Before Firefly, Cheryl Cain wrote the episode "River Dog" for the TV series Roswell and worked as Assistant Production Coordinator on Buffy. Although her television writing experience is limited, she is responsible for the incredible episode "War Stories" for Firefly. She also wrote the unaired script "Dead or Alive." It's a shame we didn't see more episodes from her before the show was cancelled. Undoubtedly they would have been filled with the same humor, disturbing creepiness, and great dialogue that she put into "War Stories."
In December 2002, while Firefly was still on the air, she took some time to answer fan questions on the official Fox messageboard. Here are a few highlights from that session:
"It's so great to be talking to people who love Firefly as much as I do! It's been an amazing experience for me over the past few months working with such incredibly talented people; the crew, the actors and of course the incomparable Joss and Tim."
"I was doubly excited when I got the chance to work with Joss as a writer because I knew the quality of the shows he produced. ... I've been lucky to have been around for the past few months to watch the show and characters evolve!"
"Every character always has their challenges in writing them, but I have to say that Joss and Tim made the job so much easier. Each one of our characters have a very definitive voice. Zoe's tough and wry, Wash's self-effacing and humorous, etc. As far as advice goes, watching the shows you're trying to imitate over and over again is a great way to learn the voices. I've also cassette taped shows before and listened to them in my car as I drove to work. Helped not having the visual distraction. Probably didn't help my driving though..."
"I really love TV writing because of the collaborative process. When they say 2, or 3 or even 5 minds are better than one, they weren't kidding. And to be honest I love all the characters. River's vulnerability, Zoe's strength, Mal's humanity, Jayne's turn of phrase..."
"I've always wanted to write but it took me a couple of years to figure out which medium I wanted to work in. While I was doing that and taking classes on writing I still needed to feed myself, so I thought it would be a good idea to do that by learning a bit more about the business. And even though production is crazy hours I've never regretted it. It's incredible amounts of hard work but also tons of fun."
"I have to say that working for Joss has been incredible for my writing. Just watching the changes he makes in scripts, how he comes up with his ideas and then turns them to make them new and interesting, and how he never settles for less on a script. Even taking it to the ninth hour to make sure it says something, that it is the best it can be. If this was a class, I'd owe him millions for everything I'm learning."
"At the end of the day... my heart belongs to writing."
--Cheryl Cain, the official Fox messageboard
Firefly episode written by Cheryl Cain:
Click here for complete episode information for Firefly.
Click here for imdb listing for Cheryl Cain.
If anybody knows where I can find a picture of Cheryl Cain, please let me know. Thanks!
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