A. I've never worked on a show that found itself as quickly as Firefly did. I've never worked with a cast that gelled as fast or as beautifully as my cast did. I've never worked with people who were so clearly born to play those particular roles and I also don't deal with loss very well. These things combined made it impossible for me to give up on a story that still needed to be told.
Q. What storyline did you most regret having to leave behind when Firefly ended? Were you able to explore it as far as you wanted to in 'Serenity'?
A. Inara's secret and no. Or at least not in the first one.
Q. How much information did the actors have about their characters' back stories? Did they discover new things when they got each script, or was there a detailed breakdown provided? And how much do the other actors know about each other's characters?
A. We pretty much told the actors everything we knew as soon as we knew it. We would discover new things about their back-stories in scripts because we would be discovering them ourselves. We had a couple of dark secrets but we didn't keep them from the actors playing them. And since we always kept things fluid you don't want to decide on a piece of back-story that then shoots you in the foot, you like to take opportunities as they come, we kept it also somewhat vague and let ourselves and the actors discover as we went.
Q. Where did the term 'shiny' come from? Who coined it and how did it become a Firefly catchphrase?
A. I made up the word 'shiny' as a thing that is good because things that are shiny tend to be attractive and exciting and catch our attention. It was then explained to me by David Lester, a Producer on the movie, that shiny was actually an old western phrase meaning good that it was in common usage many years ago but I didn't know that, I thought it was futuristic but that just goes to show you what I always say, that the future is made up of the past.
Andromeda used Shiny before Firefly did.