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.
Thank you for watching “Requiem for a Dream” by Brett Matthews and Neil Reynolds, directed by Paul Wesley. I love this episode. When I watched the first cut, I remember getting director envy. I was feeling pretty good about myself after having directed 717, and then I saw what Paul and DP Mike Karasick did with this episode, and I felt decidedly humbled. I really think that Paul has a terrific visual eye and is extremely suited for the role of director. And Karasick is the perfect partner in crime for someone like Paul. The two of them took risks with lenses, shutter angles, and composition that fall outside the box of what we normally do, and it all looked gorgeous.
Lots of tidbits on this one, because writer Brett Matthews is chock full of stories. Neil’s tidbit brain was clouded by spending five days on set during pollen season and basically suffering the entire way through. But hypoallergenic Matthews is a fountain of stories.
- Bonnie’s stump is, in fact, Bonnie’s stump from episode 504. It was in a different part of the woods and had taken root, but after much debate, we uprooted it and put it back in the same spot. Her rusted bell is also the original prop, aged by our ace prop department.
- It was exciting to do rain towers and lightning effects on this episode. The latter has always been a big no-no for us because a lightning machine is upwards of $10,000 a day, which in television is not really a responsible use of money. But Best Boy Gannon Murphy introduced us to a new technology that allowed us to do it safely and under our control, which is why the hits are timed perfectly over certain dramatic pieces of dialogue.
- We rarely shoot much EXT SALVATORE HOUSE anymore because last year a developer bought the actual property and tore it down to build a Mercedes dealership. (JP note: I find this to be terribly sad, because we’ll never be able to go back to the place where it all started in season 1. A piece of our history is gone.)
- Paul split his forehead open in the middle of the shoot when a door hit him. According to Candice, it’s because Paul walks everywhere with his head buried in his cell phone. For half his scenes, he had a cut on his forehead that we had to erase with VFX. But we didn’t lose a minute of our day.
- We had to cut a really great Matt-Enzo scene from this episode. Such is life when you’re nine minutes over, but that was a really great, emotional scene.
- If you look very closely in the armory’s display cases, you might find a familiar prop — Silas’ mask. I love that little Easter egg.
- I love that Bonnie decapitates Caroline with one of the swords off the wall of the Salvatore house. I’ve wanted to do that gag since I first walked onto that set, and it made me giddy.
- Likewise, Bonnie’s takedown of the high school stoners was scripted to use a dumpster. But when we walked the set and saw the old stoner van, it became the perfect thing to use. Those kinds of discoveries are what make producing and filmmaking so much fun.
- Stoner Chad is named for co-executive producer Chad Fiveash, but he never noticed.
- Paul and Mike storyboarded the Bonnie-Damon fight at the Albert (our favorite local dive bar). Time well spent. And we may have had a couple beers doing it.