ATX Festival 2015: A Conversation with Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson Panel Recap

Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson

Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec started working together long before The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW. The two first met back in the late ’90s while working on Scream. Plec was actually working as Wes Craven’s assistant at the time.

ATX Festival hosted a panel with the two this year, featuring a conversation about the history of their working relationship as well as their friendship. From the fond memories of first defining their friendship (singing Kenny Rogers’ songs while sneaking cigarettes and chatting about their mutual love of musical theater), Williamson and Plec revealed how they came to work on Dawson’s Creek together. Their stories elicited laughter and smiles throughout the hour they spoke to fans. They even gave everyone a few words of wisdom that they had learned along the way.

“You don’t learn from your successes. You learn from the things that don’t go so well,” Williamson reflected. “It’s important to have someone that has your back.”

Take a look at our biggest takeaways from the panel below…

Top 12 Things to Know from ATX’s A Conversation with Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson Panel

  • When Plec and Williamson started working on Scream – neither one of them had made a movie before.
  • Williamson went in for a meeting with Paul Stupin and made up the pitch for Dawson’s Creek on the spot.
  • Dawson’s Creek was actually based on Williamson’s life.
  • Williamson is still friends with his “Joey” on Facebook.
  • Greg Berlanti asked Williamson to come back and do the Dawson’s Creek final episode.
  • Plec brought Williamson into The Vampire Diaries, but Williamson initially hated it and didn’t want to do it. He believed it was Twilight.
  • Williamson was in a low place when presented with The Vampire Diaries (someone close to him had died), and he was encouraged to work by friends and colleagues.
  • Plec and Williamson have both used The Vampire Diaries as an outlet for grief.
  • Both Plec and Williamson hired writers for The Vampire Diaries that were from their friend base. They really didn’t know what TVD would be, so they hired writers that loved Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who – Sci-fi with snark. Buffy was their template, but nothing felt right – and they had to hire new writers.
  • Williamson isn’t too active on social media because he feels when he’s tried to be funny or snarky, he’s offended someone – and then they come at him online. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
  • Plec says when she opens up her Twitter, insults are being hurled at her, but she realizes that it’s part of the job.
  • As far as letting the fans’ online comments influence her storylines on The Vampire Diaries, Plec says it makes you think, but then she has to let it go.

Did any of the above surprise you? Let us know in our comment section – and be sure to check out the rest of our coverage of ATX Festival 2015!


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