Psychoville: Reece Shearsmith introduces a special episode
Hello again. Episode Four of "Psychoville" looms upon us - and a very exciting episode it is too. We wrote the fourth episode like a mini "Play for Today" (as if you remember what they were), and when it came to filming it we decided to try and capture the whole thing in one continuous take. This meant nothing could go wrong at ANY point because:
a) there was nothing to cut to, to snip out the mistakes
b) the camera had to know exactly where to be, and where to get to every second of the way
c) all the crew had to be able to get the furniture in and out of the way, as the camera moved in for close-ups, and back in position again so nothing would be missed when we returned to the wider shot
d) for sound we couldn't speak in the moments that the furniture was being moved, so had to be on top of leaving pauses
e) we had to be word perfect
f) oh I can't be bothered explaining it any more.
When you watch it, you'll see. (Note how cautious I am in skirting round daring to say it's brilliant. But it is.) Sorry if I have taken something away from the experience by crowing about the achievement of it - but they don't do it like this any more - and despite the strange "stagy" nature of it - it is quite mesmerising because it just doesn't stop. As it goes, the show is in two takes with a cut, which you will now easily spot because you'll be looking for it. But even the way we do that cut is "Rope" like. (We took the notion of the long take thing from Hitchcock's equally stagy, also brilliant, "Rope").
The show is a three hander (well, three hander and a body) and so we needed a really good actor to come in and be our "Inspector Goole". I think we got him, the relatively unknown Sam Kisgart. We only had a day and a half to rehearse with him before we embarked on the two days allotted in the schedule to nail it. It was scary. And the first thing we shot. I really hope you like it.
After the show has been on, there will be another web video released on the Psychoville site of Steve and I talking about the episode and how it came to be. An entire half hour devoted to David and Maureen, and from what I can gather, people seem to be enjoying them and their funny little ways. We learn a lot more about them, but of course, the episode being as it is, the rest of the mystery is put on hold for a week. Please don't hold that against us. Hopefully you'll still enjoy it enough to forgive the "blip" and stick with us for another week. I'm being ironical of course - it's a very special episode for lots of reasons, and looking back now - I wouldn't have it any other way.
Reece Shearsmith is co-creator of Psychoville.
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