The present did not have a single constructive COVID check throughout manufacturing in Canada.
Timing is every little thing, particularly the place a pandemic is worried. At the start of 2020 the CW horror anthology sequence, “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” was simply beginning manufacturing on Season 2. Simply three weeks into prep, the present was greenlit for Season 3. However the confidence of already having the go-ahead for an additional season was tempered by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I used to be within the writing room, briefly, in L.A. in mid-March and flew again to Canada about 24 hours earlier than the journey ban and quarantine was put in place,” the present’s government producer, Liz Levine, instructed IndieWire. However arriving in Canada within the nick of time to begin manufacturing was greater than an added blessing; for Levine and the writers room, it gave them a possibility to make use of the unsure occasions to refine and strengthen their scripts to speak about extra than simply what goes bump within the night time.
Transferring with all of the velocity of a bullet prepare, as Levine mentioned, “Two Sentence Horror Tales” utilized the nation’s concern and uncertainty to create a season that precisely mirrored the day-to-day horror of every little thing. The primary two episodes of Season 2, “Bag Man” and “Elliott,” thrive on isolation as each a matter of necessity and storytelling. The previous is a darkish story a couple of group of excessive schoolers trapped in detention with extra than simply their irritable principal, whereas the latter tells a couple of trans scholar who will get the chance to hunt revenge towards those that’ve wronged him — however for a worth.
By specializing in a small core of people, Levine mentioned there was a possibility to maintain the tales grounded whereas adhering to medical pointers. The sequence has by no means aimed to be grandiose, with tales being encapsulated in bottle episodes, however that doesn’t imply it didn’t include a hearty dose of on-set inventiveness. Ultimately, the present filmed its total season and not using a single constructive COVID check amongst these on its Canadian set.
“Can we construct that artwork closet that’s large enough for 3 youngsters to cover in? And what sort of energy do we’ve by taking it out of a reside location and away from among the considerations related to COVID [while] growing our inventive management and permitting the builds to be actually particular,” Levine mentioned.
“There’s numerous complication behind the scene, by way of masks sporting, and the way you match a digital camera, a director, these 5 youngsters and a principal [in “Bag Man”] all inside 4 partitions of a room and keep your social distance,” she mentioned. Due to the constraints, sure concessions needed to be made, significantly with background performers.
Kailey Schwerman/Stage 13/The CW
Within the case of “Elliott,” Levine mentioned they’d have beloved to have stuffed the halls with 50 teenage extras to make the highschool appear like an precise faculty day. Sadly, due to the necessity to check everybody — and the shortcoming to plan for the way extras will spend their time after the top of a piece day — it wasn’t definitely worth the danger.
A key component of Season 2’s success was working in Canada, the place a majority of The CW’s sequence are filmed. Levine mentioned it felt like there was a distinct, extra pressing response to occasions in Canada compared to the US, and with a lot of the crew having connections throughout the U.S., it was exhausting for them to not have concern for these throughout the border. “I’ve a world, and a house, and associates, and a life there. Largely, we really feel fearful about our associates and we really feel unhappy for America, significantly [with] COVID,” Levine mentioned. “Los Angeles feels very scary to me, for the individuals I like there, however we’re grateful to be in Canada.”
“We really feel actually privileged to be working,” Levine mentioned, and with preparations for Season 3 underway she says she is planning for all potentialities, together with vaccinations. “ EP [executive producer] all the time plans for the worst and hopes for the very best,” she mentioned.
The crew will go into preparation on the subsequent season in March and, Levine mentioned, since vaccines are being distributed by age group, the idea will not be everybody may have entry by the point cameras roll. So, within the meantime, the present will proceed to prioritize working with Canadian administrators, actors, and crew, to guard towards all eventualities.
“Two Sentence Horror Tales” airs on The CW Tuesday nights.