Welcome to Julie’s Diary! Every week during the season, Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec will add an entry to her diary. From answering burning questions to giving behind-the-scenes stories and more, this is a place for fans to hear directly from Plec about the episode they just watched.
Tonight’s episode, “Never Let Me Go,” was written by Brian Young. A funny story about Brian: When I met him, he was a sweet-faced young accountant looking to break into the world of television writing. I hired him to be the writers’ assistant on Kyle XY, the show I was working on at the time, and happily learned that that he could type about 100 wpm without ever looking at the keyboard. A writers’ assistant is more often than not a glorified stenographer, but if they’re good, they quickly become the research god/goddess, an invaluable helping hand, and ultimately, if they earn it, a writer. And what a writer he’s become. Nine years later, he’s the best partner Caroline Dries and I could ask for.
He’s also #Klaroline and #Delena. Just kidding. I like to try to throw twitter hate his way so he can know how it feels. He’s very crafty at avoiding controversy.
Tidbits from Brian:
- Horror fan (and this episode’s director) Chris Grismer was in his element directing the Phoenix Stone flash-cuts. He was allowed to be as outrageous and gory as he wanted to be because the footage would be so short that it just might sneak past the rule-makers. It’s his homage to similar nightmare flashes in the movie Event Horizon.
- Lucy is the name of Brian’s housekeeper, who is now the name of Lily Salvatore’s housekeeper. For years, as a joke, the writers have pitched a comedy web series about the never-seen but clearly well-paid cleaning staff of the Salvatore House. Keeping all the candles burning and the logs stocked is a full time job, not to mention carpet/couch blood stain removal.
- When Caroline laughs at Nora wearing the frumpy dress, the camera was rolling on Candice and first AD Tony Griffin walked into the shot in the dress instead of Scarlett Byrne. That laugh was genuine.
- As Grismer was trying to figure out a whole complicated split-screen gag to shoot the eyeliner pencil that close to Caroline’s eye, an epiphany occurred: Every day in the makeup chair, the makeup artist gets that close. So instead of using VFX, he used the makeup artist and did it for real. Clever thinking.
- Michael Malarkey is a musician in real life, and we couldn’t resist giving him the opportunity to show off his skills. He’s strumming the chords of a song he wrote.
Thanks for watching, everyone! Thanks to Brian Young and Chris Grismer for a bang-up job. See you all next week.