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This week's episode of Bitten brought this season's horrific tone and storyline to a whole new level as Aleister's resident mad scientist, Dr. Sondra Bauer, became the very thing that fascinates her the most: a female werewolf. Unfortunately, while the doctor's kinky love of pain helped her survive the physical transformation, her already somewhat fractured mind couldn't handle the experience and she went completely off her rocker, prompting Aleister to mercy-kill her after her first -- and only -- wolf-out.
Two of the behind-the-scenes masterminds of Bitten, showrunner and excutive producer Daegan Fryklind and director of photography Boris Bojsovski, sat down to discuss where the show's come from, where it's at and where it's going now that we've reached the halfway point of Season 2.
Daegan, one question we get a lot is about the difference between the TV show and the books. You write a lot of the key episodes, including this one. As a creative person, how do you decide what to include and where to diverge?
DAEGAN FRYKLIND: The books tend to focus on Elena Michaels and we have the rights to four books, which are the Elena Michaels novels. So this second season is loosely based on the second book, Stolen. In the book it would follow Elena and you'd be with her the whole time, but we have some many other characters that we're playing with and so many other actors that we'd like to see on our screen. So we take what's there and blow it out in a way that we're able to focus on the wolves, bring in the witches and make these two worlds clash, and then also make them work together. So we try to find screen time for everyone.
Aleister is a completely original character; he’s not from the books. Did that come from you?
DAEGAN: Yeah, and my team of writers as well. I have a fantastic team of writers on this season. There was a character in the book who was a mastermind of the compound, kind of an evil Steve Jobs named Ty Winslow, but we wanted to really focus on these two groups, the Pack and the Coven, and then created Aleister as our big bad from this season.
The show also looks amazing. Boris, where do you get your inspiration from? There is a marked different look this season as compared to last season.
BORIS MOJSOVSKI: I always get it from the script and the intention of the story itself, and this year I analyzed where we were going with the whole story and I realized it's Jeremy whose Pack is constantly attacked from all kinds of people and monsters, so I realized it very much like The Godfather because of that. The Godfather is probably one of my favorite movies in terms of look and I just decided to take a big soft light and put it on the side to make it very dark. Basically a simple decision that worked, I hope.
We've been told there's a joke on set that the shot you're setting up is always your favorite shot. Is that true?
BORIS: Well it is. I don't know why people are joking, because it is my favorite shot! After we're done with one shot, one scene, we just have to progress, so we have to make sure every shot is the best shot. That philosophy helps give me and my crew the energy we need.
Daegan, was it a real concerted effort on your part, and the other creative folks, to take this season in a darker direction both visually and storytelling wise?
DAEGAN: Yeah, we wanted to play with more of a horror tone this season, especially knowing that we were bringing in witches. The kind of witches that we wanted to bring in and creating witches that were different from other witches, because it's sort of a zeitgiesty thing with a number of shows now, but we wanted ours to be very different and we wanted to play with a lot of horror motifs from our favorite horror movies that we watched growing up. In this week's episode we have the Clockwork Orange Gentling. Poor Genelle [Williams, who plays Rachel], she braved through that crazy eye contraption. So yeah, the way Boris shoots the show really complements this horror style.
What was your favorite moment from this episode?
DAEGAN: The death of Dr. Bauer. Just beautifully shot and beautifully portrayed by Carly Street. The scene before that with Aleister as well, when he's saying goodbye to her. You see the crack of vulnerability in him throughout this episode.
BORIS: For the death scene we had a huge rig with pipes where the blood comes from that was all erased in post, as well as a light that’s in the whole shot that was erased. That scene was lovely and perfectly executed by director Bruce McDonald and we really had to plan it perfectly because if we didn't we'd have to come back another day and set it up all over again. The shot after that is probably my favorite shot in the episode. Aleister walks away after she dies and then the door opens and this unnatural light shines on the floor and he just disappears. We're there with him for his loss.