An On-line Chat with The X-Files Co-Exec. Producer Paul Rabwin

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IC Pam: Welcome to the Rotunda! I'd like to introduce Paul Rabwin, Co-Executive Producer of the 'X-Files!' and welcome him to the Rotunda tonight as well as thank the Online Gaming Forum for sponsoring this conference. Paul... welcome! Anything you'd like to share with our audience before we take questions?

PRabwin: First of all let me say it's great to be here. But you must trust no one! I'm actually the Co-Producer which is a little diff. from Co-Exec....I do all the work! My main goal is to bring you the best looking and best sounding show on the air. My specialty is post-production and that's a major part of the 'X-Files!' I'd be happy to jump right into some questions...if you don't mind!

IC Pam: That sounds great! The first question comes from PMM11:

Question: Paul, this is Paula M. Since you're in post-production does that me you edit in scenes that might be filmed in other parts of the U.S. with stuff that's filmed up in Vancouver? What was the most favorite show you have worked on besides 'X-Files'?

PRabwin: First of all...most of the show is filmed in Vancouver but we do have stock footage and other material which we cut in to the show. We do that in LA. Part two ... I worked on 'The Streets of SF' in my youth...I really liked that show!

IC Pam: Thanks! Among You has the next question:

Question: Hi, Mr. Rabwin. I was wondering, did David Duchovny get his role in the 'X-Files!' because of his work in the film "Kalifornia"?

PRabwin: Not really...he had done some work on 'Twin Peaks', and 'Red Shoes Diaries'...the casting chief at Fox (studios) thought he would be a star...this was before 'Kalifornia'!

IC Pam: AlyseW has a question:

Question: Will there be any gov. conspiracy episodes, like the 1st season?

PRabwin: Watch next Friday!

IC Pam: Evan Dub has the next question...

Question: What was that "famous" piece of music that you wrote that was on the 'X-Files!''?

PRabwin: read the bio! I wrote the chant which was "sung" by the colony of aliens in Genderbender!

IC Pam: Cemmac has a question related to a previous question...

Question: Did David Duchovny help write this Friday's episode?

PRabwin: David came up with the story idea...pitched it to Chris Carter, and they wrote the story together. Chris wrote the script, however.

IC Pam: Jenni1064 has a question for you.

Question: Any idea when we'll hear for certain about renewal for next season?

PRabwin: We have been expecting to hear any day now. After the Golden Globe, it looks like we're going to get a pick-up for two seasons...25 episodes each year!

IC Pam: Julieschw has a question...

Question: What was your first impression of Chris Carter?

PRabwin: I thought he was a genius..That was in case he's in the forum tonight. Truly...he came off as a normal, everyday kid of guy with a terribly warped mind.

IC Pam: JHartling has a question....

Question: Paul, The show has grown so much in popularity over the past six months or so. Has this affected the daily working on the show?

PRabwin: We feel pressured to keep the quality up. But, can you imagine what fun it must be for me to go to work? The input from AOL has been staggering...and we do listen, trust me!

IC Pam: DUCHOVNIK has a tough question for you... :)

Question: I love the show and the cast. Why is it that their clothes are always so drab?

PRabwin: It rains a lot in Vancouver, and the show is a dark sort of series...we don't have bright colors very often...I like it that way.. sort of creepy.

IC Pam: The next question comes from MattRK:

Question: What exactly are your responsibilities on the show?

PRabwin: I supervise the editing, work with the special effects producer, Mat Beck, supervise the color and all of the sound. When props have to be found in LA, I'll do that too! Occasionally I do some casting but I depend on the other producers to do a lot of that.

IC Pam: Ohhh... here's a question from JudithF95:

Question: My parents were disappointed recently by several errors we spotted. One being that Scully didn't clean the wound. I know if she did there would be no story. Also she didn't back Mulder up. They both go into dangerous situations alone without backup. Why doesn't someone catch these?

PRabwin: Usually it's YOU who catches these! We do try for accuracy all the time but, we ARE a dramatic TV show...and sometimes the need to play out the drama wins out! But we'll be more careful, promise!

C Pam: Jenni1064 has another question..

Question: One of the many things I love about the 'X-Files!' is the beautiful mix of light and shadow. How difficult is that to do? Do things ever go wrong?

PRabwin: Our Director of Photography, John Bartley, just got nominated for a a prestigious award...he is fabulous. In last Friday's episode, the last shot of Wharton inside the coffin was a little too happens. But generally, John's work is superior!

IC Pam: Here's a question from KKWAGNER

Question: How has new technology, i.e., surround, had an impact on your work in post-production.?

PRabwin: It's made things more expensive! Actually, the use of new sound techniques has made our living rooms seem like theaters! We have to pan sounds, and be aware of stereo moments like never before. We do little features each's very exciting!

IC Pam: WCGEMS has the next question:

Question: Do you know if there were any big name stars that were interested or tried out for the parts of Mulder and Scully?

PRabwin: I think the goal was to "find" new stars...Chris had to fight for Gillian...thank goodness he won. David was the brainstorm of Randy Stone at FOX...he insisted he would take off. Yes, sometimes the studio is actually RIGHT!

IC Pam: An interesting question from DrHair:

Question: Are the X-Files just made up or do you get your stories from the FBI?

PRabwin: The MOST commonly asked question in the book. In reality, there are no X-Files at the FBI. But, there are many unexplained cases floating around. We use a reality-based was of thinking...these things COULD be real...or MIGHT have happened. But the truth???? We just a TV show!

IC Pam: Next question comes from Sunshin76:

Question: Congrats on winning (and earning) the Golden Globe Award, terrific show! My question is, who decides the story lines from which you sculpt the show, and when will the focus turn back to some "extra-terrestrial" plots?

PRabwin: Chris Carter is the leader of leaders. His writing staff, and even David, and even I on occasion, suggest ideas. Many come from the news. Some from the Enquirer....(I hope not!)...we'll be getting into some alien areas this Friday...the first of a two-parter.

ICS Mark: The next question comes from Ermie M... Question: Paul, hello! Could you tell me if any of the shows are factual accounts? Or is it mixed fiction and fact?

PRabwin: Mostly fiction...but some shows, like "The Host" with. the Flukeman are based on the possibility of strange things happening. In that case, Chernobyl caused many mutations...could a fluke turn into a fluke-MAN? who knows. A bit of reality, a lot of fiction.

IC Pam: JHartling has the next question:

Question: Hi Paul. You said you're responsible for the look of the show. What do you try to achieve in that area and how do you do it?

PRabwin: A dark, rich feel....not too bright...eerie. Colors are pastel and desaturated. The sound compliments the dark tone of 'X-Files!'. We spend 18 hours on "color correction" achieving this look!

IC Pam: The next question comes from MattRK

Question: The music is extremely good. Can you give us some of the composition background?

PRabwin: Mark Snow has a long history in TV...movies of the week...Falcon Crest, "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow" many other great credits. He started with the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble in the seventies. The chemistry of his work on the synclavier (electronic) and Chris Carters vision was magical. I can't imagine anyone else doing better.

ICS Mark: Here's one from Among You...

Question: Hello, Mr. Rabwin. I was wondering, did David Duchovny get the part of Fox Mulder because of his role in the movie "Kalifornia"? By the way, my name, Among You, came from the X-Files shirt I own--on the back it says "We Are Among You".

PRabwin: David did 'Kalifornia' after he was cast, I believe. He was hand picked by the studio! And please stay among us forever!

IC Pam: A question here from MITCHCAT:

Question: What was the most difficult scene to work on so far?

PRabwin: The waterwall which burst through the door in 'Excelisis Dei' was pretty wild. It had many levels of sound, and the filming of that scene was remarkable...the room was built on a platform, and the camera was attached to the floor...then the whole set was slowly submerged in a giant pool of water on the stage.. shooting the "flood" was an engineering nightmare!

IC Pam: JeniHayde has a question for you...

Question: What is the special effects budget (approx.) per show?

PRabwin: We try to keep Post-production effect around $30,000 per show...but we go over a lot... the practical effects on the set is a different matter!

ICS Mark: Next, Rick 360JG asks...

Question: Are you involved with the computer graphics?

PRabwin: We do some CGI (computer generated images) on certain shows. We did a plane crashing into the trees in 'Red Museum' Of course, most of the "space ships" are CGI...Mat Beck is a great Visual Effects man..

IC Pam: JHartling has a question:

Question: Hi Paul. How did you get into show-biz?

PRabwin: Relatives.

IC Pam: OGF Coord has the next question:

Question: HIya! My name is Andrea.. I live in Maryland and have recognized some of the scenes in the 'X-files' as local landmarks in Washington DC and VA... Are they done on location, or edited in? :)

PRabwin: I went to DC last spring and filmed for two days. Sometimes we will use a stockshot from another production, though.

IC Pam: JMccorm8 has a question for you...

Question: There is a short story in S. Kings "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" that revolves around a Vampire who uses a private plane to move around in. Do you ever use outside authors?

PRabwin: King would be out of our price range! We use outside writers but generally we like to use their orig. material, and have them write the script, too.

ICS Mark: The next question is from XGirl77:

Question: About your music, which episode has it appeared in and what was it?

PRabwin: My big credit was the Chant in Gender Benders...I had six singers (and myself, of course) went for two and a half minutes...very scary.

IC Pam: JMccorm8 has a question for you...

Question: Which episode has taken the longest to complete in post-production?

PRabwin: Probably the pilot because everyone wanted to get their two-cents in. 'Deep Throat', the first episode last season, actually had the most time. There was a lot of CGI in that too. The problem is, most of our shows don't HAVE the time for post...the show is on in two weeks...finished shooting Friday!...Honest!

IC Pam: Paula V32 has a question:

Question: Were the post-production requirements of the two-parter greater than normal and how so?

PRabwin: Not really. We structure the schedule to get on every week in order but sometimes we need material from one episode on Part Two...that can be a problem...I think this one coming up will be tight...but it'll make it!

ICS Mark: MITCHCAT asks:

Question: Where does Chris Carter get his ideas for the show?

PRabwin: Newspapers, the sandbox, nightmares, old I Love Lucys...anywhere!

IC Pam: Scoutgrl has the next question:

Question: Is it true that Mulders sister will be dealt with this season?

PRabwin: TV Guide says its going to happen this Friday.

IC Pam: G FOX Cool asks:

Question: Thanks for the work on 'X-Files', Mr. Rabwin. I was wondering what role your wife had in "Irresistable" and how important you feel the music is to the show. Thanks.

PRabwin: When Scully went to see the counsellor at the FBI, the sign on the door said "Karen Kosseff, LCSW" -- my wife is a social worker...that was her idea . Mark Snow's music is invaluable to the show.

IC Pam: Rick360JG asks:

Question: I've noticed that you have two other FBI-related shows under your belt. Are you attracted to FBI shows?

PRabwin: Maybe they're attracted to me...just coincidence.

ICS Mark: Ok, a question from CmdrMulde,

Question: Please describe the "yatta yatta yatta" commercial David Duchovney was in.

PRabwin: Would you believe that I can't? Sorry...anyone else help me out?

IC Pam: Evan Dub asks:

Question: Will DT ever come back?

PRabwin: Only Chris Carter knows for sure. As he told me before, no one is Dead-Dead! Except maybe Tooms (stretchy-guy).

IC Pam: StephM112 asks:

Question: Will DD be writing more XF episodes?

PRabwin: NOW!!! I'd bet on it!

IC Pam: XGillian asks:

Question: Will there be any more alien-contact episodes like "Little Green Men"?

PRabwin: Most likely...if we get our pick-up...definitely.

IC Pam: MattRK asks another question:

Question: Are scripts from the outside going to be considered any time soon?

PRabwin: All scripts must be submitted by an agent or attorney then they are considered by the development staff at the studio before they get to us.

ICS Mark: Here's one from KKWAGNER

Question: How much ad-libbing is allowed on the set?

PRabwin: David is very funny, and comes up with some Mulderisms on his own. But Chris write good ones, too. Ad libbing is not prohibited...but it's not real rampant, either!

IC Pam: MattRK asks another question:

Question: I know we've seen Scully's family, but will we see anything about Mulder's family?

PRabwin: I guess this Friday is going to be a MAJOR high interest episode!

IC Pam: JMccorm8 has a question:

Question: I think the photography is very good in your show and really adds to the stories. Is this scripted along with the storyline?

PRabwin: Writers often indicate the type of shot required, and the director will set the camera but John Bartley sees that it's lit properly, and balanced well. You can't put that in a script!

ICS Mark: Rick360JG asks

Question: Does Gillian have any story ideas for the show too?

PRabwin: Yeah...Scully takes a little baby named Piper to the zoo and then to Chucky Cheese.

IC Pam: DOOnes has the next question...

Question: Will we learn more about Scully's abduction anytime soon?

PRabwin: I think we will get little hints from time to time...she certainly has flashes on occasion. But remember, we aren't really certain that it wasn't a govt. thing, were we?


Question: What is the most challenging aspect of post-production on the show compared to other shows you've worked on?

PRabwin: This one is BIG! Big sound, great effects (without being too obvious or flashy)...and the care and attention to detail. It's a dream series for making a feature each week!

IC Pam: The4Foxes has a question:

Question: PR - Has there been any dangerous situations that took place during filming?

PRabwin: We had a close call on the episode called "Fire." We don't do a lot of stunts, generally. The weather is rough, makes it tuff to shoot safely.

IC Pam: Mitchcat has the final question before we have the drawing for the free hours... Question: Did anyone anticipate the show being such a big hit?

PRabwin: No No No NO! Whodo thunk it? We knew it would be good! But this is unbelievable!

IC Pam: Great question to end the conference!!!! Now, we've got two hours to give away to two deserving attendees compliments of the Online Gaming Forum. To get there, use Keyword: OGF.

PRabwin: Am I eligible?

FoxxMulder : LOL Paul!

IC Pam: Nope!!! But you get to pick a couple of numbers... How about a number between 1 and 6?

PRabwin: Can I just say before we do this how great this audience has been. I really appreciated the interest...and I hope you each win tonight!

IC Pam: We've got a LOT of questions in the queue... we tried to get to as many as we could. Paul, pick that number!

PRabwin: Due to the interest in 'X-Files', I have to pick the name of our Vampire episode: 3.

IC Pam: Great!!! Now pick another number!

FoxxMulder: Good choice :D

IC Pam: Gonna make this difficult. :)

PRabwin: OK...Trust....No.........1.

FoxxMulder: :D

IC Pam: From where I sit, Among You is the first winner of the first hour. Now, let's pick the second winner! Congrats, Among You! The next winner is Xfiley! Congrats!!! You have each won a free hour to use any time! And that wraps up our conference. Again, thanks to the Online Gaming Forum, and our guest, Paul Rabwin from the 'XFiles! Keep a watch on the Upcoming Rotunda Events for the next conference.

FoxxMulder: Thanks Paul! ;-)

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