Fringe Televison Talks to J.R. Orci - Part 1 ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Televison Talks to J.R. Orci - Part 1

      Email Post       8/18/2008 07:35:00 AM      

The name Orci comes up a lot when talking about Fringe. Roberto Orci is, after all, one of the Co-Creators, Writers and Executive Producers of the show. So when we stumbled upon, we naturally concluded we'd found Roberto's personal website. It later dawned on us that who we'd found wasn't J. Roberto Orci, but his brother J.R. Orci.

J.R. Orci is the Supervising Producer on Fringe, and the writer for episode 3. He has previouly worked with J.J. Abrams on on Alias as the Co-Producer, and was also a writer on the short-lived series Vanished and Journeyman.

Following the rabbit-hole from J.R.'s Blog will lead you to his Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, and Facebook pages. There are references to Fringe scattered throughout - for example, these Fringe-related tweets:
  • Officially on "Fringe" - March 07, 2008
  • Moooooo? - March 26, 2008
  • Sciiiennnnnnnnce! - April 18, 2008
  • Fringe: Day one. - May 05, 2008
  • Fringe - picked up!!! - May 09, 2008
  • Unleash the cows!- May 15, 2008
  • Proudly donning my Fringe hat. - May 30, 2008
  • Gangbanging 102 outline. Progress! - June 02, 2008
  • needs more Fringy-ness. - June 08, 2008
  • In our new "Fringe" offices above the Hustler store on Sunset. - June 16, 2008
  • Episode 3 is mine enemy. - June 30, 2008
  • In outline hell and only 5 days til prep. NO. ES. BUENO. - July 04, 2008
  • 103, Writer's Draft -- DONE! - July 11, 2008
  • First re-write begins... - July 12, 2008
  • Awaiting Fox 103 notes... - July 16, 2008
J.R. was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions. Here is part one of our interview:

Q: Who wrote the show bible for Fringe, and what exactly is a show bible?

J.R. ORCI: A handful of us were responsible for writing the show bible. It's basically a document that lays out the series for the studio and network. Although there's no specific template for it, it generally includes things like bios and season arcs for each character -- general direction of the series-- a map of the first season's storyline -- the overall mythology of the show -- a description of what the first six or twelve episodes would be -- and a long string of sentence fragments separated by double dashes. I believe the document is sometimes used by the network to help them figure out marketing demographics and things of that sort as well.

Q: How many writers are currently working on the show? How is the work divided up?

J.R. ORCI: We have a staff of about ten writers. The way the work is divided up is pretty straight-forward. The writers' room goes through the process of breaking the rough moves of each story. Once there's a skeletal structure in place, the individual writer/writers of that particular episode split off to figure out the details and write an outline. From there it's just the process of refining until it's ready to go off to script.

Q: What episode is currently being written/shot? Has Fox ordered a full season? Would a full season run straight through like 24, or will there be a mid-season break.

J.R. ORCI: Episodes 105 and 106 are being written as we speak. And we’re currently shooting episode 104. We're still operating on the initial order of 13 episodes, but hoping for the full season pick-up. There's no "extended" mid-season hiatus planned at the moment. But there will be a few breaks in the air schedule scattered throughout our run (can you say IDOL?). This is all subject to change, of course...

Q: Assuming the episodes turn out as good as they are on paper, which episode are you looking forward to watching the most and why?

J.R. ORCI: I'm extremely psyched for episode 102. There is some...unsettling stuff in there that I'm dying to see once all the visual effects are completed. All I can say is -- that episode will not be lacking in the creepiness department.

Q: Are there any sci-fi subjects in Fringe that are "off-the-table", such as time travel?

J.R. ORCI: I wouldn’t say that anything’s categorically off the table. We approach these stories by starting in a place of science reality… Some interesting fact, phenomenon or theory. Then we run with that notion and take it one step further into a hypothetical “what if” sort of place. Given the insane state of science and technology these days – that allows us a pretty wide playing field as far as the stories we can tell.

Q: One of the talking points of the TCA and Comic-Con panels was to establish that Fringe won't suffer from the impenetrability characteristic of Alias and Lost. However, some of the fans like impenetrable, and are now wondering if that means Fringe will lack the depth and complexity characteristic of their favorite shows. Is it an either or equation, and will Fringe ultimately warrant a

J.R. ORCI: Doing a show like Fringe is a tricky balancing act. You don't want to make the series impenetrable to new viewers, but you need to keep the die-hards (of which I count myself) satisfied. I'm confident we can straddle that fine line that satisfies both. There will be serialized threads running through the episodes, and our characters will be very much alive and develop over the course of the series. But aside from that... We will definitely have a deepening mythology running over the course of the season, and there will be episodes devoted solely to telling that ongoing storyline. will have its work cut out for it!

Q: What question should I have asked, that I haven't asked so far...?

J.R. ORCI: You should've asked, "Who's the cow really working for?"

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with J.R. Orci, where we will find out who the cow really works for, and other Fringe related things.


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