Directing Into the Woods and the end of Riley.
Tina: With Into the Woods, how does it feel to be in the Director’s chair for a change? Were you happy with the end result?
It was thrilling and it was terrifying. I thought I was going to bolt the whole time. Technically, it’s a totally different skill than what you use as a writer.
When you’re writing, it’s fairly solitary and it requires zoning everything out, not talking to people and really staying focused. Directing is entirely about dealing with other people and troubleshooting and being the eye of a hurricane all day long.
So, it was incredibly challenging, but also - when it’s good - it was the happiest I felt ever, because it’s like putting on a live show. You’re in the middle of something that’s incredibly social and creative, which is something that most writers really need and crave.
It was incredibly exciting, it was very difficult, and I discovered a lot of things that I need to learn to do better. Ultimately, I was pretty happy with the results. I thought that the most important thing as a director is to tell the story, not to get caught up in being all fancy just for fanciness sake, so I tried to do that.
Rodolpho Polanco: Were you given any particular pointers on the directing by anyone on the team? Who was the most help?
Well Joss was adamant that I do it. I wanted to do it and I have always dreamed of doing it but I was terrified, ready to bolt, but Joss was incredibly insistent because he knew that creatively I needed to understand that process better so that when he was less involved on the technical ends of things I would really understand every aspect of the show.
So, he was my mentor, as he’s been in many respects, and he walked me through making shot lists, making storyboards and all the technical parts of it. He was on the set for some of the time, but much to my delight - because he he wasn’t too worried for me - he started showing up less and less, letting me do it. By the end of the first episode, I was on my own.
Eilidh: Why was Riley written out? Did Marc Blucas want to concentrate on movies?
Well, he had other opportunities. He had some movie opportunities. But, truthfully the answer it, Sunnydale romance just rarely goes well. Buffy with a boyfriend is not as interesting as Buffy in some kind of romantic strife. Riley, by his nature, was such a good and constant character that we were at risk of things getting a little dull.