Asta 2

Life Serial and Hell's Bells Dailies

Before I forget, if any one wants to read very thorough and incisive reports of Jane’s Q&A at WriterCon, please check out swmbo’s journal. It was incredible to read that just about every opinion I had regarding the last two seasons of BtVS were confirmed by Jane. These two bits swmbo recalled were amongst my favorite:

"[Jane] thinks that part of the problem was simply a lack of Joss-time - no script/idea got filmed without going through him. But his attention was scattered enough that they didn't always think things through, if they had his attention, they pushed whatever it was that sounded good, without looking at the arc overall. Because of that, Jane thought things weren't as clear/powerful as they could be."

"[Jane] thinks the story worked very well thematically - the idea that Buffy spends the season coming to terms with her power and then, after she's done so, passing it along, but that it didn't always come across on screen."

I love Jane. How often do you get this kind of honestly from a writer? I doubt Joss would admit to any of this. :p

OK, I finally finished watching the dailies last night. No Spuffiness to report, sadly, but much Sarah cuteness

Life Serial was only one disc and consisted largely of the Magic Box segment of the episode. I don’t really have much to say about what I saw. It was mostly just multiple takes of scenes including many of just the mummy hand for special effects shots. Watching that gets old fast and I fast forwarded over much of it.

There was one absolutely adorable bit with Sarah while she’s shooting a scene with Giles. While they are waiting for the director to yell ‘action’, she has a conversation with one of the crew. I *think* the crew guy says ‘I love you Aly’ which begins this exchange:

Sarah (teasing): I love you too. Say you love me.
Crew guy: I love you.
Sarah. Liar. Such a man.

Hee! Also after one of the crying takes, she bellows out “WAAHHHHHH!!!” And when she misses a cue (she says her line before the door bell jingles, she immediately says “my apologies”. Um, how did this woman get a rep for being distant, standoffish, demanding, and a diva?

Hell’s Bells

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m looking too much for things, but I felt as though you could sense who gets along best with whom. For instance, Sarah seemed much more ‘professional’ with Aly and far more relaxed and jovial around Nick. As for not socializing with her cast mates, Nick can be heard talking at one point about how he “went to Sarah’s house”.

There’s also a LOL moment during the cummerbund scene. They had already done several takes of Buffy trying to get it around Xander. Sarah confirms with the camera guy that the takes they are about to do are above the cummerbund so she won’t have to actually tighten it and hurt Nick. Nick’s response (and he says this in a not joking manner) is “actually, do it, I like it”. Sarah stops at what he says, raises her eyebrows, and then rolls her eyes. 

Emma has some pretty funny moments too. When she’s rehearsing her marital vows, instead of ending with “I get to be with my best friend forever” she continues on without missing a beat with “until he dumps me in two days”. She ‘cries’, the crew laughs. And as Willow has her hands up Anya’s dress to adjust it, Emma begins writhing and going “Oh,Yeah, Baby”. The guys on the crew seemed to enjoy that. ;)

Interestingly, there was some non HB footage included on the discs. The door closing from the end of OAFA as well as a couple shots of Hali granting Dawn’s wish and Buffy fighting the demon. There is the full discussion (we saw an edited version) that takes place between Sam and Buffy in the cemetery in AYW. Believe it or not, it makes Riley look more sympathetic. Blech. And there is a bit of the alley scene from DT. Spike taking some punches then saying “you always hurt the one you love” and him reacting to Buffy walking away. Pity we didn’t get the close up of him as she leaves. The desperation rolls off of him as he begs “Buffy, don’t do this – please” and then he collapses (he does NOT pass out – I got so sick of people claiming Buffy left him unconscious in the alley to burn up as the sun rose :p). He seems so broken. Not because of what she did to him, but because of what she’s about to do to herself.

Other random observances:

Emma’s line readings regarding Buffy’s ‘death’. They range from sad to flippant to angry.

That the vast majority of the time, even if the actor is not in the shot, they do the line reading off camera for the benefit of their costars.

I hate to bring this up again, but we see quite a bit of Nick flubbing his lines and being very frustrated with himself because of it. I also noticed a couple of times him blinking his eyes and shaking his head as if to wake himself up. Emma seemed displeased with some of this stopping and starting.

Unlike the other eps, with the HB dailies we seem to get a lot more snippets of conversation between the cast and crew which (obviously) I found very interesting.
  • Current Mood: tired tired
Thanks for the LJ rec, I really enjoyed her accounts of Jane's Q&A. Jane is the kind of person you could sit with and drink coffee and talk about anything :) She is my fave Buffy writer because she's always honest and direct, which is something fans appreciate, even if it's not something they want to hear.

And thank you your comments on the HB dailies. After all the circulation of the dailies I think Sarah's detractors are going to have a very difficult time perpetuating the "diva" moniker. I think whoever spread those stories has to be a disgruntled former employee, or just someone who has a lot of envy in their heart.

I love getting an inside view of the actors in their working mode, so I really appreciate you giving us all the lowdown :)
I'm glad you are enjoying these recaps. Least this one I could write fairly quickly. ;)

Yeah, I don't know how Sarah's detractors are going to rationalize all this. Oh, wait, she's an actress! And she *knew* the cameras were rolling. She played nice so when the dailies were stolen and made available on the internet she'd trick us all into believing she's a decent human being. That bitch!
Yeah, I don't know how Sarah's detractors are going to rationalize all this. Oh, wait, she's an actress! And she *knew* the cameras were rolling. She played nice so when the dailies were stolen and made available on the internet she'd trick us all into believing she's a decent human being. That bitch!

Asta, if I haven't thanked you for all the lowdown on the dailies, THANK YOU! :-)

Everything I've ever read about Sarah from colleagues has always been positive. Not counting snipey comments from some quarters that don't really come out and say anything. Some jealousy may be at play on some of these stories of diva-ness.
You're welcome! :)

I've always felt professional jealousy played a part in the rumors in regards to her behavior. I don't think certain coworkers could stand that Sarah was the star of the show and received the bulk of the shows publicity.
Do you think Nick's alcoholism problems might have been the reason for his mistakes? I know that as soon as I heard about that, I could suddenly make sense of his weigh gain - but I hadn't thought of this side of things. It just made me think, too - about whether or not he still grapples with his stuttering - is that something you can recover from completely? Food for thought!

The dailies sound like fun! :-D

I hate speculating, but I think his drinking may have been a factor. There were some days he was fine, not missing a cue or a line. But, specifically, the scenes where he's having dinner with Anya and the kids and the scene where he attacks her with the frying pan he was struggling with getting through some of the takes and, in my opinion, looked a bit out of it.
I daresay a scene like that would've been quite hard to do, also, so he may have prepared himself in that fashion. I do hope he's getting better - I would hate for someone of his calibre to burn out too early, you know?

I know (obviously) about Jane Espenson Q&A only through reports, mainly SWMBO’s, but it is surprises me that in some reports she is called a Spike/Xander shipper – I’ve got an impression that she is an “omnishipper”, she would put the subtext everywhere she could and even where couldn’t and enjoyed the results. And Spike/Xander is just a more popular topic than, for example, Spike/Jonathan.

And thanks for the dailies recap! I enjoyed the EC and NB bits – something new to know.
'Omnishipper' is a good way of putting it. ;) Yeah, she enjoyed putting in subtext wherever she could - it sounds as if many of the writers did - and she also mentioned enjoying making Andrew's leanings ambiguous for two seasons. She seemed aware of the S/A subtext on Angel this past season and liked the idea. Honestly, I didn't get the impression she had any special feeling for S/X, just that because of circumstance those were the two she could insert some subtext with.
Not much to add since you cover it all so very well, but I too thought it would have been interesting if they'd left the "Buffy, don't do this--please." line in--though it would have made Buffy look even MORE unsympathetic than she already did.

Hmmm, you might be right. I could see the Buffy bashers latching onto that line and go "Look! He was begging for her help and she just walked away from him!" when, in reality, he was begging her to not turn herself into the police and, in his view, ruining her life. I was actually quite touched by his concern and despair for her, but, yeah, like anything, it could be twisted.
I like hearing about these dailies. let me know if you want to hear about the Angel Presentation pilot (about 5-6 minutes that sold The WB ton Angel).
If you could give me a recap that would be great. :) I'd especially love to know if all the same characters were in place from the beginning.
The three characters from the start of the show were in the pilot presentation (played the same actors). I'll try to do a recap in my LJ next week (once I dig out the disc that has the presentation) and probably without an LJ cut (since no one has bothered to tell me how to do one of those).

At the moment, I have a few other things I'm working on (including a magazine article and a review I need to start writing). Today, I'm watching Roswell season 3 on the Sci-Fi Channel (including the three episodes i have never seen because I didn't get UPN programming in my area until about six days before the series finale aired (I watched the first 14 S3 eopisodes due to getting tapes of the episodes from someone)).
Ohhh, a magazine article, you'll have to let me know which mag when it gets published.

Let's see if I can show you how to do an LJ cut and not make this post wonky. It's < followed by lj-cut then a space and text=" insert your text and close it with ">. Then you type what you want to say behind the cut. You end that with < then /lj-cut and >.
I probably can tell you more about the article if you email me. I now have three DVDs to review for next week (in addition to the TV review I will write tonight/tomorrow) for my site (details on what will be reviewed is over at my LJ).
Oh, thank you so much for sharing all these snippets. They really are fascinating, and I'm very grateful for you for taking the time to bring them to us.
You're welcome. :) I'm glad to do it. I know how much I'd want to know about what we didn't see.