Recently in Notes of an Assassin Category
Episode 2 is in the books. Heads are going to start rolling. Sorry. Couldn't resist. Three characters met their fate in this episode written by our showrunner, Jeff Bell, and directed by our good friend, Sandy Bookstaver. This was also the first episode in which "the assassin" had to perform his "assassin" duties. The cast now realizes that anyone can go at any time. Lucy's death was a shock. She was in the wedding party, a member of the inner circle. You can't kill a member of the wedding party in episode 2. Oh yeah, talk to Uncle Marty. Needless to say, the cast is on good behavior.
And we're off. Two killings down... dozens more to go. That sounds like something an assassin would say.
Poor Cousin Ben. Our first victim. The poor guy never stood a chance. When we first pitched this concept to CBS, we pitched them the first five minutes of the pilot episode, ending with Cousin Ben's demise. It was a perfect way to give them an idea of the tone that we wanted to dictate for the show. And to kill someone off in the first five minutes of your pilot... pretty awesome.
Fun facts about Cousin Ben. He was named after Jon Turteltaub's cousin, a great-fun-loving guy who we refer to as "Cousin Ben." Yes folks, that's how it works in Television. Cousin Ben was played by a Vancouver based stuntman, Clint Carlton. We were presented with three choices for the role. Hmmm. How do you cast a stuntman who'll be wearing scuba gear, have his face covered, and spend his whole scene underwater? The answer is... hair & eyes. Clint had good hair, and he delivered "scared eyes." Perfect. Cast him. And the rest is history... Speaking of cast, how about that head cast of good ole Cousin Ben that appears later in the episode. Does it get any creepier than that?
So, poor Clint got to spend a whole day in a swimming pool, tied to a propeller, donning scuba gear, and told to act as if he were about to be chopped up into a thousand pieces. Yes, that underwater sequence took a whole day to shoot. Yes, Clint was underwater the whole time. Yes, he was hooked up to a giant propeller (fake propeller, fake propeller, fake propeller). Yes, he had on a wetsuit underneath his costume. Yes, his eyes really turned red from all the chlorine. No, cell phones don't really work underwater. Yes, that was fake sound when the propeller hit his mask. Yes, we used fake blood in the pool. And yes, we drained the pool once we were done. Everything you wanted to know about killing Cousin Ben but were afraid to ask.
Uncle Marty. First off, to even get Harry Hamlin to say YES to this project was huge for us. I'm sure he read the script, called his agent and asked, "So they want me to cut short my family vacation, fly to Vancouver for four days, dance with a mariachi band, and then kill me off in the first episode of a new series by chopping off my legs?" Thank you, Harry Hamlin. There isn't a more pleasant, kind, patient, funny, and professional actor in this business. But I know what you're thinking. Why kill off your biggest name in the first episode. Are we crazy? Yes. And no. We knew early on that we were going to have to kill off our biggest name in the show, in this case, Uncle Marty, in order to help set up the all important rule of: anybody can die at any time. No one's safe.
God, I hope this works.
We shot Uncle Marty's death scene back in early August, 2008. It was already a long day, and we were running a little behind schedule. No wait, we were running A LOT behind schedule. We had three company moves that day, meaning we were filming in three different locations, meaning we had to move all the trucks, equipment, etc three different times that day, meaning no one was happy. We arrived at the location at 10 pm to start lighting. Then we had to make sure all the equipment on the bridge was up and running. Then we had to rehearse with both Harry and the stunt man. Then we had to have Harry shoot into the bridge. Then had to fit Harry into his prosthetic/half body. Cut to, 2 am. Ouch. Oh wait, then it started raining. Yes, raining. Dumping rain. In August. Welcome to Vancouver. Harry was truly amazing. For me, it doesn't get any better than that wide shot of Uncle Marty's half body dangling from the bridge, guts exposed, with the sound of blood dripping out of him into the water below.
Friends... welcome to Harper's Island.
My name is Karim Zreik, co-executive producer of the TV series Harper's Island, premiering Thursday, April 9, at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS. For those who haven't heard of the show, I'll give you a quick synopsis: Harper's Island is a 13-week murder mystery event in which every week at least one or more of our characters are killed off... say it with me..."one by one." Twenty-five suspects, but only one killer among them. It's scary, gory, funny, soapy, dramatic, character-driven and action-packed.
MOST RECENT POSTS
Warning: file(http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com//index.php?act=rssout&id=101) [function.file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/blogs/guest/notes-of-an-assassin/2.php on line 427
Warning: implode() [function.implode]: Invalid arguments passed in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/blogs/guest/notes-of-an-assassin/2.php on line 427
Warning: DOMDocument::loadXML() [function.DOMDocument-loadXML]: Empty string supplied as input in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/blogs/guest/notes-of-an-assassin/2.php on line 429