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18 November, 2008 / Erik

Tim Kring Talks “Heroes” History

Last weekend, Heroes creator Tim Kring spoke at Screenwriter’s Expo. I covered it for CBR. Here’s a sample:

Kring says he became a writer “by default.” Originally a photographer, he attended the University of Southern California as a graduate student in the Cinema Department. While there, he chose to direct a film, as doing so was the pinnacle of the program and something of a privilege. “If you wanted to really make the most of film school, you had to try to direct one of the big student films,” he said. Following that student film, Kring took many meetings with executives and agents expecting him to have an idea to pitch. This surprised him, as he expected the executives to have their own director-less projects. “I was laboring under the false impression that I was going to be able to get out and direct with this student film that I’d done. It was really about having a script.”

Knowing that he would need a script to get any work, Kring crewed on other productions while he waited for the right idea to strike him. During that period, he had an opportunity to join the American Society of Cinematographers. “I looked at that opportunity as a fork in the road,” he said. Kring felt joining the union would make filmmaking more of a “punch-the-clock” job and wrote a teen comedy instead.

The comedy sold and eventually landed Kring a spot on “Knight Rider.” He says the show was run by ex-cops by the time of its fourth season and the only story he pitched that they had not yet done themselves was “the car gets possessed by voodoo.” It was the last pitch he had for the show. They commissioned Kring to write the script, and he was paid the standard fee at the time: $18,000. “Short of robbing a bank or dealing drugs, how am I going to make this sort of money [in a single week?]” he joked.

More at CBR.

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One Comment

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  1. redqueenar / Nov 18 2008 11:18 pm

    I can’t (bring myself) click through.

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