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CHRIS BRANCATO CHAT July 15th, 1999


*** Now talking in #auditorium
*** Topic is 'Chat with FIRST WAVE creator, Chris Brancato 6/15 9 PM ET'

<Moderator> Chris, tell us a little about FIRST WAVE.
<Moderator> How'd you come up with the idea?

<ChrisBrancato> First Wave

<ChrisBrancato> Uhhh...simply put
<ChrisBrancato> in 1564
<ChrisBrancato> Nostrodomus pedicted that aliens would lays the groundwork

<ChrisBrancato> for an invasion around the Millennnium
<ChrisBrancato> The First Wave is here!
<ChrisBrancato> They're experimenting on us to see if we can be defeated
<ChrisBrancato> One man knows about this
<ChrisBrancato> Cade Foster...Our hero
<ChrisBrancato> The experim,ent that Cade was a part

<ChrisBrancato> of deteremined how humans handle adversity
<ChrisBrancato> They kill his wife
<ChrisBrancato> drain his bank account
<ChrisBrancato> and he escapes
<ChrisBrancato> Armed with his knowledge he's alerting the world
<ChrisBrancato> But he isn't always believed!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <SirMoro> : I know this may be a clichéd question, but what was your inspiration for the show?
<Moderator> I guess what he means is -- why Nostradamus?
<ChrisBrancato> It's a good question
<Moderator> as opposed, say, to The Four Horsemen of the Appocalypse?
<C
hrisBrancato> I've always been fascinated by shows that explore the human condition
<ChrisBrancato> The Twilight Zone, for example
<ChrisBrancato> This was a chance to explore humans through the eyes of alien intelligence
<ChrisBrancato> Cade is forced to look at us as well

<ChrisBrancato> I'm inspired by the chance to explore the human condition
<ChrisBrancato> It's a premise for a series to do that.
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <GrandLady>: So, that began the groundwork for First wave? How do you envision future episodes going beyond or with Nostradamus?
<ChrisBrancato> Nostradamus has always been a compelling historic figure
<ChrisBrancato> bastardized by the tabloids
<ChrisBrancato> I thought it would interesting to use the a prophet from the past to guide a hero in the present. Like channelling Obi-Wan

<ChrisBrancato> .
<ChrisBrancato> I'll try to use the Horsemen another time!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <digritz>: I was curious why Brancato made his protangonist a thief?
<ChrisBrancato> Another good question
<ChrisBrancato> I iuntially thought of Cade as an "everyman"
<ChrisBrancato> Unfortunately an "everyman" has no skills to fight aliens
<ChrisBrancato> I gave Cade a set of skills that would work for this challange

<ChrisBrancato> Making him a thief was also important because his wife had changed him... so her loss is all the more painful
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Katie> to <Moderator>: Do you believe in all of this alien stuff or do just have an amazing immagination?
<ChrisBrancato> I would have to say that like the rest of us, I'm waiting for evidence
<ChrisBrancato> Hard evidence
<ChrisBrancato> I believe that somewhere it does
<ChrisBrancato> For the purposes of the show
<ChrisBrancato> aliens are a useful enemy

<ChrisBrancato> because they're studing us
<ChrisBrancato> It allows me as a writer to comment on the human condition
<ChrisBrancato> And we're exploring the problems the aliens the have had
<ChrisBrancato> The logistics
<ChrisBrancato> Their genetic husks
<ChrisBrancato> Their addiction to salt
<ChrisBrancato> etc

<ChrisBrancato> How often have we seen sf where the aliens are little green men
<ChrisBrancato> without character development?
<ChrisBrancato> We want multidimensional aliens!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Robzilla> to <Moderator>: Will we see Colnel Grace in Season 2?
<ChrisBrancato> With all due respect, it was decided early in the season that the Grace character didn't work for the show
<ChrisBrancato> It was a pursuit character who could never catch Cade
<ChrisBrancato> She's on the shelf for awhile

<Moderator> Station identification: we're talking to Chris Brancato, the creator
of the new Sci-Fi Channel series, FIRST WAVE. Gotta question for Chris? Shoot it to me, Moderator, as a private message.

<Moderator> <Truffles>: Will the series provide details about all three waves?
<ChrisBrancato> Absolutely
<ChrisBrancato> As the series progresses Cade will learn more about the scope of the waves and the intentions of the aliens for future waves
<ChrisBrancato> The 3rd Wave is the total destruction of Earth
<ChrisBrancato> W hope not to god there
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Robzilla> to <Moderator>: How did you come up with the idea for the Genetech clones?
<ChrisBrancato> The aliens needed to be in human form. I hate aliens in rubber suits on TV
<ChrisBrancato> The question becomes how do aliens tranport themselves
<ChrisBrancato> We choose a digital form sent by a wormhole and downloaded in a husk -- mostly human, but with alien DNA
<ChrisBrancato> The sum total of who they are is in the human brain

<ChrisBrancato> We thought it was a cool idea in a digital age
<ChrisBrancato> Of course some sort of alien had to arrive first to lay the groundwork
<ChrisBrancato> And we can speculate on when that happened
<ChrisBrancato> It wasn't Roswell.
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Bastet> : What was some of the research material used for the show about witchcraft?
<ChrisBrancato> That story was written by Danial Cerone who has written a num,ber of episode
<ChrisBrancato> He's a former journalist. He used the 'net to research the guidebook for Wicca.
<ChrisBrancato> It's a nic e episode
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <kdny1>: Chris -is it true you worked on "Tales From The Darkside"?
<ChrisBrancato> Yes...I must admit that it's true
<ChrisBrancato> My job was to clean the toilets in the studio in Long Island City
<ChrisBrancato> It was my first job in the business. I've been infected ever since.
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Truffles>: What kind of experience did you have working on the X-Files?
<ChrisBrancato> Overall a very good one
<ChrisBrancato> I happend to sit next to Chris before the show aired
<ChrisBrancato> He told me to come in and pitch ideas

<ChrisBrancato> I threw ten his way
<ChrisBrancato> he liked "Eve" best. I worked with Ken Biller on the script, with Wong and MOrgan
<ChrisBrancato> People still talk to me about the episode
<ChrisBrancato> Needless to say, Chris is brilliant

<ChrisBrancato> He's changed the face of scifi tv
<ChrisBrancato> I ow him!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Someone's gonna talk to you about that episode right now...
<Moderator> Station identification: we're talking to Chris Brancato, the creator of the new Sci-Fi Channel series, FIRST WAVE. Gotta question for Chris? Shoot it to me, Moderator, as a private message.

<Moderator> <Katie>: How did you think up the episode "EVE" for the X-files? It was a very intriguing concept.
<ChrisBrancato> Hey! I thought this was about 1st Wave!
<Moderator> Weeel -- ity's about YOU.
<ChrisBrancato> I've always been fascinated with genetics
<ChrisBrancato> and cloning

<Moderator> And also FIRST WAVE,.
<ChrisBrancato> Ken and I were inspired by Levins Boys from Brazil
<ChrisBrancato> We twisted thje concept to fit the X-Files

<ChrisBrancato> It's a scary little episode
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <GrandLady>: So, Chris began as a Nostrdaumus fan? How did you ever get hold of all the 'accurate' quatrains?
<ChrisBrancato> The accurate quatrains are readily available in bookstoes
<ChrisBrancato> We've modified them abit

<ChrisBrancato> I'm not a big fan of Nostradamus Simply he's a compelling figure
<ChrisBrancato> He makes an ainteresting spirtitual mentor
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <DianeDumas> : Chris, is that FBI agent an "alien"? It was eluded she was (careful who you trust) and then it was said she's human. DD~
<Moderator>

<ChrisBrancato> You never know, do you?
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Chris, how involved are you in the day-to-day operations of FIRST WAVE?
<ChrisBrancato> It's a 24/7 job
<ChrisBrancato> I'm responsible for delivering all 22 scripts
<ChrisBrancato> I'm involved in prepping every episode
<ChrisBrancato> casting
<ChrisBrancato> location
<ChrisBrancato> props
<ChrisBrancato> and production and last minute rewrites
<ChrisBrancato> set problesm
<ChrisBrancato> how the show is shot
<ChrisBrancato> and finally the post production, editing, sound, music
<ChrisBrancato> It's grueling
<ChrisBrancato> never ending
<ChrisBrancato> and I love it
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Robzilla>: So the third season could lead to the destruction of earth?
<C
hrisBrancato> One of the things that I promise the fans of this show is taht it will evolve
<ChrisBrancato> So as to what happens later
<ChrisBrancato> I wouldn't rule out the possibility -- although if Cade succeeds he may prevent it
<ChrisBrancato> What you will see is a growing band of his followers

<ChrisBrancato> and attention from humans as to the threat
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Kimmer>: Chris...we love the show and we were wondering what the plans are for next season? Will this show continue on this path or maybe get picked up by a network like FOX?
<ChrisBrancato> Thank you!
<ChrisBrancato> I read the posts on the bbs on scifi and I'm always interested in feedback
<ChrisBrancato> As for a pickup

<ChrisBrancato> the show if committed to SciFi for 66 episodes
<ChrisBrancato> We couldn't be happier!
<ChrisBrancato> The SciFi Channel bel;ieved in this show!
<ChrisBrancato> A network wouldn't do that
<ChrisBrancato> For all the fans out there, we won't get cancelled on scifi!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Is it too far ahead to think "FIRST WAVE: The Movie??"
<ChrisBrancato> From your lips to God's ears!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Station identification: we're talking to Chris Brancato, the creator of the new Sci-Fi Channel series, FIRST WAVE. Gotta question for Chris? Shoot it to me, Moderator, as a private message.
<Moderator> <Truffles>: It must be so heartening to have a three-season commitment from SFC ... have you already mapped out what will happen in season 3?
<Moderator>

<ChrisBrancato> Just a sec
<ChrisBrancato> Season Three...Good quaetion..
<ChrisBrancato> A three year order provides wonderful security
<ChrisBrancato> Lots of character arcs and story lines
<ChrisBrancato> but it's dangerous to get too far ahead
<ChrisBrancato> You might get stuck with a bad idea
<ChrisBrancato> I'm leaving myself open for inspiration
<ChrisBrancato> fan comments
<ChrisBrancato> and bright ideas!
<ChrisBrancato> Ga

<Moderator> <customyo>: will we ever see what the aliens will look like?
<ChrisBrancato> Tune in and find out
<ChrisBrancato> They sure as hell ain't pretty
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <khc>: Mr. Brancato, I have not yet had the opportunity to watch your new show. What one aspect of it do you feel is the strongest -- storyline, individual episode plots, character development, sci fi technology, etc.?
<Moderator>

<ChrisBrancato> That's a tough one
<ChrisBrancato> If I can be so bold
<ChrisBrancato> I'll say the writing
<ChrisBrancato> I think each story functions as a parable

<ChrisBrancato> Our hero is played beautifully and learns more
<ChrisBrancato> each step of the journey
<ChrisBrancato> Hopefull the viewer does as well
<ChrisBrancato> We want to illuminate their lives too.
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Chris, you've had a lot of sci fi writing experience -- The XFiles, The Outer Limits, Beverly Hills 90210... Were you a big sci fi fan growing up??
<ChrisBrancato> I was not an insane fan growing up
<ChrisBrancato> I read some of the masterpieces
<ChrisBrancato> but I'd be hard pressed to say I was more than a layman

<ChrisBrancato> The shopw that influenced me as a kid was the Twilight Zone
<ChrisBrancato> 'The Zone functions as a parable
<ChrisBrancato> I like to think if you strip away teh aliens
<ChrisBrancato> First Wave does too
<ChrisBrancato> A good story, well told, about human beings
<ChrisBrancato> That said
<ChrisBrancato> I can offer hard evidence

<ChrisBrancato> that Brenda on 90210 was an alien!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <DianeDumas>: Chris, some of the scenes in the "fountain of youth" episode were kinda risky, did you have any problems with censors?
<ChrisBrancato> For the most part we do not suffer from censorship problems
<ChrisBrancato> However all broadcasters have standards and practices
<ChrisBrancato> In the case of Elixer there was a shot where a dres rode to high
<ChrisBrancato> her underwear was fleshtone
<ChrisBrancato> it gave the impression of mooning

<ChrisBrancato> it did not please standards and practices
<ChrisBrancato> They edit when that happenms
<ChrisBrancato> and things get choppy

<Moderator> We call that "The Ashley Judd Effect."
<ChrisBrancato> I'm sorry about the edit of footage that was 2 HOT
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Kimmer>: Chris...are you planning on releasing the episodes onto video tapes sometime soon? We would love to share your show with family that dont get the station. :)
<ChrisBrancato> Thanks very much
<ChrisBrancato> WE're currently discussing the realease on video
<ChrisBrancato> I expect it'll be release sometime in the next year...maybe even the special eruro-"blue" episodes, too hot for the US
<ChrisBrancato> There are 5 or 6 of them
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Robzilla>: How did you get involved with Francis Ford Copolla?
<ChrisBrancato> Francis had decided to enter the series tv biz
<ChrisBrancato> I went to him with a couple ideas

<ChrisBrancato> They loved First Wave
<ChrisBrancato> Later as the show became a reality he became a real inspiration
<ChrisBrancato> He loves Sci Fi
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <johny>: are the aliens sexless or is there a gender difference? and will Cade have any romantic interests - female or male or alien?
<ChrisBrancato> The aliens aren't sexless, but on their planet sex is only for procreation. It's painful. Now that they're in human form, sex is pleasurable
<ChrisBrancato> They're having problems with sexual addicts now
<ChrisBrancato> Sex between aliens is strictly forbidden
<ChrisBrancato> We'll see the results of that later
<ChrisBrancato> Cade still carries a torch for Hannah

<ChrisBrancato> But in the future, may not. Cade won't so aliens
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <shel>: Do you or someone associated w/ the show read the bboards here at scifi.com? Ever considering am occasional post to the fans? If any fanfiction develops, would you consider it a source of input for ideas for the show? On the last question, I've heard that some scifi shows like Star Trek: Voyager are willing to do this.
<ChrisBrancato> I read the boards
<ChrisBrancato> I would consider posting, but I don't have time
<ChrisBrancato> For legal reasons I can't solicit specific ideas

<ChrisBrancato> But what our viewers like and don't like weighs heavily
<ChrisBrancato> The 'net is a powerful tool to connect producers
<ChrisBrancato> to viewers
<ChrisBrancato> Do write to us.
<ChrisBrancato> Post on the boards
<ChrisBrancato> We listen
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> <Morn64>: I have heard that Sable from WWF will be appearing in an upcoming First Wave episode as a love interest for Joshua, is this true? and if so, will she be making more appearances as the show progresses?
<ChrisBrancato> Sable will appear in the season two premeire
<ChrisBrancato> We'll learn about a pats relationship with Josh. As for more details...WEatch the episode
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> Final question for the night -- and Chris, thanks for joining us here this evening!
<Moderator> <SirMoro>: ***question*** What are your plans for the future? Are you planning any other series?

<ChrisBrancato> Right now First Wave has me really busy. With your continued interest it'll keep me busy even longer.
<ChrisBrancato> I am developing idea in crime fiction

<ChrisBrancato> Once again, thanks for taking the time to come here, and for your interes in the show.
<ChrisBrancato> It makes it worth working on
<ChrisBrancato> If you feel inbclined...Tell SciFi you enjoy the show

<Moderator> Thanks for joining us for this chat, Chris. Please come back again soon.
<ChrisBrancato> They want to hear that.
<ChrisBrancato> !
<ChrisBrancato> Good night!
<ChrisBrancato> GA

<Moderator> And thanks to everyone in the audience for your great questions and enthusiasm!
<Moderator> A transcript of this chat WILL be posted shortly in the chat transcriptions section on the sci fi website!
<Moderator> Remember --
<Moderator> FIRST WAVE can be viewed Friday nights at 10 PM and 2 AM ET
<Moderator> or Saturday afternoons at 4 PM ET

<Moderator> on The Sci-Fi Channel.
<Moderator> And leave your comments for Chris on the website bulletin boards!!
<Moderator> He reads them:
<Moderator> http://www.scifi.com/firstwave/
<Moderator> Thanks again everyone!