Chris Carter Chat from America On-Line, 3/7/95

Entertainment Weekly's guest for Tuesday, March 7, was Chris Carter, creator and Executive Producer of "The X-Files".

Nktime: Good evening and welcome to tonight's forum hosted by Entertainment Weekly which features "The X-Files" on its current cover. Joining us tonight us from the Vancouver set of the show is Chris Carter, the show's creator and exeucutive producer. In addition to writing several of the episodes of the cult hit, this season he also directed and episode.

Nktime : Chris began his career as a screenwriter in 1985 at the Walt Disney Studios. Previously, he worked as a freelance journalist, writing and traveling extensively abroad. At Disney, Carter wrote and produced several TV movies, in addition to the TV pilot for "The Nanny", a sitcom for the Disney Channel. In 1992, Chris created and developed "The X-Files" for Twentieth Television and he joins us here tonight.

Nktime : Chris, welcome and congrats on a very successful program.

Chris XF : Thank you. Happy to be here.

Nktime : Please remember to send your questions and comments up using the interact with host icon. Akasch has our first question for X-files creator Chris Carter...Question : Any chance of X-Files making it to the big screen?

Chris XF : Yes. I have had prelim discussions with 20th Fox about the movie. But it's still in the talking stages

Nktime : A follow-up question from Akasch from Tennessee...Question : How did you come up with the idea for the X-Files?

Chris XF : For the 1000th time. I was inspired by The Nightstalker series, which I loved as a kid.

Nktime : AmamSi has this question for Chris Carter...Question : Is there an X-Files CD-ROM planned? I think it would be a good idea.

Chris XF : Yes. There are several CD projects being talked about. One is an enhanced CD - with music data. The other is more along the lines of Myst.

.Nktime : A plot question from Autumn....Question : I am wondering if you are ever going to fully examine what *really* happened to Scully during her abduction.

Chris XF : Yes. But we will do it indirectly, small steps. It won't come out all at once.

Nktime : David Duchovny has seemed to develop a following...BreezyDC has this question for Chris...Question : Did you get help pick the actors to play the parts in the show? I think the casting is great.

Chris XF : Yes. I chose David and Gillian. And I, along with the other producers, cast the show each week.

Nktime : Please remember to send your questions up for the X-Files Chris Carter using your interact with host icon. Junk Gun has our next question....Question : Could you give us some information on the planned X-file "spin-off" series.....?

Chris XF : There isn't much to tell. It's still in the conceptual stages. I have an idea what I'd like to do, but it won't be a spin-off per se. More likely, it will be a companion piece.

Nktime : MacWombat has our next question for Chris...Question : Is it definite that we will have a third season?

Chris XF : Unofficially definite.

Nktime : A follow-up plot question from Shamash7..Question : Do you base the plots of the X-files on real stories?

Chris XF : Some X-files eps use factual or current events, but I can't think of a single episode that is based on a real or published event. Does that make sense?

Nktime : Our next question from MaraLinn from Southern Indiana.... Question : I love Mitch P. as Skinner. Are we going to see more of him, particularly his interaction with both Mr. X and CancerMan?

Chris XF : Yes. We are in the process of contracting Mitch Pileggi for a series of episodes. So you will definitely be seeing more of him, both this year and next.

Nktime : Grman, from Mill Valley, CA, has this question for the X-files Chris Carter...Question : How much longer do you want or intend to run the show, CC?

Chris XF : As long as I can. I love writing this show, I love the people who work on it. It's your basic lovefest.

Nktime : FoxxMulde, host of the X-files SIM, has our next question... Question : What direction do you see the show going in next season?

Chris XF : Too early to say. We have plenty of work and scares for you this season.

Nktime : Real Keen has some ideas....Question : What plans do you have in the way of movies and merchandise? An X-Files lunchbox would be keen.

Chris XF : Uh... no X-files lunchboxes planned, but plenty of cool merch in the works.

Nktime : Next from MiaRabki...Question : Did you read The New Republic's analysis of Mulder's charm, and what did you think?

Chris XF : I'm a subscriber, but no I didn't read the article. I did, however, hear about it. I think they called him the Zeitgeist Icon or something. Imagine that.

Nktime : Any advice for would-be screenwriters...CraigN49 has our next question...Question : Tell me Chris how you got your Start, any advise for someone who likes to write screenplays, etc. thanks

Chris XF : Lots of advice, but the important thing is to put your butt in a chair and your fingers on the keyboard. Then all you can do is fail, but that's part of the process.

Nktime : Our next question from HiroProta...Chris XF : Everyday. Who could have imagined this? Not me.

Nktime : WonTon9 has our next question....Question : What does the real FBI think about the X-Files?

Chris XF : They "unofficially" like the show. We were invited to FBI headquarters last year and they were very nice to us. They have also been helpful in our research.

Nktime : More plot dilemmas...Amoxy has this question for the X-Files Chris Carter....Question : Hello Chris, are we going to see more of Scully's brothers and sisters?

Chris XF : Yes. Don't know when, but I'm sure we'll see sis. Maybe bros next year.

Nktime : Kriss1969 from Salem, Mass. asks....Question : How old are you, and did you read alot of Science Fiction when you were younger?

Chris XF : I'm 38. Didn't read much sf as a kid, but did read alot.

Nktime : Rklatt has a question about ratings... Question : We have seen every episode. We love it. Is the rating on the increase?

Chris XF : Yes! We're up something like 50 percent over last year. Maybe better. This is a good thing, because increased ratings help loosen up money to do bigger and better stuff. Oops, I hope Fox isn't on-line right now.

Nktime : A good question from Kelvingto....Question : Have you ever thought of having Darren McGavin as the person who started the X-Files? Since X-Files owes something to Kolchech The Night Stalker.

Chris XF : We've tried twice to get Mr. McGavin on the show. We'll keep trying but his interest is iffy. Can't tell you why. I don't think he know about the X-files or the NS connection.

Nktime : Trekkies look out... YaTahHe has this question for Chris CarterQuestion : When might we see the first X-Files convention?.. and where?

Chris XF : They got something planned for Las Vegas, I think. Dates forthcoming.

Nktime : Our next question from LauraHolt from LA...Question : What was it like, for the episode "Duane Barry," to be able to direct an episode that you wrote and get what you saw in your head on film?

Chris XF : It was nice for a change not to have to see how someone else interprets your material. I have to say that the episode turned out much like I originally pictured it.. Very few compromises. I'm pleased with the way it came out.

Nktime : Our next question comes from ArnoldZif...Any comments Chris?Question : Chris, I am a big fan of the show. But often the episodes are hit and miss, and there seem to be a number of repeats. Is this because the show is too expensive to write for and/or produce to be able to do more shows per season?

Chris XF : Hit and miss? I'd have to respond to specifics on that one. As for repeats, it is physically impossible to produce shows faster than we do. You have to have reruns in order for us to catch up. As it is we do 25 episodes a season. Three more than most shows.

Nktime : The X-Files won a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series and Creator/Executive Producer Chris Carter is our guest. Lavonda from Georgia asks...Question : What did you want to accomplish with XF?

Chris XF : I wanted to scare the pants off people every week with good tight mysteries and intelligent writing.

Nktime : Zgremlin asks...Question : X-Files is interesting because there is a lot of military information that seems quite correct. Do you have a military advisor that is associated with the show??

Chris XF : No. We do most of our own research, though we have just recently gotten a dedicated researcher to start helping us with material. All the military stuff comes from military sources, though I've been slapped on the wrist lately for a few inaccuracies.

Nktime : Our next question from ChaucerV...Question : Will Muldeur ever find his sister?

Chris XF : In year 13 of the series.

Nktime : Omomom has this question...any comment, Chris?Question : It seems as though elements of fear are common in X-File episodes. Can you comment?

Chris XF : If this means that you are often afraid during an episode, then this was the intended purpose or effect. We're just trying to make it scary, folks.

Nktime : Our next question from TIM10 from Rincon, GA, who asks... Question : Are there any plans for Gillian Andersan's character to have more focus in upcoming episodes?

Chris XF : More focus on what? If you mean more exploration into her personal life, the answer is yes, but only in measured amounts.

Nktime : Are there SE-X Files in the future? Star AG asks....Question : We love X-files !!! When are Fox and Dana finally going to get it on?

Chris XF : When hell freezes over.

Nktime : The truth be told....Silesian asks...Question : What is the source of information for most of your stories? Rumor has it you are an alien.

Chris XF : Yes, I am a Pleiadian.

Nktime : Our next question from Night976...Question : One thing I like about the X-Files is that there is not a lot of emphasis on special FX. Do you feel this contributes to better writing since the story is what carries this show, and not the visuals.

Chris XF : Yes. This is both by necessity (tight budgets) and by design. The effects should not eclipse the story.

Nktime : Kriss1969 asks... Question : Are the locations where the stories are set picked at random. There was one episode set in Worcester, MA & I was wondering if something similar actually happened there. I grew up one town away.

Chris XF : I happened to know Worcester, Mass and I thought the location we had looked alot like it. That's why it was set there, no other reason.

Nktime : Karenc161 has our next question...Question : I have enjoyed your show, where do you come up with all of the creative storylines??

Chris XF : Aaah... it's hard to say, they come from a variety of places. Mostly from our sick and twisted minds.

Nktime : SMKMiami asks...Question : Great stories, great music, GREAT SHOW! But why is the continuity sometimes unbelievable... One day our agent is abducted by aliens and the next thing she's back with no explanation?

Chris XF : If you're referring to Scully's abduction, the facts are vague. We don't know who abducted Scully. It very well could have been the gov't. Whatever, she does not remember enough to explore it just yet.

Nktime : Live from the Vancouver set of X-Files, Chris Carter...Ms.E Peel has our next question...Question : Why was Vancouver decided upon as the filming location for the show?

Chris XF : I chose it originally for the great forests. We needed a good forest for the pilot ep. We came back because I love the city and because it works well for the kind of stories we tell. It has a great quality of light, too.

Nktime : Our next question from Ilv2rite from Bakersfield, CA....Question : Which episode has been his favorite?

Chris XF : My fave...? I have several. Beyond the Sea, Colony/End Game, Duane Barry, Sleepless, Fresh bones....

Nktime : Our next question from AnneBrowd...Question : Is there any way to get tickets or passes to see the X-Files shot?

Chris XF : We are not filmed in front of a live audience. The answer is no, but anyone living in Vancouver or who visits here is likely to get a glimpse of us out on the streets.

Nktime : Agent Bet has this question for Chris Carter...Question : How did you find all the fabulous writers for the show?

Chris XF : Looked under a lot of rocks.

Nktime : Several questions on ghosts and haunted houses...Kel Doyle has this question...Question : I love ghost stories. Any coming up?

Chris XF : Not in the traditional sense, but I'm sure we'll have something to satisfy you.

Nktime : Our next question comes from TGF...Any hidden meaning here Chris...Question : Did you give Agent Molder the name Foxx because you knew the X-Files would be on fox? Or is that just a coincidence?

Chris XF : I gave him the name Fox because I liked the name and the ring to it. No connection to FBC

Nktime : AAPRNG asks...Question : Chris do you like all the publicity and will it change the sharp edge the X-files brings to the small screen (big-screen please)!

Chris XF : I think the publicity is good because it helps boost ratings. I don't think it will affect the subversive quality of the show.

Nktime : What do you think of all the online fan interest?

Chris XF : I think the online interest is cool

Nktime : Congrats on the Golden Globe..DLeaphear has this question...Question : How was it like winning the Golden Globe?

Chris XF : It was a complete surprise. If you happened to see my acceptance speech this isn't too hard to see. I was in shock. But it was an honor and a good thing for the show, good for crew morale and it elevates us up there with some very quality shows.

Nktime : Ladnod asks....Question : Have you had a long standing interest in the paranormal and UFO's? If so, how did you acquire that interest? Any special circumstances?

Chris XF : I've always had an interest in weird science generally. I've never had a paranormal experience myself. Still waiting.

Nktime : David Lynch an influence? Brendan H has this question..Question : Your show just came out in video and Japan. My wife and I saw the first 8 episodes last week back to back. It's a real interesting idea. Were you influenced at all by "Twin Peaks"?

Chris XF : I loved Twin Peaks, but the only similarities between the two shows is the general moodiness of the locations. Other than that, I think they are miles apart.

Nktime : Dellphin has our next question...Question : Are the Europeans getting to watch the X-Files?

Chris XF : Yes. I think the show is playing in something like 50 countries Internationally.

Nktime : AnneBurto asks..Question : X-Files is almost unique on TV in that its characters interactions are not oversexualized - unlike most network programs. Did you intentionally avoid this boring pitfall?

Chris XF : Yes. But there was a lot of pressure when I was developing the show to have them do the David and Maddy thing, a la Moonlighting.

Nktime : Time slots can be a problem...GarthBCN asks...Question : Despite X-Files' success, do you think the show has been at all hindered by the Friday night time slot? It's a night when many younger viewers are likely to be out.

Chris XF : I love our time slot. I think Friday night is the best night of the week to be scared. However, there are a limited number of viewers available on Fridays, which is why in the weekly accounting we end up in the middle of the pack. But I think we've been able to change some viewers habits, keeping them home on Fridays. That's satisfying.

Nktime : Is it a tough set to work on or do you all have fun?

Chris XF : The X-files crew is great, but the work is hard. It's amazing that everyone gets along so well, but everyone really believes in the show.

Nktime : Last question: just to recap with some questions on a lot of people's minds -- future direction for the show, videos, movies - what's next?

Chris XF : Movie in conceptual stage, no videos planned. Just more scary shows, from now untill....Thanks for tuning in folks. See you next week with a brand new show!

Nktime : That wraps it up for tonight's forum with Chris Carter, the creator and executive producer of "The X-Files". Our conference tonight was hosted by Entertainment Weekly, whose cover story this week features the show and its stars (keyword: EW). Good night all!