Chris Carter's Millennium Crew Profile
Christopher Carl Carter was born on 13 October 1956, the elder son of William and Catherine Carter. His father was a construction worker. His younger brother, William Craig (known as Craig) was born in June 1961. The Carters lived on Hegel Street in Bellflower, a blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles. The town was only 25 minutes from Los Angeles, but Chris describes it as similar in feel to a small mid-western town, where the community was centered on sports, especially high school football. Chris played Little League baseball and at the age of 12 he discovered his life-long passion for surfing. He has described himself as not a particularly successful student, but at that time Bellflower High produced few graduates who then went on to college. However, Chris had wanted to make his living by writing and so enrolled on the journalism program at California State University at Long beach. He put himself though college doing various jobs, including becoming a production potter. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1979 at the age of 22.
Immediately after graduating, he joined "Surfing" magazine as an Editorial Assistant. He was promoted to Associate Editor, a position he kept until February 1985. His connections with "Surfing" magazine continued part-time as Senior Editor until 1992. During his full time work on the magazine, he not only wrote articles but also learned about magazine design and production and about deadlines - all of which are important for an international magazine. He also travelled extensively, to surfing hotspots in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Australia.
The first person to encourage Chris to write screenplays was Dori Pierson, best known for her screenplay Big Business. In 1985, he was signed to Disney Studios by chairman Jeffrey Katzenburg to write and produce TV movies. In addition to writing for Disney, he was also hired by Brandon Tartikoff, then president of NBC Entertainment.
His known credits are: writer B.R.A.T. Patrol (1986), producer Cameo by Night (1987), executive producer and writer Meet the Munceys (1988), co-producer and music Rags to Riches (1988), executive producer and writer A Brand New Life (1989). In 1991, he wrote one episode of Midnight Caller.
Chris next came to the attention of Peter Roth, who at that time was president of Stephen J. Cannell Production. When Roth moved to become president of Twentieth Century Fox's TV production, he signed Chris who presented the idea that lead to The X-Files.
Although Chris's work up until that time had been mostly more mainstream entertainment, he wanted to do something a lot more scary. He had been influenced by the TV show Kolchak: Night Stalker but wanted to do more than chase vampires. In storytelling terms, he was enchanted by the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which had an influence on his wish to produce X-Files episodes as mini-movies and which turned out to be a real challenge to early X-Files directors. An even earlier influence was the Nancy Drew stories, to which he had been introduced by his mother. The character of Scully owes as much to Nancy Drew as it did to Clarice Starling.
Another influence for Chris is his great interest in science and he has contacts with academic scientists including his brother, Craig, who studied physics at Berkeley and is now Professor of Materials Science at MIT. Another significant person was Dr Anne Simon, a family friend of Chris's wife Dori, who became Chris's science adviser for his X Files episodes.
The religious aspects of both Millennium and The X-Files stem from Chris's upbringing as a Baptist, although he ceased attending church when he was nine or ten years old. When Fox asked him to produce a second show (as part of his three-show contract) Chris wanted to step outside the constraints of the paranormal into looking at the nature of evil, and Millennium gave him this opportunity. One of Chris' early X Files episodes "Irresistible" was outside the mainstream X-Files universe and delved into the phenomenon of a serial killer with hints of a connection to the devil.
At work, Chris has been described as a very focused individual, routinely working long hours, and encouraging his team to pay great attention to detail. He engendered a great deal of loyalty, with many people preferring to stay with Ten Thirteen shows where they were often given more opportunities than elsewhere. Michael Perry commented, "Chris Carter is able to get everybody to work at a level they didn't know they were capable of." The writers were given greater involvement in the production and filming of their episodes, and a number of the crew and cast had their first writing or directing experience on Ten Thirteen shows.
However, for someone whose talents behind the scenes, either as writer or director, is obvious, he seems somewhat uncomfortable when the camera is focused on him. He often appears uneasy and very careful in his speech which seems at variance with his ability to use words effectively on paper. He is regarded as a very private person, who has rarely come to the attention of the media except when promoting his shows. He has demonstrated a rather old-fashioned courtesy, often handwriting notes of thanks and phoning people himself, rather than delegating those tasks to others. In informal situations he is often described as "laid-back" but such a relaxed appearance is a typical surfer trait resulting from a combination of mental focus plus physical energy. He has described himself as a surfer first and a writer second.
Profile text courtesy of Libby.
Millennium Cast, Character or Crew Credit
Chris Carter was a member of the Millennium crew.
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Millennium Production Roles
Chris Carter worked on the following 74 episode/s of Millennium:
Other Ten-Thirteen shows
- The X-Files
- Harsh Realm
- Creator (TV series)
- The Lone Gunmen