The Hive Season 2 Finale Writers’ Notes – Graeme Manson
“Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing.” – James Brown
“Clone Dance Party” had been written on a card and pinned to the board very early in the season 2 writer’s room. As often happens, what started as kind of a joke grew into a good idea – a non-talky, active way to capture the emotional climax of the season. To reunite our Trinity of Sarah, Cosima and Alison – with a new moon, Helena. Because of course we’re not satisfied with three clones interacting. No, we just gotta try four.
The dance party tape marks.
The complicated geography of clone choreography. I don’t think anybody had ever seen such tape marks. Heroic on set work by 1st AD Joanna Moore and Katherine Hughes and their team – the culmination of a couple months of pitching the sequence and marshalling the extra time in the shooting schedule to pull it off. Key crew gave lunches to meetings; Tat, Jordan and 3 acting doubles stole rehearsal time during the shooting of 109. Then it was time to bring on the Technodolly! The motion control beast that comes with several operators, multiple monitors, and its own separate playback system.
Jordan and Tat rehearse the Technodolly shot as the crew looks on.
By the end of the second day of shooting, the crew gathered around the monitors watching a rough composite image of all four clones plus Felix. Seeing that dance take shape, and realizing it was going to work, was one of the most rewarding moments of the season. A truly collective labour of love came together, and we finally got to see The Cosima Dance! Then of course, Geoff Scott and his team at Intelligent Creatures VFX took over to make the shot seamless – a process rumoured to have taken hundreds of hours in post.
The Art department mocked up a vinyl edition of Adham Shaikh’s Refractions album. Adham is an electronic music artist and buddy from the Kootenays, British Columbia. I sneaked-peaked Season One with him while at the Envision Festival in Costa Rica, and was very glad when John and Tat glommed onto his track “Water Prayer Rasta Mix – Matt the Alien remix” for the dance. It’s Cosima’s dance really, and this is her sound.
Two other cards The Hive had up on the board early were “Cosima tells Sarah about Sacred Geometry” and “Sarah is the Wild Type.” They were so elemental to the season that at one point I was trying to put them both in the opening episode. Luckily cooler Hives prevailed. Both those concepts, and the Bucky Fuller reference, are very much inspired by our Science Consultant, (the real) Cosima Herter.
Cosima and Graeme doing what they do best. No, not drinking, having a conversation (with drinks).
Shooting in the church.
210 was a big episode, and of course there’s never any money left at the end of the season. It required some crafty producing by Claire Welland, Karen Troubetskoy, and everybody at Temple Street. We used a 2nd Unit to shoot Mark and Gracie’s scenes. Here’s 2nd unit camera operator Jeremy Lyall shooting the wedding. Brett Sullivan directed 2nd Unit, as well as edited the episode.
Now for the awww shucks part. The book Cosima reads Kira is written by my very own Mum, Ainslie Manson. She’s been writing for kids since I was a kid, and A Dog Came, Too is my personal favorite.
Tat and Skyler with “A Dog Came Too”
Truth be told #CloneClub, this book also offered the opportunity slip in a little puppy reference for all the Cophine fans. And this has been the most surprising and rewarding thing for everyone here at The Hive – the level of engagement from YOU. We’ve never experienced anything like it before, and it’s changed the way we engage with our own show. Now, after all the talk and writing and shooting and editing and launching, for 10 weeks our Saturday nights come down to this – assorted and honourary Hive members, cocktailing, watching the broadcast while following your reactions from all over the globe.
Watching the finale.
So thank you, #CloneClub, from #TheHiveActual. You guys are funny and creative and so supportive of one another and you got your own thing going on. We love this pact we share.
As always, The Hive abides.
(And over the break, just try wrapping your heads around this: “Is Orphan Black a Simulacrum?”)