Today on Twitter, Maril Davis of Tall Ships Productions conducted an extensive and very interesting Q&A about the Outlander production. I realize that many people are not comfortable with Twitter, or aren’t using it, so I’ve transcribed the session here. If you would like to see the whole thing (there were many comments on some of Maril’s answers, which I didn’t include here), just search @TallShipsProds on Twitter and you can view the entire conversation.
Also, tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 2., writer and production Matt Roberts will conduct a Q&A also on Twitter (3:30 pm Eastern/2:30 pm Central), and I’l provide that for you as well. And Maril has said that she will do another Q&A next weekend!
To start you off, if you haven’t seen this, or need to see it again, here’s Outlander’s Gaelic lesson that was posted earlier this week:
And here’s the Q&A:
Q We all know the series is gonna be a huge hit! When it comes to the later books, will you stay in Scotland or come to US?
A I hope to come back to the States. Of course, that’s what you’d call a high class prob. Let’s get a 2nd season first!
Q I was wondering if the background music in the Outlander language video is from the series’ soundtrack?
A No. That’s not music from the show.
Q Can you tell us who is doing the score for the series?
A Not yet. Deal is not done. J
Q Biggest challenge to date? Besides weather?
A Having enough time to film everything!
Q How many episodes were filmed so far?
A We’re finishing filming eps 3 and 4. We film two episodes at a time.
Q When do you expect to wrap the first season?
A Later next year.
Q. Huh? But I thought it was airing spring 2014… did we get it wrong?
A No air date has been announced yet, but it’s not unusual for a show to still be shooting even after it airs.
Q Does filming end this week, and when will it resume? Does everybody quit working, or do some say to work on set?
A We wrap up next week, just breaking for the holidays. Those of us who don’t live in Scotland will go home for the break!
Q Does ginger_jasper (the production’s pet dog) live in Scotland?
A He does.
Q How did you decide what to include in the series? There is so much information in each book.
A. It’s VERRA hard. As a fan I want everything to stay. We sit with the writers and break everything down in the room.
Q What’s been your favorite part of the production so far?
A I think I’ve already said this, but seeing my favorite books become a reality is a dream come true. And the people are amazing.
Q What will make the show a “Starz” show opposed to a “CBS” or “Lifetime” show?
A You have a lot more limitations on network TV. CBS would never make this show.
Q Are you over budget and if so what has the biggest expense been so far?
A Hahaha. If we were I certainly wouldn’t be allowed to tell you! We are not over. Not yet anyway.
Q How did inhabitants of the locations you’ve been shooting so far react to the filming? Interested/ annoyed/ indifferent?
A Everyone has been lovely. We try not to film in one place too often. We don’t want to overstay our welcome. Semi-interested.
Q When will we begin to see awesome trailers and music?
A Not sure yet.
Q What is the longest time a scene has taken to be filmed?
A Five or six hours?
Q Ian watch – are you guys close to finding him? Starting looking? Waiting till the new year?
A I’d hold off on Ian watch. You’ll be waiting for awhile. Typically, you don’t start casting for a part until you’re getting closer to filming with that character. We’re not that close yet.
Q How’s the chemistry between Sam and Caitriona?
Q Why do TV series switch directors? Any issues with continuity, especially with scenes that have to be filmed out of order?
A You can’t prep and shoot at the same time. A director needs time to prep his episodes.
Q How many different directors will you have?
Q I am assuming everyone is headed home back to the states. Any crew staying (just generally)?
A Mot of our crew is from the UK. A lot of the crew lives in Scotland. Only a small handful of us are from the States.
A Good to know! What was the hardest thing to adjust to in Scotland? Weather? Food? Driving on the other side, etc.?
A I’m not driving over here! No way! Don’t trust myself. Food has been a bit of an adjustment.
Q Will we be getting regular lessons from Adam & Sam, could we include Caitriona if and when she has a free moment?
A Many fun surprises to come!
Q Hi! Will Sam be losing weight/gaining weight, losing muscle mass, gaining muscle mass as series progresses for flashbacks?
A That would be pretty hard to do. And not very healthy for Sam.
Q How much time do you spend in transit each day (to/from set)?
A At least an hour in the car each day.
Q Long day! At least you have those lovely unit drivers!
A Yes, they are wonderful. Especially Peter who puts up with me and Matt Roberts every morning.
Q Will you please tell us where you currently are in the storyline? Gathering? Rent collections?
A Can’t get too specific, but we’re filming eps 3 & 4. 1st book is broken into 16 eps. So, that should give you a general idea.
Q Is Sam left or right-handed? (note: Jamie Fraser is left-handed)
A I think Sam is probably pretty good with both hands… J
Q Is the script all dialogue, or is Caitriona doing narration of her perspectives?
Q Is the break due to holidays, weather, cast commitments or all of the above?
A Holidays, weather, break time for cast and crew. Some of us have a long way to travel! Also time to prep next eps.
Q If you were in Claire’s position, is there anything you personally would do differently?
A You mean if I went back in time? Have to think about this one. Probably wouldn’t have pal-ed around with Geillis so much.. lol!
Q What’s your favorite restaurant in Ptown?
A My two favorite places to eat are the Original Pancake House and chicken and rice bento from Phil’s Meat Market. I dream of it.
Q I loved the Sassenach video of Sam. Are we getting any of Caitriona?
A You’ll jut have to wait and see…
Q How long does each epi take to film?
A 12 days.
Q What’s your favorite thing about Scotland?
A The people. And the Millionaire’s shortbread. I am a fan.
Q Not banoffee pie? Scones?!?
A Hahahaha yes. Just didn’t want to expose my huge sweet tooth. I heart banoffee pie and scones.
Q Can you tell us about a moment that took your breath away?
A I think it was the first take of the first scene. Just couldn’t believe we were in Scotland filming this series. AND seeing “Jamie” and “Claire” together for the first time was pretty amazing! You will not be disappointed!
Q Do the writers stay involved while filming? Say if something needs to be rewritten on the spot?
A Yes, definitely. We always have a writer/producer on set as we’re filming. We’re also still breaking episodes.
Q Have you been to Scotland before? Any favorite place so far?
A The sad truth is that I haven’t been anywhere that WASN’T a location. Been too busy. L
Q What was the most difficult book scene to translate into script for the screen?
A Claire’s voiceover is tough. Hard t o take a first person perspective and dramatize it. I think we’ve done a pretty good job though.
Q Was Sam’s first Jamie audition a video, or in person?
A A taped audition.
Q And Caitriona’s? How many auditions did you see before hers?
A A lot.
Q Is summer typical start for new series?
A No, new series traditionally launch in the fall. But that’s network. Cable launches at different times.
Q Are you all getting swamped with holiday mail and gifts?
A Not that I know of. But, I assume Sam and Cait are. Haven’t seen anything myself.
Q Has Sony/Starz “encouraged” the twitter/social media presence, or is voluntary/something you were already doing?
A I started doing it when I realized there was so much interest. And since I’m a fan myself, I like hearing what y’all think.
Q Did you manage to get some sunny filming days? It’s supposed to be summer in the book! I lived in Scotland, sun doe shine.
A We’ve actually been very lucky with the weather. And yes, we’ve actually seen the sun here.
Q From what you’ve seen, IYO will we understand Claire’s desire to return to Frank?
A Yes, I think you will.
Q Were you able to staff up from the UK/Europe or have you brought over folk from the US?
A Mostly folks from the UK. Only a few crew from the US and the writers.
Q How many scenes did Caitriona and Sam do together in the audition before you knew it was HER?
A I knew almost immediately. So, I guess one scene?
Q Will the actors do a Q&A with fans ever?
A I’m sure they will if asked. Keep trying to get Matt Roberts (a writer and producer) to do one. You should ask him!
(thanks to the Book Bosses! bookbosses.com)
Q Will Frank be a sympathetic figure that will break some hearts?
A Yes, but I think he’s already sympathetic from the book, don’t you?
Q Biggest surprise to date?
A How great our cast is. I knew they were great, but I didn’t anticipate that they would INHABIT the characters so completely.
Q When do you start back after Christmas?
A We’ll start prepping in January.
Q Prepping but not filming?
Q Really appreciate all the interactions with Sam. In the future could we expect the same with Caitriona?
A Because she works so much, I think she doesn’t have time for anything else!
Q Is the film already shot going to be edited soon or do you wait a bit for that? Does Ron or you do that or the director?
A The director has first cut. Then we get the producer’s cut.
Q #FictionalCharactersIWantToMarry James Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser right?
A Are you asking if I want to?
Q Sure! It popped up in my trending topics and that was my first thought, lol!
A Well, Jamie IS the perfect man. 😉
Q Why is your company named “Tall Ships”? Your idea or Ron’s? I have a thing for nautical stuff, so I like it a lot.
A Ron’s idea.
Q Will Diana have a cameo? I think this was hinted at…
A Maybe J
Q What is the scene that you think will be the hardest to film from the book? Re: emotional, location, etc.
A I can’t imagine the rape scene will be easy.
Q Have you been surprised by the level of enthusiasm shown by us fans? Ever experienced it quite like this before?
A No, but I had a feeling. I followed Diana’s FB page way before this show became a reality.
Q What do you miss most about the US?
A Driving, my family, sushi, friends, etc.
Q What does your job involve? What’s a typical day (if there’s such a thing)?
A No typical. I watch rehearsals, meet with directors, deal with casting, publicity, liaison with Sony and Starz, watch filming.
Q Any injuries so far?
A I don’t want to jinx this by answering!
Q did US using the #uktvneedsoutlander (a Twitter campaign to have a UK channel pick up the series) spark any interest with any UK TV channels?
A Not sure, but it never hurts. The international part is all handed by Sony.
Q How much CG will come into play, especially for scenes like the “going thru the stones” scene?
A Not that much. Not a huge VFX show.
Q I’m also looking forward to seeing Ned Gowan come to life. Any word on who’ll play him?
A Not yet. I love Ned too.
Q How long does it take to completely “finish” an episode after filming?
A A while. Has to be edited, seen by many people, scored, mixed, etc.
Q Will Scotland be a character as well as humans?
A Definitely. That’s why we wanted to film here. Such a special place and so important to the show.
Q What has been the most amazing part of this experience for you, besides seeing the books come to life?
A Living in Scotland has been amazing. Magical place. Have wanted to visit since I first read the books.
Q How long ago did you first read the books?
A 8 years ago? Matt Roberts gave them to me. Said they’d make a great series. He was right.
Q Do script rewrites ever occur on set? How many pages does an actor have to learn per shoot day on average?
A Yes, sometimes you hear lines in rehearsal that aren’t working. Writer fixes.
Q How do you and Ron go about finding directors? Is is first person or do you have people who help with that?
A We look at what directors have done in the past and then meet with them.
Q Had you been to Scotland before filming?
Q If you had to describe in 3 words a normal day filming Outlander… which words would you use?
A Freezing… amazing… laughter.
Q Does everybody get into the teasing and laughing on set? We know Sam and Caitriona do.
A Oh yes.
Q Are we going to see more behind the scenes?
Q Seems like many of you immediately knew Sam and Cait were the ones. Does that usually happen with castings?
A No, sometimes an actor grows into a role.