Freeform approved Stitchers for a second season rather quickly after the season one finale aired. The series will premiere on March 22, 2016 and fans will be eagerly tuning in to see just how the first season’s cliffhanger turns out.
“Stitchers” is a show of many colours. It contains a touch of science fiction combined with mystery, as well as a little fantasy, a dash of action and a bit of romance…All of that diversity in just the genre department alone.
Add to this mix a cast of attractive and damned talented people who deliver great performances every week plus a creator with vision and a penchant for pop culture references and the end result is a show that entertains thoroughly.
It also has fascinating characters that are fleshed out well enough to make the events on-screen seem more plausible.
All of these elements combined to make the first season of Stitchers a hit with viewers and convinced the powers that be at Freeform (then Family) to bring the show back for a second season.
After writing reviews for each episode throughout the first season, Mike’s Film Talk was approached by the show’s creator Jeff Schechter. Mr. Schechter left an open invitation to visit the set if the series was approved for a second season.
On January 28, 2016 this writer was allowed the privilege of visiting the main Stitchers set and also interviewed the cast and the show’s creator Jeff Schechter. On that long day, the cast and crew were filming the second season finale and the actors graciously fit in long moments of time, out of their hectic schedule, to speak with Mike’s Film Talk.
(Throughout the following articles Mike’s Film Talk will be shown as MFT during the Q&A sessions.)
The interviews will be broken into three different articles: One for the men of the show, one for the women and another for the creator.
All of those interviewed agreed that this season of Stitchers was going to be even better than the first. Two-point-oh (2.0) was the phrase used a lot, with the implication that all the characters have evolved along with the storyline of the verse.
The location of the studios where Stitchers is filmed, except for location shooting, is Santa Clarita Studios (roughly 30 minutes north of Burbank and very near Magic Mountain) which is scattered over an area that includes “gated” premises and other stages nestled amongst the buildings and industrial estate of Santa Clarita proper.
Entering the main gate, one immediately sees stages off to the right. To the left, and slightly behind the gate is the main complex, its front covered partially with ivy and glass. Immediately in front of the gate are a number of vans, trailers, and a caterer’s area.
Getting checked off the visitor list and texting the publicist Robin meant having a little time to look around and take in the surroundings. Seconds after texting Ms. Finn, she arrived and proper introductions were made. While waiting for her to park up, the first cast member to come wandering by was Damon Dayoub (Detective Fisher).
MFT: “Hello. I’m going to be talking to you later.”
There was a shaking of hands as he commented on my being from Mike’s Film Talk.
Damon: “Nice to meet you, I’ll see you later.”
The very tall actor then moved past an unmarked trailer and within seconds “Linus,” aka Ritesh Rajan came walking from the same direction as Damon and once again a short conversation took place between cast member and Mike’s Film Talk.
After a very brief introduction, Ritesh revealed that he knew that interviewing would be taking place later and he then asked if I was Michael.
While answering in the affirmative, the publicist came back and Ritesh made his apologies and moved past the same trailer as Damon. As the itinerary for the day was being laid out, Allison Scagliotti also wandered over from the same area that Dayoub and Rajan had come from earlier. “Camille” was simultaneously texting on her mobile phone and looking over what looked like a script.
She too headed toward the same nondescript trailer outside the soundstage. As a couple more publicists arrived, one transitioning and the other an intern, we all moved into the soundstage and headed back toward the interview area.
A conference room had been set aside, conveniently located right behind the “stitch-room” where Emma Ishta, as Kirsten, is stitched into the memories of the recently deceased by Cameron (Kyle Harris), Linus (Ritesh Rajan) and Camille (Allison Scagliotti) while being overseen by Stitchers head Maggi (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and assisted by various technicians such as Tim from engineering (Cameron Britton).
This is the same set where Cameron “killed himself” to allow Kirsten the chance to stitch into his memory in the season one finale…It is also where the series ended on a cliffhanger, as he was not responding to resuscitation attempts.
Amazingly, the entire lab area fits into one sound stage. The tank, where Kirsten is submerged for the stitch and the rest of the set all fits easily into an area that shares space with a catering niche, the video viewing area (where the director works along with continuity, makeup, and the DP and assistant director and a plethora of other people, including, on this occasion, Ms. Scagliotti when she was not on camera.
As the second season finale was being filmed, it was all hands on deck with rehearsals taking place between shooting and interviews being squeezed in wherever possible. All of this frantic activity took place with the players and facilitators all being extremely pleasant and accommodating.
Sidenote: After working in television over a number of years, this was the first time, in America, that this writer stepped foot on a working soundstage, the last being in 1978, at Fox studios. Almost all work in the business took place on location shoots in England, with the exception of Anglia Studios in Norwich (1994) for ITV’s “The Chief” and a Tonka commercial in Amsterdam.
It also has to be said that the interviews themselves were great fun as each of the performer’s were not only very open about the upcoming season, but they also humored the interviewer by laughing at his abysmal attempts to be amusing.
Actor John Billingsley was working on this day and it was impressive and not a little overwhelming to see this performer’s consistent energy level as take after take (for different camera angles and so on) was filmed. Sadly, the prolific character actor was not on my list to interview, but watching his performance was awe inspiring.
Each cast member spent a considerable amount of time chatting with Mike’s Film Talk and Jeff Schechter managed squeeze an impressive amount of interview time in the time allowed. The total amount of time accrued speaking with these marvelous folks necessitates the three article breakdown.
Stitchers is going to hit televisions screens on March 22 and the interviews will be spaced out to allow fans of the Freeform series plenty of time to see what the performers have to say. Mad props and a massive amount of gratitude goes to the publicist who ensured that the Stitchers visit went well.