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Psychoville: Reece Shearsmith introduces a special episode

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Reece Shearsmith | 13:58 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009

David and Maureen

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.

Psychoville continues tonight at 10pm on BBC Two. Visit the website afterwards to watch the making of video.



  • Comment number 1.

    I cannot wait to watch this Reece - so exciting! Really looking forward to seeing the extra for this on the DVD!

    Maureen and David are just brilliant characters - you've done written them beautifully :)

  • Comment number 2.

    That should just read "you've written them beautifully"... obviously ;)

  • Comment number 3.

    There are been some critical raves about this episode in particular. The preview clip on the Psychoville website hints at just how special this episode is - mesmerising as you say.
    The filming for it sounds like a very complex operation with both the actors and crew performing a very precise choreography.
    Just want to say that 'Psychoville' is inspired, sublime and 'moreish'. Have they decided yet if there is to be some more? I know its only midway point in the series...its just I don't want it to be over.
    I'm going to 'Breaking Through the Silence' event tonight, at which you are doing a reading. I'll probably sneak out during the interval (I hope I will get the chance to see you doing a reading before then) I feel mean about doing it, but I just have to be home in time so I can watch 'Psychoville' as it goes out.
    Its probably stupid when I can record it or watch it on i-player...its just that I can't wait to see it. Its a compliment to the exceptional quality of 'Psychoville'. I wouldn't be so anxious about making sure I don't miss an episode of any other tv series...

  • Comment number 4.

    'There are been some critical raves about this episode in particular'...
    Sorry, obviously I meant to say there have been some critical raves...
    I can't write properly:(

  • Comment number 5.

    I watched the first episode. I really did like it. But, I have to hold off and watch them all in one go. Especially when I heard it was an on-going epic.I do shifts and am never consistently around, so I would rather see it all in one. And, I think it's great that you have created a comedy like that, that you can do the whole thing afterwards. Definately the way forwards. I mean, I can never guarantee a Thursday night - not consistently anyway. Obviously with Iplayer etc, you can always catch up, but I am really into holding out for the finished thing. I want to wait and see it as a film (ish) Does that make sense? To be honest, I only ever was able to watch 24 and Dexter that way...Wait and buy or be lent the box set.
    Also, I am really envious of you two being able to meet each other. I would love to meet someone into writing stuff, and to find someone compatable to write with. I just meet men who sa "Yeah, I'll write with you!!" Then they write American Pornos. Heyh?!

  • Comment number 6.

    what does this even mean? My comment on politics, the state of the world. World news coverage????? I am making a stupid, simple comment about a TV show, nothing more.

  • Comment number 7.

    That was a masterclass in comedy acting...brilliant, just brilliant!

  • Comment number 8.

    Beautifully done as usual. I had to watch it twice - once in colour and once in black and white. *shrugs* I'm strange like that...
    Anyway, you boys did a fantastic job on this. I know I've said the same in regards to the other episodes, but EP 4 is something else entirely. Sir Alfred would be proud. x

    *kicks and runs*


  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sam Kisgart what a clever anagram for the gorgeous Mark Gatiss!

    His apprearance pleased me greatly.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes Reece it was brilliant and you have every reason to be pleased with yourselves and your excellent crew.

  • Comment number 12.

    I discovered this blog too late... but it's never too late to say that this episode really left me jaw dropped.
    Reece you are a genius and Steve too is a great artist.


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