From the AOL Moderated Chat with writer Jay Cappe on May 17th, 1998 from 9-10 pm CST
JayCappe: (listening intently)
DWIOPrecpt: relax Jay..we don't bite...much.....at first....
Timelordz: WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR IDEA FOR BLACK WIDOW?
JayCappe: Ah... figured we'd get to this...
JayCappe: Most of my ideas for the show are given to me by Trilogy...
JayCappe: Though in a very rough "concept."
JayCappe: "Ghost in the Road," for example, was very easy...
JayCappe: It was a vanishing hitchhiker story. That's I'll they gave me.
JayCappe: "Black Widow" was a different beast...
JayCappe: All I got from them on "Black Widow" was: "Nick has a nervous breakdown."
JayCappe: Oh, okay...
JayCappe: So I thought about what would give Nick a nervous breakdown and thought
JayCappe: I wrote a story about a demon trying to "turn" Nick to the dark side,
using a vision of Julia to do it...
JayCappe: And they didn't like that one...
JayCappe: So I started "spitballing" with Mark Stern, president of Trilogy...
JayCappe: We do that a lot when he has the time -- he's terrific, but very busy.
JayCappe: So we started talking about shapeshifters and monsters and vampires and...
JayCappe: Spitballing: Throwing ideas back and forth.
JayCappe: And I think Mark threw out the idea of a Succubus --
JayCappe: --a sex vampire.
JayCappe: I, of course, instantly blurted out "works for me!"
JayCappe: "Black Widow" is significant in it's content for me...
JayCappe: Though I've written sex scenes before, it's the first time anybody has
filmed one so,
um, intense before.
JayCappe: Thank you, Showtime.
JayCappe: And, actually, it was the shape-shifting qualities of the villain that
made the intense
sex scenes possible.
JayCappe: You're not going to find many good actresses that are willing to be so explicit.
JayCappe: Since she looks different each time, you can get a more willing female thespian
to play the part.
Timelordz: NIGHTS4920 WANTS TO KNOW IF SCI-FI CHANNEL HAS MADE ANY OFFERS
DWIOPrecpt: I liked the humerous scenes in Black widow.. "nymphomaniac from ****
JayCappe: To whom? Me?
Timelordz: TO YOU TO WRITE ANY NEW STORIES ONCE THE SHOW GOES THERE?
JayCappe: Well, the offeres won't come from Sci-Fi channel. They'll come from Trilogy.
JayCappe: They and MGM are the production entity. Sci-Fi channel will be like Showtime.
They will give notes on...
JayCappe: ...scripts, but won't be directly involved in the hiring of writers.
JayCappe: And so far I haven't gotten a call from Trilogy about season 4. I'm a freelancer...
I really do wait by...
JayCappe: ...the phone.
JayCappe: /ga (means "Go Ahead")
JayCappe: (and, no, no more nude scenes!)
DWIOPrecpt: bummer Jay! LOL
Timelordz: REPANTH ASKS IF YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE EPISODES YOU'VE WRITTEN?
JayCappe: I think my favorites are "Black Widow" and "Mind's Eye."
JayCappe: Though "Ghost in the Road" turned out nicely, too.
JayCappe: And "Transference" has some genuinely frightening moments...
JayCappe: Overall, my work on the show has been some of the most satisfying I've done in TV.
DWIOPrecpt: you are doing a sequil to "Minds Eye" yes?
JayCappe: Yes, I turned it in a few months ago and they've shot it. I have no idea how it
DWIOPrecpt: can't wait for it!
Timelordz: MERANO ASKS IF THERE ARE ANY SET PLANS FOR NEXT SEASON YET?
JayCappe: You have to understand, I'm not a PtL "insider."
I sometimes see the results of my work the same time you do!
JayCappe: I havn't heard ANYTHING
JayCappe: about season 4.
JayCappe: Trilogy is awfully busy..
JayCappe: Every time I write a Poltergeist, I figure it's the last one...
then I get another phone call out of the blue.
DWIOPrecpt: You finlly found ut they killed Frank...how did you create him?
JayCappe: Yes, poor Frank. You folks let me know about that!
JayCappe: I haven't watched any season 3 yet. I have them all stacked up on tape and am still
JayCappe: planning a big viewing orgy.
JayCappe: Frank was pretty simple. We needed a cop in "Transference" and
Mark said "ya know, we've always intended
JayCappe: to have an ongoing policeman in the show, wanna do that here?"
JayCappe: I said "sure" and that was that.
Timelordz: EVILVIP INQUIRES IF YOUR TYPING YOURSELF OF A SMALL DEMON ASSISTING YOU? ;)
JayCappe: (skimming the audience chat area and watching my friends being silly)
JayCappe: If my five year old son can be considered a small demon, then yes.
DWIOPrecpt: Vip! did you remember to feed Demon Speller before chat???
JayCappe: (hi back atcha all -- hi mom!)
JayCappe: Feed demon speller? Huh?
Timelordz: SIOCAINE ASKS - DOES THE SHOW KEEP A "BIBLE"?
JayCappe: A bible, yes.
JayCappe: Richard Lewis wrote it for season one and it's held up pretty nicely.
JayCappe: Character sketches, concepts -- it had a whole glossary on paranormal terms.
JayCappe: Things changed, though.
JayCappe: There was going to be far more "gadgetry" in the show. They pulled that back.
JayCappe: And, of course, a certain popular priest left...
DWIOPrecpt: And we want that priest back!
JayCappe: Can't help you there.
Timelordz: TIMBERFALLS ASKS HOW CLOSELY DOES THE SHOW FOLLOW YOUR WRITING?
ARE THERE ANY "SURPRISES" YOU DONT KNOW ABOUT?
JayCappe: Heh... yes, there are suprises. Mostly good. It's the nature of the freelance
JayCappe: I turn in my script and a writing staff takes over and makes changes...
JayCappe: Changes creatively and changes because of production.
JayCappe: Like the end of "Mind's Eye" was changed around because it takes
too much time to film eight people in a room.
JayCappe: They had to send some people away.
JayCappe: Also the finale in "Mind's" is very different. I didn't write a possession.
JayCappe: But it's like a house of cards. They had to cut back on the number of
people in the room, but that changed...
JayCappe: ...the dynamic of the scene -- so they started over.
JayCappe: "Man in the Mist" was almost completely changed from my draft.
JayCappe: All the rest stay very close. Closer than any other show I've written for...
including ones I've been on...
JayCappe: ...on staff myself!
DWIOPrecpt: gee, aren't changes fun! LOL
JayCappe: Screenwriting = changes.
Timelordz: RDBERGE ASKS IF YOU KNOW IF THERE BE ANY MERCHANDISING
FOR THE SHOW (BESIDES THE SOUNDTRACK?)
JayCappe: Haven't heard about any merchandising.
JayCappe: It's doesn't lend itself well to action figures!
JayCappe: Though a little plastic Derek would be fun.
DWIOPrecpt: ROFL Jay!
Timelordz: imagine the sales on the Priest :)
JayCappe: Otherwise, I've barely seen any real media coverage of PtL,
let alone merchandising. There's so much TV out
DWIOPrecpt: hehe lots of them Paul!!!
JayCappe: Now if they had kept some of the gadgets in...
Timelordz: GONZODUKE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU FIND IT HARD "SHIFTING" GEARS TO WRITE FOR PTL
Timelordz: ON EWWEK THEN HAVE TO WRITE AN EPISODE FOR SOLDIER OF FORTUNE?
JayCappe: Gonzo Duke would know : )
JayCappe: Yes, I wrote one episode while on staff for SOF...
JayCappe: (Duke worked with me on SOF)
DWIOPrecpt: oh really??
JayCappe: I spent a couple of weeks trying to keep ghosts out of combat scenes...
JayCappe: And really big machine guns out of Rachel's hands...
JayCappe: I can shift pretty easily.
JayCappe: A lot of time it's a matter of being sick of one thing and looking forward
to working on the other.
DWIOPrecpt: Rachel with an assault rifle...hmm.....
Timelordz: Not uncommon ;)
Timelordz: ERIN UTLEY ASKS ANY CHANCE OF DEREK TURNING EVIL AGAIN?
JayCappe: Now, now... leave Rachel alone.
JayCappe: If Trilogy wants him evil, I'll make him evil!
JayCappe: At least this is a show properly motivates "evil" lead character stories.
DWIOPrecpt: a little posession is good for the soul! LOL
Timelordz: RDBERGE WANTS TO KNOW HOW YOU GOT INTO SCREENWRITING?
JayCappe: Ah, writing...
JayCappe: I started playing with cameras when I was 9...
JayCappe: Did a lot of stop motion animation because I was too shy to get actors...
JayCappe: My parents supported me in anything I wanted to do...
JayCappe: So I went to USC Cinema where I wanted to be... an editor.
JayCappe: After SC I couldn't get an editing job if I went out and shot someone.
JayCappe: I was living with a bunch of filmmaker friends who all got into writing.
JayCappe: So I tried writing and got an agent right away.
JayCappe: And my first job a year later
JayCappe: That was in movies. Then I tried TV. I've been lucky to keep working...
it's not easy.
DWIOPrecpt: seems like fate! glad you are writing, Jay!
JayCappe: Yes... I wish you all ran movie studios...
DWIOPrecpt: I'd hire ya if I was!
JayCappe: Thank you.
DWIOPrecpt: First I'd hire a continuity editor for Trilogy.....
Timelordz: WENDOXIA NEEDS TO KNOW...IF YOU COULD WRITE ANY PTL STORY - WHAT WOULD IT BE?
JayCappe: Hmmm... any epsisode?
DWIOPrecpt: oh yeah, any!
JayCappe: I suppose it would be an "end of the world" type show... like the pilot.
JayCappe: A real "oh, man -- we're all toast" kind of thing.
JayCappe: With a heck of a lot more action than normal.
JayCappe: Wierd apocalyptic things happening in the sky.
JayCappe: I'm into that.
JayCappe: Tried to do some stuff like that... it never got past.
DWIOPrecpt: OOhhh...I want to see that!!!
DWIOPrecpt: exactily...what fi they lost?
DWIOPrecpt: if, oops
JayCappe: I like high stakes.
Timelordz: BOBEE WANTS TO KNOW...WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BOOK AND
WAS IT HARD GETTING IT NOTICED?
JayCappe: My first script got noticed fast for some very odd reasons...
JayCappe: I lived with a bunch of screenwriters and directors that all hanged out together.
JayCappe: Some of them quite successful.
JayCappe: So when someone heard that I was "one of those guys," everyone read my stuff
and wanted to meet with me.
JayCappe: This enthusiasm hasn't always stayed... the rest was up to me after getting noticed.
DWIOPrecpt: Like who??? anyone we would know?
JayCappe: My first script was a feature about backwards messages in rock and
roll music turning teenagers into....
JayCappe: ...suicide assassins. It didn't sell, but it got me work.
JayCappe: Yeah, you might know at least one of them... Shane Black.
JayCappe: My friend Fred Dekker wrote and directed "The Monster Squad" and "Robocop 3"
JayCappe: There are others you probably wouldn't have heard about.
DWIOPrecpt: cool1 it's nice to have friend in high places!
Timelordz: MERANO ASKS..IN "TRANSFERENCE" WHY DID THEY
CHANGE THE NAMES OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
JayCappe: Hmmmm... changed names? How would he know?
JayCappe: Usually names are changed just for legal reasons... someone real has the same name.
JayCappe: That's all.
DWIOPrecpt: changed in the credits..I remember that!
JayCappe: Oh, that's just a credit mess up, then. Oops.
JayCappe: It's some guy at a computer with a deadline... probably hadn't slept in a while.
Timelordz: ERIN WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE EVER MET DEREK IN REAL LIFE
AND IF SO- WHATS HE LIKE?
JayCappe: I only met the cast ONCE. At the premiere of the pilot at the Director's Guild Theater.
JayCappe: They had no idea who I was... but "Mist" and "Ghost" had already been shot,
so at least I could tell them.
JayCappe: I met Martin and Robbi. They were very nice -- but it was a big busy party.
DWIOPrecpt: LOL, the writers are so forgotten!
JayCappe: yeah, well... what can you do?
Timelordz: AND FOR THE FINAL QUESTION OF THIS EVENING :)
DWIOPrecpt: Geez, so soon?
Timelordz: ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY STORIES THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?
JayCappe: I'm just about to finish a feature "spec" script. It's what writers do when
they don't have a real job.
JayCappe: I've written about 12 of them (including that "backwards music" one)...
JayCappe: ... and have never sold one.
JayCappe: I've gotten work off of them as examples of my writing...
JayCappe: ...but no one's every bought one.
DWIOPrecpt: awww... :-(
JayCappe: It's always an inspiration to have a friend who's made $4 million on one script...
so I keep trying.
JayCappe: TV has been very good to me, so I'm not unhappy at all.
JayCappe: So, we'll see...
Timelordz: Digital Worlds would like to thank Mr. Cappe for appearing this evening.
All unasked questions will be
Timelordz: forwared to him and he will attept to answer as many as he can :)
JayCappe: I want to thank you all... I'd stay, but I have to put my boy to bed...
Timelordz: PTL on AOL - Keyword Digital Worlds ;)
JayCappe: I'll poke my head into your chat room some time...
JayCappe: But I'm usually not online unitl 11pm Pacifi Time!
Timelordz: Thank you again Jay for appearing with us!
DWIOPrecpt: Yhanks Jay and I'll see ya soon!
JayCappe: Thank you for your enthusasim and support. Now let's all go watch the X-Files!
DWIOPrecpt: X-files are already over here! LOL
JayCappe: DON'T SAY ANYTHING!
Timelordz: I want to thank YOU - our fans to appearing this evening!'
DWIOPrecpt: yes! it was nice of you all to join us!
JayCappe: Goodnight everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!