- “The Haunting of Hill House” director Mike Flanagan explained in a Twitter thread on Sunday how episode six, “Two Storms,” and its multiple long takes, were pulled off.
- Flanagan said the initial plan was to shoot the episode last to give the cast and crew more time to prepare, but it was moved up due to budget issues.
- He also revealed that his wife, Kate Siegel, who played Theo on the show, found out she was pregnant the night before filming a big segment of the episode.
Netflix already released a behind-the-scenes video on its new horror series, “The Haunting of Hill House,” that takes a look at the show’s standout sixth episode, “Two Storms.” But fans have been clamoring for more information on the five long takes that make up the episode, the longest being 17 minutes.
Director Mike Flanagan detailed how the episode was pulled off in a lengthy Twitter thread on Sunday and said the episode was “part of the very first pitch for the show.”
Flanagan said most of the camera choreography was included in the script, which made it tough to read.
The sets for the haunted Hill House and Shirley’s funeral home were built with episode six in mind. According to Flanagan, “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 said the set had hiding places for the crew and equipment for when the long takes took place and there wasn’t a place to cut the scene. He added that he wanted to shoot the episode last to give the crew and cast more time to prepare, but that didn’t happen.
“Budget issues resulted in the studio moving the episode up to the beginning of our third production block, and rapidly accelerating our prep time,” Flanagan explained. “Production was shut down, rehearsals for ep 6 began March 6th, 2018. We rehearsed daily with our second team stand-ins, who performed the entire episode as actors as we learned the camera, lighting, and acting choreography. They were HEROES and made the whole thing possible.”
Flanagan said the studio also initially wanted to cut the storms from the episode to avoid paying for additional lights for lightning effects, and because water would sometimes flood the sets.
“This first segment involved hiding the younger actors playing the Crain children around the corner in the viewing room, so they could run in and replace their adult counterparts during a 360-degree move around Tim Hutton,” Flanagan continued. “The adults sprinted back into place a moment later.”
Flanagan said there was concern that the tight schedule would put pressure on the child actors, but it “proved to be a non-issue, as they knew their lines cold (and even the adults’ lines).”
To conclude the thread, Flanagan said he and his wife Kate Siegel, who plays Theo on the show, learned she was pregnant with their second child the night before filming segment three.
“Made me really nervous every time I saw her fall down,” Flanagan said. “Added a special layer of nerves to the stress of the ep.”
To see the entire thread, click here.