Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sonnigsburg: Episode 4 – A revelation or two

Episodes four through six were directed by John Erasmus

Episode four of Sonnigsburg was written by Alex Scott and directed by John Erasmus.

Just after the halfway point, things are starting to fall into place, not just in the story, but in the middle of production. As shooting continued, we all started to feel more comfortable in our roles both on screen and behind the camera.

I wrote a first draft of Episode 6 in June of 2014 (before filming began), but as I spent more and more time on set watching the actors work, I could see what the characters were really like. As a writer, and co-creator, you never quite know how your characters will feel until the actors inhabit them.

Over the course of the first three episodes, we set up a lot of story and introduced you to our most important characters. There are a couple of great guest stars in episode four, though; characters you’ve only previously heard about make their first appearances. But I leave you to discover that when you watch.

The last major piece to fall into place production-wise was director John Erasmus. He was on board from the start and scheduled early on to direct episodes four and six. Originally, I was going to direct episode five, but when I couldn’t quite make the timing work, John was invited to helm number five as well.

You will have already seen John’s name in credits; he ended up co-directing the first episode and has had final edit on the whole series. But he really dived into production beginning with episode four.

When our original plan to shoot the series in order became harder to achieve, it made sense that we had one director working on the final three episodes of the show. There’s a consistency of vision in these later episodes that is a lot stronger than the first three.

A six-episode series breaks neatly in half; I think the scripts for these next three episodes are better, the actors have settled into their roles and John’s work helps to elevate the material even more.

Much of episode six was shot early in the back half of our production schedule. Much of episode four was shot last. Though, amusingly enough, the final shot filmed for the series was the last frame of episode three.

To be honest, I can see the rough edges of the first three episodes of the series. Beginning with episode four, these rough edges have been smoothed. With three episodes of Sonnigsburg to go, the revelations start to come thick and fast: Where is Jade? What happened to Savannah?

And how does the show look once we finally knew what we were doing? Spoiler alert: amazing.


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