Kim Manners was a director and executive producer on Supernatural. He came on-board to direct 1.03 Dead in the Water. Following this, Kim was asked to come onboard as both a director and executive producer, running the day to day production in Vancouver. There is no doubt Kim shaped Supernatural in many ways, from his influence on the culture of the crew in Vancouver, to his creative input as director, and the accolades from everyone who worked with him, from crew through actors to showrunners, were always reflected a man who worked hard but always made sure those around him enjoyed their work - both Jared and Jensen oft quoted Kim's line "We spend way too much time with each other not to enjoy each others' company". The last episode he directed was 4.04 Metamorphosis in late 2008.
Kim was diagnosed with lung cancer as Season Four started filming and died on 25 January 2009 in L.A.
Supernatural often includes references to cast and crew in the show. In 2.03 Bloodlust The morgue attendant's name tag says "J.Manners". This is a shoutout to series producer Kim Manners.
After his death, a numern of tributes appeared. The episode 4.15 Death Takes A Holiday ended with slides dedicating Season Four to Kim Manners, ending with a slide that said simply "We miss you, Kim" In 4.19 Jump The Shark a display card in the room advertises happy hour at the Sonny Buono lounge and features a pic of a mustached Kim Manners. There were also upside down "KM" carved into the wooden paddle parts of the room divider in the motel room. At the Salute to Supernatural L.A. 2009, Jensen and Jared mentioned that in honour of Kim the crew had undertaken a mustache growing competition. In 5.10 Abandon All Hope, Ellen's parting words to Dean are "Kick it in the ass" - a deliberate use according to Sam Ferris, of Kim's signature line.
In 5.22 Swan Song, the tape Dean loads into the cassette deck in the Impala as he drives into Stull Cemetery to face Lucifer and help Sam, is labeled with Kim Manners' signature line Kick it in the ass!
The Manners family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The American Cancer Society in Memory of Kim. Supernatural fans on Livejournal donated $1650 to the The American Cancer Society within a week of his death. (See also Charity Projects).
Moderator: Kim, how did you became involved with the Supernatural?
Kim: I read for Sam.
Jared: Did everybody read for Sam?!
Kim: David Nutter, who directed the pilot is a good friend, he did Season One of X-Files and he called and asked if I would do a favor and come in and do one episode. Cause I was kind of semi-retired after X-Files. Very semi-retired. And I came in and did a show called Dead in the Water, enjoyed myself. I fell in love with Jan and Dean or is it Sam and Dean? I was driving home and they called me if I wanted to come on as a part of the team and I turned around and here I am.
- On how he got involved in Supernatural from the William S. Paley Television Festival 2006 (transcript)
Kim describes his role on Supernatural:
I took over for David Nutter, when David left the pilot. Now that I'm here, I'm working with Eric (Kripke) and Bob (Singer). I'm directing. I'm giving the show a certain look. I'm the guy who works with the guest directors (as we call them). I make sure I talk to them, go through their homework with them, scout locations with them, help them cast. So yeah, there are certain advantages to having a producing director on a show.
- Manners Interview with meevee blog. April 3, 2007.
“We spend way too much time with each other not to enjoy each others' company.”
- Kim's philosophy about work - oft quoted by Jared and Jensen as integral to the family atmosphere on the Supernatural set.
And I’ll give it to Kim, he said, “You know what if you guys do not have bee suits on, I’m not either.” And he went in there in shorts and a t-shirt and a monitor and sat down on a box and directed us from inside the room with bees crawling all over our faces. It’s that kind of relationship with Kim.
- Jensen at the Paley Festival in 2006 about filming the bees scene in 1.08 Bugs with Kim.
Let's face it, if they were dogs? Jensen would be Rin Tin Tin and Jared would be Pluto.
- Kim on the stars of Supernatural from the Season One DVD Commentaries
I directed 53 episodes of The X-Files and never had a nomination for an Emmy. We won 2 Golden Globes, we were never nominated for best drama Emmy. The people that run the TV industry truly think that this is just Sci-Fi nonsense," he says. "Today, if you’re not doing Desperate Housewives or some stupid legal show or a guy with a cane who’s running a hospital, you don’t have a ‘great’ show.
Kim Manners on the lack of recognition for genre TV shows.
After reading the script, I went up and sat down with Kim in his office. I said this was the only scene that I wanted to talk to him about. I was like, "What are your plans?" Because he's diligent on his homework -- he's a huge believer in preparation for an episode. So I knew that he had all the shots lined up, and he had the blocking, and he had the blueprints of the room, and everything lined out.
I told Kim, "Look, man, you're going to have to help me out on the scene, because I'm not going to be able to do it over and over and over and over again. Because I won't have it. You're going to start getting repeats after five." So he said, "I've got four different setups." I convinced him to shave it down, and to just use the one close-up that he was going to use. And so, he did. I wound up doing it three full takes in that camera setup. At the end of the day, I think it was maybe about four or five takes, including the other two setups. So, not too bad.
- Jensen talks about working with Kim on his monologue scene in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two
Everyone at Supernatural is walking around in a daze, shocked and absolutely devastated. Kim was a brilliant director; more than that, he was a mentor and friend. He was one of the patriarchs of the family, and we miss him desperately. He gave so much to Supernatural, and everything we do on the show, now and forever, is in memory of him.
Eric Kripke on the death of Kim Manners
It is with extraordinarily heavy heart that I report the death last night, Jan. 25, of my friend Kim Manners. I first met Kim when he directed me in an episode of The X-Files, for which he was a major figure in the appeal of that show, its look, style, and movement. I thought, in that few days, that I had found one of the great directors I'd ever worked with, and a mensch of the first order. Little did I know.
Several years later, I ended up with a recurring role on Supernatural, where Kim was both an executive producer and a principal director. I have never had such fun working with a director, and Kim became a dear friend. He was the willing butt of the enormous humor on that set, most of it from the two leads, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who delighted in tormenting him, and he was as good at giving it as taking it. He was an AMAZING director, who knew everything I can imagine a director might need or want to know about directing television. And he was one of the very best people, one of the very best friends, a person might ever want to have. His illness since the beginning of this, Supernatural's fourth season, has cast a pall over the show for months now, and every time I have appeared on the show this season, someone has broken down in tears in discussing Kim's health or how much we missed him.
I will go to my grave regretting the very real opportunities I missed in connecting with him these last few months. Take a lesson from one who let a dear friend down badly. My only excuse is that I, like all who knew him, never believed anything could take him down. I loved him dearly, and I hope he knows that.
"All right, now, KICK IT IN THE ASS! ACTION!!"
Rest in peace, chum.
- Jim Beaver on Kim Manners
"Kim had a blazing intensity that inspired everyone -- writers, producers, actors and crew. 'Kick it in the [expletive]!' he'd say to us. And 'I love you,' really meaning it. As long as he'd been a director, he never lost his passion for his work.... Kim was an incredible force of life. It is hard for me to believe or accept that he is gone.
Former "X-Files" writer Frank Spotnitz on Kim Manners
Co-Executive Producer of:
Executive Producer of:
Kim appeared on the Season 2 DVD doing the episode commentary for 2.01 In My Time Of Dying with Jared, Jensen and Cyrus Yavneh.
Kim's prank on Jared and Jensen, involving gallons of freezing water, during the filming of 2.06 No Exit featured in the gag reel on the Season 2 DVD.
He also did a special comments piece on 3.01 The Magnificent Seven on the Season 3 DVD.