Bumbershoot part 2: ‘Fortunately, Damon loves time travel’

Bumbershoot 2009 logo

Carlton Cuse (at an earlier event)

Carlton Cuse (at an earlier event)

In this segment of the LOST panel at Bumbershoot (the Seattle arts festival named after an old slang term for umbrella), producer/writers Carlton Cuse, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz talked about what it’s been like to write the show.

Host Jeff Jensen asked them what was the most difficult thing to write, and they all agreed that it was time travel. They had to put detailed charts and graphs on the writers’ room walls so that they could keep track of where they were.

Carlton said, “Fortunately, Damon really loves time travel.” They spent, he said, a great deal of time trying to figure out the mechanics of it.  Maintaining their concept of non-paradoxical time travel was tricky, and when they opened a time loop, they had to put a lot of thought into making sure they could figure out a way to close it.

The panelists then talked about how getting an end date changed what they were able to do with the show.

They also said some fascinating things about how they write. It’s a collaborative process. Nine of them sit around a conference room table. They start writing each episode by deciding which character it’s going to be about.  Each episode has three stories — an Island story, an off-Island story (which may be a flashback or a flashforward — or, Carlton said, “whatever that might possibly be in Season 6” … hmmm), and a little C-story. Then they fit it all into a six-act structure.

They wrote the show like fans of the show.  “What would be cool?” they asked themselves.  “Wouldn’t it be cool if we actually showed the statue?” And so they did.

Video by Alextsway

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