Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Episode Eight... and behind-the-scenes writer's commentary

"Ragged Isle" episode eight is up. After you watch, read through to the rest of the post for a behind-the-scenes perspective from the head writer.

This was a fun one. Actors Daniel Robert Clark, Beth Saufler, and Amie Marzen get to engage in some stunt work for our big "fight" scene. Nice job, guys!

I have always been tickled by the idea of Julie using a can of beans as a weapon to ward off a crazed Dylan Strang. "Ragged Isle" co-writer Jacob Lear (who designed our awesome Season One poster) made the bean can label, as well as the prop bean can that bounces off Dylan's head (a roll of toilet paper with a bean can label around it). I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching that can hit Dylan, or of the image of Julie menacingly clutching the second can. Amie sometimes thinks I'm laughing at her in that moment, but I'm actually laughing in delight. It's wonderful. It just makes me happy.

The label itself is well worth checking out for the great details Jake included. Click on the image for a larger version, and be sure to read all the instructions on the back side:

This episode originally took place during the day, but because we changed episode seven to take place at night, by necessity we had to change episode eight as well. This made for some cool lighting effects in the phone conversation between Vicki and Paul. Both sides of that conversation are lit almost exclusively by iPhone. (There's a small WalMart flashlight on the ground behind them.) This is a very cool effect, and makes the scene all the more spooky. I also love the creepy shot of Dylan Strang peeking into Rose's window as car headlights pass over him.

And by the way, Paul's final words to Vicki in this episode (as well as Julie's last words to Dylan Strang) are part of a long cinematic tradition:

The scene in Madame Clelia's house (yeah, I'm working my way backwards through the episode; sue me) was shot on our third day of shooting (the first day for actors Rick Dalton, Erik Moody, and Adam Cogswell). That's the real home of actress Kathryn Morrison (who plays Clelia), and that's all her stuff on the table and on the walls. No set dressing required!

For a lot of that scene, I was under Clelia's table, listening to the audio on headphones, so this is my first chance to actually see what I was hearing. There's some fine acting in this scene, and I love everybody's expressions as the dynamic in the room keeps changing.

Next week is a very big episode. I cannot wait.


  1. BEANS! It actually took a while to figure out to use a toilet paper roll - styrofoam was too light, but we needed to avoid sharp edges and still have enough weight to make the throw viable. I still remember sitting on my couch unraveling the roll until it matched the circumference of the can of B&M baked beans I had for reference (and to make the "real" can.


  2. Sorry Jake, but I don't know what you and Greg were thinking but I definitely threw a REAL can of beans. I mean I saw the toilet paper one you made and it looked fantastic but I was going for ultra-realism.

    The day we shot this was my first day "on set", and my first time meeting the actor playing Dylan. I believe I introduced myself as:

    "Hi I'm Amie, I'm playing Julie and I will be throwing a can of beans at your head today and I'm really sorry."

    -Amie "Julie"