By Sara Lynne Wright
MARK GOFFMAN KSG '94 is the showrunner of hit series Sleepy Hollow, in addition to being a producer and writer on White Collar, The West Wing, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Q. How did the SLEEPY HOLLOW writers approach the first season, when you were still getting to know each other?
A. In the writers room, you get to know each other very quickly. We had a mini retreat and worked backwards from the finale. We spent a lot of time talking about elements in the pilot, the characters, our history, and an overarching theme for the season. We asked ourselves: What is the wildest way we can end this season? How can we leave each of our characters near-impossibly perched on a figurative cliff?
By Sara Lynne Wright
CAMERON PORSANDEH KSG '04 is the Creator & Co-Executive Producer of SyFy's Helix.
Q. Where did the idea for HELIX come from? Do you write what you know?
A. I do write what I know, but more often it simply serves as the launching point for the story. I was in the Arctic Circle years ago and two things struck me:
It seemed like the closest to being on the moon that you can be on earth. It was stunning. The landscape was barren and haunting, and I thought someone should do a show set there. The kinds of people who would choose to live there are equally compelling. Werner Herzog did a documentary called ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE EARTH about the kind of people who would inhabit a place like the base on HELIX. I wanted to do a show that took place in the Arctic Circle filled with people on the fringes of society who have found another community among themselves.
By Sanyee Yuan
Q: Your documentary, The Skin I’m In, tells the story of your personal journey as a recovering alcoholic after you were found passed out in the Berlin subway tracks with your head split open. When and why did you decide to tell this story?
A. I had made other autobiographical video works in the past, some short works. I came out to California after Harvard to go to grad school, where I studied production at USC. Much to the shock of many of my professors and colleagues, I then went on to get a PhD from USC as well. To a lot of those people, critical thinking is completely separate from production. I began to make short works that were on a scale of production that was manageable while writing a dissertation, and I turned to using the technology at my disposal and a subject matter that was on call 24/7: me.
The first such short I made was in 2001, called Things Girls Do, which explores the gendered tropes around eating and body disorders. This was in 2001 in a pre YouTube, pre social media, pre Facebook moment. Since that film, it’s become a daily digital ritual for many to confess and reveal ourselves and to perform online. But all of that is instantaneous, with little retrospection or craft. My hope is to restore a sense of political urgency, critical reflection, artistry and play to acts of digital autobiography, using the self to ask bigger cultural questions.
In this film, I use my own experience getting sober and literally and metaphorically transforming my body through tattooing, to ask some hopefully resonant questions about identity and connection in a globalizing, digital world.