Supernatural Chat: Interview with Misha Collins on GISHWHES and the Fake Documentary

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A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend my seventh Supernatural convention held in Los Angeles by Creation Entertainment. The event was actually my eighth Supernatural convention as I did attend one in England back in 2008.

A lot has changed since I first began going to these events. My first couple years, I attended as a fan and bought the Gold package. Now I attend as a member of the press. My seat isn’t as close as it used to be, but I have gladly exchanged that for the chance to interview some of the convention’s guests.

Misha Collins Talks GISHWHES

This year one of the interviews I was happy to take part in was with Misha Collins, who spoke to us about the mayhem known as GISHWHES (aka the “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen).

“It’s going well,” said about the scavenger hunt. “It’s weird, people seem to like it.”

The hunt was joined by a big name this year, who sadly didn’t make it to first place.

“I haven’t talked to William Shatner after he didn’t win,” Collins said. “I was actually really rooting for him. At first I was like, ‘I don’t want William Shatner to win because everybody’s going to feel like any big celebrity can come in and win.’ And then, when he was really trying I was like, ‘Well, shit, I hope he does win.'”

How close did Shatner get to getting first place? “He came super-close. Team Shatner was in third place. They were really close, but they didn’t win. So props to the people that beat William Shatner because he brought out the big guns. He was like, ‘Hey Donald Trump can you give us a hand with this? Hey NASA can you give us a hand?'”

The event keeps growing every year and, according to Collins, that’s not stopping anytime soon. “It’s exciting, people are really into it. We got approached by a major publisher who wants to do a book about it and some people at NASA are actually putting concerted efforts into figuring out things we can do with NASA for next year’s hunt, which is so f***ing cool, right? That gives you some series nerd street cred right there. So it’s going well and I’m excited about it and I hope it lasts for a lot longer.”

The Fake Documentary

Another project that Collins took part in recently was the pseudo documentary: “Behind the Scenes of Supernatural Season 9: A Fan’s Perspective.” If you haven’t seen this jewel yet, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. It is, in a word, hilarious.

“Actually a fair amount of work went into it,” Collins said about the mini movie. “The way it actually unfolded was, I said to one of the producers (Todd Aronauer), ‘Hey, I have this idea. Wouldn’t it be funny to do kind of like a faux behind-the-scenes thing, but one where we make ourselves look like f***ing ***holes.’ And the producer was like, ‘Yeah, that’s kind of a funny idea.'”

Collins had no idea it would happen as easily as it did. “And the next week he was like, ‘Alright, so I talked to Warner Bros and they’re cool with it. I talked to production, they’re going to let you use their cameras and whatever.’ And I was like, ‘Well, Jesus, okay.’ I wasn’t expecting to actually do the thing, I just thought it was a funny idea. Then we – me, Jared and Jensen brainstormed it.”

Though the original idea was Collins’, he never wanted to take full credit for the production. “I’m a little pissed off because I gave first pass at the credits and said [it should say] ‘Written by the cast and crew of Supernatural,’ which is really how it unfolded. We would come up with ideas together. [But] the idea of having the crew be a writer is a union problem. So they just put, ‘Written by Misha.’ Which is not true and nor did I try to take credit for it, but that’s how it got credited.”

“Jared making fun of Jared was all pretty much Jared’s idea.”

“The boys and I really, largely wrote it, just spit-balling ideas,” he continued. “Like Jared in the gym with the walking mirrors, that was Jared’s idea. Jared with a wig was Jared’s idea. Jared making fun of Jared was all pretty much Jared’s idea.”

As fun as it was, there were a ton of challenges as well. “But it was a lot of work because they were like, ‘Yeah, great. No problem. Production is at your disposal. Go for it.’ But what they meant was, ‘Good luck, f***er, try to get anybody to do anything.’ Because they’re busy doing something else. So every time I wanted to do something and was like, ‘Okay, I think we can carve out a little time today because Jensen’s here and Jared’s here and we’re at the studio where we need to be and it’s not dark – those were our limitations.'”

Being a director on a fake documentary, using the crew from the actual show, wasn’t as easy as it sounds. “Every time we did anything, I’m like begging everybody for a favor because they’re not getting paid for it, right? Then somebody on the crew called the union and said, ‘They’re trying to make us do extra work.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, Jesus, I’m not trying to make anybody [do extra work.’ It was a pain in the ass.”

Not surprisingly, the final scene was the hardest one to shoot. “That final scene, where there was fire coming out of the stages and everything, that was the very last day of shooting. It was Friday night and it was after midnight and nobody wanted to stay for an extra 10 minutes. I was trying so hard to keep the wheels on the bus because the whole thing wouldn’t have worked without this finale scene of the flames coming out. And so I was pleading with the whole f***ing crew.”

“It was like herding cats.

Collins was practically doing backflips to keep everyone together. “So we had to get the whole crew out to this other stage,” he said. “We got them out there and then we’re waiting on Jared to get his g****amn wig on. And everybody’s like, ‘I’m sorry, we gotta go back.’ So the whole crew goes back over the other stage and Jared comes out and he’s like, ‘I’m here, I’m ready.’ And then Jensen hops in his car. He’s like, ‘I’m gone, I’ve got a 4:00 a.m. flight. I’ve got to get out of here.’ And I’m like, ‘You stay. Crew come back!'”

In the end though, he said it was all worth it. “It was like herding cats, trying to get people. Nobody wanted to do it. Then finally when we shot that scene everybody was like, ‘That was really funny. I’m glad we did that.'”

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