BACKTOFRANKBLACK EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: MILLENNIUM DIRECTOR ALLEN COULTER TALKS SEASON TWO!

Allen Coulter is the director of a number of very successful television shows including "Sex and The City", "The Sopranos", and "Law and Order" and for his work he has thus far received six Primetime Emmy nominations amongst a slew of other accolades. In his career to date, he has directed one feature film entitled Hollywoodland, a film regarding the questionable death of George Reeves starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, and Ben Affleck. It was released September 2006. Allen's name will no doubt be familiar to fans of Millennium as he joined the cast and crew of season two to direct three episodes that year, "Beware of The Dog", "Siren" and "The Pest House". When I spoke to Allen he was in the midst of completing post-production work for a movie as well as lining up further projects but he kindly agreed to take time from his busy schedule to talk to us at BackToFrankBlack.com and I am sure you will all join with me in thanking him for that time.

MARK HAYDEN: You began your career as a writer, I believe, writing for 'Tales from the Darkside' and 'Monsters.' Could you tell us a little about your journey to the role of directing and your appraisal of that role after twenty one years in the business? Do you ever itch to return to the written word again?

ALLEN COULTER: I've always considered myself more of a director than a writer. I really enjoy working with writers and I consider that a strength of mine in creating a film or a show. I have written some feature scripts in collaboration with other writers. I may return to that, but really what I find the most fulfilling is forging a script into a film or TV show.

MH: You've directed three episodes of Millennium, 'Beware of the Dog', 'Siren' and 'The Pest House'. If we take your first Millennium outing, 'Beware of the Dog', could you offer us a brief synopsis of a director's activities from first receiving the script to actually directing the episode?

AC: Like all episodes of television, it requires a great deal of preparation. I have to understand the series, know the look and feel of the show, read the script many times over and start to develop a plan for how I want to shoot it.

A lot of my process happens during the prep period, so when we begin shooting I can focus on the performance and working with the DP to achieve the look I envisioned. I believe that episodic directors are a large part of the success or failure of a television show. It is our job to give life to and enrich the words on the page.

MH: All three of the episodes you directed were written by Millennium's then show-runners, James Morgan and Glen Wong. Does this present any difficulties as a director or are you literally given free reign to bring their written vision to life without too much pressure from above?

AC: Like all series, Millennium required collaboration with the writer-producers. I presented them with my ideas for the show and we worked together to create the show as it exists today.

MH: I wanted to ask about 'Siren' in particular. In an episode as ambiguous and open to interpretation as that one is it necessary for the director to form an opinion as to what are the truths and the intentions of the narrative in order that it works for the viewer or
are you able to apply your skills to an episode even if you are undecided what the story is saying on all its levels?

AC: No matter how confusing and mysterious the show may be, I always have some idea of what literally happens in the episode. I need it to guide my direction. But I also believe that the audience must interpret it for themselves. Too often in television, writers and producers want to tell the audience exactly what is happening all the time, for fear of losing their interest.

I believe that what makes television shows great, is their willingness to trust the audience with conflicting, ambiguous and challenging situations. To me this kind of approach resonates with audiences because this is how life is- full of conflict, ambiguity and challenge - and this is what makes something like SOPRANOS a truly amazing and popular show.

MH: We know Lance in particular was very passionate about his character, often challenging certain story aspects and plot developments if he felt they betrayed the integrity of the show and Frank Black. How do you recall the experience of directing Lance as Frank Black and of
working with the cast and crew of the franchise in general?

AC: I had a great time working with the actors on Millenium. They were very devoted to their craft and Lance clearly created an indelible character for his audience.

MH: I wanted to ask, in terms of personal satisfaction, how those episodes compare with one another and how does the experience of working on Millennium compare to other shows you have worked on e.g. 'Six Feet Under' and 'Sex in the City?'

AC: Every show has its own challenges and rewards. It's hard to compare Millennium to something like Sex & the City because the cast and crew are so different, the style is very different, and I was at a different place in my career. Suffice it to say that I learned a lot working on Millennium and that would serve me well later on in my career.

MH: We exist as an entity primarily geared to raising awareness of the groundswell of support that exists, and grows, with regards to a movie adaptation of Millennium. From a behind the scenes perspective, do you agree that this particular franchise is ripe for such an adaptation and agree with the fans assertion that Millennium has a quintessential something that has oft been imitated but never bettered?

AC: I think it's great that Millennium fans are so devoted to a show that has so much meaning for them. I think it's important that we treat good television the way we treat other forms of art - as representations of life that we can reflect on and learn from.

MH: Millennium fans are very excited about the prospect of 'Rubicon' which we believe you are involved in, talk of global conspiracies and secrets and lies activates our genre radars if you will. Are you ableto tell us anything about this project and about what lies in the future with regards to the continuing career of Allen Coulter?

AC: I too look forward to the launch of Rubicon and I hope it pleases. I also shot a movie this summer in New York called REMEMBER ME starring Robert Pattinson, Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper among others. I don't know what lies in my future, but I'm always on the look out for good material, be it in television or feature film.

MH:
Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us Allen.

AC: Best of luck to you and the Millennium community.

If you've enjoyed reading, or listening to, any of our interviews and want to see these good people have the opportunity to work, once again, on our beloved franchise then here's what you have to do. Send those postcards and letters to 20th Century Fox asking for a return of Frank and Millennium. Your postcard could be the one that clinches the deal so what are you waiting for? The Time is Near!

HERE'S DIRT'S THING: GREETINGS FROM BUCKSNORT!

Ladies and gentlemen, by now you will have come to expect that Thursday will be the time for DiRT to cast his x-ray vision upon another episode of Millennium and direct his considerable following in our direction in the process. Unfortunately, our good friend is a little under the weather with a dose of flu at present (where's that Millennium Group Antidote when you need it) and is under the care of Dr. Steven Kiley for the time being. Only joking of course.

In the meantime our reviewer extrodinaire has asked me to give you a heads up that next week he will turn his attention to the season two episode, Beware of The Dog and in the meantime he wants you good folk to get your thinking caps on and post your thoughts about the episode. If you recall, DiRT dealt with your feedback in a previous episode which was huge amounts of fun and I'm sure you will share your thoughts with him this time as well.

Till then, join with me in wishing DiRT a speedy recovery and allow me to express how much we are looking forward to seeing him back to his best next week. Get well soon my friend.

Mark

  • To visit his website and enjoy the numerous things he has on offer, click here!
  • To check out his Youtube channel and view more reviews from the man himself, visit here!

MILLENNIUM FANS SUPPORT MISSY CRIDER!

To Millennium fans, Missy Crider will always be fondly remembered for her outstanding performance in In Arcadia Ego as Janette Vitti, the troubled soul who fled with her lover to protect their miracle child. Many of us also have fond memories of NBC's The Others in which she portrayed Ellen 'Satori' Polaski in a role that was specifically created for her by Steven Spielberg.

Beyond the scope of genre entertainment, Missy's career has continued to rise to ever more stellar heights and this campaign has been blessed by Missy's warmth and generosity of spirit as she kindly gave of her time to record Halloween greetings for the fans and spoke to us for an interview I know you have all enjoyed reading.

If you frequent Facebook, you now have a wonderful opportunity to join others to celebrate this wonderful actress' continuing career and the icing on the cake is that Missy herself will no doubt look in when she is able to read your thoughts and share her own. So, without further ado, check out this wonderful group and be sure to share some love with Missy. That is who we are!

Mark

BTFB EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BILL MARCHANT TALKS 19:19 AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE!

I had hoped to bring this to you a few days ago as part of our weekend interviews feature but sadly Photoshop became infected with Marburg and I couldn't illustrate the article. All is well now and better late than never I guess. Enjoy the the read.

Bill Marchant is an actor, director, and writer, his feature film "Everyone" won Best Canadian Film at the Montreal Festival and played to packed houses at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Mr. Marchant is also an accomplished musician, having produced and co-written the album "Odlum" with singer-songwriter Michael Chase. Tracks from the album have been featured on Showtime's "Queer as Folk" (2000), Fox Television's "Higher Ground" (2000), and the feature film "Suspicious River", directed by Lynne Stopkewich.

To Millennium fans he will be recognisable for his two appearances on the show in season two's 19:19 and season three's Collateral Damage. Despite being incredibly busy, Mr. Marchant took the time to talk to us at BackToFrankBlack and we are extremely grateful to him for his time and encouragement.

MARK HAYDEN: I believe that prior to your first on-screen role, in Millennium's "19:19", that you were a drama teacher in Vancouver for many years and working predominantly in theatre. What inspired the transition from stage to screen and can you recall the process that lead to "Millennium" appearing on your resume?

BILL MARCHANT
: I did do some film and television work in my youth but played mostly in the theatre until my 30’s. I never considered my self a theatre or film actor; I am an actor, period. The only thing that changes is the size of the audience. In film, the audience is “one”.

The role on 19:19 was a joy because I only had a small amount of dialogue but was a large role. I could concentrate on learning camera technique and the subtleties of physical characterization.


MH: Was that something of a daunting experience for you given that it was your first television role and you're suddenly surrounded by veterans of that type of work such as Kristen Cloke, Lance Henriksen and Christian Hoff and can you recall the mechanics of that role e.g. how long filming took, how much rehearsal time you had and your recollections of the cast and crew?

BM: I was on set for 7 days. The cast were all so sweet. Very friendly. Christian and I hit it off right away. He’s a dedicated, focused actor and great man. Lance? Well, he’s one of my heroes. His resume speaks for itself. Being part of the "19:19" experience is one I will always remember and cherish.

MH
: Interestingly your second television role was also in Millennium, this time as David Cougar in 'Collateral Damage', at that point there had been huge changes in not only the cast and crew but in the nature of the show's thematic and the type of story it was changing. How do you rate your second appearance on the franchise in terms of experience, personal satisfaction with your work and so on?

BM: That was a strange shoot and I was blinded by the prosthetics for a whole day and couldn’t use my fingers at all because of the latex stubs they gave me. A teamster had to help me go to the bathroom. Very uncomfortable but funny in retrospect.

Again, all the cast and crew were a joy to work with. Millennium was a pleasant experience overall and I enjoyed my time on both episodes of
the show. Working on anything Chris Carter has created is a real gift to an actor and I am grateful for the experience.

MH: For people who are not appreciators of Millennium and what it aspired to achieve it is often posited that it was too dark, too philosophical, too intense for a large audience to digest it. As a a writer yourself, when you're faced with blank page, as Chris Carter was, is there an internal argument between telling the story you want to tell and giving the audience what you think they will want to see?

BM
:
You have to write what you must and hope that the audience finds you. Chris is a genius. Simple as that. I’ll follow him anywhere.

It's similar to acting, I always bring my passion and professionalism. I treat every role like it was Shakespeare. I also have a deep love for science fiction, so I give over to “play” with ready abandon. You have to go where you must.

MH
:
I know your recognised, amongst your many roles, for your appearance in Stargate and you've spoken of the attention you've received from fans of the show and now you're here talking about Millennium with fans of that franchise. Do you believe 'the fans' matter to the industry, do they matter to the artist and are they capable of affecting change and resurrecting shows in the way so many attempt to do?

BM: A fan doesn’t watch a show; they are the show. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

MH
:
I know you've talked of your love of sci-fi in other interviews you have given and wondered what science fiction films or television programmes you rate highly in terms of narrative given that you have an informed eye with regards to the processes that brought that script to the screen?

BM: I just saw Moon and it blew me away. Silent Running is favourite. And Alien. Oh god, I love Alien. 2001. It doesn’t get better than that.

MH: If you look back over your career and the numerous roles you have portrayed what gives you the biggest sense of satisfaction and what was it about that particular role that made you choose it?

BM: I loved Stargate but the show I am the proudest of is Millennium 19:19. The storytelling was masterful. I loved that I was responsible for developing the character. Tom Wright gave me total freedom in that role, to make it my own. That was a very rewarding and privileged position to be in.

MH: You've acted, written, directed and produced, you've had a string of successful plays across the continent and you are an accomplished musician to boot. What's next in the continuing career of Bill Marchant and what drives you to continue to explore different mediums of creativity and different roles within those mediums?

BM
: I have four(!) plays opening in the next year, including Gift of Screws which opens in October. I am finishing work on another feature called Exley which will be in festivals in 2010 and I have a pet project called Phillum for tiny art films that I’ve made which should be up by the end of the year at Phillum.com


MH
:
Thank you, Bill, for taking time from your busy schedule to speak to us.

BM: No, thank you Mark. It was a pleasure.

If you've enjoyed reading, or listening to, any of our interviews and want to see these good people have the opportunity to star, once again, in our beloved franchise then here's what you have to do. Send those postcards and letters to 20th Century Fox asking for a return of Frank and Millennium. Your postcard could be the one that clinches the deal so what are you waiting for? The Time is Near!

Millennium Group Sessions 15: Horror!

MILLENNIUM GROUP SESSIONS 15:
HORROR!



BacktoFrankBlack: The Millennium Group Sessions, hosted by Troy Foreman and co-hosted by Jim McLean is now available for free download via our website AND on ITunes!


Listen to the Mp3 on the BacktoFrankBlack Stream or download using the links below!


To download from BacktoFrankBlack.com
To download from ITUNES
  • To subscribe to the Itunes podcast, simply load up the Itunes store on your Itunes application, search for BacktoFrankBlack and wait for the podcast to pop onto the list. Then click "subscribe" - you will need to sign up to a free Itunes account to do this - but Itunes does run a great service for podcasts of all types (including our friends ThaDarkSideVibe and Spooktalkular)

BacktoFrankBlack: Millennium Group Sessions 15: Horror!

In this episode of the Millennium Group Sessions series, the focus is HORROR! Jim and Troy have horror journalist Alison Nastasi, author of SCREAMSTRESS.com on the show for a light hearted, sun filled chat on the dark depravity, violence and death that Millennium and the Horror genre both enjoy!

This free podcast is available on a weekly to fortnightly basis via ITUNES and BacktoFrankBlack.com. We'll naturally update you all on information on the podcast from this blog as well.

With ITUNES, anyone who has an Itunes friendly account will be able to subscribe easily and download the podcasts as they are released.

Send your letters and postcards to FOX:

STEVE ASBELL
Twentieth Century Fox
10201 West Pico Blvd.,
Bldg. 88, Room 132
Los Angeles, CA 90035#


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG!

AVATAR VISION PROUDLY PRESENTS: HEY MAN NICE LINE!

Time, once again, for MusicMonday™ and our jaunt into the world of Millennium Music Montages. This is one is a little special as it comes with a dedication. Our very dear friend, Vivi, was an essential cog in the machinery that made BackToFrankBlack.com possible and despite being an active staff-member in the Millennium Fan Community she also finds time to be a driving force in Filter fandom, a band she holds very dear to heart. Putting the two things together she cares about, Filter and Frank Black, had to be dedicated to her. So to Vivi and to all the fans of Filter and Millennium, this one's for you guys.

Josef takes the time to make these videos because he feels as passionately as we do about bringing Millennium back and anyone who frequents Youtube will know how much support and interest he is enjoying because of it and how many people have discovered us through his work.

The Thin White Line is a season one episode penned by Glen Morgan and James Wong and is clearly inspired by the real life interrogation of serial killer, Edmund Kemper. It's an notable episode for the commanding performance given by Scott Heindl as Jacob Tyler, an actor who would be forever immortalised in Millennium mythology as the male incarnation of Lucy Butler, The Long Haired Man. Telling the story of Frank Black reliving his first case, this is Josef's tribute to that episode. Dim the lights, grab the popcorn and and enjoy the show.

video

So don't be shy. Let Josef know what you think of his latest creation and tell us what you think about the episode. A good one, a great one, a very thin and white one? We want to know your thoughts so please do leave us a few comments as we really enjoy hearing from all you good people.


As promised, each music new release from Josef will be accompanied by a postcard that we urge you to send to Steve Asbell at 20th Century Fox. Making 20th Century Fox aware that we are here to stay and active in our support of a Millennium Movie is a vital way you can help this campaign achieve its ends. We are regularly asked what is the best way to help this campaign and there is no finer way than sending this postcard. The only way we can bring this show back is to make some noise and continue making that noise. That's how we will bring Frank Black back.

To see the address you need to send this to as well as a range of others you might like to send, click here!

  • To visit Josef's Youtube page and ch eck out his own collection of videos, click here!
  • To check out his myspace page and listen to some of his original compositions, click here!