Here’s The Thing
I know it’s been a very long time since I posted a blog, or book comments. I’m going to skip the books because I didn’t bring everything I read with me, so I’ll have a lot to talk about once I get back in my real office. (For those of you who don’t know, our floors are getting redone, requiring our absence for a month. Two weeks are up! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.)
I visited the set of MIDNIGHT, TEXAS this week because NBC had arranged a press junket. The press represented were a diverse group of bloggers, columnists, and Access Hollywood. It was really preaching to the choir; but it was wonderful how many of them were actually familiar with almost all of my work. That is so seldom the case, which seems kind of crazy, right? But no one was hostile, no one was a smart-ass, and they all asked thoughtful questions that I actually enjoyed answering.
In between all this press activity, my literary agent (Joshua Bilmes) and I wandered around the set. This week is the wrap week for the series, and everyone was very geared up about it. The Midnight street sure looked different from the last time I visited. It seems a disaster had hit Midnight ( a fictional disaster in a fictional town) in the past few days. Sand was piled everywhere, tumbleweeds were lodged against all the buildings, and there were “dead animal” corpses strewn around. This will all have to be cleaned up for the finale. Good luck, guys.
They’ll do it, though. I believe this crew can do anything. It is always amazing to me what an ensemble effort filming a series is. The actors are only the tip of the iceberg . . . the most visible tip. None of this happens by accident. The sets are meticulously designed to reflect the characters of the inhabitants. The wardrobe is chosen, brought to the set, tailored, cleaned (or dirtied) by a phalanx of people, and it’s a huge job. The sets have to be built by carpenters. The lights have to be installed and maintained. The sound people have their own set of tasks. Cameramen. Makeup people. Craft services (all these people have to eat). There have to be people to drive the visitors to and fro. Writers, directors, producers. It just goes on and on.
And after they’re finished working, the special effects people insert their magic.
I’ve remarked on this before, and I may again, but this is the opposite of a novelist’s life. I work in a room alone, and I think of the whole book by myself, and I’m totally responsible for its content. The number of people who work on one short scene (over and over and over) is really unbelievable. And they are working outside whether it’s freezing, hot, or raining.
I’d never do it. If someone told me I’d have to wear two pair of long underwear and five layers to work, I’d say, “Goodbye and good luck.”
It’s the opposite of me. And that’s why it’s such a pleasure to experience this enormous group effort, and to wish everyone involved success. To be the person who sparked this huge thing is kind of scary. And kind of great.