Outlander: Maril Davis does a Birthday Q&A

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The lovely Maril Davis, Outlander’s Executive Producer, took time from her birthday celebration today to do a Twitter Q&A on the Sony account!

Q How was it to create the battle of Culloden onscreen?
A It wasn’t easy. The battle took us around 9 days of shooting with our main unit and 5 days of shooting with our 2nd unit team.

Q Any significance to the bird? Great episode and happy birthday!
A Maybe. You’ll have to watch all the episodes!

Q Can you be objective or do scenes affect you? I’ve watched S3 E1 three times and the battle scenes weigh heavy on my heart.
A Yes, but I still tear up at certain scenes. Like when Jamie says goodbye to Rupert. Sam Heughan gives a heartbreaking performance.

Q Fave moment from last night’s ep?
A Hmmm. Jamie’s goodbye to Rupert. Jamie/Jack fight. Brianna’s birth.

Q Which Outlander book is your favorite and why?
A I love the original, Outlander book, but I also like A Breath of Snow and Ashes! Love them all! Cheers to Diana!

Q Who choreographed Sam and Tobias’ fight on the battlefield? #stunninglysadlybeautiful
A We have a great stunt team who choreographed the fight. With input as well from our director, Brendan Maher.

Q Is Caitriona really a bad driver?
A I’ve never been in a car with Caitriona when she’s been the driver. But allegedly, she’s the worst driver in California.

Q (Caitriona) My driving skills are like my tennis skills … on point! #ahem
A I ran out of room in last tweet, but according to Matt Roberts, you drove the hell out of that car in episode 313!

Q How do you decide what blocks are filmed together? Can it get confusing?
A Normally you film 1&2, 3&4, etc. But sometimes, due to availability, you have to mix it up. Like we filmed ep. 2 and ep. 8 together.

Q S3 is about to start here in Germany in a few minutes…how would you describe the 1st episode in three words?
A Heartbreaking…beautiful….lonely.

Q Why are you limiting the episodes to 58 minutes?
A Every episode is a different length, but 60 minutes is our limit! Unless it’s SUPERSIZED! Which only happens on special occasions! 🙂 #hint

Q The Boston scenes filmed in Scotland and you’ve filmed in Europe and South Africa. Will you ever film in the US?
A I wish! I’d love to film in the US, but not going to happen. Plus, we’d have to leave behind our Scottish crew and we love them.

Q Murtagh’s fate was left in limbo in the first episode. Cait has said we will see him again, will that be in this season?
A You’ll definitely find out his fate.

Q Sam’s performance with no words is Emmy worthy!! How hard is it to become emotionally invested in this wonderful show?
A Not hard at all! I’d much rather work on something I love than something I’m not passionate about.

Q Who does the divine Miss Cait’s hair and makeup?
A A lovely woman named Anita Anderson does Cait’s hair and makeup.

Q Ever considered doing a walk-on role some day? We’d love to see you in an 18th century costume!
A Ummm. I don’t have the patience or acting chops! And the hair/makeup team would be afraid to deal with my hair!

Q Is Season 4 all broken out? When do you start filming?
A Season 4 is in progress. Breaking and writing eps and filming starts soon. Whoop!

Q How long does it take to cast a part on the show? And on the anniversary date of casting announcement for Caitriona as Claire I thank you!
A Depends. Sometimes the right person immediately. And, like with Cait, sometimes it takes a while. But the wait was worth it.

Q When do you  head back to Scotland?
A I head back to Scotland in a couple of weeks. Whoop!

Q Why or what do you attribute this season, more than the other two seasons, is the reason there’s been an Outlander fever?
A We have passionate fans and those of us who work on the show are passionate about the story we’re telling. Passion+Passion=Lovechild

Q Did you give Ron any advice for E301 from a woman’s point of view?
A HAHAHAHA. No. He does fine on his own! But, we break stories in the room, so many people’s perspectives go into all episodes.

Q This season will see so many new characters. Any storyline you are especially excited for fans to see?
A The Print Shop episode, obviously!!! But, also so many awesome new characters. Like Marsali, Young Ian, (older) Fergus, etc!

Q What’s the best part of your job (and the worst)?
A Best part is talking to the fans and getting to produce my favorite book series. Worst part is I don’t always get my way!!

Q It seems most of your writers and producers are Team Frank. Is there anybody who is Team Jamie?
A That’s actually not true. We’re all Team Frank, Team Jamie, Team Claire, etc. We’re on everybody’s teams!

Q Will the remaining seasons have 13 episodes? Any chance we will get a few more like S1? Not that we are greedy or anything.
A Current and next season will be 13 episodes.

Q Luv the many parallels of previous scenes, ie Frank behind Claire reaching to touch her/she moves away, ala S1E7 – who decides this?
A Depends. Usually it’s written in the stage directions (in the script) by the writer.

Q You’re such an inspiration for women like me who want to produce. Any wisdom you can bestow?
A Try to find projects you’re passionate about. That’s the only thing that makes work not feel like work!

Q Do you shoot your days around light, meaning starting the week with day shoot and ending it with night shoots?
A Sometimes we have “split day” where you film day scene when it’s light, then wait for dark to film night scene. We hate those days!

Q Being so involved with the production, do you feel you see the episodes from a viewer perspective when shown?
A Whenever I watch the episode on a big screen at “Playback” which is where we give last minute sound notes, I am transported.

Q Who crafted the “where is my baby” line in Ep. 301?
A The marvelous Toni Graphia came up with that line as a callback to her heartbraking episode last season (207 – Faith).

Q Jamie sees a rabbit on the battlefield. Symbol of renewal, luck, and even trickery in some cultures. Am I warm?
A Maybe? Hmmmmm.

Q What will be some of the new challenges of bringing S4 Drums of Autumn to the screen?
A Creating the Colonies in Scotland is a challenge but one we are fully prepared for!!

Q Will you ever let bro @blaketopia do a walk on part? I feel sorry for him, it’s his dream.
A hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Is that an answer?

Q I understand but isn’t it hard to let characters go? Losing Rupert broke my heart.
A Of course! I miss Rupert/Grant already! Interesting fact about his last scene… It’s rare that schedule works out that a character’s last scene is also actor’s last scene. But that’s how it was with Grant.

Q How did you get your start in the business?
A My start was as a production assistant on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Q How long did Tobias actually practice his cowboy accent?
A Hahaha. Not very long. Tobias has a natural cowboy accent when he wants to. 🙂 It’s like John Wayne showed up that day!

Q Any scenes you have cried when watching?
A There’s a scene/line coming up in episode 303 that breaks my heart every time. Ask me after you’ve seen the episode!

Q How often is Diana on set with you when you are filming?
A Sadly, we rarely see Herself. But she came to see the sets while we were in South Africa!

Q If you get to adapt all the Outlander books, which are you the  most looking forward to?
A As I’ve probably said many times, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. But also looking forward to season 4!

Q One thing you fought for but didn’t get?
A Really wanted to get in the carving of initials, but it didn’t work out.


Read my review of Season 3’s first episode here!

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Erin Conrad