Jill Carter is one of the coolest people you’ve never heard of.
Lucky for you, I’m about to change all that. You’re welcome.
Jill is one of those professional types who prefers to let their work speak for itself and so I’m going to give you the cheater notes of her existence and then we’ll let the lady speak for herself, all right?
To begin, Jill Carter is bigger than a bread box. (Yes, that reference is horribly dated, but I like it. Shut up.)
In no particular order (contrary to appearances, I’m a bad boy and a rule breaker extraordinaire) Jill has been a director, script supervisor, producer and writer. I cannot stress this enough, Jill Carter has paid her dues in the TV game, kids.
Don’t believe me? Measure her credits against your arm and then come back here when you’re done, okay?
All done? Good, then we’ll continue.
The bulk of Jill’s work has been as a script supervisor and her credits in that field include Beauty and the Beast, Debug, Wolves, Enemy, The Firm, Rookie Blue, and Aaron Stone to name but a few.
Her directing credits include Chasing Ghosts and Point of No Return episodes of the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast, Little Larry, 3 episodes of Mudpit, ninety-one, 148 and get ready for it, my fellow Murdochians… the MM Season Nine ep, Wild Child and this season’s brilliant offering, Mr. Murdoch’s Neighbourhood!
I told you she was cool. And I’m not just saying that because she was kind and generous enough to slum on my blog. (Though that has certainly earned her a place in my heart forever.)
And now, friends, here is the lovely lady herself to answer a few queries culled from the slightly-dented brain box residing inside my skull.
From Jill’s awesome Twitter account. Get over there, it’s a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes pics and info.
ONE) When we were newlyweds my wife and I had a Sunday night ritual: Dinner on TV trays while watching Kung Fu; The Legend Continues. Decades later, fate has led me to you, a former Script Supervisor for that series. Can you share a tale from that glorious production, Jill?
Sadly I don’t have a lot of stories. I worked on Kung Fu right at the beginning of my career in film and it was one of my first jobs and I worked on the show in the last season. What I can remember is being very surprised how David would say dialogue in a wide shot that was not in the script and would go ok and move on. But when it can to his close up he was completely on book and said what he needed to say word for word!
(The man was an enigma wrapped in a riddle, for certain.)
TWO) A little Prop Monkey told me that Mother Nature proved to be a challenge during your second time in the Murdoch director’s chair; care to elaborate?
Yes the weather was not with on particular day when shooting Mr. Murdoch’s Neighborhood it was certainly challenging for the crew and the actors. You just have to stick at it and be flexible. The grips would put up a little cover in a scenes with Jackson and Anne, it didn’t help sound as the rain landed on the cover but the actors were dry.
We had to play more scenes then originally intended in the tent. It was an especially tricky day for sound – windy and rain landing on the tent. But the last scene of the episode which was originally meant to play outside the tent was played inside and I for one think it works better in the tent. We had fun shooting that last scene and I am glad it ended up in the tent. The one that was the hardest was the first scene in the ep. as it was POURING, Helene was sick and we had to play it outside. Our DP Jim could not put up the lights he needed and the soil was not just clumps of mud which does not look so great when you are trying to cover up a grave.
So as I said before, the key is to be flexible and find a way to make it work. That’s what we all did that day 🙂
(Again, Jill Carter is ridiculously-cool, right?)
THREE) For any of my readers (all ten of them) who may not know, can you sum up what a Script Supervisor does, Jill?
Well I am not a script supervisor anymore. I am a director so I would prefer to talk about directing. 🙂
(My bad. I may have risked offending a honored guest in order to illuminate my readers. As you can see, I have a ways to go before I master this interviewing thing.)
In a nutshell – as a script super you work with all departments but very closely with the dir., AD, camera, actors and editor.
You help make sure the director has all the things they need to tell the story, make sure the actors say and do what is in the script and take all the info down about what kind of shot it is and what is good or bad about that shot.
All the info you take goes to the editor to help them put it together. And so much more. It is a very detailed and all encompassing job that teaches you a lot about filmmaking.
(You see, kids? Learning can be fun!)
FOUR) The Canadian TV landscape is undergoing a period of growth and simultaneously, many media companies are cutting back. How do you see the Canuck television world right now?
Hard to say where I see Canadian TV on a global scale. With Canada there is always the elephant in the room with US being our neighbor.
I can tell you that I am very encouraged by the new shows the networks have been ordering here. I think Canadian TV is starting to take some chances in their storytelling and that is a good thing. We have a lot of great talent in front and behind the camera. I am hopeful for our future moving forward.
“So we’re all in agreement? If The Hook keeps up this 5×5 business, we’re burying him right here.”
FIVE) If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? (Feel free to let your imagination roam and include any reality, if you so choose.)
Well, that question is tough….right now to teleport myself somewhere….a beautiful beach – Panama? Maldives? St. Lucia? I love to travel so I am pretty open to going anywhere I have never been. Work wise travel – pretty open to that too. I am in the very early stages of developing on a project set in Africa so likely I will end up heading there in the not-too-distant future.
And that’s it for International Women’s Day, friends. I want to thank Jill Carter for livening up the proceedings with her brilliance and humanity. And of course, thank you to everyone else for being here.
See you in the lobby, kids…