Director's notes for episode one
Director Adrian Shergold deconstructs a pivotal scene from episode one
On the night we filmed this scene, it was possibly the worst weather ever with howling winds of up to 90 miles per hour. We were at a disused farm and the metal corrugated roof and walls of the shed were rattling away.
Hattie builds tension by holding the gun up and threatening to pull the trigger
I wanted to make sure the fight looked very messy and not too choreographed. The actors spent about two hours with a fight arranger before the shoot and so were all hyped up to do the scene.
I really wanted to try and film it as one continuous take without any cut-ins, and predominately the scene was filmed as one shot. Certainly, when Hattie’s character enters with the gun we chose to film that as one continuous movement - when she holds the gun up we tracked around her with the steadycam, stopping for the camera to look down the barrel of the gun before she starts the dialogue. I feel this kept the tension in the scene going. What I really loved about how we shot that scene was that you really feel like you’re in the room. Hattie builds tension by holding the gun up and threatening to pull the trigger. You really feel like she is going to pull the trigger and that could be the end of Mickey Joe.
Lieutenant Barnhill looks at her then leaves. He goes out into the night and sees Emma Coyne. I wanted to keep the tension going here so we shot it as one continuous shot without cutting. It was an important scene for Corey and a big moment in the first episode as it’s the last time you see him – it’s Hitchcockian.