Buffy, the Teacher

Writer-producer Marti Noxon learnt most of her lessons while scripting the story of television's most popular vampire fighter.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had a piece of advice for Marti Noxon: "The genre does not matter as long as there is a humane touch to the story." Initially, writer-producer Noxon, who started her career with this popular show, was sceptical about its content. However, Whedon managed to drive away her doubts and she came on board for its second season.

Over the years, adding personal touch to the story — be it about ghosts, superheroes or a hospital drama — has become her mantra. "I learnt about writing for TV shows mostly on the sets of Buffy," she admits. In her career spanning two decades, she went on to write for popular shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Prison Break, Angel, Glee and Mad Men, and applied Buffy's lessons in most of them. In spite of her resume featuring a wide variety of shows, Noxon, who was in Mumbai for a screenwriters' lab, loves to develop stories around supernatural entities. "It gives me a chance to explore what can happen after death. However, we do it in an entertaining way," she says.

For one of her current projects, she is working with M Night Shyamalan, American director of Indian origin who made films such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. "It is a sci-fi show called Proof and we are now working on its pilot project. Depending on the approval we get for the show, we will develop it into a series," says Noxon, who is the executive producer of this show.

Apart from Proof, she is developing a half-hour comedy show, Guide to Divorce. Being a divorcee herself, she has allowed some autobiographical elements to seep into this story of a self-help guide book writer, who is at a loss when it comes to handling her own divorce. "Instances from my friends' lives too have made it to the storyline," says Noxon, who lives in Hollywood with her two children.

However, a project close to Noxon's heart is her directorial debut in movies. For this, she is moving away for all things spooky and supernatural. "It's a drama and the choice of genre was unintentional," she says.

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