Interview with AMERICAN HORROR STORY’s Tim Minear

Some people think of him as FIREFLY’s Tim Minear, or even ANGEL’s Tim Minear. But that’s so…last decade!

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– You start your career as an assistant director, can you tell us about this period, and about cinema ?

Really I started out as a PA, or Production Assistant. Which meant I was the lowest form of life on a set. I never made it into being a real assistant director, though I did do stints as assistant director on some non union low budget productions.

– How did you get into the world of the screen writers for tv ? How the profession evolved ?

I wanted to write and direct movies. I made a short film and one of the actresses in it was married to a writers’ agent. He suggested I try writing television. It had never occurred to me before. One way you get into that is to pick an existing show and write a “spec” or sample of that show. I chose, of all things, to write a half hour sitcom. I did a spec script of Murphy Brown. I never did crack the half hour sitcom, which is just as well. I was meant for hour drama. Eventually I specced an episode of The X-Files, which was much more my speed. That sample got me my first job — first “real” job — on Lois and Clark, and eventually got me on The X-Files itself.

– How was your first meeting with Joss Whedon ? And what do you think of his evolution ?

My first meeting with Joss was a disaster. It is famously known that I pitched some Buffy ideas which he really liked, but he thought I was the angriest man he had ever met! I later learned that he told the others in the meeting that he could never envision working with me. David Greenwalt ended up hiring me for Angel and someone I won Joss over. I’m very proud of where Joss has taken himself, though not a bit surprised.

– From 1999 to 2010 you’ve evolved in the Whedonverse! Are you emerged unscathed from this crazy adventure ?

Not only unscathed, but working at Mutant Enemy is what shaped me more than anything else. Will always look fondly and gratefully at that time.

Read it all (It’s in French but an English translation starts about halfway down the page)