FireflySerenity Surprises Whedon
Saturday 13 November 2004, by Webmaster
Joss Whedon, writer and director of the upcoming SF movie Serenity, told SCI FI Wire that shooting the feature-film version of his Fox TV series Firefly is every bit as stressful as churning out an hour of TV drama every week. "It’s been as stressful, and I thought it’d be less stressful," Whedon said in an interview during a break in filming last summer at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. "I thought I’d be, you know, golfing in between takes and writing sonnets."
Whedon makes his feature-film directorial debut with Serenity after having created and run TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, many of whose episodes he both wrote and directed. With Serenity, he said, "two things have not worked in my favor. One is, although I don’t have three shows to run-and believe me, nothing will ever be as hard as that was-the movie takes up your attention in the way that three shows do. All of the creative energy that you’re usually pouring into telling 20 to 40 stories a year, you’re pouring into one, and you find you need it. You find you wake up in the middle of the night and go, ’His pants are too baggy.’ And it’s important. You have to watch everything so carefully, because every mistake that you make is going to be 40 feet high. Whenever you think, ’Well, maybe that’s good enough,’ I just say to myself: ’Cineramadome.’"
Still, Whedon said, he’s finding the filmmaking process surprising, even after having produced 13 hours of Firefly. "You really are surprised by what you do in a way that you’re not so much with TV," he said. "Because, even though I know these guys-even though [we’re] on Serenity, which are known quantities to me-I’m still surprised, more than I ever have been in TV. I’ll do, you know, 10 takes and watch [them] and go, ’Boy, this first one was better than the one with all my notes in it. Remind myself not to tell him that.’ ... [The movie] talks back to you, and it does it while you’re still making it. In TV, it doesn’t do that ’til you’re done, which is what’s different about it." Serenity, starring Nathan Fillion, is in post-production with an eye to an April 22, 2005, release. Universal is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.