SEASON 3 – EPISODE 25
“An Invisible Thread”
Dearest readers, this is a sad moment for me, as it will be, not only my final blog for Season 3, but also my final blog for HEROES.
You see, I will not be returning to HEROES for Season 4. Ultimately this was a financially motivated decision made by NBC. They no longer want to have a Producer/Director position on the show. But it coincides well with my own innate wanderlust, and so, while sad to leave so many friends and comrades, I am excited for the future.
Having said that, while this will be my final blog respective to HEROES, it is not necessarily my final Beeman’s Blog ever. Over the years I have been careful to keep this blog separate from NBC.com or any other entity that specifically ties it to HEROES. It certainly seems reasonable that I will continue to write on about whatever my next adventures are. It is a bit too early to say, but I have a strong feeling I will be involved in very exciting projects in the very near future. I hope that the many of you who have followed me up to now will continue to follow with me as I move forward. I have been amazed that the blog frequently gets thirty or forty thousand hits a week. If I have been able to give any enjoyment or insight to you fans then that is certainly enough to me. As I hope you know, I am well aware that our fans are everything and I am very happy to have been able to serve you. Moving forward, well… I will keep you posted.
So, having dispensed with that, it seems appropriate today, not to write a typical behind-the-scenes about what occurred on this final episode. From my point of view as director and producer it went quite smoothly. It was a Tim Kring script, which are always easy to make manifest. I am pleased with the overall results, and I hope you will be as well.
It seems more appropriate today to address a farewell to the many people I have worked with these last three years. (Take a breath – this could go on for awhile!)
I feel like starting with the actors. Of all the jobs I do on this show, working one on one and in groups with the actors is the most deeply rewarding and important job I do. I’ve mentioned, frequently what a great cast this is. That is partly because they are all very nice people. But also, they are all talented, and they each enjoy the relationship with the director, digging for the unexpected and the surprising.
I’d like to start with Zachary Quinto. Because I didn’t do the pilot I didn’t have influence over hiring the rest of the series regulars. But I was there, directing Zach at his first audition. It was an incredible, showstopping, performance. It was immediately evident that his range was phenomenal and I knew then and there we had something special. Zach is a true artist and I feel a deep affection for him. He is also a great person and a very giving actor to his fellow actors, to the crew and to the show. What’s especially amazing is that, as great as he is, I know how much he can still develop into the power of his craft. Beyond a doubt, I know that he will go on to greatness - because not only does he have the talent to achieve this he has the will, and I have immense respect for this quality within him.
To the rest, I’d like to say farewell to Hayden Panettiere. Hayden you are a savant. You do everything effortlessly and are deeply intelligent. I respect you immensely.
To Jack Coleman, you are a true professional in the very best sense of the word. Your work seems effortless and simple, and yet I know how complex the character is. Whenever I have had an opportunity to push with you into the deeper aspects of your character, the rewards were always rich.
To Ashley Crow, you were phenomenal in the pilot, presenting an odd quirky character. As the series developed, slowly, you were given the opportunity to expand this character and show a depth of character, a strength that is born in love of family. My personal opinion is that all of this resides naturally in you and reflects your own values. (In fact, whenever I had the opportunity to direct “The Bennets” Hayden, Ashley and Jack together, it was a delightful experience. “First Line on the Ice” I called them - using a hockey expression. Those scenes were always so fun and easy and fast to bring to fruition.)
To Milo Ventimiglia, you are a person of great integrity and a filmmaker in your own right. You have always been deeply respectful of the crew and the process and I respect that in you. I have really, truly enjoyed working with you.
To Adrian Pasdar, you are a true leader, and a funny nice guy who cares immensely about the details of his performance. You challenged me and forced me to direct with more depth. It is an honor to have directed you.
To Ali Larter, we had a very special and bonding experience on the sixth episode of the first season, as we both worked through a complex performance. You are characterized by great enthusiasm and desire to strive for the highest performance you can achieve and I very much admire you for this.
To Sendhil Ramamurthy, you are one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Your enthusiasm for being on the show has never waned. And you have always gone the extra mile whenever I asked you to do something above and beyond the expected. I am very grateful to you for this.
To Greg Grunberg, you are as funny and as naturally likable in person as you are on-screen. I have also been very impressed by your eagerness to push into darker areas of your character whenever the opportunity presented itself. Tonight’s episode is a good example of this. It has been a joy to work with you.
Masi Oka, you are one of the smartest actors I have ever worked with. It was incredibly fun learning the minute amount of Japanese I did from you. Your positive attitude was never in doubt throughout. You have been a great ambassador for the show, in so many ways, Thank you.
James Kyson Lee, sometimes I wonder if the work you do is fully appreciated. Straight-man comedy is not easy to pull off, but you make it all look so easy. As a film-maker I know that you are always 100% reliable to deliver whatever is asked of you. I have gotten to know you personally a bit and you are a delight to hand with. Thanks for everything.
To Cristine Rose, I have to say I have never had more fun directing an actor than I have you. I feel we have done excellent work together. I know the scene we did recently where you were eating oysters in the restraunt was a truly fun collaboration. Similarly the one in tonight’s episode where you discover Nathan’s body was, for me, perfectly emblematic of the collaboration between director and actor. You love to take chances and I love that you have trusted me. Thank you.
To the other cast, who have left the show (at least temporarily???) Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Noah Gray-Cabey, Leonard Roberts, Dania Ramirez, Brea Grant and Kristen Bell… It was truly special to collaborate with you all. I am so filled with warm feelings at having worked with every member of this cast that words can’t describe it.
But there are also so many people I have worked with behind the scenes on this show. If you’ve followed my blog at all then you know that this is, on SO many levels and incredibly complex and challenging show – and also a deeply rewarding one. I have had the incredible fortune of being involved intimately with every department.
Firstly, to Ruth Ammon, HEROES Production designer. You are among the most talented individuals I have ever worked with. The sets you build have been uniformly marvelous. Your taste is impeccable. Your sense of color and design flawless. You have taught me the concept of building history and character into sets. You have been more challenged than perhaps any other member of the crew… You have built huge, incredible sets in so little time – and when I walk on them, they are perfectly designed to be shot, both artistically and technically. I thank you and your whole crew. I don’t have time to name them individually, but they have done world class work faster and better than I have ever seen.
To Nate Goodman, our Director of Photography, I have had perhaps the closest collaboration with you. Your intuitiveness, your endless enthusiasm and willingness to take real and significant chances is a marvel. You are starting your career as a D.P. at such a high level of talent that I know the future will be quite bright for you.
To Charlie Lieberman, our other D.P. What can I say? Your lightening is sumptuously gorgeous. The way you make the light caress the face is so beautiful. You entered an already running machine and stepped aboard effortlessly. The work we did on tonight’s episode and on the last one we did together, episode #19, is some of the most beautiful photography I’ve been involved with. (And I really care about photography.)
I think it’s also important to mention John Aronson, the Director of Photography who shot the whole of season one. John set the look and established our standards. His influence continues to be felt.
I’d like to thank the entirety of the camera, grip and electric crews. We have a core group that does the bulk of the episodes and a huge, vastly rotating group that does our second units. That the show has a cohesive look despite the myriad crews that work on it is a testament to everyone’s hard work and to the integrity of vision of our DPs and producers. I would like to single out just a few names of those I’ve worked most closely with…. Peter Mercurio, our camera operator, Chuck Crivier our key grip. Carlos Gallardo our dolly grip and Jeff Levy our gaffer… And to all of the many many rest who create the images the fans enjoy week in and week out... Thank you all for your hard work and good attitude. It has been a pleasure to work with you.
I would like to thank Gary D’Amico and his special effects crew. Gary you blows stuff up real good, and does every other kind of mechanical effect imaginable. The range of special effects you have done on this show is all encompassing. As far as I can remember, nothing you and your crew has done has ever not worked. Great job!
Also, Tim Gilbert, our stunt coordinator. In TV time is short to do very elaborate stunts. Tim you have had a great attitude through all types of conditions. And again, congrats on your SAG award this year!
I would like to thank Lori Madrigal and Wendi Allison our makeup artists. I have mentioned them a few times before on the blog. You guys have the greatest attitude and keep every member of our large cast continuously happy in your trailer which is the rockenest on the planet.
The same enthusiastic thanks goes to LeeAnn Brittenham and Angie Gurule our hair people!
To our Prop department, especially prop master Ross Anderson, and his key crew James Clark, Reba Rosenthal, Scott Henry and the rest of the crew that have worked all of our numerous units. All of your work has never been anything but top notch. Every prop was right or was quickly made right if there was ever a problem. I would also like to single out James (who twitters as @jamesprops) James your dedication to the show and it’s numerous details has not gone unnoticed by me. Thank you all for your enthusiasm.
To Stargate Visual Effects and our team Eric Grenaudier, Mark Spatny, and also to our Season One VFX producer Mark Kolpack – This show has been a great and fun challenge… So many things get written into the scripts that we have to figure out how to do in just a few weeks. It has been fun collaborating with you guys creatively even when we have to creatively figure out how to do something huge without a huge amount of money. One of the most effective VFX-based scenes I’ve done remains the Season one episode 3 scene in which Hiro first froze time in Tokyo Japan. Since then we have exploded New york, Exploded Tokyo, Frozen and shattered Ali Larter as well as (tonight) made Ali Larter materialize out of water. We have recently Morphed Sylar into virtually every cast member we have, shattered a plane and then digitally re-created it on the ground, we have flown Peter, flown Nathan and so much more. Thank you guys for your hard work and diligence!
To our prosthetic guys from Optic Nerve - Glen Hetrick & Mark Viniello, you guys did amazing work. My favorite was the open brain cap you made for Hayden in season three's opener. I stood six inches from that appliance and I still couldn't figure it out. Glen, you as the mutated man Suresh worked on was also a hoot from episode 9-11 this year. Guys, thank you!
To Cathy Gibson, our UPM, it has been great getting to know you as we worked in the trenches together this year. Figuring out the pure mechanics and manpower of this show is a beast and you tamed the beast with elegance. As director Jeannot Szwarc dubbed you, "You are a snub nosed 35 inside a velvet purse!"
To Brenda Pulos and to Alex Reid, and who left earlier in the year, thanks for everything. To Pearl Lucero and our entire amazing Office Production Staff, thanks guys!
To Valerie Norman and Merry Donner, our two amazingly talented script supervisors. Thank you. Val, you and I have been especially close and we have shared a lot emotionally and metaphysically. I thank you for your freindship.
And to our AD Department - Sam Mahony, Robert Scott and Anne Berger and Diane Calhoun, as well as to our numerous simul-unit ADs and also those who have left, my friend Pat Duffy and Milos Milicevic . Due to SO many reasons this show is THE hardest show to A.D. I have ever seen. All of you did it with class in your own inimatable way.
To Ken Fuller and the sound crew - thank you for excellent work done quickly and quietly. In general there is cleaner sound with less ADR on this show than on any I've been on.
Our Casting Guys RULE - Jason La Padura, Natalie Hart & Keri Owens!!! This team found this amazing original cast and continues to find the actors that fit seemlessly into our high standards week after week!
To our costumes team, for making our cast look awesome - Debra McGuire, Nancy Gould and your entire team of people.. Thanks!
For finding us places to shoot, week in and week out thanks also goes to our Locations Department -- Steve Hasson, Dianne Friedgen and Jason Savage. This is another department that has to jump through hoops every week just to get us on the air.
To Brian Stegall and our transportation team that keeps our company moving thanks for everything. You do a great job in a seamless way!
I'd like to give a special thanks to our stand in team... Otto Krausse who is without question my oldest friend and my brother-from-another-mother, Mitch Blaylock, Elizabeth Obrien and Heather Stunkle as well as the numerous stand in's on simul-unit... You guys work hard witha great attitude. (Stand-in is something I should have done a blog about - basically they "stand-in" for the actors during the long lighting set-ups between takes. It's basically super-important but tedious work that requires paying a lot of attention for very little thanks - and this is a great and happy team!)
To Foz , who I brought over from SMALLVILLE and ended up being Jim Chory’s assistant – thanks for being a great guy! Thank you for your kind words towards me. You are a great guy!
To Lori Motyer, our post production producer and to our editors Scott Boyd, Jon Koslowsky, Don Aron to Lois Blumenthal, and to all of our assistant editors and post production assistants…. You guys are the best. The show is so well crafted in post production it’s not funny. Lois, I feel especially proud of you, because we worked together on your first episode after you moved up from assistant! Great job everyone. I will miss my time down in the dungeon with all of you.
To Wendy and Lisa our composers, I would like to extend a special thanks. The music that you create for the show is haunting and magical, and you are truly the shows greatest fans! Allan and I would always know how a show was because when we showed it to you guys you had the most authentic reaction ever. Also, the speed with which you turn over your amazing scores blows my mind. Thanks.
To all of our writers, Thank you. Adam Armus, Kay Foster, you're character work is unsurpassed. I still feel “HOMECOMING” was one of my best episodes. To Joe Pokaski, and Aron Coleite, your level of talent at your youthful ages is intimidating. To Bryan Fuller, you know I think you are a genius. To Rob Fresco and Mark Verheiden – I have greatly enjoyed our time together. To our younger writers, Chuck Kim, Chris Zatta and Oliver Griigsby, thank you. To all of you - The work you all did singly and collectively was so complex and dense that it’s awe inspiring! I am very glad for the time I had with each of you.
I'd also like to say a special thanks to my friends Jeph Loeb and Jessie Alexander, who have also left the show. Thanks for all you contributed and much success in your continued endeavors... This is a given, but I say it anyway.
To Jim Chory, our line producer, thanks for being a great instructor. I have tried to learn from your mind which is able to juggle such complexities that it’s amazing, You have been a great teacher. Thanks.
To Dennis Hammer, thank you for your friendship and your support. You have been the rudder in the ocean that is HEROES.
To Allan Arkush. Thank you for the dignity and kindness that you showed me. I was the new kid on the Kring block when I came aboard and I greatly appreciate the open-heartedness you showed me upon my arrival.
To Tim Kring, thanks for hiring me. It was great to finally really get together and work after all those years ago at USC film school. You created a truly inspired work. Congratulations and continued success.
Finally to my assistant Erin who has helped me in every endeavor with the greatest, happiest attitude ever – thank you!
I’m sure I’ve forgotten many, please accept my apologies. There’s a lot of you!
I hope that wasn't too lengthy or too sappy for you, my faithful readers... HEROES has for me been a very all-encompassing experience… It required so much of me on so many levels. I know there will never be another experience quite like this one again! One of the best experiences that specified what was amazing, especially, about season one, was sitting in a movie theater a few minutes before the show started (I think I was there to see MICHAEL CLAYTON?) and I began eavesdropping on two random strangers behind me. As I listened it became clear they were talking about HEROES and the Season One DVD set that had just come out. They started to go on and on about how awesome the show was. This was heady for me because it was completely authentic and unsolicited… They went into great depth about every aspect of the show, expressing not just fan-enthusiasm but also a deep intelligence and understanding about stuff we were up to that I thought was very subtle. That was an exciting experience for me but also one that taught me clearly how intelligent and perceptive our fans are.
Thank you all! Goodbye everyone!
OH YEAH... AND DON’T FOREGT THE PICTURES!!!!!!:
ZACH MEDITATES WHILE THE CAST LOOKS ON AND ADRIAN PREPARES TO LIGHT HIM ON FIRE!
HAYDEN'S GOT A GUN!
TWO GENERATIONS OF STAR TREK
PRODUCTION DESIGNER RUTH AMMON AND I WATCH THE MONITOR
MASI SNEAKS UP ON ME
OUR STAND-INS - UNSUNG HEROES OF THE SET, OTTO, MITCH, ELIZABETH & HEATHER
ME AND ADRIAN - HAPPY DAYS ON SET
MASI AND SENDHIL - I WILL MISS YOU!
REHEARSAL ON SET
HEH HEH HEH - WHEN I YELL "ACTION" JAB HIM WITH THAT BIG ASS NEEDLE
HAYDEN ON SET
ZELJIKO SAYS "WHAT'RE YOU LOOKING AT?"
JKL SAYS "WHAT'RE YOU LOOKING AT?"
HAYDEN SAYS "WHAT'RE YOU LOOKING AT?"
ZACH SAYS "WHAT'RE YOU LOOKING AT?"
DANG! THAT'S A BIG NEEDLE
CRIS ROSE AND MR. COOL
ADRIAN AND MILO BETWEEN TAKES
VIEW FROM THE MONITOR
ZACH USUALLY LOOKS PRETTY COOL ANYWAY, BUT THEN PUT HIM BEHIND SOME FIRE AND WHOO-WEE!
A NICER GROUP OF ACTORS YOU COULD NEVER HOPE TO FIND
CRISTINE AND HAYDEN ON LOCATION AT L.A. CITY HALL
MASI, OUR JAPANESE TRANSLATOR SACHIKO AND I
A BRUTAL PAPER CUT
DID I DO THAT?