaller budget? Was there anything you wanted to put in but couldn't?
Working on a smaller budget certainly has its challenges. Most of the constraints were with regard to money and there were several things I wanted to do and show but couldn't.
How was the effect of Echo's power made?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to…
At the start of the first webisode, is Echo being chased by the agents or the dog?
He is being chased by the dog but we did not want to give it away.
Are we ever going to see the constrictors twin?
Good question. The Constrictor is played by superhuman Mark Steger and I hope we get to see more of him, or his evil twin. He also has a female counterpart who is equally creepy. I hope to get around to further exploring the world of the Constrictors in a graphic novel or in a webseries. I came up with a whole storyline but I'm not sure we'll go down that path.
Is Angela hinting a connection to Echo's parents at the end?
She is hinting that she has known him for a long time, perhaps his whole life. They are connected. Whether he remembers it or not.
Did the agents from Part 3 work for the Company? If so, did one of them have a power?
The agents from part 3 did work for the Company and they were coming to provide backup for the Constrictor. However, they got there a little too late.
Was directing Sword Saint different from your other work?
Directing Sword Saint was a blast! It was slightly different from my previous work since it was so effects heavy, and the storytelling relied primarily on images rather than actors. Tim Kring's idea was to make a Ken Burns style documentary for the HEROES world. I started out making documentaries, so it felt like a return home. As a director, I steeped myself in the world of feudal Japan and treated everything as if it were the truth. It played to certain strengths of mine since I briefly studied and lived in Japan in college. I have a great fondness for the country and its history. Also, working with John Rhys-Davies on the voiceover was a real thrill, even though he was half way around the world on the Isle of Man. You really have to choose your direction wisely. He paid me a big compliment as a director and I was on top of the world knowing that "Sallah" from Raiders of the Lost Ark liked my work!
When you directed it, did you know that Hiro would be seeing all these things in the past?
Not really, I did know that he was going to be in Japan but I wasn't sure to what extent. I tried to interpret certain events that I hoped Hiro would see. The scroll was created for the show and then my job as director was to make it come to life and show its rich history and mythology. I wasn't entirely sure what they were going to show from the past so I wanted it to come alive in Sword Saint. That scroll was truly amazing and I give thanks to our Emmy nominated art department for creating it.
Did you know that Takezo Kensei was going to appear in the show as a English man when you directed it?
No, I did not know that right away. It was a bit of a shock when I first found out. I knew he was not going to be who the legend said he was, but that was quite a twist. I love that people are rarely who, or what, you think they are on the show.
Going Postal (Graphic Novel)
Does the sound-absorbing agent have a name?
Good question. I purposely did not name him at the time because I wanted to get a better sense of him as a character and who I might potentially cast. But he's a burly guy who can throw down in a fight.
Will we be seeing him again?
That depends. I always try to create several avenues for a story to go depending on what people respond to. Personally, I just felt there was a really interesting story to be told with a powered agent who also happens to be deaf. That's a character I'd like to see, just as Echo was a character I felt needed to be brought to life.
Could you see the sound-absorbing agent to be useful in other company assignments, not just ones involving Echo? (ie. making it possible for him and his partner to silently sneak up on targets)
Certainly. He was groomed to take down Echo but his power makes him the ultimate silent attacker. Plus, he throws a mean punch.
Is the interpreter the sound-absorption agent's human partner?
Yes, that was how I set it up. Though people can change partners.
The Last Shangri-La
Can Traveler speak to animals, e.g. Yaks like it was hinted at in the novel?
Traveler can communicate with animals as well. Though he's limited to the degree of their consciousness and communication.
Where is Traveler meant to be from?
Traveler is a citizen of the world. Born in the United States.
How did the Traveler know Hana?
They had a fling before their lives went in different directions. When he hears from her he doesn't know she's a no longer in human form. She keeps that hidden from him to preserve the memory of what they had together, brief though it was. They flirt, and he thinks he may actually see her again. Hana was definitely someone special to him.
Will we be seeing Traveler again?
If you demand it, I'll write it. He is a character that I'd love to see more of.
Was it you who chose to make this comic only interactive?
No, but it was always going to be the first interactive graphic novel and we were working to get it done on time. I'm really proud of The Last Shangri-La, and thrilled with how it came out. We were pioneering the use of this technology and bringing it to the web for entertainment. Again, lots of creative research went into it, and we all worked so hard to make it come together. I've traveled all over the world and this novel is my love poem to that time. Traveler embodies the spirit of carefree adventure.
Did you know that the person presumed to be Drucker was actually Hampton Connolly when writing the novel?
Can you tell us about Swishbucklers?
SWISHBUCKLERS is a comedy I wrote and directed, about three macho martial artists who join an all gay production of the Three Musketeers in order to save their dojo. It's meant to be fun, and we just finished post production on it. We shot it on the Viper camera, and we did our pickups using the Red camera.
Can you tell us about Boys Night Out?
Boys' Night Out is a 35mm film starring Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Howard Hesseman (About Schmidt) and myself. It takes place in San Francisco and is about a homophobic man who ends up running in an AIDS charity race where the only rule is contestants must wear a minimum of 2 ½ inch heels. It's basically 50 men in heels running through the streets of San Francisco at midnight. It has played festivals all over the world and was a lot of fun to make.
You have done acting, producing, writing and directing; which one do you prefer and why?
I just love the act of creating and making stuff. I grew up working as an actor, which is my first love, so actors to me are like family. We get along well. Crazy family members maybe, but still they're still family and you gotta love 'em no matter what. Therefore, I'd have to say that directing is the most fun because I get to work with actors while making something visual. Writing is the key to it all because it always starts with the words. But writing can be a very lonely sport which is why I like the collaborative nature of television. I like 'having written' more than I like the act of writing. The past tense of writing something is a GREAT feeling but when you're in the midst of it, whew, it can be tough. I prefer writing and directing together, that's what I like doing most. And then collaborating with as many partners as possible along the way. Producing is something I'm naturally good at and I did to pay the bills while getting to make a movie. In TV, however, writers are producers so it's the end goal. One day, I hope to create my own show and all these different experiences and skill sets will meld into one. It's all part of the creative process.
Do you know if you will be working on any more Webisodes or Graphic Novels for Heroes?
I don't know the answer to that. It's more likely to happen if the fans express support for my work. I certainly hope so. I am on the writing staff of this wonderful show, and I basically do whatever Tim Kring asks me to do. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I guess you could say I've been lucky so far.
|Graphic Novel Crew|
Blackout • Dark Matters: directors / writer • Destiny • Evs Dropper • Golden Handshake • Into the Wild • iStory (follow up) • Nowhere Man: directors / writers • The Recruit • Root and Branch • Slow Burn
|See Also: Links • Interviews|