Whoosh! Issue Ten - July 1997

Brad Carpenter of Renaissance Pictures






"How I Went from Lowly Go-fer for Rob to High-paid Executive for One of the Hottest Production House in Hollywood!"

Photo courtesy of Chris Clogston


[25] Former assistant to Robert Tapert (executive producer of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS), now Director of Marketing/ Merchandising for Renaissance Pictures, Brad Carpenter's slide-show presentation was pre-billed as "a 3rd season preview" but the bulk of the "third season" information given was about two shows that were pushed back from the second season -- THE FURIES and BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

[26] Carpenter's presentation started with a video clip of Lucy Lawless' appearance (after the accident) on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (10/30/96). Mr. Carpenter seemed very proud of the fact that he was one of the loincloth-garbed men who carried Lucy Lawless into the studio. (Check out that very buffed-out looker on the left). He also said it was Lucy Lawless' idea to do the little dance and twirl at the end.

Photo courtesy of Chris Clogston

The 'Slide Show'

[27] Next, he showed slides of the wedding ceremony between Alcmene and Jason in the HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS episode THE WEDDING OF ALCMENE (#H34). Brad guest-starred as the priest performing the ceremony! He also wrote the episodes PRINCE HERCULES and played the main guest star in SWORD OF VERACITY.

[28] Next were pictures from the original HERCULES movies. They included scenes from HERCULES AND THE LOST KINGDOM (1994, Dir. Harley Cokeliss) -- Robert Trebor as the slave Whelan, Renee O'Connor as Deineira, Princess of Troy. (Note to THE POWERS THAT BE of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS: Costume Design. Since we have heard rumors that Gabrielle's "beloved BGSB" from Season 2 is heading for that "great bargain bin in the sky," may I recommend Deianeira 's leather archery number? Can you say, "GABalicious?") Brad showed amazing pictures of early Lucy Lawless roles -- Lyla, the Centaur's wife (from AS DARKNESS FALLS, #H06, and THE OUTCAST, #H18) and as the Amazon enforcer, Lysia (from HERCULES AND THE AMAZON WOMEN, 1994, Dir. Bill L. Norton). The difference in "looks" that Ms. Lawless has had as various characters over the years is startling. Interesting what a little hair dye and a different wardrobe can do.

[29] He used several slides to demonstrate "forced perspective" -- the technique in which the "giant" scenes are shot. The "giant" is placed on a raised platform and the normal-sized actor is actually standing several yards behind. This "forced perspective" creates the juxtaposition between the "giant" and the "normal-sized" actor.

[30] Brad Carpenter mentioned that Michael Hurst would be back next season to direct more episodes of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. As an aside, he mentioned that A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39) was shot in 5 days. He then showed slides of Jennifer Ward Leland (Hurst's wife, who played Voluptua in HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS). Ms. Ward will return in an upcoming episode as the Celtic Queen Boudiccea -- and, this sounds very exciting -- the Warrior Princess (and this time, the Amazon Queen) meet and do battle with Caesar! Hope Xena finds divine retribution!

XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS 3rd season preview

[31] Several slides regarded the first episode of the season, THE FURIES (#47). Synopsis: Ares convinces the Furies that Xena has not done retribution for the murder of her father. The Furies make Xena go insane until she kills her father's murderer. (The CATCH is her father's murderer is her mother, Cyrene.) There were several slides demonstrating Xena as she slides into insanity. From what we saw, THE FURIES promises to be a very dramatic episode.

[32] Mr. Carpenter then showed a very disturbing slide for this macgabber. The slide for BEEN THERE, DONE THAT showed an "unconscious" Gabrielle with her head in Joxer's lap. Brad taunted us with "in this scene, Gabrielle is dead." He added that, "don't worry -- everyone knows that in the Xenaverse, dead does not always mean "DEAD."

[33] Brad mentioned that the next spinoff, (now in production) is YOUNG HERCULES. We saw several slides of the actors who play the teenaged Hercules and Iolaus. Michael Hurst plays a villain in a cameo role, and the slide we saw was nearly unrecognizable because of 'evil' make-up -- facial scarring does not do Mr. Hurst justice! We also were privy to a slide showing a new Villain.

[34] Other Renaissance Pictures projects in the works: a spinoff series about the Amazons entitled AMAZON HIGH; and a motion picture, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, for Christmas 1998, to be directed by Sam Raimi for Warner Brothers and staring George Clooney as a man who gets a second chance.

Photo courtesy of Chris Clogston


[35] During the question and answer section of the presentation, Brad was asked about progress on the Gabrielle posters and action figures. He said that they are "hopeful" that a Gabrielle poster would be produced by October, but asked the fans to PLEASE keep writing to Western Graphics (David Hamaker, President, WGC, P.O. Box 22310, Eugene, OR 97402-0417) to let them know that there is definitely a Market for GABBYBILIA.

[36] As to the Action Figures: there has been some difficulty with the manufacturer, Toy Biz, but they have worked things out and they are continuing production of 12" dolls and the smaller action figures. He explained that the entire process is very time consuming -- with corporate approval and such it can take up to 18 months to get a doll produced. Brad is hopeful that the dolls (12 inch) will be ready by Christmas. Other XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS figures also in the works: 6" figures of Autolycus, Joxer, and Ares.

The Rape or Rift Rumor -- Undecided

[37] The next question was from a woman who wanted Brad to comment on rumors of disturbing story line for Gabrielle. It was unclear whether she was talking about the Gabrielle rape rumor or the rift in general or which one Carpenter was addressing. Brad offered that there will indeed be "dark days ahead for Gabrielle," but added that in true XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS fashion, the story will be handled with sensitivity, and that Gabrielle gets through this challenge with the love and help of her friends."

[38] [Just not to start a panic, the Gabrielle rape story line has been denied specifically and independently by several Renaissance Pictures staff members to members of the WHOOSH! staff. -- editor]

[39] He also informed us that there will be a new XENA COMIC, due out in August 1997. The first comic will have two covers, like the #3 HERCULES comic featuring Xena. See below for the art cover!


Pencil cover
Click to see larger graphic


Photo cover
Click to see larger graphic

[40] Brad Carpenter is very engaging and likable. From his enthusiastic presentation, evidently he is as big a fan of the show as we are. In the limited time he was given, we got a nice peek behind the scenes at Renaissance Pictures, and some exciting tidbits to ponder over the long, hot XWS (XENA withdrawal syndrome) summer season.


[41] The world of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS begins with Renaissance Pictures and their emissary in our midst, Brad Carpenter. An enthusiastic cheerleader of the Xenites, he exhorts The Xena Scrolls According to Tapert and Raimi. He allows us limited access to these hallowed works, tempting us with promises of Scrolls to come. His reassurance that all is well calms us, with promises of dark story lines to test our faith and reassurances that the bonds between Xena and Gabrielle will not be broken. But, he insists, this is not a mythology of suffering and despair. Those who are allowed access to the inner sanctum are privy to the creation of our Valhalla. He reminds us that in the Xenaverse being dead is not the end of the world and that all things are possible. Things are never as they appear, my children, and giants are not to be feared; their massive bulk merely a trick of the eye. It all depends on how you look at it, he explains. From your vantage point at home it appears to be a Titan, but a slightly different angle shows us the tricks of forced perspective. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain Dorothy, the Wizard is alive and well in Oz. But, as the saying goes, Brad is preaching to the converted. We lift up our eyes unto the heavens and say: "Amen."


[42] Brad Carpenter, the Marketing/Merchandising Director at Renaissance, actor, writer, and general XENA/HERCULES handy-guy, was charming and informative, teasing the crowd with slide-show previews of third-season XENA episodes, and providing interesting information about the behind-the-scenes action that goes on. We learned that a typical XENA episode was shot in 8 days (A DAY IN THE LIFE being shot in 5 days); 90% of the beating scene in THE GAUNTLET was cut due to violent content; two new spin-off shows are in production, YOUNG HERCULES and AMAZON HIGH; Lucy Lawless is in actuality 5'10''; and that XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS video tapes are in the works.

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