2012 Location Tour, Spoilers Only!
(Originally posted on The Winchester Family Business)
Russ offered a few very tiny little spoilers for season 8 during the location tour. They don't give away anything about character or plot, so they hardly qualify as spoilers at all, but for people who are thoroughly keeping their heads down and eyes averted to come into the season as total virgins, back away now! Otherwise, come on in; I don't think anything here really gives anything crucial away …
First off, the crew refer to the paintball woods as Purgatory One. As of the day we were there, it had been used in episodes 1, 3, and 5 this season, as well as in How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters and Survival Of The Fittest last season, and The Man Who Knew Too Much in season 6.
Russ wandered around for a while looking for one particular tree in the woods, and when he found it (or what he thought was it!), he said we'll see someone get beheaded against that tree. Given the nature of Purgatory, want to bet that Dean does the beheading?
The woods weren't the only feature of the paintball location they used. When you first turn into the drive leading to the paintball woods, you pass an old red barn with a field in front of it. Russ laughed that we should watch for a hilarious scene shot in that field featuring Crowley and … a herd of goats! I don't know about you, but my imagination paints all sorts of strange images with that particular lead-in …
Purgatory Two is a new name for an old location: the DOD lands! According to Russ, the opening scene of season 8 was shot in the empty field right next to the barren asphalt slab where they built the diner for Sam's kidnapping in All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1 – which, in turn, is right next to the crossroads.
The tour was going on while Guy Bee was shooting episode 5. Russ said that particular episode had even more than the usual number of locations, with several places used for just two pages of the roughly 50-page script. That means a lot of location moves because of the low page counts per scene, which in turn poses challenges for the director and crew not just because of the number of sets needing to be built and dressed, but because the transit time between locations eats into the shooting schedule for each day. I think this was likely one of the more expensive episodes, given the shooting demands!
He also said they were doing something very unusual that day, because they were shooting a gory scene on location in a very expensive house, instead of doing it in a replica set at the studio. Because they were doing it practically, they had to protect the walls and floor of the building to prevent any staining, so the set decoration crew had to apply a transparent protective film to the floors and walls before splattering the place with fake blood.
My guess, by the way, is that the “expensive house” may have been none other than Rio Vista (http://t-location-scout.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html and http://t-location-scout.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html), where other fans and I later encountered Guy Bee and Kevin Parks. Supernatural used the mansion's separate art deco poolhouse for Playthings many seasons ago; maybe this time, they were in the main house. None of us could see anything on location, because the house is set far back from the road and is fully concealed by a high hedge and fence, but if they were in the main house, I can't wait!
Despite the increasing difficulty of keeping the backlot in shooting condition, they are still using it in season 8. It's in the first episode – although I'm not certain whether Russ meant the first episode shot (Jensen's, which will air third) or the season premiere. I'll let you know, because I'm dead certain I'll recognize it in whatever dress it's wearing!
Russ said they already had the first-draft scripts through episode 10 so far, which was unusual since they were only shooting episode 5 at the time, and previously got very little lead time in which to look at scripts – as in, only a couple of weeks before beginning prep for most scripts over the years. Since they were getting scripts earlier this year than they had in the past, it was easier for them to be able to figure out the shooting budget that would be required and correct details where necessary – for example, getting the scripts to change to reduce the number of locations, or to consolidate or relocate scenes.
While we were at the Paramount Gentlemen's Club, previously used in Criss Angel Is A Douchebag, Russ said the club was also used in the season 8 episode directed by Jensen. He said Jensen directed a fight scene in the audience section of the club, where some of us were standing while on the location tour, on the right-hand side of the club as you faced the main stripper stage. He couldn't show us the backstage dressing rooms, but said they'd also shot in the dressing room area. Keep your eyes peeled!
Russ also said there will be four new directors this season, and one of them is Thomas Wright. You may not recognize that name, but if you're a Jensen Ackles fan, you really should: he was the director of three episodes of Dark Angel that prominently featured Jensen – Pollo Loco, Proof Of Purchase, and The Berrisford Agenda. He also directed on Max Headroom, The X-Files, Angel, Highlander, and more, including the Heart Of Gold episode of Firefly, featuring Fred Lehne, Supernatural's Yellow-Eyed Demon Azazel, as yet another villain.
Finally, as his parting shot, Russ advised us to look out for Foxglove Farms, although he didn't say why. My bet on that one is they may be doing some shooting on Salt Spring Island … http://www.foxglovefarmbc.ca/
And that ends my report of spoilery information from the location tour. On to season 8!
All my specifically spoilery photos and videos from the tour are here.