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.
Thanks for watching Thursday’s episode, “Live Through This,” written by Rebecca Sonnenshine. Rebecca is most famous as the writer responsible for the Klaus-Caroline birthday speech in Season 3. The speech that launched one very passionate and eternal ‘ship. I told her that as a result she’ll get invited to conventions for the rest of her life and will never be bored in retirement.
Director Kellie Cyrus spent her first four years with TVD as the script supervisor. There is not a single person involved in the show — including sometimes the writers — who knows it better than the person in charge of continuity. After years of studying the visiting directors and learning the craft, Kellie was more than ready to take her turn in the director’s chair, and is now a family favorite director on both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. People talk a lot about the lack of female directors in the television landscape. In television, directors are often plucked from the ranks of the artists on the crew. Editors, camera, script supervisors, writers, ADs, line producers … the opportunity is there for women to come up through many different paths if someone is willing to support it. People who don’t support that are jerks, in my opinion, and should be sent in a time machine back to the Neolithic period where they don’t have to feel threatened by awesome women.
Tidbits from set:
- This episode committed the egregious sin of coming in three minutes short. Here’s what you DON’T want to do when your episode is short: stretch it out to make it longer. You can completely destroy an episode if you mess with its rhythm and pace, so we added three new scenes. Tweet me if you can guess.
- The “Casket Emporium” was actually a very small room in our production office with a couple dozen caskets on shelves, made to look like an endless warehouse through the magic of visual effects. Joe “Joe Props” Connelly had to scour the state of Georgia for new and used caskets, which are shockingly expensive. Death is not an inexpensive business. Speaking of (our beloved) Joe Props, his daughter, who was a pre-teen when we started shooting, just started college. Nothing makes you feel prouder (or older) than watching the Crew Kids grow up over the years. Joe has politely requested that we remain on the air another five years until his younger daughter is done with college. Seems like a fair ask.
- Bonnie in group therapy was Rebecca’s first pitch for the flash-forwards. We’ve had a lot of fun, not to mention given ourselves a lot of headaches, pulling it off. A hazard of shooting two timelines on the same day, for example, is nail polish. Kat Graham had a gorgeous gel manicure that works just fine for present-day Bonnie but is terribly incongruous with institutionalized, possibly crazy Bonnie. We had to try to edit around as many of the shots with her hands in them as possible.
- The idea to put Bonnie and Enzo together in the flash-forwards was born out of their scene last season at the door of the Salvatore House where she calls him a “ruiner.” They had such a fun spark and good energy together, we thought it would be an interesting dynamic to explore.
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