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Joss Whedon Commentary for Firefly "Objects in Space"

By Shadowkat & Pumpkinpuss

Monday 19 January 2004, by Webmaster

Whedon’s Commentary for Objects in Space


"Look at the planet, on the right, going down in frame. Look at the ship, as we’re going through it. Look at the girl, as we hear Early’s voice. I’m going to do commentary on the episode for you here, but I’m not gonna to do it exactly the way I’ve been doing it. I’d like to try and explain how this episode came to be a little more specifically than I usually do, since it’s kind of an odd one. It’s one of my favorites that I ever shot, but uhm, not normal. So, hopefully there will be some extremely witty anecdotal stuff about what we did on that day, and how that guy messed up his lines, and how Nathan split his pants, again, but in the meanwhile I may go off picture sometimes just to take you through the process of coming up with this episode and what it means to me.

The first thing I need to talk about is Summer, who luckily is on the screen right now as I say that. Summer Glau who I met when she did Angel. She is a ballerina and played one on Angel and that’s how I got to know her as an actress.

Summer in this is very much, almost a formal device and nothing is more important in this episode than her feet because we’re going to be talking alot about the way she relates to this ship physically. And as a dancer you can see very well how she moves and how she expresses physically with her entire body what she’s feeling emotionally and the connection between those two things is very important. I’m enormously impressed by what she did in this...things like coming down the stairs here which I had not even noticed when I was shooting, I only saw it in the edit, how she experiences coming down those stairs, it’s a very big deal.

She’s also important because this episode was designed to be about River, to start dealing with the story of River. What we’re seeing obviously are psychic visions of things we’ve either heard or don’t yet understand. We’re seeing the teaser through her perspective, which is somewhat disassociative from reality. That’s very important for what I ended up trying to say with this episode, but first let’s just talk about how this episode came to be at all. Which was me knowing that I wanted to do an episode where River became a part of the group and really had no ideas. Just an embarrassing lack of ideas or a thundering ton of ideas that frankly didn’t come together at all. Spent a long time working on it, nothing, nothing, nothing. Finally called Tim Minnear in the morning, I said Tim, I’m dying here. I’ve got this idea, I got that idea, what do you think, is this good, is it fun? He said Baba Fett. And I’d like to stress that he didn’t say Boba Fett. This is a man who has dressed up like Logan at conventions, still couldn’t say Boba Fett right. In fact we started calling him Bobbie Fett after awhile because we were all so embarrassed about Tim’s mistake. However, those two words, mispronounced though they may have been, brought me to this episode in a way that I — hey, feet! — never thought possible because like Our Mrs. Reynolds, all he did was throw the pebble in the pond. Give me the ripples. And those are the best episodes of a show like this. Take one extraordinarily strong element, in this case a preternaturally cool, nearly psychic bounty hunter who is able to board their ship from the middle of space and mess with the entire crew and see what it has to say about our people when you add that element.

Now, to get back to River and her feet. Summer, of course, can do a shot like that, which is one of my favorite shots I ever shot, because she’s a ballerina. (River bends down from the waist into the shot) And the idea of creating a balletic sort of whimsical space is another example of her mind. Now she’s talking about an object. And what’s interesting about that object is a, that she doesn’t recognize it for what it is, so she has taken the meaning of the thing away from the thing. To the world outside, that means that she’s like a child with a gun, but it actually means a great deal more than that which she is unable to explain to them because she’s a little crazy. But it’s very important that her experience of that gun, was that it was something benign and not even a weapon, not even anything except y’know part of the nature of her brain. She is very much a part of everything she touches, even while she can’t seem to experience it or explain it exactly, much as I can’t seem to explain her! So what I’m going to do, after our delightful opening credits, is go back even further than the history of trying to make this episode, to talk about my favorite thing, the history of me! (in silly Masterpiece Theater accent) But first our delightful opening credits!

[Opening credits]

And I will tell you something anecdotal that I don’t believe I’ve mentioned before here which is that this song I actually wrote before I wrote the pilot. The day I pitched the show I went home and wrote this song. Wanted to write a little blues song about what it was like to lose the war and either die, be taken up into heaven or go out into space and abandon humanity which is sorta what Mal did. So that’s where the song came from, it informed the show I was gonna write before I’d ever written it, which was a lot of fun. It helped crystallize things for me, it helped me break into the script. And there it is.

[Credits end]

[Act One]

Now we’re going to see the great bounty hunter, with his great musical theme that Greg (Edmondson) wrote very specifically. And it was like let’s go Once Upon A Time in the West. She has a theme, we agreed on violin. He gave me either a bassoon or an oboe for Early here to make him y’know... I was looking for Once Upon a Time in the West, I kinda got Peter and the Wolf. It gives him like kinda almost a fairy story quality which I like very much.

Now let’s go back in time, to me when I’m 16. It was at that age that I became old enough to realize that I had no faith. And very soon after that I had what I can very pretentiously describe as an existential epiphany. And I had it, sort of, almost embarrassingly yet somehow appropriately during a Spielberg movie. I was in London by myself during a school break in the fall when I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Special Edition and something in me kind of snapped. I started to think for the first time in an adult fashion about life, about time, about reality, about dying, about all of the things that are right there in front of us every day, but that as children and often as adults we take for granted or find some easy explanation for if we can. In my case, I was presented with the totality of things, but with no coherent pattern to put them in. I just suddenly understood that real life was happening.

Friend of mine, soon after, when I got back to school and tried to describe this experience, gave me the most important book I ever read, which was Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea. And apart from that and a little bit of the myth of Sisyphus by Camus, I really haven’t read extensively about Existentialism or Absurdism, I don’t want to paint myself as an intellectual. I really don’t know anything about philosophy. But I did know that this book spoke to what I believe more accurately and totally than anything I had ever read. And what it talked about was the pain of being aware of things and their existence, outside of their meaning. Just the very fact of objects in space. That we cannot stop existence and we cannot stop change, that we have to accept these things. And again, if we see no grand plan in them, we have to accept them as existing completely on their own and existing totally. Part of what that means I can’t really explain. I do know there’s a passage in the book that says nothing can exist only slightly. And the protagonist is so overwhelmed by this fact, the fact that every piece of paper he picks up off the ground exists so completely, is so much there, it actually makes him nauseous, it makes his stomach hurt, it’s too intense. For me, it has a kind of rapture to it and I find meaning in objects to be a beautiful thing because I have no plan to put them in. I find the meaning of the object to be within the object, both in however it’s functional and the fact of its existence. A ball is to be thrown, but it’s also just a round thing. The reason I pointed out the planet at the beginning is because we’re going to see that again at the end. The image is mirrored with the superball that the girls are playing jacks with. I did that very deliberately as a sort of classic object in space, a ball, a round thing in motion, going through the frame.

Now right here, we’re going through the ship again, to what is my favorite shot, River listening. This shot here, the Batgirl shot as I call it, I had to shoot four times before I found the right angle. The point of the scene, storywise, is that they are being listened to, below and above, by two people who are outsiders, who hear everything they’re saying, but, and can understand it on a level that even they can’t, since she is psychic and he is so intuitive as to be nearly psychic, yet they also can’t understand a great deal of it because it is just, there’s a synapse in them that is broken. And again I mention the fact that we go through the ship, and I mentioned that at the beginning. The reason for that, that’s something people can do now and they do it alot. You see it in y’know CSI or Panic Room or anything like that. We have the technology. But it’s not something I would ever have done on Firefly — except in this episode and that’s because I wanted to connect the reality of the ship with particularly River and the people in it. Because as it becomes apparent later, River assumes the identity of the ship. She actually becomes the object. Now, the god ship is a concept that’s been in science fiction, Frank Herbert, even 2001, the ship that is more powerful and perhaps more knowing than the people in it. It’s a great science fiction theme, but what I’m trying to do with it is obviously something a little bit different. I’m just trying to get the audience to see people who are relating to the space, the objects only on that level, because ultimately what I’m saying about them is that they do have meaning and it’s the meaning we bring to them, and that’s what makes us so extraordinary. What makes objects so extraordinary is the fact of them. The very fact of them, it’s mindboggling. I believe that whether you have faith or not, to think about consciousness, our ability to understand these things exist and to think about the fact of existence. But what’s equally extraordinary, is our ability to, and I use this word specifically in the show, embue them with meaning. And not just with function. That is to say, we make a gun, a gun is for a thing, that’s something else that Early himself brings up. But to embue them with meaning, the way River embues the gun with a different meaning than Early does. And I didn’t notice when I was writing it that they were both dealing very specifically with guns. I don’t like guns myself, obviously this is an action show and it’s also a western and people shoot at each other. And it’s really cool, for them. Summer herself, that first time she got to shoot those three guys, she had quite an out of body experience. What the hell, it’s fun. But the fact of the matter is that they are grotesque in their function. So the idea that River sees in them something beyond the idea of a weapon makes her a good person and ultimately that’s what this episode does with her and Early. It says these two people aren’t the same. They’re outsiders, they experience things the same way, they’re not these guys. I mean Kaylee, who breaks my heart in this scene, every time, because she’s so the person who just believes and has faith and gets hurt and is decent and you feel what she feels. River and --- thank you very much Book, way to ruin the kiss. Y’know we got cancelled, they never got to kiss! Okay fine whatever --- Kaylee is an emotional in for us, she’s like the narrator, we feel what she feels. Not the same for River, but this episode was designed to show that even though she may have been designed for killing, because she clearly killed those three guys, what separates her from somebody like Early is her heart. That she takes the meaninglessness of things or the disassociative way of looking at them and embues them with a kindness. Even though she may be violent and strange and unpredictable. Whereas Early, who also appreciates things on a very tactile, a very tactile level — also Early’s feet gettin’ some play, just what we’re walking on — very important, even though he does that, he brings pain, brings evil.

[End of Act One]

[Act Two]

He thinks of himself as above the pain that he inflicts, but in fact as River points out later on, he’s bringing the darkness, he’s enjoying it. So what he brings to the party, however his perspective may mirror River’s, is the opposite of what she does and it’s through understanding that that the crew finally accepts her. And one of the interesting things about how Early deals with people, and this was something that I didn’t even realize as I was writing it — my wife pointed it out as she often articulates things that I’ve done and don’t know I’ve done — is that Early has a very specific way of dealing with every character on the ship. He has listened to their conversations and so he understands, he knows enough about them. And he understands that when you are with Mal, you have to take him out instantly, because Mal is a physical threat that is very real. And then y’know he closes up Jayne and Zoe and all the threats. Kaylee’s — I loved decorating Kaylee’s little bunk, I thought that would be so great. Kaylee is someone that he approaches a different way, through a really horrible form of sexual intimidation. This is one of those scenes that y’know...you write and then you worry that maybe you’re not as good a person as you hoped you were. You film this scene and everybody kinda wants to avoid you for the rest of the day. It really is just as creepy as possible.

Later on, we’ll see him dealing with Book. And we’ll see him dealing with Simon. He deals with Book: again, this guy has to be taken out, which gives us a little insight into Book’s character. That isn’t something I realized when I wrote it. And of course he deals with Simon with logic because he understands that the best way to deal with Simon is through logic because that’s the kind of person he is.

Richard Brooks, and I’ll come back to him as a performer, right here, this bit, when he says, "maybe I’ve always been here" — one of the great things about making a show is the collaborative effort that you have with actors. And Richard was, because I’m talking about him now, extraordinary! And understood what I was trying to do, which I explained to him and to Summer, just the way they were going to relate to the space, the why they were talking about it, or the way they were in it. And he gave that line "maybe I’ve always been here" in a different way than I wrote it. He said it as though he wasn’t sure he hadn’t always been there. And my heart nearly stopped when I saw that, because I hadn’t meant to do it that way. He was just supposed to be talking, but his belief that maybe he had was so perfect for the character, it was a great example of the work extending beyond what you hope.

Now, I wanna talk about Jewel again, because how can you not. She did this scene beautifully two times, and then I went up to her and said, okay, those were great, now give me everything, go too far, put it all right on the surface. And she said, "great" — actors don’t get that note alot, that’s fine. And the last take is the only one we used, because, her version of too far, of putting everything on the surface, especially that moment there, is so achingly perfect and beautiful and painful, I can’t say enough about her as a performer. I really just was amazed by what she did there. Y’know, that she had that in her and she was keeping it back because she thought I wouldn’t want all of it.

So, let’s go back for a sec to the process of writing this. Having figured out that I was going to put Bobbie Fed on the ship, I was having some trouble figuring out what would happen. It’s a very simple story, it means quite frankly not that much happens. So, every moment, his journey through the ship is kinda crucial. So what you just saw, him sliding down, what you’re about to see, him getting all spidery on the top of the ceiling, these are all things I went and did because I was having trouble figuring out his progress through the ship. And the great thing about tv, another one of them, is that you have the sets and very often you can just go onto the set and write there. I’m not going to point out that Sean looks really good with his shirt off, but y’know I’m sure some of you may have noticed that. I got many, many, MANY thanks for adding this shirtless scene to the show. But, y’know I’m not above some cheesecake. But, I, having had some trouble, went on to the set, which as you know is built contiguously. The entire top half and the entire bottom half exist, so when you’re on that ship, you’re really on that ship. You go down those stairs, you’re really going down those stairs. And so I sort of worked the physicality of where he would go, which I’ve done before on the Buffy set but what was different in a sense then anything that had ever been. This is a very important point he’s bring up about the room, about the meaning of the thing, if she’s not using it does it have the same meaning. Of course he’s leaving Simon well behind, this concept, just because it’s a little odd to bring up at such a desperate time, but that’s Early’s whole thing. Walking through the set for me was a very tactile experience. It was about climbing up on things and using the set. In a way, y’know that bannister wasn’t made to slide on, those ladders weren’t made to hide on. The bannister that River earlier on is standing on so that she can get near the ceiling and listen to what’s going on upstairs, wasn’t meant for that. These people don’t take objects at face value and that’s what I was starting to talk about when I talked about the myth of Sisyphus by Camus. He talks about the walls coming away, reality revealing itself beyond our understanding of what we’ve shaped those walls to be, my house, my room. In this case, the walls, he mentions how they go out, they literally go away. They do create a particular open feeling and being on that set, you have that feeling. And for the artist, I know that it’s a set. And that it’s, beyond it, is just a stage. So it has a kind of fragility and I want the audience to have that same kind of fragility because beyond it is space. And so, one of the things that I learned, and this was also pointed out by my wife Kai, the extraordinary fragility of things is revealed by how we go through them so specifically. It’s also revealed, that is to say, him going ship to ship, breaking in, we understand, y’know how trapped these people are. How these walls are open to them, yet, y’know god forbid they should actually open. To them it would mean death, to me it would mean the intrusion of reality on my fiction.

So, to go on a little bit more about Early. This is an example of what I love about the character of Early: his knowledge "that’s not a Shepherd", not based on y’know anything he read in a file, not even having actually really seen the guy very carefully, just intuiting that this was a man, and we’ve seen Book beat up a cop, that needs to be taken out physically. And what he says here to Simon is I think kind of valid. He has interesting perspectives on things, which I really appreciate. *** Early You ever been shot?

Simon No.

Early You oughta be shot. Or stabbed. Losea leg. To be a surgeon, you know? Know what kind of pain you’re dealing with. They make psychiatrists get psychoanalyzed before they can get certified, but they don’t make a surgeon get cut on. That seem right to you? ***

Now writing this character...y’know you bring in a sort of larger-than-life, or in this case, stranger-than-fiction kind of villain, y’ know you have to find their voice. And for me that process took a few things. It took obviously, the idea of matching him with River. That was one thing. I have to say, a big influence, I had recently watched The Minus Man, with Owen Wilson giving I’d say the only convincing portrait of a serial killer I’ve seen since Michael Rooker’s. And he had a very serene kind of cheerfulness about him as he went around killing people, but there was something horribly violent in him. And this obviously, by the way, is the sort of the heart of the piece in terms of the meaning and I just think it’s beautifully, beautifully shot. Good old David Boyd. But, anyway, that was sort of in my head to an extent, that kind of again, disassociative, but not angry, violence. And another portion was that while I was walking through, on this very platform, trying to figure out these pieces, including this which is, y’know, one of my other favorite moments in the show. Because when I say that he and River experience things in a more tactile fashion I take it to a completely absurd level here and I love that. While I was doing this, a security guard came and we sort of ran around the ship for what was literally five minutes trying to find each other because it was all so closed off. He didn’t know why I was there on a Saturday, so I had to explain. And I had never met him. Great big fella. And he just kind of started talking about the show, "They gonna let you finish? How’s it going? Y’know it’s a pretty interesting show," and as he was leaving he was just, "Y’know, just have faith in yourself. You’ll be fine." Kind of walked off. It was bizarre. It was a little, sort of...it was a little bit of Early. He just kind of, sort of, walked through things. And that kind of was the last thing to click. Y’know with everything else that I had in my head, he sort of helped me find that character. There was one more thing to be found and that, of course, was Richard Brooks, who is extraordinary. And the moment I heard he was auditioning I got excited, but to watch him do it...the conviction with which he does everything, the extraordinary dry wit, the way he gives things like "am I a lion?" and lines like this...he was just a treasure. We got very lucky with our guest stars, Nathan and I have said that. Never moreso than with Richard, who y’know, owns the screen for a good portion of the time. And he and Sean had a great time together. ’Cause it was a side of Sean we hadn’t gotten to see, really. He’s very sardonic and witty, and kind of, in control of the situation. And so, I can’t say enough about the two of them, and particularly about Richard, who also knew all his lines, which believe it or not, is also a big factor with a guest star. But y’know, ready to try and when I walked him around the ship, as I did with Summer, and she said previously — I love Nathan going all cross-eyed there, he’s always completely in the moment, our Nathan is — she’s mentioned that I played her some music. Which may have been the last factor in sort of figuring out this episode, it was the score to Gattaca, which I listened to incessantly while I wrote. I happened on it, I’d used it before but hadn’t listened to it for awhile. And I actually played some of it for Summer, while we were shooting, as a way of expressing how she as an actress was making me feel, as a director. An extraordinary amount of emotion that I couldn’t quite define and my inability to define what it is that I’m dealing with is kind of the most important part of it. And I apologize for that but there it is.

[End of Act Two]

[Act Three]

I love this sequence because it creates a lovely arc, for the two of them, however much Jewel may have hated lying on the grating, because River, of whom she was afraid, now gives her the strength to confront something more fearsome. And that’s how we get them back together, which I love. The very first time River speaks, we hear her voice as though she’s in the room with them, and that was done —and then the second time you can hear it’s the intercom— that was Lisa Lassek, the editor. She said I tried a little something, I hope you like it. And Lisa always brings something to the party and that was a brilliant idea because, again, the idea of experiencing an object and the idea of becoming an object work really well together. And this was early in the series. A lot of people were able to watch this and actually think that she had become part of the ship. Because they didn’t know...we’d talked about being psychic, they didn’t know how far in science fiction we were gonna go. And the fact of the matter is, psychic was exactly as far as I was prepared to go, she wasn’t going to become a ship. But the idea that you might believe it, makes you look at the ship in a new way, makes you understand her in a different way, and that’s what I was y’know, trying to get at in a large way, besides just having alot of fun. So I bring up the fact that the editor Lisa made it sound like she was in the room, the fact is, she was. When we shot all these scenes, for all of her off-camera she was sitting on an apple box, right on set, giving the lines so they would have something to react to. Richard did the same thing for her when we go to his ship, he did all his off-camera for her right there. It really helped especially when things get emotional to have her right there. And then we had to re-record some of it, y’know we had her go through all of her lines. The fact is she’s just off-camera during all of these shots, there with us. And here’s where we see Early start to lose control of the situation in a meaningful way. When he actually begins to believe she might be the ship. And y’know this is, uh, this is y’know, my, my big problem, is when I try to make a show about a bunch of people and that isn’t about an adolescent superhero, and I inevitably make a show about an adolescent superhero, at least this episode was. And the fact that the captain is peevish with her, yet a little intimidated by her in one of the cutest changes when he gives that look and she calls him on it. And then ultimately does what she says, just as Kaylee does, the fact that the captain is willing to do that shows that both she’s being accepted and that he’s cool and decent. And y’know turns this into y’know, one of my classic stories. This is possibly one of my favorite exchange that I’ve ever written, I’m not even going to talk during it.

*** EARLY You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I’ve ever had to transport. Yet by far the most troublesome. Does that seem right to you? SIMON What’d he do? EARLY Who? SIMON The midget. EARLY Arson. The little man loved fire. ***

Sorry. I just loved that! Gotta give it up for Richard Brooks again, because his dry wit and his hypnotic voice, such a huge part of this episode.

So, some of you have gotta be saying, what’s the point? So, great they look at objects differently, that’s a great thing, that’s an important thing for people to be able to do...who cares? And apart from the no touching guns, that’s repeated from the beginning and the fact that she devises her entire plan so that nobody gets hurt. There’s no shooting, even though it doesn’t work that way, so there is a kind of morality inherent in what she’s doing that is a part of it. The other thing is that, uhm...that there is no moral. That like an object in space this episode exists — it has an emotional arc, it’s a story to be told, I’m not gonna sit there and lecture the audience although I am right now, but, hey, you listened, it’s not my fault! — but that it itself is also just an object.

Now, on Angel, I made a very similar statement when I had him say — realize that he couldn’t count on The Powers That Be, that maybe there’s no grand plan — and Angel had said if nothing we do means anything, then the only thing that means anything is what we do. Now that is the moral implication of a universe that has no meaning. This is more the physical implication, and the ability we have to again embue it with meaning and how glorious or terrifying that is. This little sequence by the way — we shot the entire sequence of him listening and then I said, okay, Richard, it’s not in the script, but I want you to do me a favor, I’m gonna go around with the camera again, go crazy, react to everything she says as intensely as possible. And he just went to town, it was wonderful to watch, ’cause he kind of was like oh, that’s a little strange. I’ll go there and he went there, and then he went there even harder. And intercutting those, y’know, is again, it fits the way we make the show. Again it’s something people do all the time nowadays, sort of things not connecting, but in our case for the specific purpose of showing a fractured mind. The first time I ever did anything like it, again was in such a banal and literal sense as this was, which was with Faith in episode 16 in season 4 of Angel, Who Are You, when she’s played by Sarah, when she’s freaking out after being told "I love you" by Riley. I started using different footage and kind of editing it oddly, y’know, (in funny voice) in NYPD Blue kind of fashion. To give the sense of a fractured mind. So you’ll find that while apparently I’m this big philosophical guy, what I am is an incredible pedant. I’m very literable, literal about everything I do. Or literable, if that ever becomes a word and I’ll be sure to be that, too. We do find emotion, which by the way, Alan sells really well. Whenever he gets sad, I think "oh no!" And the first time Summer was just sitting on an apple box on stage, giving this speech, Jain Sekuler, the script supervisor and I looked at each other with tears welling up in our eyes. She kills me with this, her little strength, and her decency and her aloneness. Aloneness is, and not loneliness, but aloneness, is the most common theme in everything that I feel and do, and hers is so painful and...then there goes Simon, ruining her plan. But then we get to have some nice violence. Well, it’s an action show, y’know.

[End of Act Three]

[Act Four]

But that speech is a sham after all. She’s lying, she’s trying to get Early off the ship. But at the same time she’s speaking the truth and everybody knows it. And it just kind of breaks my heart. Y’know, she is an extraordinary performer in her own right, and y’know, I’ve gone on about it, probably can’t enough. This is a callback to the first time we ever saw the wall of guns in the pilot, and the big...y’know...always adding a little Jayne moment is good. He never does the right thing, always loved that about him. Of course, the pilot hadn’t aired when this aired the first time, so, but people still got the idea.

Can’t say enough — I believe Ron Cobb helped designed that ship. We spent a long time on it. On the ship and his suit. Really wanted that Buck Rogers kinda feel, I mean the strip, not the tv show from the ’80’s. Really wanted something awesome and colorful, yet at the same time believable and that worked out beautifully. This is one of my favorite scenes of Summer’s. I could never understand why — first of all, she looks like she’s filled with joy, she loves space, in fact she was in a really painful harness that she’d had on through lunch, but she still managed to make it seem fun. I couldn’t understand why I loved her in that suit so much, until somebody explained it’s like a snowsuit. It’s just too big on her, it’s like Willow in the Eskimo suit on Buffy. But as much as Kaylee is for the audience, Mal is our audience proxy, so when he loves her and accepts her, we do, even though we already do.

Now, starting right there, from that screen, this is a great big Steadycam oner (as in one-shot). I don’t use a lot of Steadycam on the show. This was partially caused again by the score to Gattaca, which takes you along so hypnotically that you wanna do shots that go on for a long time, but it’s also here for a very specific reason. And the reason is very simply, now the crew is connected. Everybody is connected and they’re all connected to River. And so I wanted to do a shot that encompassed everybody. Showed what they’re going through here. This is y’know...she’s (Inara) said she’s leaving the ship, they’re (Mal & Inara) in a very weird space, and just watch the two of them, it’s a subtle thing. They’re both...just, oops, I can’t, I shouldn’t, I...I...too much, too much emotion. I love that. Needless to say, this take took a lot of takes because it does encompass everybody and having to go up those really narrow stairs and alot of difficult Steadycam work. And every time...a couple of times we got to the end and Summer forgot her line or made a mistake, and Nathan just blew up "Summer!" And we did another take where Nathan blew it right at the beginning, I yelled cut and he yelled "Summer!" Oh, he picked on her, he picked on the girls terribly, he’s the worst big brother anybody ever had. But now we’ve gone through that entire shot and seen that at the end of it is River, meaning she’s a part of them now. And here, we get to the match for the ball, uh for the planet that is, with the ball. Held up in frame, to really just take a moment to experience it. And feel the connection between it and the ship and the world they’re in. And there’s no better statement about mankind’s fate or quite frankly, the fate of this show —

*** Early Well, here I am. ***

— and how we felt, while we were filming it than what he just said. So that really worked on two levels. I had something very specific I was trying to do and I really wanted to share it with you. So, I’m sorry that was probably repetitive, incoherent, and not that anecdotal, but I will say just at the end, how grateful I am to every single person, every single castmember. They came through and gave me, not just one of the happiest filming experiences I’ve ever had, but the chance to say something truly abstract in a story filled with emotion. And well, that’s the best. Thanks. Hope you didn’t turn it off. "