TheMist-5

How limited are the people stuck in the library because they don’t have a cafe or any food really?

There will be people that are stuck in places that they will have to move on from and travel through the mist to get to safety. They can’t just stay behind, because there’s no food or shelter.

The scariest thing about these stories are the people they’re stuck with. In one part, you’re dealing with a victim of sexual assault. Was it important to go there with real life horror?

I think it was. Always with King, it’s not the monsters that are the scariest. It’s what’s inside of yourself or what’s deep inside human nature. I wanted to explore in this show, that’s the reason I said yes to doing it. I think the original novella is just unfortunately so incredibly timely. Even now after 40 years, it’s such a beautiful metaphor for what people do when they are blinded by fear. How they look for someone to blame and someone to lead them to the promised land. The blame game definitely plays in and that’s why I wanted to mine the area with various conflict even from before. The rape incident is one such thing. Mia has her own story with some backstory. Jonah has his backstory. They bring various little conflicts with them that were alive and present even from before the mist came.

But with the blame game, was it important that Alex’s family never blames her?

When you see sexual assault or rape stories, it often chooses the wrong focus. It becomes all about a detective investigating it or solving the crime. We didn’t want to do that in this show. We wanted it to be about the victim and her experience and what she’s going through, and build a story about how an incident like this makes her lose trust in herself and lose any sort of contact she has with her own soul or her own mind, and how she slowly gets that power back. That’s also why, if you see in the pilot, the way the confession scene is shot and edited, we pretty much stay in close up on her the entire time. We didn’t want to cut too much to the parent and make it a story about oh no, how bad Kevin must feel because we really wanted to tell her story.

What are some of the other conflicts that come to a boil when they’re all trapped together?

Well, I don’t want to reveal too much, but as always, when people are under pressure [people] reveal their true selves. Whether they are opportunists or idealists, both will be revealed. If there’s people who have a flare up of misogyny present in them, that will certainly explode when they are pressed hard enough. That’s really what we are aiming for.

When we do see the results of the mist, are you able to use practical effects?

We do some practical stuff. We then enhance with CGI. The mist itself is also a mix. It’s a base layer of real mist. We had something called the mist tent which was giant, giant indoor tent that we could lift up and control the density very, very precisely. We dressed that room to look like a parking space or a forest or whatever we needed to. Then we would eventually, when we shot the scene, add some details to the mist, some movement, some life to it. We didn’t just want it to look like a stale fog so we added CGI movement later to the mix. It’s a good mix of practical and computer effects.

The Mist

Are there any of the same artists who worked on the movie?

I actually cannot tell you. I was not involved with the movie. On a show of this magnitude, I think we have a good 1600 VFX guys. Because we had such a high capacity, we used between 15-16 different vendors in total to do various sequences. Some would do creatures. Some would do car flips. Some would specialize in the mist itself. Some specialized in what we call interior mist. Some would specialize in the mist approaching, like big shots of the mist approaching town, which is a beast of its own. So we had a lot of different vendors doing a lot of different stuff.

I was wondering if, because the movie exists, was it easier for them to generate those effects?

Not necessarily. The movie is also by now a good 10 years old. Technology has developed so much, even if it’s on the same basis. No, we pretty much started from scratch. Of course we drew from the experience of other people working in this area, but we had to find our own way. Also, doing a TV show, we have much less time and at the end of the day, probably less money than on a bigger movie.

Frank Darabont released a black and white version of the movie. Would you like to see people turn off the color on their TVs for the show?

I love the black and white version. I saw the black and white version and thought it was so incredibly atmospheric, but I also think that Darabont shot and did his movie with the hope of one day doing a black and white version. You do approach certain elements slightly differently than if you never planned to do that. We worked pretty intensely with finding the right color scheme for this show. The colors we use mean something in the show so I think our show is not developed to be in black and white or to be translated to black and white like the movie is.

Are there any Stephen King Easter eggs that die hard fans should look for?

Plenty. Not just in the pilot, but throughout the show. We definitely worked very hard both to give it a King feel and have an overall awareness of the King universe and there’s also specific references in there.

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The Mist premiered on June 22, 2017.

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