Did you feel intimidated, following an episode as important as The Body?
Absolutely. I was so glad, at least in the United States, [that] the episodes aired three weeks apart. There was this nice long lull for people to forget "the genius" and then for me to come up with my follow-up.
To me, the show always is the most affecting - this is just my personal feeling - but the show’s always the most affecting when the supernatural element rings very true to something someone would do or want in their life.
To me, the idea of wanting to defy death is just an inherent, almost mythological, iconic notion. It’s something we can relate to, so any time that the menace or the supernatural thing comes out of some kind of real universal longing, I’m so into it .
I felt that’s what that show was all about. We were just thinking, "If you were in Sunnydale and someone you loved died, you would absolutely call on the forces of darkness." That’s what you’d do, because in that stage of mourning you are not accepting - you are bargaining.
I was really glad that we could go there with our story. It was just a really good episode for me to get my hands on just because those tend to be the arenas that I like to work in.
It was hard to follow Joss, and he as a director is light years ahead of anybody. I don’t even try to, I’m just trying to figure out what eyelines are still and trying to give it a little panache without going overboard. I don’t want to look like a student film-maker either. I just try to tell the story and use the camera when it made sense emotionally, not when it didn’t.
The experience of directing in both cases was hugely helpful in terms of understanding how the show works and how to write. It helped me figure out how to write.