met Mr. Bould when Mr. Del Grande introduced him to me last October in Halifax. Later I was watching him directing ‘Viva
Lexx Vegas’ during this incredibly hot October afternoon.
We were all dying in the heat, which was made worse by having to keep the
door closed and the vent fans shut off during the shoot.
The hot lights all over the place didn’t help any and we were all
getting cranky. But a good laugh was had by all when Mr. Bould began joking
unpleasant conditions. Between takes, while the lights and cameras were being
moved and adjusted, the studio door was propped opened letting in the feeblest
of breezes from the break area. Mr. Bould managed to ease the tension a
bit, by yelling in mock anger at the lighting guys, “Hurry up! This delay is
letting all my heat out!” We howled. He
kicked us all out shortly after this, so they could move to a hand camera, but
hey, it was fun while it lasted.
theFrey> When did you find time to do the Elizabeth Taylor Special? During
Hiatus? Or after Lexx closed in November?
Bould> It was during one of the times between seasons. While I rarely work in
theFrey> Anything interesting happen on that shoot?
<Chris Bould> It was an interesting experience. While I was at Ms. Taylor’s house looking around for the best spot to shoot the interview, I was amazed at the decor. Hanging all over the place were Van Gogh’s and lots of beautiful photographs from her colorful life: on film sets and with various famous personalities. Shortly after Ms. Taylor came down to talk to me, the bell rang and it was Rod Stieger calling, who is one of my personal acting idols. It was amazing, I of course asked him to be interviewed for the documentary and spent a few hours filming him. He basically trashed the Method acting…he who almost invented it, after his first movie, On The Waterfront. All in all, I think the interview with Elizabeth Taylor went quite well, indeed it lasted for over two hours, which is quite a long time for her actually, bearing in mind that Barbara Walters only managed 30 minutes.
(Ed. Note; Mr. Bould upon further questioning admitted that while
greeting Mr. Stieger he felt like he was in danger of turning into a stuttering,
idol worshiping idiot at any moment. However, he did with much effort, just
barely, manage to maintain his dignity and professionalism. Mr. Bould has a
‘lovely’ accent it was quite a treat to hear him become enthused all over
again while describing the encounter.)
theFrey> You also interviewed Shirley McClain, she plays the ditzy role to a
T, what is she like in real life?
Bould> I think Ms. McClain is terribly bright, but perhaps like all actors,
who spend long hours only interacting with other show business people, she may
be a little different to most people. But it happens you see, with the
hours and scheduling demands acting becomes a vocation, rather than a career.
theFrey> Who were some of your favorite actors to work with?
<Chris Bould> Well Brian Downey is absolutely wonderful, he is generous to a fault with any actor he works with. Also, Tia Carrere from Relic Hunter was a lovely surprise, she is really smart. Just brilliant. I also enjoyed working with one of my all time heroes, someone who was to become a dear friend, Steven McHattie. James Wood was in a commercial I directed and he was also great to work with.
(Ed. Note; You are going
to be seeing the words ‘lovely’ and ‘absolutely’ a lot. They seem to be
very popular English terms, which ‘absolutely’ nut me out, for reasons
having a lot to do with theNeice who recently moved to the Uk.)
theFrey> Who were some of your favorite writers to work with?
Bould> Well I also write, so I don’t really think about the different
writers too often, but the script, along side casting is THE most important aspect
behind the success of any film..
theFrey> How do you view your role towards the making of a program? What do
like to bring into the film?
Bould> I like to bring the human element into a story. I
firmly believe that it's simply a case of Character Matters Above All. If
you will notice, most of the stories I direct have more of a personal
interaction, and rather less reliance on special effects.
theFrey> The pace of productions seems pretty grueling. And since the actors
are expected to show up sick, unless I imagine it would be visible to the
camera, what does a director do when they are ill? I imagine letting actors and
crew wander around aimlessly while a director is sick is frowned upon. How do
you handle this?
Bould> *Laughs* Directors don’t get sick. We just don’t. Part of
it is while you are on a project, you have that all that adrenalin happening and
that helps keep you going. It is like when you have exams in school or
something, you keep going and then fall completely apart as soon as holiday
theFrey> How did you get into the entertainment business?
Bould> I started out pushing film cans to the editing rooms. Then I became a
film librarian, before I started
Film Research. I worked on a great nostalgia series called
Looks Familiar, a show featuring 3 celebrity guests each week, answering
questions on rare film footage/clips from
the vintage days of
theFrey> What did your family think about you going in to the entertainment
<Chris Bould> Well my father who was in the business as a sound man, was not very happy about it. He worked in sound for both film and jazz recordings, and understood how hard the business really was.
Note; When I asked how his mother felt, Mr. Bould just laughed. It seems,
that like many of us, that Mr. Bould comes from a blended family, with all that
goes with that situation. I asked him if his family of many step-whatevers was
like mine, putting the ‘Fun’ in dysfunctional. He laughed at that and said
that was it exactly, and that he would have to remember that phrase for
describing his family.)
theFrey> What other kinds of work have you done while trying to break into
Bould> Nothing really, my first real job was pushing tins of films around,
and I have never since worked outside of the industry.
theFrey> Did you or do you ever take a break from directing to work in a
different field or area? If so doing what?
Bould> Not really, I once had my own
production Company, called Stand & Deliver, where I did produce as well.
Producing is less about the creative side, which is what I enjoy most: working
through scripts, casting, working with actors, editing etc. Producing kept me in
the office too long! Many people have no idea what a producer does, and the job
itself can change from project to project. And I write a bit, so that is
different, but I have always stayed in the industry.
theFrey> What is the most important trait for a director to have?
Bould> Communications skills. Not just with the actors, but with everybody. I
like to know the names of everyone who works with me. I had some excellent crew
working on the episodes of Lexx that I did. They simply performed miracles week
after week. It was important that I was
able to let them know what I was looking for within the frame work of the set
design, or shots I wanted.
theFrey> Is there anyone in particular you would really like to work with?
Bould> Well I would love to work with Billy Bob Thornton,
or Sean Penn. I think Sean is underrated by a lot of people, but he is an
absolutely brilliant actor.
theFrey> You have been on lots of location shots, where has been your
favorite and why?
theFrey> What has been your favorite show/movie to direct that hasn’t been
Lexx related? And why?
Bould> I really liked doing ‘Emily of New Moon’, which was also another
Salter Street Production. It was a great show, and was nominated for a Gemini, so
that helped. But in all honesty,
I have the greatest job in the world, and it's all about how you approach it.
The truth is, there is rarely a show I don't enjoy.
theFrey> Do you have any hobbies? And if so how do you peruse them when
Bould> Well, when I am not directing I work on various writing projects.
Including one I am hoping to do in
theFrey> Have you ever been handed a script and wondered what on earth am I
suppose to do with this?
<Chris Bould> Well yes, I suppose every director has that happen to them.
Note; He did mention later that ‘White Trash’ was the first ep he did
for Lexx, and that if it had not been his first ep, he would have pressed for
theFrey> What should we keep our eyes open for in the near future that you
Bould> Well I have done a few episodes for ‘Relic Hunter’, the star Tia
Carrere was so happy with the results that she has asked him to come back
if/when there is a season 4.
theFrey> Do you still live in England?
Bould> Yes, I like to spend time with my family in England between shooting
assignments. While my schedule is totally brutal when I am working, in between
assignments I enjoy spending uninterrupted stretches with my family and friends.
Catching up with my bills and fixing up my house. I’m lucky, because I get to
spend enough time at home to get good and really bored, which makes me excited
about my next project. I am really keen to work again in
theFrey> How did you end up in Canada?
Bould>I cast Stephen McHattie in the movie I shot in Ireland, My Friend Joe. We
had such a blast together that he recommended me to the producers of ‘Emily of
New Moon’ which went really well and was nominated for a Gemini Award.
I really liked the show, and would have continued, but the director had to be
Canadian, so they asked me if I would like to work on Lexx. (Ed.
Note; This may be related to changes in the way Canadian grant money was
awarded for domestic television production.)
theFrey> How hard is it to direct a program that has a lot of CGI in it?
Bould> Well, I must confess, working with green screen is not my favorite thing.
As I said, I like to focus on the characters not so much the special effects.
They say that comedy is the hardest thing to do. Well, not only has LEXX lots of
comedy moments, but it's science fiction and a relentless schedule. It's perhaps
the hardest of any type of show to direct!
theFrey> What are the special challenges CGI presents? And how do you get the
cast and crew past them?
Bould> CGI gives you less to work with for the actors, if you’ll notice the
sets on the episodes I direct are a little more substantial than in other
episodes. I like to have a bit more on my sets for the actors to work around.
theFrey> While we were in Halifax, there were occasions when the steady pace
of filming seemed to get bogged down and there would many pauses for discussions
about how scenes should be staged or changed. Did this happen often?
Bould> One of the problems with the Viva Lexx Vegas ep, was that we were
literally given the episode hours before it was to start filming. Which made it
very difficult on every one, including the
crew. I am always astonished that they
are able to pull off such miracles, they are absolutely just bloody amazing. Bruno, the scenic artist did such fabulous work, even when time was
so short. Many times he and his
department had to use hair dryers on the paint because there wasn’t
time to let it dry on its own. Just great work. Sometimes that lack of prep
time is a bad thing because it got to be expected of us
all, particularly me. It is kind of a ‘well you made it work last
week’ kind of mentality. Which of course is very difficult to maintain.
theFrey> When it did happen how did it affect your schedule? And what steps
(if any) did you or could you take to speed up this process?
<Chris Bould> It did happen, but usually only scripts that were delivered at the last minute, otherwise, everyone has a chance to look stuff over and suggest changes in a more orderly fashion. And while of course all of the cast want the finished show to be as good as it can be, some people are more interested in every aspect of the production. There really isn’t any way to totally avoid it, but I did try to keep things rolling as much as possible. I have been told that when I am directing I can be very intense, but not, I was assured in a bad way. *Laughs*
(Ed. Note; this question was in reference to a portion of the Moderators
Report from October, at the very bottom of this page. A few things not in
the Moderators report - The shooting for this ep had been going on all day. It
was now late in the afternoon. Mr. Bould called the construction supervisor to
ask him if the changes that Mr. McManus suggested would be safe to do. The
construction supervisor was a saint of a man who had been having his own bad
hair day. It seems that the two days they had to build the ‘Apocalexx Now’
set had been changed to two days in a studio that was being used. Not that
having to stop working when Mr. Donovan was ready call action wasn’t fun for
him and his people. Anyhow, as Mr. Bould was asking him if the cage would hold
the weight of a person on top of it, you could just see the poor man loosing his
mind. After looking at Mr. Bould and Mr. McManus like they were both crazy, he
got a bit tense answering the various questions fired at him. No, it will not
hold the weight of person on top. Yes, it was welded, but not in enough places
to have someone jumping around on top of it. No, I wasn’t told it had to be
strong enough to bear the weight of someone on top. Ect, ect.. Watching Mr.
Bould steer Mr. McManus in to a compromise that he could live with and that the
construction supervisor would approve was a treat. Without any indication that
the delay was totally screwing up his schedule, he brokered some slight
adjustments to the cage, I think they reinforced the corners with clamps or
something. And worked out modifications to Mr. McManus’ actions that would
result in him having only part of his body on the top edge of the cage. All
parties being now somewhat satisfied, the shooting resumed.)
theFrey> Was this common with all of the actors you worked with on Lexx?
Note; Mr. Bould then asked me a question. He wanted to know if we (Sadgeezer.com)
intended to interview all of the cast and major crew? I eventually
replied ‘Of Course’ while wiping tears of laugher from my eyes. The
inflection used asking the question just nutted me out. I explained that we
intended to make every effort to contact all of the major players to get their
take on the Lexx wrap up. He then commended us on our perseverance.)
theFrey> Did similar things often happen when you were working on other
Bould> It happens to an extent on lots of productions, but let me tell you I
would rather have someone who is perhaps labeled difficult to work with than
someone who is just going through the motions. In fact bring them on, those
people, ‘the difficult ones’ are more passionate about their jobs and really
care about how the shots come out.
theFrey> You have worked on White Trash, Wake the Dead, Twilight, The Web,
The Net, Fire and Water, May, Boomtown, The Key, Girl town, Texx Lexx, Fluff
Daddy, and Viva Lexx Vegas. Which episode was, in your opinion, the most
difficult to direct? Why?
<Chris Bould> One episode which game me a lot of trouble was Fluff Daddy. As soon as I looked at the script I realized that it was being extremely ambitious in the amount of material that it was trying to cover. I kept saying this is too damn long, we’ll never fit it all in. All I got back was, ‘oh it will work.’
Note; As many of us know from the Lexx Fan club reports, many scenes were
filmed which were never used. (Although one snipplett did make it to the episode
'Moss' where Pres. Priest is watching TV waiting Prince to show back up) for And while this does happen from time to time on
all productions, it made it very difficult to for the director’s view of the
episode to emerge in a manner which makes them happy.)
theFrey> Which of the Lexx episodes that you have directed has been your
favorite? And Why?
Bould> Well I liked the fact that that sometimes stuff that you think will
cause a problem ends up making you produce a better product. You mentioned that
‘Wake the Dead’ was one of your favorite episodes. Well, while filming we
had to particularly sensitive to the German restrictions on this particular
episode that there be no graphic violence, decapitation, or gore. We had big
meetings about it, and worried about how it might negatively affect the episode.
But in the end, I think it made us think harder about what we were doing and we
ended up with a better episode.
theFrey> It is rumored that you were the one who suggested 790 should fall in
love with Kai. Is this true?
Bould> Yes, it was my idea to make 790 gay. It was a new season and I was
totally bored with him being in love with Xev.
theFrey> What were some of the bigger challenges that Lexx provided you that
you might not have dealt with on other projects?
Bould> The biggest challenge was perhaps its biggest strength, Lexx was very
spontaneous and energetic in its approach. And working with green screen is of
itself a big challenge. I also had a problem learning how to work with High
Definition Video as opposed to film, but so did everyone. I prefer film because
HDV because does not have the same look as regular film. You have a seemingly
richer feel to film, but I can understand where it makes things easier for the
post production people, what with the various overlays and effects that they
have to do. But it was hard on me, especially at first that things were not
coming out the way I thought they should look. We all (cast and crew) of course
had to get use to the fact that it took in everything that was going on, both
voice and picture whether you had called cut or not.
theFrey> In regard to the net and the web, a lot of viewers didn’t think
the differences were great enough between the two to merit an entire second
episode. Did you have any say in the format the two episodes took?
Bould> Those two were done at a difficult time in the production of Lexx. Then, a great friend of mine, Norman Denver, was producing the show. It
was at the very end of the season, and time and money were running out. They
were the "bottle-neck" shows. Where usually I had eight days
for an episode, I only had nine days for both of these. It
was Norman who "asked me if I minded doing this ludicrous schedule".
Of course, I said yes.
theFrey> If you had the chance to change anything about these two episodes,
what would you have done differently to make the differences in the two episodes
Bould> Oh, I don’t know. *chuckle* Asked for more money? A guest star?
Anything would have helped. None of those were possible due to the time and
budget constraints. Even a little more time to explain the differences in the
story a little better might have helped.
theFrey> People are curious if you agree with us that Patricia Zentilli is
<Chris Bould> I think that Pat is absolutely wonderful. I first worked with her on ‘Wake the Dead’ whilst I was casting, and though that she was extremely talented and hard working. I appreciated the energy that she brought to her performance and the way that she was always on time for makeup and wardrobe and thoroughly prepared for each day’s shoot, rested and knowing her lines ect….
Note; Mr. Bould also noted that Pat Z was a natural comedienne, and we both
agreed that she was very attractive.)
theFrey> Who have been a few of your favorite actors (regular or guest) to
work with on Lexx?
Bould> Brian Downey, Patricia Zentilli, Nigel Bennet and Rolf Kanies, were
just wonderful. In fact they are all just absolutely wonderful to work with.
theFrey> Recently we have heard possible confirmation about the Lexx
Spin-off, do you think you will be working on it?
Bould> Well of course it is all up in the air isn’t it? I have come to
believe in nothing until I see that morning’s call sheet. But I would love to
work again with Brian and Pat and Rolf and who ever else might be involved. But
I would like to see something with a bit more leeway time wise and it would of
course depend on who else was working on it. Also it would depend on what else I
am involved with at the time. But I do love working in Canada, I have agents in
this at Sadgeezer.com
Discuss this at Sadgeezer.com
(2000s) (1990s) (1980s)
Sound" (2000) TV Series
Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other
Elizabeth (2000) (TV)
Was a Sixth Grade Alien" (1999)
... aka "My Best Friend Is an Alien" (1999) (
Alptraum im Airport (1998) (TV)
"Emily of New Moon" (1998)
Mayday - Flug in den Tod (1997)
Midnight Flight (1997)
"Lexx" TV Series
(episodes "White Trash", "Wake the Dead",
"Twilight", "Web, The", "Net, The", “Fire and
Water”, “May”, “Boomtown”, “The Key”,
“Girl town”, “Texx Lexx”, “Fluff Daddy”, “Viva Lexx
... aka "Lexx: The Dark Zone Stories" (1997) (Canada: English title)
... aka "Lexx: The Series" (1997)
... aka "Tales from a Parallel Universe" (2000) (USA: first season title)
My Friend Joe (1996)
... aka Mein Freund Joe (1996) (
Crazy for a Kiss (1995) (TV)
Bill Hicks: Revelations (1994) (TV)
Bill Hicks: Relentless (1992) (V)
Sean Hughes Live (1991) (V)
... aka Sean Hughes Live and Seriously Funny (1991) (V) (
Line Is It Anyway?" (1988) TV
"Alas Smith & Jones"
(1984) TV Series (1992)
... aka "Smith & Jones" (1989) (
& Me (2001) (executive producer)
Smith & Jones" (1984) TV
... aka "Smith & Jones" (1989) (
Additional Picture Credits The Lexx Fan Club and Leif Erikssond