Tonight I had dinner and drinks with Kevin Parks and his wife Jill at their house in Vancouver.
It was missyjack who got the invitation, and permission to invite one tag along... and she invited me.
Being an informal setting, I did NOT bring my notebook - so I'm not going to recount everything that was said... mainly because I don't remember, and also because there was a lot of wine involved.
I also have to be up early tomorrow, because I got a last minute ticket to the location tour. Yikes! So, seeing as how I'm only going to be getting 6 hours of sleep, I better get on with this post.
Kevin was very interesting to talk to. He showed us his director's script and notes for Trial and Error. It was really interesting to see the way they divide the script, and the little notes that he makes along the way...
Dean: I hate you
Kevin's handwriting beside that section: "maybe snorts, maybe not"
The script had layouts of the houseboat, the MOL bunker, Dean's room, the ranch... things I wished I had copies of basically.
He also had the scripts for Lazarus Rising and Frontierland. Those, of course, were his 1st AD scripts, so the notes were different. It was still interesting to see the little things in all the script that we don't necessarily know about... the bracketed ("fuck you") written in Trial and Error before Dean's line "I'm nesting. Eat." The little paragraph about the Dean+Sam hug in Lazarus Rising that says "This is the moment we've been waiting for. Milk it."
I was interested in the different revisions - the new pages that will be a brand new page, because they want to change "You haven't been doing that ESP stuff?" to "You doing that ESP stuff?" or "I'm not letting you do that" to "You can forget about it." Little tiny revisions that some people might think don't make a difference at all, but obviously they do.
It was also great just to hear Kevin and Jill talk about the industry. Jill worked on Supernatural from S1-S5 as a focus puller and camera operator. She did the shots of the dollhouse in Playthings, for instance... but they met working on X Files. Jill talked about having to fight to get the same wages, or even CLOSE to the same wages as her male counterpart, as well as the trials and triumphs of working on the recent Metallica 3D project (not surprisingly, perhaps, Metallica fans can be a disgusting unruly lot.)
Kevin talked about his influences, and much like Jensen, it really all centered around Kim Manners. Jill had worked under Kim too, of course, and they both agreed that he was exacting and really the top person in the industry. Kevin models his directing around Kim, just like Jensen does... just like I'm starting to think everyone who ever worked with Kim does. As the night progressed, and the scotch and wine disappeared, Kevin stopped referring to Kim in the past tense - and it really drove home how much Kim Manners is still alive in some way in the heart of the SPN set. He's still something that unites and drives the cast and crew.
It was all fascinating... and Kevin really does have a mind for facts, canon, and trivia. He remembers everything, and he's one of only three people from S1 that's still around. He pointed out how in Trial and Error, Sam and Dean shouldn't have been able to hear the hell hounds, but that he had to eventually give up that fight and "drink the kool aid" and just go along with the writers for the sake of the story - and the excuse that at this point Sam and Dean have both been to hell and perhaps the veil has been torn enough that they can hear things through it now.
He wasn't afraid to say which actors were difficult and which weren't - though only if they were brought up in conversation. I'll keep that information to myself though, so as to not ruin anyone's image (and also because I know enough about the industry to know that one man's difficult actor is another man's perfectly reasonable actor.) And when he heard that I did the clothing catalogue, he confirmed that Dean's S7 leather jacket was ditched on Sara's orders because it wasn't "bad boy" enough.
And on top of all that, the food was absolutely delicious!
Nothing, of course, was said about S9. Kevin is about to direct episode 5. We saw the leather binder that had the script in it, but we did not see the script.
Kevin wanted to make sure though, that we knew how much the cast and crew appreciate the fans - especially the international fans. If they had to go by domestic US ratings, the show would have been cancelled years ago... but because Supernatural is sold to so many countries world wide, and has such a large international fanbase, THAT's the reason they keep coming back. It's the longest job Kevin has ever had - and without the longevity of the series, he would never have had a chance to direct, which is something he finds he really enjoys. Needless to say, he is extremely grateful to all the fans, and insisted that the rest of the crew feel the same way.
And that's my very quick recap. Also - their dog is ADORABLE and so damn pretty! :)
What is my life? I don't even know.