As promised in last week's blog, Episode 5 was going to be big. The characters have witnessed their first murder, the body of one our victims, Reverend Fain, was discovered, and the possibility of Wakefield still being alive is beginning to resonate amongst some of the locals and wedding guests. The remaining episodes have a definite shift in both pace and tone, and as the killing spree becomes deadlier and gorier, our characters now find themselves in survival mode.
From a production standpoint, Mr. Wellington's death was by far the most complicated to pull off. On our "To Do" List: Find a church that will allow us to drive a head spade through Mr. Wellington, build and rig the contraption that will launch the aforementioned head spade into Mr. Wellington, organize our Effects team to figure out a way to actually shoot a head spade through Mr. Wellington without CBS Standards and Practices telling us we're crazy, kindly explain to our talented director, and friend, Steve Gomer, that he has one day to shoot this complicated sequence, and finally, have a chat with the great Richard Burgi (Mr. Wellington) about his upcoming demise. Fortunately for me, chatting with Richard Burgi was going to be the easiest part of my job that week. We always knew that Episode 5 was going to involve killing off a lead character. Who better to kill off than the patriarch of this dysfunctional Wellington clan? So, at the start of production back in August, we signed Richard Burgi to a five-episode deal. Richard knew that his time would be up in week 5 (the only actor on the show to have that sort of information), so it came as no surprise when I approached him to deliver the news. "Episode 5, my time must be up," he declared. "I'm afraid so," I replied. Pause. Silence. Awkward pause. And with nothing more to say, he looked at me and asked, "So, should we hug it out or something?" "Um, yeah...sure," I shrugged, but not seeming overly eager. And so we hugged. And I thanked him for five wonderful episodes. And he thanked me for not giving him any nude scenes. And we promised each other we'd stay in touch. And true to his word, he has. Class act.
OK, back to the hard stuff. It took two weeks, but we finally found a church. They told us we could do anything we wanted in there. Anything? Could we kill a raccoon and spread its bloody carcass on the altar? Sure. Can we put flies on the carcass? Absolutely. Can we drive a head spade through one of our lead actors inside the church? No problem. Wow. This is the greatest church ever. One issue, it is two hours away. Small problem. But this week, not my problem. That's why God created the Transportation Department.
In the end, everything worked out just fine. Our Effects team built the greatest killer chandelier of all time (and gave it to me as a gift when production wrapped). Helloooo!!!! Steve Gomer and our amazing cast shot fifteen pages of dialogue in that church in less than two days. Unreal. What a great week to be an assassin. Just one more thing left for me to take off the "To Do" List: Figure out a way to get that chandelier into my house.
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