Channel Zero: Candle Cove

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During the course of this SyFy series based on the popular creepypastas I along with other reporters had a chance to chat with creator and showrunner Nick Antosca. Here are some of my conversations with him,

Tony Tellado:  it’s – I’ve watched the last two episodes and they – it’s really ramping up a little bit. But of course, there’s more questions than answers but – talking about the performance of Luisa D’Oliveira as Amy Welch, obviously, her character is going to take more of an important role in this particular art. Talk about that please?

Nick Antosca:    Yes. So, Amy is the main character who is sort of a Candle Cove virgin, right? Like, she didn’t see it when she was a kid like Mike and Jessica and Gary did. And so, she hasn’t been scarred or affected by it anyway. So, she’s sort of an audience surrogate experiencing the strange thing for the first time and kind of going like, “What are you talking about? A TV show couldn’t be connected to murders. Like, how’s that possible?”

And as she sees these local kids who, you know, she knows their parents, she’s seen them grow up and now they’re behaving in ways that she can’t quite make sense of, she starts to realize that something really dark here is going on. And her journey — that the series — is kind of like coming into her own. You know, she’s a small town cop, she’s never had to deal with anything more serious than, you know, people acting crazy on a Saturday night. And now she’s going to be plunged into a very, very dark, strange case. And she’s going to see people that she knows end up dead.

Tony Tellado: So, it looks like that puppet that was found — and I won’t get too specific — is going to play a central role in this series so far?

Nick Antosca:       Oh, yes. Yes. That will be important.

Tony Tellado:   Episode 4 is definitely a game changer as far as I’m concerned. I guess if you can kind of preview Episode 5 without any spoilers it seems like the events that happened in 4 are going to carry over a little bit?

Nick Antosca: Yes. The episode that you just saw is kind of – up until things go crazy, it’s kind of the calm before the storm. And the storm hits Iron Hill late in Episode 4 and there’s a casualty and the consequences of that are going to reverberate through the next two episodes. And by the end of Episode 5, you will have a much clearer idea of what is behind the evil that is affecting Iron Hill. So going into the final episode we and Mike are going to know exactly what he’s facing.

Tony Tellado: Cool. In general too the kids have just been really good as far as, you know, acting and really stepping up, really amazing how well they’ve done.

Nick Antosca: Yes. The show doesn’t work very well if the kids aren’t good because they’re pretty key to creating menace. I mean we need to be scared of the scary kids, we need to feel empathy with young Mike and Eddie and all the kids. Particularly Luca and Abbie did amazing work.

Tony Tellado: As far as, you’re in the middle of shooting or you’re just about wrapping the second series how is it without giving too much away obviously how is it going to differ in tone from Candle Cove?

Nick Antosca: It’s very different stylistically. Candle Cove is an almost pastoral style. It’s very restrained. It’s very composed and there is this kind of sense of lush greenery and sinister things lurking sort of in the woods.

NoEnd House is an almost suburban story in the sense of John Carpenter movies or It Follows and it’s about a younger group of people and the visual style is more kinetic. Going into this, one goal was for each season to be very cinematically distinctive and to be a showcase for a different director and talented DP. I think they’re going to have a teaser trailer ready for it at the end of the finale of this season. So you’ll get a glimpse of the style.

Tony Tellado: Cool. That’s cool. And when you were shooting Season Two, did you kind of learn from what you did maybe, you know, some mistakes you might have made in Season One and applied it to Season Two?

Nick Antosca: To a degree. Mostly what I learned was how to deal with production reality, logistical challenges. You never ever, ever have enough time and enough money to get exactly what you want. So it’s about ingenuity and inventiveness and that’s one of the reasons why it’s been so valuable to us to bring in directors and DPs from the world of indie film where. Efficiency for a normal TV director might be like, okay, this is how we bang it out quickly, because this is how it’s done in TV. But for guys like Craig Macneill and Steven Piet, it’s more like, okay, this is how we can get a brilliant shot that tells the story and do it in a way that accommodates our very small budget and limited time.

Tony Tellado: Sounds great. Yes, I’m looking forward to the second one and this conclusion should be really up there too for me to see.

Nick Antosca: Yes. The finale is a distinctive and bizarre episode of TV. I don’t think you’ll see anything like it on any other show. The finale is where you’ll see a bit more of Olivier De Sagazan, the performance artist. That’s another one of the things that I’m excited to showcase in each season is an interesting artist like Olivier in the first season or in season two with the sculptor Sarah Sitkin who’s creating some of the stuff in the No-End House.

Tony Tellado:  , I’ve got to say, what’s coming up in 3 and 4 are pretty intense and 4 is an intense episode. You know, I have to really give a lot of credit to Natalie Brown as Jessica. I just thought she gave a really great performance coming up. And I won’t say anything what’s going to happen but she plays a really pivotal role. Talk about her and how she’s tackled the character of Jessica.

Nick Antosca:       Natalie is great. And she hilariously does not like scary stuff. You know, like, she’s not a horror movie person. She’s in the strain and she’s in this and dealing with scary kids and is like totally creeped out. And she’s always like sending me and Craig texts like, “Oh, my god. I can’t watch this when the episodes air.” Like, she’s freaked out.

And yes, I had seen her in The Strain. I saw her audition and Craig hasn’t seen the strain. Both of us were like, “It’s her, it’s her. She’s got to do it.” And she just, you know, approached Jess as, like, a well-rounded, mostly happy person who is sucked into this stuff that she can’t understand. It’s like, you know, last week, I had, like, not a perfect life but a happy life and a family and suddenly I’m in the middle of this nightmare.                              And Natalie has this quality of just like effortless realness that I think sells the character and that experience. And you’re just kind of immediately sympathetic to her when she’s on screen. So, yes. I mean, she’s somebody who I hope would return in future seasons because it was great to work with her.

Tony Tellado:        Now, the title of one episode “Do You Want to See Something Cool,” was that kind of inspired by Twilight Zone the movie when it said, “Do you want to see something scary” kind of thing?

Nick Antosca:       No. Actually, I’m not – I’ve never actually seen the Twilight Zone movie. That’s just a, you know, a line from the script that we put in as the title. But, you know, actually it’s interesting – it’s still sort of my mind is still on jazz a little bit. I think that people who see Candle Cove, it’s like the more troubled you are, the more it’s able to influence you, you know, the more vulnerable you are to it.

And Jess, even as a kid, I think was a pretty, happy, well-adjusted kid. And so, she saw Candle Cove and like kind of remembers it. But it hasn’t haunted her in the way that it’s, you know, planted the seed in some people’s heads and haunted them. And so, whenever they’re sitting around the dinner table and like reminiscing about Candle Cove, she’s the one who’s like genuinely like, “Oh god, yes, I haven’t thought about it – that in a while but that was a weird show,” you know. Whereas other people are sort of hiding the reality of like, “Oh yes, of course I remember Candle Cove. I think about it, you know, a couple of times every week. I have nightmares about it to this day.”

Tony Tellado: Yes.great stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress. Because for episode 4 it’s – we’re getting close to the end here so I’m totally curious how it’s all going to tie together.

Nick Antosca:       Yes. It’s crazy that it had six episodes. You know, it’s like there’s no stretching out the story, you know. There’s no adding fillers.

Tony Tellado:        Definitely. Thanks so much. I’m really enjoying it so far.

Special thanks to MPRM Public Relations

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