The Mikaelson family is extremely complicated, and who better to untangle that drama than Julie Plec? The Originals showrunner will blog each week’s installment throughout the season exclusively for EW. 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 brought us “The Other Girl in New Orleans,” written by Michael Narducci & Michael Russo and directed by Kellie Cyrus. Michael Russo humbly requested that I use this space to celebrate our Locations, Production Design and VFX Teams, who weekly create New Orleans in the charming small town of Conyers, Georgia. And he’s right. Production Designer Bill Eigenbrodt, Location Manager Michael Jones (aka “Mike Locations”) and On-set VFX Supervisor Joel Hynek, in-house VFX artist Jaq Sananikone, and effects house Entity use practical locations, green screen, 2D compositing, matte paintings, and perfect set dec detail to create a world that can cut in perfectly to the pieces we shoot once or twice a year in actual New Orleans.
For example, in this episode we used a number of VFX background composites for NOLA to give the illusion that our characters were actually at some of the most famous landmarks in New Orleans. Examples of this are the scene of Klaus and Lucien outside St. Louis Cathedral where they find the painting Klaus gave Cami (in episode 301) and the scene of Lucien and Aurora sitting on a bench in Jackson Square. Both of these scenes (as well as the scene where Lucien follows Klaus through Artist Alley) were actually shot at James Madison Park in Madison, Georgia.
The scene where Hayley super-jumps from her balcony to the balcony of the Mikaelson compound was actually shot on our indoor stages. The sets for Hayley and Jackson’s apartment and the Mikaelson compound are located right next to each other in real life, and the balcony of the set for Hayley and Jackson’s apartment literally faces the balcony of the Mikaelson compound. This allowed our crew to plan a real-life super-jump (with the aid of wires, of course) from Hayley and Jackson’s balcony to the Mikaelson balcony in front of a blue screen, and our VFX team added in the city background behind it.
Joel Hynek won an Oscar for his work on the film What Dreams May Come and was nominated for another Oscar for his work on the classic action film Predator. He also received a technical Oscar for his work in designing and developing a special effects optical printer.
Other tidbits from set:
- The title “The Other Girl in New Orleans” is a callback to a season 1 episode that focused on Cami’s character (“The Girl In New Orleans”). With Aurora determined to dismiss Cami as a viable romantic interest in Klaus’s life, it felt liked a nice callback.
- The read-through got a big laugh from many of the guys in the room, who pointed out that they have dated girls exactly as intense and blindly arrogant as Aurora is in this episode, particularly when she says, “You’re in danger of losing your true love… ME.”
- Narducci (aka “Papa Nardooch”) and Charles Michael Davis (aka “CMD”) have started an unofficial book club, exchanging books about achievement and spirituality, everyone from Annie Lamott to Michael Jordan. Narducci carries a private journal that he uses to jot down quotes that inspire him and will share them with us to carry us through the hard times. The writing staff calls him Coach Taylor. Shippers on Twitter call him That Asshole Who Won’t Give Us Klaroline. I call him brilliant.
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The Originals airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.