Posts Tagged ‘buffy the vampire slayer’

James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
Jane Espenson is a writing machine.  Not only did she write and work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my favorite TV shows of the nineties (and I’m not afraid to admit it), but she also helped me out and shed light on where the word ‘frak’ originated. Yes, according to Jane, frak is a Battlestar Galactica phrase; and by the amount of times ‘frak’ has arisen in these interviews as a writers favorite curse word, I’d say we have quite a few Battlestar fans here.
So, who is American script writer and television producer, Jane Espenson?
Born in Ames, Iowa in 1964, Telly loving Jane first chased her dream of becoming a writer at the age of 13 after realising army medical  TV show M*A*S*H accepted spec scripts. Even though she was still in junior high, and without the promise of a dime, she scribbled out a draft episode….. Still yet to be submitted.
Years later, while Jane was studying computer science and linguistics at University of California, Berkeley, she decided to try her luck at writing again. This time her target was Star Trek: The Next Generation. As part of a script submission program open to amateur writers, and which Jane refers to as the “last open door of show business”, she submitted several spec scripts.
In 1992, Jane landed a position with the Disney Writing Fellowship. From here, she worked on a number of sitcoms. These included ABC’s comedy Dinosaurs and Touchstone Television‘s short-lived Monty.

Now in her early thirties, Jane moved to TV’s Ellen as both writer and producer. However, after only a year, she decided she needed something different to comedy. Dramatic writing caught her attention and she applied to Mutant Enemy Productions for a position on the hit show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Spike: Jane's favorite Buffy character.

Joining season three, Jane remained until the shows climactic end five years later. These five years saw her promoted from both writer and executive story editor to co-executive producer and in 2003, Jane shared the Hugo Award for Best Short Dramatic Presentation with co-writer Drew Godard for writing the episode “Conversations with Dead People“.
All in all, Jane wrote 23 episodes for Buffy, starting with “Band Candy“, and finishing with Buffy’s penultimate episode, “End of Days“; and was the only staff writer to be credited on more than five episodes in a single season.

2005 saw Jane editing BenBella Books Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly. And in 2009, co-wrote several comic book stories for Tales of the Slayers, Tales of the Vampires and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, the one-shots Jonathan and Reunion and the limited series Haunted.

Having already wrote a third season episode, and co-writing another, Battlestar Galactica welcomed Jane in 2008 as co-executive producer. She worked on every episode for the fourth series and wrote webisodes, and in 2010 moved over to Battlestars spin-off series Caprica, where she was co-executive producer and took on show runner duties midway through the first season.

She left Battlestar with a Streamy Awards after winning Best Writing for a Dramatic Web Series for Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy

In 2010, after claiming to be a fan of Torchwood, in particular the third series, “Children of Earth“, Jane joined creator, Russell T Davies, for Torchwood: Miracle Day, writing episodes 3, 5, 7 and co-writing episode 8 with Ryan Scott. Both writers also collaborated on the webseries, Torchwood: Web of Lies, starring Eliza Dushku.

Jane co-wrote and produced her first independent original web series with co-creator Brad Bell, entitled Husbands, which revolves around the life of two newly married gay men and premiered at http://husbandstheseries.com on Sept. 13, 2011.

Even though Jane has written episodes for dramas The O.C., Jake in Progress, and Gilmore Girls, she is without a doubt, best known for writing science fiction and fantasy. TV shows such as Battlestar Galactica,  Game of Thrones, Torchwood, Angel, Dollshouse, Warehouse 13, and Once Upon a Time have all received her magic touch and are a force to be reckoned with in the ratings.

Jane is currently working as a consulting producer and writer on the ABC‘s series Once Upon a Time. 

So, what did the woman who invented the name of the drink “Zima” while working for a marketing firm make of our questions?

 1.  What is your favorite word?  Bubble
2. What is your least favorite word? Bitch
3. What turns you on?   Wordplay
4. What turns you off?    Waiting
5. What sound do you love?   Peeping
6. What sound do you hate? Peeing
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Frak
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Zookeeper
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Assassin
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   ”One more time around.”

So, what was your favorite Buffy character? What was/is your favorite Espenson show?
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For more information regarding Jane Espenson, please check out her Website, Facebook, twitter

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Some people read the book first, others saw the movie first. I belong to the latter club.

Some people are Team Edward, some are Team Jacob. I am Team Bella’s Dad.

The phenomenon surrounding this story is almost as big as Harry Potter….almost.

So, why is this? The movie adaptation clearly helped Meyer buy herself an extra house or two. But, is the story really strong enough to warrant my mate getting herself an Edward Cullen lunch box?

I have already admitted to watching the movie first. And for the first half (and majority of the second), I wondered when the story was going to get a much needed shot of adrenaline. Where was the excitement? This was a vampire film after all. But, even after saying all this, I still sort of enjoyed it. Once I knew it wasn’t an ‘action’ type film, I watched it a second time for what it was….Basically, a bad romance.

Still, is it romantic enough to be one of the biggest hits of 2005 and then again in 2008? It’s not exactly Pride and Prejudice or Brief Encounter.

Is it that women (I wish I could say teenagers, but seeing as most my friends are lusting after these characters, I really can’t), are obsessed with the idea that loving a vampire is sexy? Or, is it just an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Lautner’s six pack and Robert Pattison’s…..er, what does he have?

So, armed with all this information, and while waiting for my flight at LAX, I took the plunge and purchased the paperback version. I’m ashamed to admit, I’d read half of it by the time I touched down at Heathrow, and finished it the following day.

Now, I am not a reader of young adult. I am 40 years old and prefer characters my own age – or a least a little closer to it. That’s not to say I don’t like young adult stories. I just sometimes think writers forget the kids are supposed to be teens, and as such let them run around like adults (not mentioning any names **cough cough** Vampire Diaries).

So, what’s this book about?

if you didn’t already know. Even my mum knows what this story is about. But, for the one person who’s been stranded inEureka for the past eight years, let me explain.

Twilight is a romance about a ‘human’ girl called Bella, who falls in love with a, more white than sparkly, vampire called Edward. And, wouldn’t you just know it? Her life becomes endangered; although it takes until the end of the film to get to this issue.

So, what kept me interested?

Honestly? I am still trying to figure that out. This story has been done a thousand times before, and much, much better. Let’s see, for one there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel sent hearts fluttering across the nation. Mine, though, belonged to Spike, and, umm, Giles 🙂

And, I don’t believe for one minute Stephanie Meyer’s inspirational story of I dreamt of two people one night and when I woke up I just had to start writing to see who they were. If there is any truth to that statement, you can paint me blue and call me Smurfette.

And……., even though I am NOT a fan of the Vampire Diary books, I do feel sorry for their author L J Smith. Twilight is a complete rip off!

And……., Stephanie is so repetitive; I kept thinking she’d started the novel again.

And……., Bella is horrid! What kind of protagonist is she? There is nothing endearing about her at all. She is the biggest wimp ever! I mean, how many times can a girl faint for crying out loud? No wonder Hollywood toughened her up a little for the movie….albeit into the nastiest bitch going. Still, anything has to be an improvement, right?

Would I read another Stephanie Meyer book?

After much deliberation, which took all of a split second, I would have to say ‘no’. After I finished the Twilight novel it was ‘yes’, as I read the whole series. However, now it is ‘no’. In fact it is ‘HELL NO!’ I’ve only read the book once and have no desire to read it again. I’d rather watch the film for a couple of hours and then get on with life again. And, I’d only watch the film again if I’d already finished polishing the coal in my fireplace.

I don’t actually think Meyer is a particularly strong writer. When I reflect on Twilight, I don’t see the characters as very strong. The Twilight franchise went on two books too long, three if you count the Edward version. There was an Edward version, wasn’t there? I didn’t dream that. Or did I? And, I’m certain that if you cut all the repetition, you’d have a novel three quarters the size.

Rant over!

Now, I know I’m going to be hung, drawn, and quartered, but I have to ask….

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any other Stephanie Meyer novels? Have you seen the movie version? Let me know.

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