The Haunting of Hill House Creator Explains the Process of Making Episode 6


Carla Gugino, <em>The Haunting of Hill House</em>

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Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House filled the Halloween void left open on the streaming service by the lack of Stranger Things and then some. Beyond all the fun fans have had tracking down all the ghosts that are hidden throughout the show’s frames, Hill House has also been celebrated for the sublime camerawork of creator Mike Flanagan, especially when it comes to the long, sweeping, time-melding shots contained in the sixth episode, “Two Storms.”

In response to all the high praise he has received for that episode in particular, Flanagan took to Twitter on Sunday to reveal some details about how the episode came to be.

“Episode 6 was part of the very first pitch for the show, promising an episode that would look like one shot,” Flanagan tweeted in a thread. “Most of the camera choreography was actually included in the script itself, which meant that the draft for ep 6 was a really tough read with ‘camera pivots left/tracks right down left aisle, keeping Steven in MS profile’ breaking up the dialog.”

According to Flanagan, Episode 6 was always meant to serve as the centerpiece for the show, which meant that the rest of the series’ set designs were built in order to accommodate the ambitious long-shots the episode required.

“The sets for both Hill House and Shirley’s Funeral Home were designed with episode 6 in mind. They were built on adjacent stages, and had to accommodate a hallway that would physically connect them so that Hugh could walk directly from the funeral home to Hill House in shot 1,” Flanagan wrote of the time-bending sequence. “The sets needed to include hiding places for crew & equipment, specific lighting rigs, and even a handmade elevator that would lower into place from the ceiling to bring a cameraman to the first floor for shot 4. We began doing weekly walk-throughs of the ep 6 immediately in prep.”

Although it was the earliest planned sequence, Flanagan wrote that he was hoping to save these tough scenes for last. But due to budgeting issues, the episode was moved up in the production order, which meant the pressure was on to get everyone ready and rehearsed to be on their markers at the exact right moments so that the lengthy takes could be completed without a stray camera or actor or grip in the backdrop (although, they might’ve just looked like another low-key ghost).

Flanagan then detailed the painstaking process involved with making each of the five seminal shots happen — and while all were difficult, some were monumentally cumbersome to complete for everyone involved.

In other words, if you were watching The Haunting of Hill House and found yourself especially gobsmacked by the quality contained in its sixth episode, you were supposed to be.

Netflix has also released a behind-the-scenes video of the episode’s laborious (but worth it!) creation.

Source : TVGuide