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Tema: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

  1. #26
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Añado el asunto del orden de episodios.

    Orden emitido por la Fox en 2002:

    The Train Job
    Bushwhacked
    Our Mrs. Reynolds
    Jaynestown
    Out of Gas
    Shindig
    Safe
    Ariel
    War Stories
    Objects in Space
    Serenity

    Episodios emitidos en 2003:

    Heart of Gold
    Trash
    The Message

    Orden de rodaje según el código del mismo:

    Serenity
    The Train Job
    Bushwhacked
    Shindig
    Safe
    Our Mrs. Reynolds
    Jaynestown
    Out of Gas
    Ariel
    War Stories
    Heart of Gold
    Objects in Space
    Trash
    The Message

    Orden final según el DVD de la serie en 2003 (entiendo que Whedon reordenó los últimos)

    Serenity
    The Train Job
    Bushwhacked
    Shindig
    Safe
    Our Mrs. Reynolds
    Jaynestown
    Out of Gas
    Ariel
    War Stories
    Trash
    The Message
    Heart of Gold
    Objects in Space
    alexf187, Zack y CortoMaltes han agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  2. #27
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
    Fecha de ingreso
    21 Dec, 09
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Tochaco que he dejado en el subforo de cine comentando Serenity.

    ------

    Serenity (Joss Whedon, 2005)



    Unas semanas atrás revisé la etapa de Joss Whedon como script doctor y como guionista acreditado en unos años 90 que, pese a -como él mismo dice- estar muy bien pagado, le reportaron más de una decepción viendo como trataban su trabajo. En 1996 le ofrecieron convertir su idea de Buffy The Vampire Slayer en una serie de TV y Whedon pudo así iniciar su primera y probablemente más fructífera etapa creativa. Buffy se fue hasta la séptima temporada. El éxito y la confianza de la WB le permitió desarrollar un spin off, Angel, que se fue hasta la quinta temporada. Y a mitad de todo eso, cuando Buffy y Angel estaban en su sexta y tercera temporada, respectivamente, y movido por su contrato con la Fox (quien producía la serie), desarrolló una tercera serie: Firefly.

    Buffy y Angel son series de culto (más la primera) pero lo de Firefly es otra cosa. Más literal. La Fox no supo tratar la obra de Whedon, ni supo entenderla: rechazó el piloto que servía para presentar los personajes y la premisa; emitió los episodios sin el orden establecido por el autor y, claro, canceló la serie en diciembre de 2002 tras 11 episodios (tres más fueron emitidos en 2003).

    Estos últimos meses he estado revisando Buffy, viendo Angel por primera vez y revisando Firefly. En este último caso era sólo mi segundo visionado pero la he vuelto a disfrutar como la primera vez. No, más todavía. En el subforo de la caja tonta he ido colgando unos tochacos al tiempo que revisaba cada episodio.

    Resumiendo: Firefly es una suerte de western espacial trata sobre los tripulantes (capitán, segunda a bordo, piloto, mecánico y mercenario) de la nave Serenity (de la clase Firefly), y sus invitados (una acompañante de lujo que permite a la Serenity acceder a muchos planetas, un misterioso pastor y dos hermanos, uno de ellos médico y la otra una joven con misteriosas capacidades psíquicas). Su forma de supervivencia suele basarse en trabajos de todo tipo, legales o no, intentando mantener siempre una cierta ética. Es lo más cercano a ver a Han Solo teniendo su propia serie. Y todo con el toque Joss Whedon: diálogos ágiles y divertidos, mezcla de humor, acción y drama, consciencia de si misma como serie de entretenimiento, un casting espectacular, grandes momentos.



    Cuando la Fox canceló la serie, Whedon y los fans trataron de mover la serie a otra cadena. No pudo ser. Pero tras agotarse en preventa la tirada inicial de los DVD y con una base de fans absolutamente entregada (algo que se extiende hasta la actualidad: los paneles de Firefly son de los más activos), Whedon desarrolló la idea de Firefly como película y llegó a un acuerdo con la Universal. En septiembre de 2003 se oficializó el acuerdo (por temas de propiedades, la película no pudo llamarse Firefly), en marzo de 2004 se dio luz verde a la producción y el rodaje ocupó todo el verano de 2004.

    Fue además la primera película dirigida por Joss Whedon. A principios de siglo estuvo negociando para dirigir Iron Man cuando esta era de New Line pero declinó (supongo que por incompatibilidad con sus series). Presentó a Warner su idea para Batman en 2002 antes de que contratasen a Christopher Nolan. Así que a sus 40 años se vio frente a su primera película y que mejor que basada en su propia obra, en su creación, adaptando una de sus series.

    Se puede ver Serenity sin haber visto Firefly? Sí.

    Su visionado puede spoilear la serie en caso de no conocer los eventos de la misma? No demasiado.

    Whedon se encontró con el mismo problema que en el piloto de la serie: este no gustó a la Fox (siendo uno de los mejores episodios de la serie) y le pidió otro piloto, que fue The Train Job, así que Whedon y su mano derecha Tim Minear, tuvieron que volver a presentar premisa y personajes pero sin que, una vez ordenada la serie, fuera reiterativo. Lo lograron. Fue una demostración de talento. Y en Serenity lo repite: consigue presentar a los personajes y la premisa ante los nuevos espectadores sin resultar reiterativo o sobre explicativo con los fans de la serie (aunque conviene poner el modo de entendimiento ante la situación: Whedon debía presentar de nuevo todo).

    El prólogo utiliza tres tiempos en uno para lograr maximizar la presentación de la premisa de la película. Una adolescente/joven llamada River Tam (Summer Glau, que debutó en la industria de la mano de Whedon en Angel y en Firefly) navega por sus recuerdos de niña mediante los cuales Whedon nos cuenta la premisa mayor: 500 años en el futuro los humanos se han extendido y repartido por el universo, divididos entre la poderosa Alianza y las colonias independientes, dicotomía que causó una guerra que tuvo a los primeros como vencedores; cuando vemos a River casi adulta, Whedon nos suelta una premisa más concreta: River está siendo víctima de experimentos por parte de la Alianza, aprovechando sus excepcionales cualidades, y es rescatada por su hermano Simon; finalmente vamos hacia el presente en el que Whedon nos presenta la premisa concreta de Serenity: un agente de la Alianza está observando una grabación 3D de dicha huida y se dispone a recuperar a River.

    Entonces pasamos a un segundo prólogo: un plano-secuencia de 5 minutos que se casca Whedon usando los interiores de la nave Serenity para mostrarnos la tripulación de la nave.



    La Serenity se dispone para un aterrizaje problemático al tiempo que Whedon nos va presentando a los personajes con tan sólo unas breves intervenciones que sirven para saber quienes son y qué relaciones se establecen entre ellos. Whedon es un maestro en esto:

    -En la cabina el capitán Malcom Reynolds (Nathan Fillon) pide explicaciones al piloto, Wash (Alan Tudyk). Su primer intercambio es puro Whedon:


    WASH
    This landing is gonna get pretty interesting.

    MAL
    Define "Interesting".

    WASH
    (calm suggestion)
    "Oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die?"

    MAL
    (hits the com)
    This is the Captain. There's a little problem with our entry sequence; we may experience slight turbulence and then
    explode.



    -Jayne (Adam Baldwin) es el mercenario de la tripulación, un tipo fornido, sin demasiadas luces y con una lealtad que tiene sus límites (económicos).

    -Kaylee (Jewel Staite) es la mecánico más dulce vista jamás en cine, TV o cualquier otro medio.

    -Zoe (Gina Torres) es la segunda a bordo (y veterana de guerra, como Mal), una mujer de armas tomar, una guerrera.

    -Y finalmente los hermanos River y Simon Tam (Sean Maher).

    Sin embargo Malcom Reynolds se lleva buena parte del protagonismo. La serie es más coral pero creo que era inevitable que en la película Whedon no aprovechara el carisma de Nathan Fillon y el éxito de un papel que le va como anillo al dedo. Whedon dijo que esos actores habían nacido para interpretar a esos personajes pero en el caso de Fillon es aún más obvio: Mal es una suerte de Han Solo, cínico y resolutivo, pero consciente de que su misión y su vida es proteger a su tripulación. A su segunda y compañera de guerra, Zoe, a su esposo y piloto Wash, y a Kaylee, a la cual trata como a una hermana menor, o una hija, pues repito que Kaylee es adorable, Whedon lo sabe (en cada serie tenía una Kaylee.. En Buffy era Willow, en Angel era Fred... ), nosotros lo sabemos. Y con Jayne, bien, ese es otro tema.



    Serenity me gusta, me encanta, pero no tanto como la serie. Aquella era más coral, más especial, tenía esa BSO tan especial de Greg Edmonson (y la canción de la intro, escrita por el propio Whedon), y podía profundizar en varios modelos de presentación: episodios más modelo western espacial, otros más sólo-espacio, otros más modelo Alianza etc Serenity es más que un episodio de 2h porque aborda el misterio del origen de River, porque tiene algo de mayor carga emocional pero a la vez tampoco parece un blockbuster (o mini, porque fue una producción digna pero no millonaria: 40 millones) al uso.

    Dos de los personajes fijos de la serie, el pastor Book (Ron Glass) y sobre todo Inara (Morena Baccarin) no aparecen en la tripulación habitual de la nave pero si durante la película: el argumento, la Serenity huyendo de la Alianza, y River en el punto de mira de todos, así como Book e Inara, permiten a Whedon que la película vaya viajando por distintos planetas, con paisajes habituales en la serie. Uno a lo western, otro a lo Blade Runner o Coruscant, otro a lo Naboo, otro a lo Mad Max y el último a lo distopia setentera.





    Serenity no fue un éxito y no pudo recuperar su inversión en los cines por lo que las posibles secuelas quedaron en nada. Viendo la carrera posterior de Whedon (un par de series más y luego sus exitosos 5 años en Marvel con millonadas en taquilla) no conviene reimaginar su carrera en ese punto. La serie es inmensamente amada por sus fans, con un culto realmente sorprendente, y la película fue un extra, un regalo inesperado cuando se canceló en 2002.
    Zack y CortoMaltes han agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  3. #28
    Jedi Knight Avatar de Zack
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    No había querido decir nada hasta el final, pero muchas gracias Synch por el esfuerzo de dedicarte a detallar en profundidad y analizar toda Firefly

    Yo soy fan de la serie desde que la descubrí por accidente, pero todos los entresijos sobre el orden de creación para su visionado, la manera en como Fox la arruino, y su gestación no los conocía.

    Cita Iniciado por Synch Ver mensaje
    Se puede ver Serenity sin haber visto Firefly? Sí.

    Su visionado puede spoilear la serie en caso de no conocer los eventos de la misma? No demasiado.
    Algo parecido me paso a mi cuando la descubrí. Recuerdo que cuando se estreno Serenity se hablo de ella en las noticias autonómicas catalanas, y yo ni idea de que iba, pero al mencionar esa mezcla de universos como el Star Wars en la figura de Mal y el Halcón, no pude evitar fijarme en el susodicho actor, porque tenia algo que hacia que me cayese bien (en eso Nathan Fillion es único). Y bueno, a raíz de eso, cuando la película llego a DVD, la alquile y la vi.

    Me encanto, y a partir de ahí ya me fui informando sobre que era Firefly y toda la movida previa. Y me hice fan de Whedon y Fillion
    Entonces pasamos a un segundo prólogo: un plano-secuencia de 5 minutos que se casca Whedon usando los interiores de la nave Serenity para mostrarnos la tripulación de la nave.

    Eso siempre me quedo grabado como referencia desde que la vi. La forma en como Whedon presenta a sus personajes, que te permite conocerlos y descubrirlos en un momento, sin necesidad de menciones previas o presentaciones alargadas. Cierto, no necesitas ver la serie para conocer ese universo o esos personajes, o para spoilearte. Como se nota que sabe lo que hace en términos narrativos siempre, por eso me encanta.

    Sin embargo Malcom Reynolds se lleva buena parte del protagonismo. La serie es más coral pero creo que era inevitable que en la película Whedon no aprovechara el carisma de Nathan Fillon y el éxito de un papel que le va como anillo al dedo. Whedon dijo que esos actores habían nacido para interpretar a esos personajes pero en el caso de Fillon es aún más obvio: Mal es una suerte de Han Solo, cínico y resolutivo, pero consciente de que su misión y su vida es proteger a su tripulación. A su segunda y compañera de guerra, Zoe, a su esposo y piloto Wash, y a Kaylee, a la cual trata como a una hermana menor, o una hija, pues repito que Kaylee es adorable, Whedon lo sabe (en cada serie tenía una Kaylee.. En Buffy era Willow, en Angel era Fred...), nosotros lo sabemos. Y con Jayne, bien, ese es otro tema.
    Es normal que Fillion tuviera mas protagonismo, si, su carisma y forma de interpretar a Mal (porque ES Mal) le daban mas notoriedad en una película. Me alegro que luego haya tenido éxito continuado en televisión (Castle es otra maravilla gracias a su buen hacer, donde aprovecho para meter a la mayoría de compañeros en varios capitulos), pero siempre he pensado que el cine le debía un papel importante a ejercer. Espero que no sea demasiado tarde y que algún día se lo reconozcan.

    Sobre Kaylee coincido en que es una dulzura, y no caía que en sus series, Whedon repite ese esquema que mencionas, es verdad! En SHIELD su versión es Simmons por completo (ahora entiendo porque me gusta tanto también). Pero es otro de sus grandes logros a nivel de escritura, sabe como formar equipos con personajes muy variopintos en el que todos cumplen su función individual, pero a la vez forman cohesión, se comprenden entre ellos, hay química palpable. Yo porque tengo mas reciente su serie mas actual, SHIELD, pero no puedo evitar ver todas esas similitudes.

    Lo dicho de nuevo, gracias por los posts y ayudarme a comprender mejor ciertos aspectos de esta GRAN serie
    Synch ha agradecido esto.
    "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

  4. #29
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Cita Iniciado por Zack Ver mensaje
    Lo dicho de nuevo, gracias por los posts y ayudarme a comprender mejor ciertos aspectos de esta GRAN serie
    De hecho tiene un punto egoísta porque disfruto revisando la serie y comentándola

    En cuanto a Willow-Fred-Kaylee.. En los comentarios de Whedon en el DVD de Objects in Space dice que le gustaba ponerla en peligro como hacía con Willow en los inicios de Buffy, será...

    En este panel estaban juntas Amy Acker y Jewel Staite:

    Zack ha agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  5. #30
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
    Fecha de ingreso
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Firefly cumple hoy (bueno, ayer, que me he pasado por 18 minutos) 15 años desde su primera emisión el 20 de septiembre de 2002. No fue, como debía, el piloto Serenity sino The Train Job, escrito a toda velocidad por Joss Whedon y Tim Minear.

    Dejo un artículo:

    Firefly 15th anniversary: Why iconic series stands the test of time

    OF ALL of the brilliant TV shows created by Joss Whedon, none of them have as devoted a fandom as Firefly — yes, more devoted than Buffy.

    A clever fusion of sci-fi and western about a ragtag group of smugglers, Firefly was yanked around by its network before getting unceremoniously axed after 14 episodes.

    If it was just your average show, that’s where Firefly’s story would’ve ended, relegated to the footnotes of TV history as some quaint series someone vaguely remembers.

    Instead, 15 years to the day since it premiered, Firefly is still being lauded for its must-watch story of space underdogs, regularly included in “best of” lists and topping most “cancelled to soon” remembrances.

    The tale of Mal Reynolds (the eternally charming Nathan Fillion) and his crew, Firefly was a brilliantly written genre series before the era of peak TV. In its short run, it managed to be a layered, fully realised world with compelling characters you want to root for — a remarkable feat considering its constraints.

    After its cancellation, its fans, called Browncoats, lobbied and lobbied and lobbied for some kind of rescue. After healthy DVD sales, the cavalry came in the form of movie studio Universal, who gave Whedon $30 million to make a film sequel, Serenity. It gave fans the resolution the series wasn’t allowed to entertain.

    Set in a post-Earth future, humans have colonised space but it hasn’t managed to do much about that pesky wealth gap between the rich and the poor. Before the start of the series, the flush central planets wage war on the plucky and much poorer independent planets, bringing them under one rule.

    The independents (the Browncoats) was the side Mal and his first mate Zoe fought on and lost with. Whedon was inspired by the American Civil War in crafting his narrative — though not the unsavoury slavery aspect — about what happens to those on the losing side who won’t be brought to heel by a central government.

    Firefly mostly takes place on the outskirts of this world, where technology is sparse but injustice is rife. Hence the western part of the show — it scaptured that frontier almost-lawlessness.

    A decade and a half on, the series still stands up, cementing its place in the pantheon of all the great TV that followed.
    Of course, some of the performances weren’t as great as you remembered, or one or two characters feel a bit clunky — all things that would’ve settled if Firefly had been given a chance at, say, three or four seasons.

    But the one facet of Firefly that is jarring to 2017 eyes is its treatment of race — specifically, its lack of Asian representation.
    In the in-universe history of the “Earth-that-was”, the United States and China eventually formed an alliance before the mass exodus. Consequently, the cultural milieu of Firefly is heavily steeped in Asian influences — the characters often swear in Chinese, there is Chinese writing in a lot of signage, they eat Asian food and the costumes and décor have an Asian aesthetic.
    Yet there are no Asian characters. There is the occasional Asian actor in the background, generally in party scenes such as at the society ball in “Shindig”. But no one of Asian appearance gets any lines.

    Even worse is that there are characters with Asian surnames played by white actors — Simon and River Tam (a Chinese/Vietnamese surname) are portrayed by Sean Maher and Summer Glau.

    Of course, this is all from our 2017 perspective, with the last two years having been particularly active in pointing out “whitewashing” in Hollywood, from the likes of Ghost in the Shell to Aloha. Just in the last month, Ed Skrein quit his role in the Hellboy reboot after it was pointed out that the character is of Asian descent. He was replaced by Daniel Dae Kim.

    When Firefly was made in 2002, Asian representation was far from the mainstream cultural consciousness and the now-glaringly obvious omission would’ve barely been noticed then. Context matters, even if it makes for awkward cringing in a 15-years-later re-watch.

    And Firefly certainly had more than its share of representation highlights, chief among them the character of Zoe, a highly competent, no-nonsense warrior woman played by Cuban-American actor Gina Torres.

    But a re-watch is necessary because it is such a brilliantly written show with shade and morally compromised heroes. It was dead funny, in large part because of the lyrical cadence to its unique dialogue, and hearing those words again will take you back.

    Above all, it was about family. It was about doing everything you can for the people you love and respect, even when the easier choice was to give up on them or give them up.

    At a time of shifting global tensions and social friction, we all need a little something as unifying as Firefly. Yep, it’s all about those warm and fuzzies.

    Such is the outsized impact of Firefly, one of its actors, Alan Tudyk (Rogue One, Suburgatory, Zootopia) has gone on to create Emmy-nominated satirical web series Con Man, based around a fictionalised version of himself and his experiences in the fandom of Firefly. Check it out on iTunes — it’s excellent.

    In Sydney last month to promote The Tick, Ben Edlund, a producer and writer who penned Firefly episodes “Jaynestown” and “Trash”, nailed it when asked why he thought Firefly had such staying power.

    He told news.com.au: “I was really so fortunate to be part of it. It didn’t get a lot of airtime but that sci-fi universe has a real amount of depth, it was great.

    “People still like to live in that world because it’s got dimension. It’s lasted and only become more illustrious.”
    Zack y CortoMaltes han agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  6. #31
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Otro más, sobre las posibles tramas de la que iba a ser la segunda temporada:

    Inara's Fatal Illness & More: The Lost Plots From Joss Whedon's 'Firefly' Season 2
    CortoMaltes ha agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  7. #32
    Xen
    Xen está desconectado
    habitual Avatar de Xen
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    No se suponía que la peli era la segunda temporada comprimida mas o menos?

  8. #33
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Cita Iniciado por Xen Ver mensaje
    No se suponía que la peli era la segunda temporada comprimida mas o menos?
    Parece ser que la trama de la película era hacia donde quería llegar Whedon en una segunda temporada. El final de la misma vaya. Lo que se comenta en el artículo parece que va más enfocado a las tramas propuestas o pensadas para los 22 episodios que debía tener la segunda temporada.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  9. #34
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    En este artículo:

    11 things you may not know about Joss Whedon's Firefly

    Dicen que Whedon tenía pensado un episodio con Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof y James Marsters interpretando a un grupo de teatro ambulante shakespiriano...

    Maldita Fox!
    CortoMaltes ha agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

  10. #35
    Senior Member Avatar de Synch
    Fecha de ingreso
    21 Dec, 09
    Mensajes
    11,522
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    Predeterminado Re: Firefly (Joss Whedon)

    Artículo relativamente reciente sobre los 15 años de Firefly, con entrevistas a Tim Minear y parte del casting:

    'Firefly' at 15: How a Canceled Show Became a Cult Favorite



    "We were fighting a battle from the get-go": Stars Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Sean Maher, Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau as well as exec producer Tim Minear and former Fox boss Gail Berman reflect on the Joss Whedon underdog 15 years after its premiere.

    It was the unlikeliest of invitations. Writer-producer Tim Minear had gotten to know fellow TV wunderkind Joss Whedon while working his Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, Angel, and one day in 2001, Whedon approached him with what had to be one of the stranger requests he'd ever had.

    "He told me, 'I have a spaceship and I want you to come and play in it,'" recalls Minear, who now runs FX anthologies American Horror Story and Feud.

    That craft turned out to be a pilot Whedon had written called Firefly, which he saw as a TV twofer: part space opera and part Western. Whedon was a fan of the John Wayne film Stagecoach, about a group of strangers traveling together in the Old West, and this new show was to be a nod to that 1939 movie. Meanwhile, a former executive producer on Angel as well as Buffy — Gail Berman — was the head of entertainment at the Fox Broadcasting Co. And she was very eager to get whatever he wanted to do next on the air as soon as possible.

    "I wanted him on the network," recalls Berman, now president and CEO of production company the Jackal Group. "I remember going to the Buffy offices to talk to him about that. He said he'd think about it and not too long after that, I went back and he gave me this fully fleshed-out idea to consider. I was surprised that it was a space show. I didn't think that's where he was headed, but I also thought, wherever Joss is going is where I want to go."

    Where he went was a sci-fi series that took off Friday night, Sept. 20, 2002, on Fox. And then crash-landed in less than a season. Despite being on the air for such a short time, Firefly has become a cult phenomenon that only seems to get more popular as the years go by. As the show celebrates 15 years since its premiere, THR spoke with some of the stars about everything from their uncomfortable outfits to a controversial lunch rule to how the fans have shown their thanks over the years.



    In the Beginning

    Minear: I knew this show felt special and important, but I didn't realize what it was going to be at that early stage. It really wasn't until we were into the making of it that it hit me. Once the show was cast and the spaceship (Serenity) was built, then it was a different story. It has been a very complicated process up to that point because Fox didn't like the pilot. They made Joss go back and add some humor. He did what he could without damaging the pilot, but they never really understood what Firefly was and never loved it. This was all happening right before the 2002 upfronts, and the network was trying to decide if it was going to go for another season of their sci-fi show Dark Angel or pick up this Joss Whedon space show. They couldn't see in their head what an hour of this show would look like and told us they weren't sure we'd get a pickup. Joss and I said we'd write a first episode over that weekend before the announcements and they said OK. Then we asked ourselves, "Are we crazy? Can we do this in two days?" But we spent two days at Joss' Mutant Enemy office, where we broke the story and each wrote half of the episode. And by Monday morning, we had written the "Train Job" episode [which was written as the show's second episode but aired as the pilot Sept. 20, 2002] and the network liked it. And we got picked up.

    Berman: Firefly had an incredibly good pilot script, very ahead of its time. I remember it generating a lot of excitement inside the company and we were hopeful it was going to be a brand-new franchise for us. And when it came to casting, Joss was also very forward thinking as he always was. He put together a remarkably intelligent and diverse group.



    Getting to Know You

    Gina Torres (Zoe Washburne): I was given an outline, but no script, when I auditioned. It was a detailed outline from Joss, and it ran through the big strokes and pieces of scenes that would potentially be in the actual script. I remember thinking, at the very end of reading the outline, though this was a sci-fi show, there were no aliens and no mutants. It was an intriguing take, a sci-fi Western. So I said, "OK, I'll meet." Buffy and Angel weren't a part of my world, but I knew that the guy who created them had had great success. When Joss called me in to read, he said I was just coming in to see producers. Right from the beginning, this show was unlike anything I had experienced. There was no script and one guy auditioning me.

    Sean Maher (Simon Tam): The material I was given was the scene from the pilot where Simon explains to the crew what had happened to his sister — the "I am very smart" speech. Given that there wasn't a script, my first question when I met Joss to audition was, "Can you tell me about the show?" He proceeded to paint this extraordinary picture of this wonderfully unique world he had created. I was sold.

    Alan Tudyk (Hoban Washburne): I was doing a play in New York when my agent sent me a description of the pilot. I had a friend who'd done a Buffy episode, and when I asked about Joss and if I should go in for a show of his, the answer was the most emphatic "yes" you could get. I did a test on DVD but then forgot about it. Then, I ended up out in Los Angeles for another audition and was about to come home when my agent said they wanted to test me for this show Firefly. I'd forgotten what it even was at that point, figuring that if my audition DVD wasn't in the trash it was at least trash adjacent. But a week after I went in, I got the part.

    Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb): I knew nothing about the show until I auditioned. I loved Westerns and shoot-'em-ups when I was little. I would watch them with my dad, so that was great. I put on a grumbly voice in my audition, kind of like in those old movies, and they let me just go with it in the show.

    Summer Glau (River Tam): I'd just booked my first job as an actor, working for Joss on Angel. I was still a full-time dancer, trying to be an actress and downplaying the fact that I was a dancer. I'd snuck into callback for Angel and ended up playing a ballerina. That was my introduction to Joss, who let me dance on national TV. We had an immediate bond! He has such a different style from anyone I'd read or auditioned for. He let me be myself. He told me on my last day of Angel that he was writing a new pilot and told me a little about it. A month later, I got called in to audition for it. There wasn't a lot to go on. I remember there were only two pages of dialogue for me but no script. Joss writes in such a specific way and I have such a specific reaction to his dialogue, thought, so that was enough. I just knew who River was and how to bring that across. When I finished, Joss turned to (casting director) Amy Britt and said, "That's how you do it!"

    The Name Blame Game

    Tudyk: We didn't do a lot of press for the show initially. The promos that were done bothered a lot of people. When they promoted us on Fox, they used that Smashmouth song, "Walking on the Sun," which didn't represent our show at all! Their way of marketing didn't match the show we were making. I'll never forget when they first sent some of the promos to us — they used a scratch track for the voiceover but the announcer mispronounced our names. So on the set, we started calling each other by those mispronounced names.

    Good Food, Good Friends and Clowns

    Glau: Joss really wanted us to bond. He wanted that family rapport. That's why he had a dinner for us all before we started. At this point, I was used to eating instant mashed potato soup and other delicacies like that just to survive. And suddenly, there I was sitting with all these people who had worked for years, in the sort of fancy restaurant I'd never been to before.

    Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye): That dinner felt like the beginning of what could have been a 10-year run. The fact that we all got along so well was such a great feeling, and we were pretty giddy that night as we pounded lots of wine. Joss was really confident about the show so we all just thought it was the start of something that was going to change our lives. Of course it ended a lot sooner than we all thought, but it did actually change our lives.
    Maher: I remember that dinner fondly! That was the first time I had met most of the cast. There were so many first impressions and the first time I realized what a special group this was. Jewel and I drove back to our hotel together and I remember how out of place we both felt, her a Canadian and me a New Yorker.



    Baldwin: That first cast dinner was at Valentino in Santa Monica. Thank god Joss picked up the bill! I sat across from Ron Glass (Shepherd Book), which was amazing to me because I'd been a big fan of his going all the way back to Barney Miller. He just sat there, looking very Zen, observing the energy of the place. He was very present but not saying much so I wanted to engage him. I asked him what the key is to keeping a series going and keeping everyone friends. He said, "Keep it about the work. Don't let petty squabbles and personality clashes get in the way. Be giving." When he said that, I could see it really hit home for all of us. Also, at some point, I started talking with Alan. I knew he'd gone to Julliard so I asked him what his favorite thing to do in school was and he said, "Getting to play the clown." Then he started talking all about clown theory, which I knew nothing about.



    Tudyk: I just explained that clowns are fucking brilliant and they get a bad rap! I tend to try to school people about clowning a lot. I'll admit that the career move I regret not taking is becoming a clown. But I'm talking more about clowns in theater and more of that artistry. In my definition, they are children that have never been told no. They aren't silly, big-shoed, goofy, frightening people making animals out of balloons at parties. They're children who are mischievous and like to get into trouble. They're bawdy and inappropriate and selfish. I enjoyed enlightening everyone on the topic.

    The Little Show That Couldn't

    Baldwin: The good news for us was that we were going on the air. The bad news was that Fox really only had two hours of primetime real estate open at the time, Wednesday and Friday nights at 8 p.m. They also had two other great one-hour pilots that year, John Doe and Fastlane. And our pilot was two hours, which didn't help us. Two-hour episodes are tough when it comes to holding audience attention spans. Meanwhile, American Idol was the big kahuna that sucked up all the oxygen publicity-wise. That left us as The Little Show That Could at 8 p.m. on Fridays. We were fighting a battle from the get-go.

    Tudyk: We were always hopeful that people would find us. We were, as a group of actors, what the show itself was: people who were completely outnumbered but didn't give up. At one point, we even got picked up for part of our back end and that was encouraging for all of us. We could have been canceled but they decided we could make three more or something like that even though the ratings sucked. They kept preempting us for baseball and then some Adam Sandler movie. Which got better ratings than we were getting!

    Maher: It wasn't until we were picked up for our back two [episodes] that I really wondered how much support we had from the network. We all felt it, but we still had faith that we'd be the dark horse.

    Staite: We were all aware that we were the underdog. The people upstairs rarely came to visit the set or give any sort of indication that they had our backs. It was probably my sixth series at that point so I had a pretty good feeling that we were going to be canceled. I remember driving home from work one night along Sunset Boulevard and one of Fox’s other new shows, Fastlane, was having this huge premiere party with a red carpet and press and everything. I just drove by it, like, “Cool… I better start packing.” But hey, they don’t have Fastlane conventions now, do they?
    Baldwin: Despite the ratings, we were all really tight as a cast. I don't think Nathan (Fillion, who played the group's leader, Mal Reynolds) gets enough credit for helping pull us through. He was the quintessential No. 1 on a call sheet. I will never forget how he showed up at my 40th birthday party and it was right after we'd just met. He came without even knowing me.

    Staite: We liked each other so much, we would spend our weekends together. It was usually at Nathan's house, swimming in the pool and playing Pictionary.

    Tudyk: This was a terrible sign right from the start: Fox made us pay for our lunches. We'd have to go to the commissary to buy it and that wasn't worked into the schedule, so we had to make it over there and eat in costume sometimes. Which was very weird. I've never had that experience again on anything else I've done.

    Glau: We used to get all these pieces of mail left on our trailer steps. This was my first experience with fan mail and you can't imagine how it feels to have that love showered on from people you've never met. I got all kinds of gifts and art and fan fiction. My favorite was the fan art, and there were people who took time to cross-stitch and needlepoint portraits of River. Someone even made an action figure of her by hand.

    Minear: That day we got canceled is one I'll never forget. I was directing an episode called "The Message" and had the whole cast on the bridge of the Serenity. Joss showed up, pulled me aside and said, "We're dead. We're canceled." I asked if we should tell everyone or keep shooting. We decided to tell everyone, stop shooting and come back the next day. He made the announcement and everybody went out to get rip-roaring drunk. When we finally came back to work, I had to direct Nathan, Gina and Jewel in a scene where they were sitting around a table laughing uproariously. They were laughing about Tracey (Jonathan M. Woodward), who they think is dead. It was like an Irish wake with the characters drinking and telling funny stories. I have to admit, it was hard for us to pretend something was funny. It shows you what great actors they were because watching that scene, you'd never know we'd just been canceled.

    Baldwin: My daughter was on the set the day we got the news, doing her homework. An AD knocked on my door and said to get to the set because we'd just been canceled. I looked at my daughter and just thought, "Oh shit!" The finality was more shock than surprise because we knew we were near last in the ratings. The finality of it, the timing of it...that's what hit me. I had a young family and having to deal with news like that in circumstances like that sucks. I just thought, "I've got money saved but now what?"

    Torres: We had to shoot for a whole week after we got the news. That was hard to do. One of the little games we played in those final days was that providing little Easter eggs, liking coming up with innovative ways to flip the bird. Like a scene where I tucked all my fingers but one into my pocket.

    Something Good Coming From Something Awful

    Berman: Canceling the show was really tough. The look of the show was so unique and so fresh…there wasn't anything like it before or since on TV. The art direction, which was absolutely Joss' vision, was spectacular. It had an Asian feel, a Western feel, a futurist feel. It was a remarkable example of how to see the future on television. It doesn't come up a lot in conversation for me these days, but it does come up plenty when I'm around fans at places like Comic-Con. Fans will never give me credit for putting it on the air, but they will blame me for canceling it. Firefly has a remarkably big fan base. It's unusual for a show that lasted a year and was canceled gets to make a movie but that's what happened for Joss. He got the film Serenity made in 2005.



    Torres: The miracle of this whole experience is Serenity. The fact that the movie happened at all defies all reason. We'd all been getting calls that it was possible, and then Joss invited us all to dinner to say it was actually happening. It was so great to go back and do that, and we had the best time making the movie. I still recall during the shoot that Alan and Nathan commandeered two golf carts and started racing them. We shot at Universal, and they loved racing around and doing gunplay just for fun. They'd try to run each other off the road, and people on the tourist trams would get an extra thing to tell the people at home about. That was that kind of fun atmosphere we had on the set.

    Maher: We went to Comic-Con in San Diego to promote the film in 2004 and Joss had cut together a preliminary trailer for the fans. The cast stood backstage while he played it and I remember the roaring of the crowd was like something you'd hear in a sports arena. We walked on the stage one by one and it was overwhelming. I was holding Morena Baccarin's [who played Inara Serra] hand, saying, "Holy shit!" She responded with, "Fucking crazy, right?"

    A Con-vincing Comeback

    Glau: A year after the show was canceled, I got invited to go to England for a convention. I didn't know what conventions even were at the time. Joss tried to explain it to me because he had so much experience with them through Buffy and Angel. I remember going and just being blown away by how many fans come out to support a show that hadn't lasted a year. Then it all snowballed. Now, every so often at a convention, someone will get a marriage proposal right in front of me. People will tell me they've had Firefly-themed weddings. I've even been invited to a few, which is the highest honor.

    Minear: The biggest sign that the show never really disappeared was five years ago, when we did a panel at Comic-Con after having been off-air for 10 years. I remember looking at my hotel window the night before and seeing a line around the block that turned out to be for us! Fans had spent night out there, and it was so packed in the hall the next day that they were turning people away. The enthusiasm was amazing. Comic-Con is not usually about nostalgia. It's about what's the next big thing that's about to be launched. And yet, all these people showed up in this big hall see an old, canceled show's cast and writers.

    Staite: The size of that crowd at Comic-Con and that roar we heard when we came onstage solidified the fandom we had even though we had been told no one was watching our show. Clearly somebody was wrong. Even now, when I see people show up in droves at conventions wearing Firefly costumes, it puts a lump in my throat. The other day, my two-year-old was playing with a set of Firefly nesting dolls I was given. He pointed to the Kaylee doll and said, “Mama!” And I just thought, Yeah, I’m doing my part in creating a new generation of Browncoats.
    Baldwin: That was definitely when it finally hit me that this had become more than just a canceled show for people.

    Tudyk: Comic-Con was definitely a milestone, but we'd all gone to conventions since Firefly had been on the air. And not just a couple. A lot! Morena, Jewel and I were traveling the world. I was meeting young people who weren't even alive when the show was on the air, these four- and five-year-olds whose parents were the fans telling their kids, "You might want to check this out." As sci-fi fandom has grown, Firefly seems to have become one of those genre staples. Maybe it's because it was so short-lived. Maybe it's because Joss is so big now. It's almost like if you want to be a nerd, which is a cool thing to be these days, and you haven't seen Firefly, you will be shamed.
    Zack ha agradecido esto.
    Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready
    for the big moments.No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it
    does.So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
    gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
    counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    Whistler (Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 2x21 Becoming, Part One - Joss Whedon)

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