Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road



MICHAEL LEVINE, Director HERCULES/XENA (BR) [41-51]





Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[41] Mike Levine is one of my favourite directors of all time, period. He directed several XENA eps, including my fave in the series to date, THE QUEST (#37), as well as several eps of an old fave show of mine, FOREVER KNIGHT (well, the first two seasons of that show anywise). His latest project has been PACIFIC BLUE.

[42] Mike was really supposed to appear the next day, but accommodated a last-minute schedule switch. This was not announced very well, so many people who wanted to see him missed him.

[43] Mike brought his "director's cut" of part of THE QUEST, which included the uncut and now infamous "kiss" scene. His version added a little more dialogue to that scene, but honestly, I don't think the viewers suffered too much with the broadcast version instead.

[44] He said Lucy and Renee and Kevin and everyone were great to work with, especially when he had them all together to direct the HERC episode STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD (#H64). Mike was very impressed and happy with the way STRANGER turned out, especially after it left his hands and went to special effects. He thought it was a very fun episode to do.

[45] Someone asked if it was difficult to direct actors in a comedy if they're used to doing drama. Mike said he thought all actors liked doing comedy and he didn't have a problem with it at all.

[46] Mike had his doubts when he first got the script for STRANGER. He asked Rob Tapert how far he should go with the comedy, and Rob's response was "When you think you've gone too far, you haven't."

[47] A cute little girl asked if XENA was based on a true story. Mike seemed to think the girl was sweet too, and had to let her down when he said "No, but we could make it like that." The audience laughed. In an effort to soothe the girl he said "But HERCULES is based on a true story... kinda." The audience got a kick out of that and laughed a lot.

[48] To an aspiring director, Mike advised she build up a portfolio of her work, since most people want to see footage.

[49] Mike confirmed the set in New Zealand was closed, and visitors aren't allowed. But he did say when he was there he saw a taxi driver taking people around and at a distance he saw people standing by the road looking down, which was distracting.

[50] When asked what his favourite episode was that he worked on, Mike said he had a fondness for CRADLE OF HOPE (#04) since that was his first episode and it was a challenge to do the "baby tossing" scenes. But if pressed he had to answer his faves were THE QUEST and STRANGER.

[51] With that, his short appearance was over.


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