View Full Version : [INTERVIEW] S.T.A.R.S. Interview with Judd Lynn Part 2

Miss CD
04-25-2011, 10:44 AM
Here's part 1: http://www.rangercrew.com/forum/showthread.php?18413-S.T.A.R.S.-Interview-with-Judd-Lynn

If you could take any past Power Ranger series, regardless of your involvement, which one would you want to write or rewrite?I know it's a bit early, but I can't sleep tonight, so I thought I'd get a jump on this weekend's work.

Back to the question... My favorite series involve action and science fiction. I think I'd like a chance to redo some of the Time Force elements. There was great friction during the story meetings of that season, and in the end, I wasn't so happy with some of the directions we took. But TV story telling is often the art of comprimise, so... wtf.


Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions, Mr. Lynn!

When Saban reacquired the rights to the franchise last year, did he happen to approach you and ask if you'd like to return? If not, did you show any interest in returning?

Bonus question: Did you enjoy your time coming back as EP for Power Rangers RPM?Haim Saban put many of the same people onto Samurai that he had used in the past. Yes, I was asked if I'd like to be involved. But the kind of involvement I might be interested in wasn't available, so ultimately I declined. Remember, I've done this show a long long time, and what I used to do was pretty unique. I was in on casting, creating the season story arc, I could write any story I wanted (with certain limitations), I could direct whenever I wanted, I could escape my office and go down to the set and hang out with the cast and crew whenever I wanted... it was great. The new situation would require mostly writing, never directing, and never being on the set since the writers would be in LA. Not really much of a comparison, eh?


What would you like to attain? Like.. a dream project.Everyone in Hollywood is a dreamer. If you're not, you probably shouldn't be here. Every director thinks the'll become a Spielberg, every actor thinks they'll become DeNiro. But very few put in the effort to achieve the dream. In my case, I put the effort into too many things without focus. So I write, direct, and produce for a few years... then I spend a couple years building a house (a hobby). Then I write a spec script, then...

There are enough people in this town who do have a dream and a focus, that for those of use who lack one half of the equation, the chances of success dwindle. Regardless of that truth, the dreams never die.

So, what do I dream of... well, I'm really a sentimental guy at heart. So, I'd like to come up with an action-oriented hour long series with a heart. I have a few ideas, but nothing I can discuss here.

I'd also like to make a short film and get it into some festivals. That's probably the same dream a lot of you have. We really aren't so different. The film I would make would be sentimental, with strong characters at a crossroad in their life. I feel like I can relate to that, and that I have something to say about what it's like.

As you get older, you realize that the most elusive dream is just to be happy with life the way it is, without constantly chasing the next best thing. I'm learning that lesson slowly.


I'd heard that the original plan was for Dillon to be Venjix's final body in secret. -the episode would be the missing 'RANGER BLACK'.

When you found out that PR was probably being cancelled did you change the ending to make it happier, or did you just not know the original plan?

If you had to write a 'RANGER BLACK', what would have happened?

Do you think it's likely RPM could be set in-between SPD and Time Force, and that's why everything outside of the city is a desert wasteland in Time Force?How to end this season was difficult for lots of reasons, not the least of which was choosing a story. Remember that when Eddie G (the original Exec Prod) left, two of the show's writers left with him. Jackie Marchand (the only veteran of PR) had left months before, which left only myself and John Tellegen. I don't understand all of the motivations, but clearly John was unhappy at how the whole situation developed, so we weren't really in sync.

So, I walk into this mess and have to do the work of several people without the advantage of time, pre-production, studying the Japanese footage, etc. I had to hit the ground running, since the production in New Zealand needed scripts to shoot. So you see, the circumstances dictated that I moved forward so quickly that there was no time to stop and reflect thoroughly on how everything was evolving. Would there be enough material to make an ending? Yes. After all the years I had done this, I knew which instincts to trust, and this one was telling me that there was plenty.

As far as the specific ending, when I first arrived in New Zealand, a couple of the actors had offered to tell me Eddie's story plans. That was kind, but I really didn't have any interest. Besides, there was legal liability involved. So I declined to hear anything. Did I consider Dillon becoming the main villain, sure. It was logical, since the villain was a computer, and so was Dillon. I understand that some fans would have liked that better, but others would have claimed it was predictable. You can't please everyone, so you have to go with your gut.

As far as Dillon, he was not my favorite character. And the whole mysterious sister thing? Been there done that... in Space, remember? (Did I think it would surprise anyone? No, but then again, killing the shark at the end of "Jaws" didn't surprise anyone either. It's the voyage to the goal that I tried to make memorable.) I did not choose to make the season all about Dillon. But the way Eddie had set it up made this a logical choice. His was the most dramatic and dimensional character. He had all the Ranger qualities, with a healthy dose of mystery. Yes, if I'd had more time, and a staff of good writers to kick around ideas with, I'm sure I could have re-worked the story arc and made the season better. But for what I was given, I am very proud of what was achieved.


I've been a fan of Pr since i was a kid back during the fox kids period and i think the classic stuff (MMPR-Time Force) was the best work that you and your crew put out.

i wanna ask a few questions

1). Did you have any major disagreements (non personal) with Jonathan Tzachor in terms of your styles of adaptation relative to your style in comparison to his (i'm straining myself to be objective and not sound like a Tzachor basher even though i don't care for his style.)

2) Did you ever believe your work would be so well received by its intended audience while at the same time having such a seemingly negative stigma for the actors who participated in its productions. because i know many actors (i refuse to name names as a few have mellowed in recent years and aren't deserving of hate mail.) but i digress do you think that said reputation is really deserving. yes its a children's show but many actors have taken the pretentious stance that a role on power rangers is "Credibility poison" and ruins their chances for legitimacy in later parts of their acting career.In response to your first question... if you work at a factory welding widgets for the rest of your life, you will forever escape the turmoil that is creative disagreement. But if you do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that involves making something, especially something out of thin air... prepare yourself for battle.

Yes, Jonathan and I had disagreements, but that is GOOD! In fact, all the producers have opinions. Show me a TV show where everyone agreed with the man in charge, and I'll show you a show that got cancelled quickly. Disagreement is the life-blood of creativity. Disagreement is what opens up the possibility of discovering something better than ANY of the participants dreamt of at the start. Disagreement is proof that people care enough to spend the time an energy to be the best they are capable of. Disagreement makes everyone involved smarter about the subject, sharper in the next debate, and more respectful of each other.

And by disagreement, I do not mean animosity. Yes, sometimes a debate becomes heater, but that is normal too. Yes, plenty of ours were heated, but then again, none of us ever doubted that the other people cared deeply about the show.

If there is a downside to disagreement, it is that sometimes you end up at a place where you are a bit confused. You've agreed to write it in a manner you don't love, but you don't know exactly what the other person wants. This happened now and then, but you work through it.

In summary, when you work for someone, whether it's me working for Jonathan, or Jonathan working for Haim, you don't always have to agree, but you always have to make a decision and move forward. If you don't like that, then quit and instead get a job welding widgets.

In regards to the second question... Actors, writers, producers... everyone makes career decisions one inch at a time. I mean, you work through this episode, then the next, and pretty soon, the whole season is over. Ok, now you're offered another season. There are pros and cons, but let's say you decide to stay on. And after a few months, another season is over. And after a few seasons, the show decides to change casts completely. Now you're out on the street. You made decisions an inch at a time, and now you've gone a mile.

If, at the beginning, you had had the foresight to see where you would be at the end, you might have taken a different path. (This is what managers are for) You might have ended up flipping burgers at McDonalds, you might have played opposite Tom Cruise in a blockbuster, or... you might have ended up going to endless auditions but never working again as an actor. You never know. But to blame it on Power Rangers? I don't think I totally buy that. I'm not saying it might not make your path harder in some respects, but it certainly makes it easier in others. There is no better place to learn a craft, whether as an actor or writer, than Power Rangers. The key is to get in, learn, and then get out... without getting stuck in a rut. But if you do get stuck in a rut, take responsibility for those decisions and move on. There are lots of ruts in life, you better learn to get out of them.


In the past, you've had your share of both. Do you think there's a benefit to simply copying the Sentai storylines and formula for the show or do you think original stories and concepts work better?It boils down to this... you do what you think works best for the show. The Japanese episodes are often unusable, for a variety of reasons. But every now and then, they come up something you just love. Maybe it's an entire story, or maybe it's just a plot point, or a character. You grab it, build on it, and make it your own. Every story is a concoction of the writer's experiences, sifted and processed. Power Rangers was no different. So, sure I love my own stories, but I recognize when something else works too.

And by the way, I worked crazy hours back then. If I could find a story I love, I'd just use it and move on. It made life much easier. And if everyone in the room can SEE the story, and everyone likes it, then the debate is abbreviated. Choosing which stories to use and which not to involves judging which will fit into the season arc, and which can be made to fit with some changes. It's an art unto itself. Of course, if there lots of footage, and the footage is plot-heavy, then you're kind of in a corner.


Just like the title says...what do you have to do in order to make the Japanese stock footage fit with whatever it is you have planned?There's only one real rule... you have to use the footage! Why? Because you can't afford to shoot the whole episode, AND because so much of it is really terrific. After that one rule, you make the rest up.

I know you are all thinking that we do something magical to make it all work together. But the truth is that if you were sitting there with us in our meetings, and then sitting on my shoulder as I wrote, you would see that there's nothing revolutionary going on. In fact, sometimes it's hard to stay awake.

You look at the Japanese episode, you see what footage you can use. That footage is pulled out and put onto a separate file, so that you can easily look at it during the writing. Jackie and I kick around ideas, coming up with a few we like. I talk with Jonathan about them, we agree on a direction.

We write an outline. The outline includes the footage (which we underline to delineate it from footage we have to shoot) so that everyone who reads the outline can see our plan. The outline is shaped a bit by other opinions, and then we write it.

Jackie and I would review each other's work, and then pass it to others. The opinions come in. We would rarely toss a whole script (unless it came from an outside writer). We make adjustments, then go to the first draft.

As various departments read the story, then come up with practical concerns (too many locations, too many extras, etc), and the script is adjusted for a second draft. The final read through happens at the production meeting, where all the departments weigh in and discuss with the director what they are planning. After the meeting, the final tweaks are put into the script, are a week later we're shooting it.

It's a very logical process. No magic, just the shear will power of many people moving the train forward.


For those who'd like to write and direct independant films?Writing is to entertainment what technology is to science.

That is, start writing and keep writing. Then, get some friends together and direct a scene. There are tons of aspiring actors who will work with you for lunch. Cameras are cheap, editing software is on every street corner. There is no excuse to not do it... except to admit you are either not that interested, or you're just lazy.

Think it takes more knowledge? You're wrong. I went to USC, and all I'm sure of is that the money would have been better spent just taking a camera and doing it myself. "But you made connections at USC!" people tell me. Wrong again. And nowadays, you'll find more friends dedicated to filmmaking on Facebook than at USC.

Maybe my response shouldn't be "just do it." Maybe I should say "just try it." And once you've tried it and realized that it can be done... then, just do it.