Transcript of the DVD Audio Commentary by Gillian Anderson for 'all things'

[Transcribed by: Unknown
Edited by: Libby & X_Follower]

This is Gillian Anderson and this is the audio commentary for 'all things'.

[Scully is getting dressed in Mulder's bathroom.]

When I first wrote this episode, it did not hint at the fact or the notion that Mulder and Scully may have spent the night together. But at some point Frank Spotnitz had come to me and said, you know, around this time in the season we were thinking that it might be a good idea to imply that and it might be possible for us to add it into the script and so that's kind of how it came about that Scully starts this episode basically in Mulder's bathroom putting on her clothes and the insinuation that they have indeed spent the night together.

[Mulder is asleep in bed.]

It's actually quite funny with the, uh, I wanted the rain and the tree knocking against the window outside and there were a few takes that we did where the greensman got overly enthusiastic with the tree and it was like there was a hurricane going on outside (laughs).

[Main titles]

The shot of the water dripping, it was also something... I wanted there to be a continuation of sound, rhythmic sound, that added to the musicality of the show and the first hint of that was the drip. And so it was important that I end up on the drip in that first shot and the faucet and negotiating the camera coming around and the wall moving and the camera getting at the right angle to see the drip and also see Scully go out the door in the background – it was quite an effort.

[Basement office. Mulder is putting slides into the slide projector. He's casually dressed, listening to music: The Sky Is Broken, by Moby.]

I was driving home one night after work and listening to Moby and this song started playing and it was - even way early on in the writing of the episode - it was important that I use it and I was determined that we were going to use this track (laughs). And the more I actually listened to the words and the dialogue the more it fit with my idea that was unfolding for the script.

[Scully has entered the office and reports that a suspicious death was not actually drowning from ectoplasm but the result of over-consumption of alcohol. Mulder is more interested in showing Scully slides of crop circles.]

The whole crop circle idea... I was trying to find something, I think it was important for me early on that crop circles were involved. I wanted whatever Mulder was involved in that took him away from me, away from Washington, to somehow tie into what it was that I was going through - the journey that I was going through in the episode.

[Mulder continues his exposition on crop circles while Scully is more interested in eating her lunch.]

I started researching and asking people to research crop circles and crop circles that had to do with the heart-chakra. It was just interesting how it unfolded, I think Frank Spotnitz helped a lot with the crop circle aspect just in terms of, you know, what would be important to take Mulder away but also something that Scully could eventually find interest in. It was important to that at the beginning of the scene that she'd be disinterested enough or have a certain attitude that they were at odds, it was important to show Mulder and Scully at odds in this episode to juxtapose her relationship with Waterston.

[Mulder realizes she isn't listening and says, "And I'm not wearing any pants right now." After a beat, Scully looks up at him. When he says that she's not listening, she says, "I guess I just don't see the point."]

And it's actually quite complicated where her eventual relationship with Waterston at first appears to have more positive than negative attributes and her relationship with Mulder appears to have more negative than positive because he has pulled her from the medical profession, he tells her to do things or assumes that she will do things whereas Waterston, you know, loves her (laughs). And as the course of the episode goes on we find actually that even though he loves her, he actually has a stronger hold on her in terms of what she should be and should do in her life than Mulder and that it's actually her relationship with Mulder that helps to guide her on some level down her spiritual path.

[Mulder has told her that he's got two plane tickets to England, but Scully says that she's got paperwork to do and then wants to take a bath, rather than "tracking down some sneaky farmers who happened to ace geometry in high school".]

And this moment where Mulder puts the bread burrito down and walks out of the room, I think there was a fishing wire attached to that piece of paper so that when he walks out of the room it falls on the floor (laughs). I love that moment. And also wanting to have that the slides continuing to... that the burrito had to fall onto the slide projector buttons so that they would continue to flash and the light effect was on for the end of that scene. And of course then the beginning of this scene with that rhythmic tapping of the pencil, which also then becomes part of the through-line in the episode and ties us into these suspended moments in time where Scully comes to some kind of realization or she notices there is something that she needs to be paying attention to in these moments.

[Scully is in the hospital, looking at the X-Rays she's been given.]

And I was never quite satisfied with how the pencil effect was working just in terms of how one taps a pencil (laughs). It was never satisfying to me (laughs). It's a difficult thing to do. And also how it slows down, the passing of the medical slides. The woman who actually hands Scully the slides at first, ends up being the same woman who Scully almost hits with the car and it all started just with that one scene where Scully almost hits a woman with a car, actually what she almost does is get run over by a truck and it's this woman walking across the street who saves her life essentially.

[Scully walks down the corridor and stops outside Room 306.]

And then through, you know, the working through of the episode we realized that actually that was the paranormal aspect of the episode that this woman somehow and these moments somehow had to tie into what would eventually be the single paranormal aspect of the show which was obviously important because it's a show about paranormal activity. So we had to play up on this woman's involvement in the episode and initially it was just her, as I said, in that one moment with the car and then we found places where we could continue to add her in to play out that through-line and so she was sitting behind the desk and initially starts the ball rolling by handing me that envelope.

[Scully has gone into the hospital room. A man is lying in bed asleep. A tear slides down his face.]

And here we have Dr. Waterston and the tear. It was really wonderful to work with Mark Snow in the post-process with the music. I had given him a couple of CDs and asked him to come up with something that had certain flavors to it and then we got to sit down in post[-production] and really toy with it and add different, particular kinds of flutes and that pinging sound when Scully first pulls back the curtain and sees Waterston was Mark's idea and really a wonderful effect. I think we played up on it a bit more, even. But he did a tremendous job on the music and just the whole mood of the show. And the music actually became Scully's theme, I think, and continued a little bit into the next season after David wasn't there anymore and Scully being out on her own.

[Scully enters her apartment. The blinds are half-down at the windows and a breeze causes the toggle on the pulley of one of the blinds to swing.]

And here we have the toggle. The weight of the toggle was very very important and I actually had one of these in my possession and I was extremely happy about it (laughs). But it was very important that it had weight to it as it swung back and forth. And the whole figuring out of how to really work these moments, these suspended moments in time where she has an opportunity to make a decision one way or another that ends up affecting her life considerably.

[Maggie Waterston calls Scully and says that her father wants to see her.]

There's interesting dilemmas in shooting and how to make these moments work without making them cheesy or pointing to them too much and I hope we succeeded.

[Scully gets another call – from Mulder.]

Oh, and then having Mulder on speakerphone as opposed to just answering the phone so that we could hear the movie in the background and I had Paul Rabwin find something where somebody says in some black-and-white movie something about breaking my heart.

[Mulder is packing for his trip to England. He asks Scully to make contact with a group in D.C. researching crop circles.]

Yeah, I think, originally, I had David packing the basketball too (laughs) for wherever he was going but it just became too big and bulky, it was kind of silly.

[While Mulder is talking, Scully becomes mesmerized by the swinging toggle of the window blind.]

Here's the moment. I love this toggle. It's a good toggle. Look at all that texture. I love what Mark did with the music and those moments, too, and the worldliness of it. There's something very Tibetan about that kind of gong sound, which was appropriate for this episode.

[Scully tells Mulder that she's out for the evening and suggests he leaves the address on her answering machine and she'll try to get him the data he needs. Later, Scully returns to the hospital.]

That's one thing, there are so many different parts in the process of directing about how to start scenes, how to start openings of scenes and coming off objects and movements and I wanted things to always be in movement and cyclical and the gurney wheel was part of that. So obviously the scene right now is, you know, she walks mistakenly into the wrong room and there is a warm glow and people are obviously sharing love and respect and honoring someone who is in the hospital room and she catches a moment of that. Juxtapose with this very stark, cold, grey room that Waterston is in. And despite of their obvious past emotional connection there is still, you know, everything around it is indicating that it's not the direction she should be going in (laughs) - that actually she should be going towards the warmth and not the cold but it's hard to see those things when one's heart is engaged.

[Scully and Daniel Waterston talk.]

These scenes with Waterston... there was so much more dialogue initially and so much more that I wanted them to say to each other and in fact, in the filming that they did say to each other that we had to take out, almost 10 minutes I had to take out of the episode in the editing process to cut it down to 42 point whatever minutes. And also just in terms of their story together, I didn't want it to be implied that they had actually had an affair. In my story, they were getting close to having an affair, and because he was married Scully ended it and left town and that's when she made the decision to move to Washington and go to Quantico and not pursue the medical profession because it reminded her of Daniel and she loved him very very much but she was distracted by him and she also was not willing to ruin a marriage. And after she left, he completely shut down and became very depressed, and his wife and his daughter thought that he was having an affair and the way that I had originally written it in my tome, I think I initially handed in 72 pages for the first three acts as opposed to, you know, 50 for four acts, and my history of the story was that after she left town, the mother was determined that he had shut down because he was in the process of having an affair and she started following him to work and eventually they blew up and had a fight and he moved out because he wanted to be with Scully and she had moved. And his wife thought that he'd moved in with this woman or was continuing this affair with Scully and went to his apartment one night and confronted him about it and he denied it of course. But she ended up going home and hanging herself above their bed and their daughter Maggie had found her mother's body and of course thought that it was Scully that was responsible for her mother's death. And that's initially where all of her anger came from. So in the taking out of that aspect of the story it was always a little confusing to me as to why Maggie is so angry from the beginning to almost the end of the episode. But there was an aspect of that that we needed to keep in order to have some conflict within the episode and move the story forward, so there was a lot that ended up being missing that I am still obviously emotionally attached to as part of MY story (laughs). But these are the things that, you know, you have to compromise.

[After talking with Waterston, Scully drives away. Her cellphone rings and it's Mulder calling from an airport with details of the person he wants Scully to visit. A woman walks in front of her car, causing Scully to slam on the brakes. It's the blonde nurse from earlier who recognizes Scully. Because she has stopped for the woman, Scully narrowly misses being hit by a speeding truck. Later, Scully arrives at the address Mulder gave her.]

And then there's this huge sculpture that is in the background. You only get a glimpse of it as she walks up but as she's waiting on the doorstep here it was important that from the moment she walks up to the door that there would be a warm light and a golden quality to once again juxtapose against what she experiences with Daniel. And she is taken by it, I mean, she is affected by the warmth, but doesn't know what's going on, doesn't know how comfortable and comforting that feels in comparison. But I also wanted to have sculptures on the porch that were making comforting tingly sounds as she's waiting. And there's this big sculpture we don't see yet that I bought and have hanging outside my home and it's a nice memory of that even though you never actually really get to see it in the show.

[The woman Scully talking to is Colleen Azar who Scully had seen at the hospital earlier.]

And then the dilemma, I keep talking about dilemmas, but they are actually just, you know, little problems that you have to work out in the doing of things. But the slow motion, how... what moment is it that gets her to seeing the crop circles, I mean, it's this moment that she starts to kind of put things together a little bit. She needed to go and do something for Mulder to tie him into the episode and continue to have their relationship moving forward. But it had to somehow tie into her journey, and so at that moment on the porch, how to make it so that she gets to see this picture, that is another step on her journey towards helping to heal not only Dr. Waterston's heart but also essentially her own heart in the process. And so that was that moment on the porch.

[Scully has been called back to the hospital. There is some dispute between Waterston and his doctor about further treatment. Scully backs up Waterston's opinion.]

And then this scene, where we have to show them all at odds, I mean, to show Scully at odds with Maggie and also see Waterston's stubbornness, to exemplify the fact that even though he is a brilliant doctor and someone that Scully at one time and apparently now still cares a great deal for, is a very heavy-handed influence on her life and not necessarily the direction that she should go towards. And I think what was important to me in the writing of the character and the history of their relationship was to make it complicated as human relationships are. Things aren't as – at least in my experience – are not as cut and dried as we would sometimes like them to be. And having Waterston on the one hand be very appealing, and he's got a certain sexiness to him and his intelligence is attractive and their history and their care at one time for each other is attractive, but sometimes that is enough to blind us from the practical aspects of relationships, those things we can attach ourselves to as being enough when in fact if we're able to remove ourselves and step back and come at it from a more centered perspective that has less to do with need and certain ego strokes on one level, that it's actually not something that's right for us if we can pay attention to these lessons and see that we don't have to settle for things that either shut us down or pull us away from the important things in life and the important things to us in life.

[Scully and Waterston talk privately. Scully says that maybe she wants the life she didn't choose.]

Then in the scene, Scully is not able to see that yet, she is very attached to the past and to the love that she had with this man. Mulder's away and she is in turmoil to a certain degree with Mulder and just in terms of what he asks of her and expects of her. It's very confusing for her right now.

[She starts crying and Waterston holds her, her head on his chest. He strokes her hair and she calms until she realizes the beeping of the heart monitor has changed and eventually shows a flat line.]

It's complicated trying to work out this moment where she thinks that... she has an intuition essentially about something going wrong in his heart. But it wasn't a dramatic enough moment for this beat and so it actually... uhm... she ends up being alerted by the machines.

[The machine beeps. An act ends... and another one begins. Scully begins CPR.]

As we come back down, this was all initially one movement... the camera... they build this whole contraption on a jib-arm above, so that we could just do this all in one shot. It wasn't dramatic enough, we had to cut in here and there two inserts, I mean, this is all still the same shot, but every once in a while to heighten – there we go, insert - the POVs of his heart either not responding or responding. Those are some of the things that you have to think about.

[Scully is shouting at the cardiac team. She shocks Waterston again and the monitors show a heart rhythm.]

But the choreography of this initially in the one shot, before these inserts were added, was very exciting. And, you know, there is the issue of having to have a camera over a certain shoulder onto another person in order to... uhm... there's issues about access and where the camera is in terms of where the people are, and who's shoulder it's over... who's... obviously it confuses me, because I can't quite talk about it (laughs), but for some reason I have been able to intuitively know where the camera should be behind somebody's shoulder in order to do what it has to do (laughs).

[Scully has gone back to Colleen's house. The door is opened by Carol. A small chime is ringing, in slow motion, and Scully is entranced by this.]

And here again in this scene where Scully comes back into Colleen's house, once again it was, you know, part of the show was to juxtapose the turmoil and the coldness of Waterston's life and existence with the warmth of this woman who is living in her truth, and, uhm...

[Carol leaves the house, she and Colleen kiss on the lips. Scully tells Colleen that there is something Colleen said previously that she wanted to ask her about.]

You know, I wanted her to have some... initially, the character Colleen was a scientist, as she speaks about, and worked, you know, incredibly long hours and basically that's all she did at the expense of her relationship. Then she gets sick and it's through the getting sick that she learns that actually the getting sick was actually a gift in her life, that sometimes we need to have physical and emotional breakdowns in order to stop us and show us that we perhaps are doing things in ways that are not benefiting our greater selves.

[Colleen talks about energy fields and says there are truths "that have little to do with scientific proof and much to do with faith".]

You know, she then started sculpting, is what my plan was, that, you know, that in not being a scientist anymore, maybe doing it part-time, that she started to pursue her desire to be a sculptor, and even though perhaps the money and the prestige is not the same, the doing of that creative act is what fed her and essentially attributed to her healing.

[A kettle whistles and Colleen offers to make some tea. While she is making the tea, Scully is rotating a sculpture of a ballet dancer.]

But this sculpture turning, and the sculptures in the other room, turning in the wind and the movement and the Japanese feel of the house, and also there's a couple of paintings... there's one right there in the background and also in the living room that a very very good friend of mine, who is an artist, painted and it was important for me to have them about in the house.

[Colleen talks about her job as a physicist, that the thought she was happy but in truth was cut off from the world and from herself.]

I always felt for Colleen in the playing, Colleen the actress as opposed to Colleen the character, in the playing of these scenes, because she ended up... her character is basically all exposition and there are certain things that need to take place in the scenes with her that have to move the story forward and initially our second meeting was in Chinatown. Initially, I had a scene where Scully walks into an Apothecary and she was going to go so far as to actually try and find some alternative medicine, tinctures and salts to help heal Dr. Waterston, when nothing else in the world of Western medicine was working. And she finds herself in this wonderful – in my mind – Apothecary (laughs) with this wonderful old woman behind the counter and initially, right when she is about to leave, a woman comes from the back who's had acupuncture, and it's Colleen and they end up going through or walk through Chinatown, through the streets, having a conversation that had a lot more dialogue in those scenes and less exposition for her and more color and everything, but neither of those things worked out. So... and also the importance of showing her environment and which scenes needed to exemplify that and so the constant paring down of the script became part of the challenge but also a huge lesson in letting go and not being attached to things.

[Scully has gone back to the hospital and is told by Maggie that Waterston is in a coma. Maggie is angry, asking her if she has any idea of the hell she created for them. Scully says that he left to avoid that. Maggie responds that Scully has moved on but they've had to live with what she left behind. Scully leaves the hospital.]

We needed to find a place in town where there was a street that had… showing that she was moving from the left-hand side, the business district, into Chinatown, so I wanted to have a wide shot where the wind is blowing, and paper is blowing and you actually see her making that transition, so she's not all of a sudden in Chinatown or there's not another needed shot of her in the business district, because obviously she's walking out of the hospital... and... uhm... the Apothecary sign. This is... I guess this... so this scene was supposed to take place earlier in the episode and she ends going into the Apothecary and meeting... and seeing Colleen for the first time. We ended up moving it later on and in having to tie in this other aspect, the paranormal aspect of Scully continuing to see this woman, who then just disappears but ends up leading her on her journey in some way. That's how Chinatown came into it.

[Scully has seen the blonde nurse again, and runs after her into a Buddhist temple.]

Now when she opens the door, obviously outside she was in Chinatown and inside we're on one of the stages at FOX and I remember, you know, describing, I think over the phone, to Corey [Kaplan] in the art department what it is that I wanted this temple to look like with the courtyard on the outside and the running water and the big doors and the cushions on the side and this huge Buddha in the centre with some kind of shafts of light coming in front of it, and she drew me a picture and the first picture was exactly what it is that I had envisioned for this space and then, you know, within a few days it was built and in front of me. It was the most miraculous thing (laughs). I was like, "well, hang on a second" (laughs). Things happen so fast in the shooting and, you know, once the decision is made... I remember when we first found Colleen's house and driving home from the site where the house was, and we had decided on the site, and somebody in the transportation department in the back of the van saying, "ok, we bought the house", and that's their term for, you know, renting a house or a location that we're shooting in and it sounded so huge and final and such a momentous thing. I was like, "waaait, wait, wait, I didn't, you know... can I still think about it, can I..." (laughs). But things had to happen quickly in order for them to move and design it in the way it needed to be and set-dressed and...

[Scully has visions, the last being of Waterston, semi-transparent, his heart and blood system visible.]

Oh, the whole special effects thing... and I remember being on the phone once again with John Wash, I think, in the special effects department and trying to describe to him over the phone what I wanted those pictures to look like as they flash by and just trying to put words to what I had in my head was such a challenge. Because they would give... you know, in the terms of the edges being... it was just... it was, it's... um... a lot of patience is involved (laughs) for me. I just wanna go, "Don't you see what I see?? Don't you get what I have in my head and why doesn't this look anything like what I am describing to you?" But it's all, you know, complicated (sighs).

[Scully has gone back to the hospital and has taken Colleen with her and a healer who stands by Waterston's bed, hands outstretched over Waterson. The doctor comes in, unhappy with what's going on.]

Casting-wise, this is Steve Hornyak who is Colleen Flynn's, the actress who plays Colleen Azar, that's her husband and they're both actors. And Azar was actually taken from Edie Azar, a woman who I became friends with... (laughs). I love having the control of being able to choose people's names. And this woman who plays Maggie, actually during the shooting of this scene she had just had a baby and she had a newborn on set with her and during a good portion of the coverage it was time for the baby to eat and so she was actually, in some of it, breastfeeding while the scene was being shot and, you know, before some voice-over you could actually hear the baby suckling in the background (laughs).

[Scully is at home. The Moby song is playing. She's wearing a bathrobe. As she walks through her apartment, the scene changes and she's wearing a dark suit and walking into a hospital room. In the bed is a very sick-looking Scully who mouths the words of the song: "Speak to me". The phone rings and Scully awakens from her dream.]

There were more of those cuts... I think originally of... from one scene into the next. I don't know how many times Scully has been in bed with pajamas and answering the phone. I don't think she has ever worn the same pajamas twice.

[The phone call is from Maggie who needs Scully to go to the hospital right away. Scully does so and finds Waterston sitting up in bed.]

And this scene... I guess a defining moment for Scully, where she, through the course of what she's learned on this journey and where she's been led and the realization that she's come to as a result of paying attention and listening to her own heart and her own needs in her life, is able for the very first time to stand up to Waterston.

[Waterston scoffs at the healing ritual. When Scully points out that it may have saved his life, he doesn't want to talk about it, he wants to talk about what happens next for them. Scully tells him that it's time he took responsibility for the hurt he caused his family, and that it's no accident he got sick as he's been running from the truth for ten years.]

I mean, this episode was really the beginning of Scully on a more spiritual than religious path... and that's a lot of... well, (laughs) as in the fact that I am not a religious person, but I try to be a spiritual person. And her standing up against someone that she cares for very much but who believes in none of it and that Scully on one level feels like she has opened up to a whole other world finally, even in Mulder's absence, that she's opened up to this other world, where she sees the order of things and she sees how one event in life leads to another and the cause and effect and the cyclical aspect of human life, of spiritual life and Maggie in her own way has come to the same sense of peace, you know, not only in understanding that it's not Scully's fault but also her need to confront issues with her father and be in a place of forgiveness and love and wanting to move forward and make things work out.

[Scully is outside the hospital, watching people go by. Again she sees the blonde woman with the baseball cap. She runs after her and catches up with her, touching her arm. As that person turns around, it's actually Mulder wearing a baseball cap with "Stonehenge Rocks" on it.]

This was actually... originally, we shot 3 of these sequences, this being the last, the first being outside of the hospital room, Scully was actually going to leave and stand outside the hospital room and we shot it where the camera encircles her and then dissolves into a shot of her sitting on a pew in church but instead of... she's actually... her hands are placed in more of a meditative way, so she's actually sitting in the church but meditating and... just that leap for her character, I like the juxtaposition of that and what that represented. And then this one, which was time-wise the only one that we could end up keeping and how it, you know, there were certain aspects that we ended up having to keep in order to move the story forward in an unexplainable way that, you know, unfortunately, I wished didn't have to be there because of the nature of... there's a certain cheesiness to it, you know, a certain cheesiness to always be seeing the same woman and where does she go and who is she, and that she ends up being Mulder at the end, but it is a necessity in the doing of certain things that, you know, when you've got 42 minutes you just have to settle with.

[Mulder and Scully in Mulder's apartment. Scully talks about how she considered spending her whole life with Waterston and what she would have missed. She is very tired.]

This scene – I love this scene. But Scully had to be tired enough and slurry enough that it would make sense that she would actually fall asleep by the end of the scene (laughs), which is a pretty tall order, but, uhm, so she mumbles a bit, and, and, uhm, but I love how the music ties into this... I love the fish tank in the background... I love that she falls asleep with her head on his shoulder and he keeps rambling, and... there's just so much care in a way that Mulder looks at Scully and moves her hair to the side and that he covers her with the blanket... [Moby song starts playing] and here we have the through-line of the slow motion and these moments that are so important in our lives, whether we are asleep (giggles), or awake for them, that they are still there. And I wanted this two-shot of them and then the camera to leave them and you're not quite sure if he's leaving or moving her to the bed or what the situation is, but moving over... and Lisa in the set dec. department put the UFO in there, which was such a fantastic touch. and then going down to what it's all really about... [a statue of Buddha on the shelf under the fish tank] and Moby (giggles). And just the editing process, too, of finding that last moment... you know, which moment is it that it goes out... does the music stop before... or does... you know...

[X-Files theme starts playing]

I'd asked Kim Manners to be my right-hand person and was so grateful that he was there. He was from the beginning to the end, he was just an amazing person to bounce ideas off. And he said, "You've got to go home and you've got do your homework and show up knowing exactly where the camera's gonna to go," and I would do these diagrams over the weekend and at home at the end of the night and just set up these huge graphs of where the camera was gonna be and it was because of Kim. Yeah (sighs). That's all I have to say. Thank you for listening.

The End