Monday, May 19, 2008

Moore Speaks

Wired has posted this interview with Ron Moore -- as well as the much longer full transcript version here. Some choice bits below.


On CAPRICA

Wired: What's the deal with Caprica? What's the schedule now?

Moore: It's busy. Caprica is going. We're in pre-production. We have a director. They're starting to cast right now.

Wired: Are you going to show-run?

Moore: Well, it's just a pilot for now. There's no order for a series, so there's nothing to show-run. There's just a pilot to produce, and I'm one of the producers. The script has been written for two years, so there's not a lot of heavy lifting on the page.


On VIRTUALITY
...Virtuality is a pilot that's been ordered by Fox Broadcasting and that Mike Taylor and I wrote. Were prepping that as we speak as well. We don't know where it's going to shoot, but it'll probably start shooting in July. And that's a two-hour, and well see when and if they order it to series.


On avoiding geekdom by accident
Wired: So, you described yourself as a fan of the original Star Trek series. Were you a geek as a kid? Is this the stuff that you did for fun?

Moore: I grew up in an interesting environment. I grew up in a small town called Chowchilla, California, which was about 4,500 people, and the way I grew up was in a town that was small enough where I could be a member of the marching band and the quarterback of the football team. I could love Star Trek and still be accepted as one of the jocks. I could really live in both worlds because everybody kind of did. It was just small enough.

I grew up with a big interest in a lot of nerdy stuff, but it didn't marginalize me in my peer group, and I was involved in a lot of other things, too. So it was sort of surprising to me when I left that environment and went into the big outside world, and people were like, marching band is like the geekiest of the geek, and I'm like, Well, really, because it wasn't in my town. And, you know, You're a Star Trek fan? Oh my god, You're such a nerd. I'm like, Well, but I was the quarterback!

Wired: You should have led with that.


On religion in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Wired: There's a lot of religion on the show. Are you religious?

Moore: I was raised Catholic, and I'm a recovering Catholic now. I became interested in various Eastern religions, and now I've sort of settled into somewhat of an agnosticism and sort of a general interest in the subject. I think in the show I felt it was a part that was really noticeably missing from the Star Trek universe. Gene Roddenberry felt very strongly that by the 23rd and 24th centuries that all the major religions had vanished and it was all regarded as superstition. That was his view of the future. I just never quite bought that. I thought, that's part of who we are, it's part of what it is to be human, to seek to answer the questions of: Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more? What happens after you die? It didn't seem like that was going to go away.

So I sort of felt its absence in the Star Trek universe, and then felt like that was something I would really portray in Galactica. And then as the Cylons became human-looking, when we decided that they would look like us, it just raised a whole host of issues that went in this direction: How they thought of themselves, why they wanted to kill humanity, that they saw themselves as humanity's children but felt they could never really come into their own until they had killed their parents. Already You're dealing with these metaphysical and physical arenas.

And then there was that moment in the miniseries where I just saw on the page that had Number Six say "God is love" to Baltar and one network executive just seized on it and said that's a great thing, I'm just shocked, you should play more of that. I just took the chance and went with it — decided that that was going to be a big part of the show, and the show just lent itself to it.


On watching TV
Wired: What do you watch for pleasure?

Moore: I watch a lot of Seinfeld. I'm trying to think of what I have TiVo'd. I watch The Colbert Report, a lot of news programming. Charlie Rose. I got into Breaking Bad. That is a really challenging, interesting show. I watch Robot Chicken, which I think is one of the best comedy shows in the last 10 years.

Wired: It's safe to say they love you, too.

Moore: I was very surprised. I didn't even know my guys were doing that episode last season. I just was watching my Robot Chicken, and all of a sudden all my actors showed up. I called them up, I was like, what the fuck? No one told me! What's this, you guys?

I used to really like The Boondocks. That was very daring.


On his blogging and podcasting and so forth
Wired: You've been committed to those other forms...Webisodes, the blog, the podcasts. What's the importance of those?

Moore: Now I think they're almost expected. Now they're part of what it is to do a television show, especially in this genre. This genres fans are very connected to their computers, to all these multiple platforms, and they look for it. They're there to be served, so why wouldn't you serve them? We're planning webisodes for this season. My podcasting will continue, albeit depending on how quick I am about it, it'll happen. The blog is more — I don't know what to do about the blog. I go back to the blog. I created my own blog. I do it in bursts, and then I fall away from it. I find myself without a lot to say sometimes, and that's a fatal flaw in the blogosphere evidently. You're supposed to say something whether it's of value or not.

Wired: The fatal flaw is that people do it anyway.

Moore: Yeah, I just don't have a lot to say. I don't have a topic for a blog, so I don't write one till I think of something or the mood hits me. But I think it's great that these things are all out there and available, and certainly any project I do from now on will take advantage of these platforms.


On directing for the first time
Moore: It was tremendous. It was an amazing experience. I approached it with a fair degree of fear, like, wow, I've never done this, do I know what I'm doing? Will I look like an idiot? And I just tried it. But I have a cast and a crew that made it easy for me, and I enjoyed it, and I directed something that I'd written. It was a thing I'd never done, which is, you write a script and you play the movie in your head as you write it. At least I do. And one of the first things you have to lose in this business is that movie, because it's never going to be that way. You write the scene and envision them coming in camera left and sit down on this line, and then you watch the dailies and they come in camera right and stand through the whole thing. You just have to let go of that. You're handing your script over to other people who interpret it and realize it, and when you're directing, you can realize that. You can make the film I'm trying to make in my head. And yet you're still free to play around with it and the actors bring stuff and change stuff, and there are still surprises. But you can actually create what it is you're trying to achieve. That was great. I really enjoyed it, it didn't freak me out. I was calm. I made my days. I saved money.

I liked it. I liked being the guy who had to answer all the questions. I liked people coming up constantly and asking, should it be this or should it be that? It's that. Should we go here or there? Go there. Why are we doing this? This is why were doing this. What does this line mean? This is what the line means. Do you need coverage on this guy? No, I don't need coverage. I liked that. It was energizing and fun.

My son came with me. He's 9, and he sat on the set next to me for, like, four days and I couldn't pry him off that set. He sat there with his headphones and just lived in it, loved it, and I could kind of see the show through his eyes, and it was precious.

------

Thanks to those of you who made it to the Paley Center panel tonight here in New York. A good time was had by all.

After the event, the Whedonesquers and I went out for some drinks and some laughs. Seemed only fitting.

10 comments:

Grant Gould said...

Thanks for the linkage -- that's a cool interview.
Kinda bugs me that they asked him if he's religious.. Seems to be kind of a "none of your business" topic.. But whatever. I suppose nothing's sacred in Hollywood. :)

ProgGrrl said...

Twas quite nice of Wired to post the full transcript for us fanatics eh?

About the religion topic: I'm sure they wouldn't have asked it if RDM wasn't comfortable answering. And hey, BSG does have a massive amount of religious discussion for a SF&F show...or any show.

zeitgeist (Damon) said...

Speaking as one of those Whedonesquers -- had a fantastic time, laughed really hard and had some great food and drinks, what more could you want? I mean, aside from more Bear McCreary blogging and RDM interviews, naturally! :)

ProgGrrl said...

*waves at Damon*

Hey there! Yeah aside from that, and Whedon blogging more, I don't need much else. ;)

barest_smidgen said...

/whedonesquer wave

Hey, Erica. Great night... thanks for joining us for drinks, eats, laughs and as Luke summarized "gossip and utter profanity." Plus, it brought me to your site, which is way cool. Cheers, and here's some pics...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47157908@N00/

-kara

ProgGrrl said...

Hey Kara! *waves*

It was TOO FUN, a great time!

Thanks for the photos, I'll be posting a panel recap and pix soon.

Great to know the lovely Moore-Whedon mutual admiration society extends well into fandom too. :D

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