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Smallville: Bryan Q. Miller talks to Inside Pulse - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville: Bryan Q. Miller talks to Inside Pulse
In part one of an interview with Grey Scherl from Inside Pulse's Comics Nexus, Bryan Q. Miller talks about writing for Smallville.

Nexus: What are some of your personal highlights from your time writing on the show? Any episodes or moments that you’re especially proud of?

Miller: A lot of it has to do with a combination of the writing and how our wonderful actors and production have added to those bits, completing the whole. It’s just words until cast and crew work their magic. Committed – Clark expecting to get electrocuted when Lois says she loves him… and then nothing happens. Tom’s reaction really sells the moment. Hex – Chloe’s speech to Clark, breaking not only the spell placed on her, but on the hero. The Man-love scene at the end of Echo between Oliver and Clark, post suicide attempt. Warrior – the soup can. Sacrifice – Zod and Faora’s final scene together. And easily 95% of the forthcoming “Luthor” airing in December.


I love that he appreciates what the cast and crew bring to the production, how he sees each episode as a collaboration. The moments he mentions are all favorites of mine as well. That scene from Committed with Clark and Lois is amazing, and I can't even count the number of times I've watched the one from Warrior where Clark chucks that can to take out the bad guy while he's talking to Lois on the phone. It still makes me laugh out loud, every single time. Read the full interview at Inside Pulse HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2).

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el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: November 16th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
The scenes BQM mentioned are favourites of mine too! So nice that he mentioned the wonderful cast and crew along with the writers. I can't wait for Luthor!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 16th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Luthor sounds very cool, and his excitement over it is infectious. I feel like the show has been emphasizing Clark's Kryptonian heritage so much that we're losing sight of the role Jonathan and Martha played in shaping the man Clark is meant to be (especially since they're no longer on the show on a regular basis). Superman is unique because of the combination of his Kryptonian powers and his very human morals, and his adoptive parents gave him those. I welcome an episode that explores that.

Edited at 2010-11-16 04:20 am (UTC)
jeannev From: jeannev Date: November 16th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I really love how much credit he gave cast and crew. Something that consistently cheeses me off about the SV writing staff is how hard they pat themselves on the back. And to my mind, they should be thanking the cast for turning their mediocrity into something good.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 16th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
It's funny, some writers are extremely arrogant, and others appreciate all the contributions that go into making a TV episode or a film. When Jessica Alba made that recent remark that was so insulting to writers, I read a lot of comments that were posted on various blogs about it, and I was blown away by the way some writers view their own self-importance. They equated directors and writers to contractors and architects, completely discounting the creative component directors add. And they were even more dismissive of actors, to the point of being bitter that they receive the lion's share of fan adulation. It was a real eye-opener for me.

I do think the writing is the most important part of any good TV show, but there are scores of people, each with their own part to play, who make the magic happen. BQM is my favorite writer on Smallville, and I love his scripts, but what makes the show for me overall, episode after episode, are the actors, and I think they not only make the most of the material, they rise above it on a regular basis.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: November 16th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I can honestly say that I feel no love for any of SV's current writers, though BQM seems like the most likeable of the lot.

But I always wonder what SV might've been with a truly amazing writing staff.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 16th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
When I was watching Ambush, I remembered when Don Whitehead and Holly Henderson joined the show in S7. Their first three episodes were Lara, Persona, and Traveler, and Clark was amazing in all three of them. They became my favorites, but then they went on to write Abyss and Requiem in S8. In S9 I liked Metallo and Crossfire, but not Charade. Now, after hearing how the writing process works on Smallville, it's hard to know how much the writers' hands are tied by the time they are given an episode. More than anything else, I have to blame the leadership, but clearly some writers come closer to seeing Clark the same way I do than others.

But I always wonder what SV might've been with a truly amazing writing staff.

So do I. And if Tom retreats behind the camera when Smallville is over, I will always regret that he so often wasn't given the material he deserved, or allowed to show the true extent of his talent.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: November 16th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right, thats exactly how I look at the writers. BQM wrote some great Clark, but then he wrote Echo, which I sort of hate a lot (and which I thought did Clark no favors). But some writers do have a much better track record with Clark then others.

And don't remind me of Tom possibly disappearing from the screen forever. WAH!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I want to believe he means what he says, that he wants to do it all, but I can't help but worry. :(
legendsinlove From: legendsinlove Date: November 16th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I love BQM. I really do. Overall I've really enjoyed his scripts and I'm SO excited for Luthor. SO SO EXCITED! I hope we get two Clark's on one screen again.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 16th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I love how his Batgirl interviews usually spill over into Smallville as well. I'm a fan of his work on both, so it's a win-win for me. :) I especially like the way he writes Clark, and I'm so eagerly anticipating what he has in store for us with Luthor. Plus I can't wait to see what Tom does with the dark version of Clark!
miss_tress From: miss_tress Date: November 16th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I really need to find a good picture of him. So I can make an icon. So I can use it all the time and fangirl all over him.

BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 16th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
This is the only pic of him I've ever been able to find, but he does look pretty adorable in it! :)



I love him, too, more and more with each new interview I read (and each new issue of Batgirl he writes)!
dawnybee From: dawnybee Date: November 16th, 2010 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the article!

The Man-love scene at the end of Echo between Oliver and Clark, post suicide attempt.

And thank you Bryan for being one of my absolute favorite Smallville writers.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
He really does have a wonderful way with dialogue, and his episodes always make me love Clark even more.
audrey229 From: audrey229 Date: November 16th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for bringing this over.

One of my favorite thing about Bryan Q. Miller's scripts is that he manages to bring offscreen moments to life in a way that no other writer seems to be able to do.

One of the downsides of a show like Smallville is that the drama is always so intense that it's rare that we get a chance to really see what these characters are like in their inbetween moments or down time. I really like the way Bryan somehow manges to fit that in with this episodes. He lets you know what the characters do when we don't see them. And he does it in a way that is so much more vivid than just explaining something with a throwaway line. I always feel like I can actually picture what happened and paint the picture in my head. It gives the audience so much more information about the characters.

For example, I loved the way he painted the picture of Clark bringing Lois home in "Committed." You could watch that opening scene when Lois wakes up on the couch (in the jersey! haha) and you could picture Clark trying to get her home the night before, taking her keys, the hilarious notion of her singing in the car, Lois stripping down in the middle of the kitchen and then Clark trying to take care of her until she passed out. The way Bryan wrote it you could totally picture (at least I could) what had happened.

Then I was thinking about the opening DP scene in Hex and he did the same thing. You had this picture of what life was like on a daily basis for Clark and Lois at work and it filled in so many little details about how close they had become. No one writes scenes like that except for Bryan Q. Miller. And I love that about him. :)

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I know just what you mean. He writes such wonderful dialogue, that is not only captivating and funny and heartfelt, but that tells a rich story without ever sounding like traditional exposition. Plus his words play to the strengths of the actors. Those two scenes you mention are among my all-time favorites, and he gave both Tom and Erica such great material to work with.

I love the way BQM writes Clark, but I also think he does some of his very best work in how he writes Clark and Lois together. I'm no shipper, but I think BQM is. :) This is what he said about the ILY scene in Homecoming, in that podcast interview I linked to the other day:

Those last five minutes are essentially the heart of the show... The spirit of what the show Smallville is about was encapsulated not just in that episode, but specifically in those last five minutes.
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