HAVEN Co-Creator Sam Ernst Teases Two Audreys, Duke and Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HAVEN Co-Creator Sam Ernst Teases Two Audreys, Duke and Season 2

July 15, 2011 by  

HAVEN is back!

Last season ended with a shocker as someone claiming to be Audrey showed up…much to the surprise of the Audrey we knew all of season one. So, um, what the heck?

Series co-creator Sam Ernst was kind of enough to take time out of his busy day — he and the HAVEN writers were busy “hammering out details” for the season finale — to answer burning questions about the two Audreys, trying to wrap up the season before it has aired on TV, Duke’s past and more…

First of all, how much pressure is it for you guys to be working the season finale before the season premieres?
Sam Ernst:
Well, the pressure is that — and we had the same pressure last year — which is we’re pulling together all these threads and so the finale, there’s always pressure because you’re trying to tell both a story, which, you know, HAVEN is a first person of the week kind of show. But then you also have these overarching story lines that have to come to some sort of satisfying conclusion while they’re setting up their next stretch of story that we want to tell in season three. So, you’re juggling all of those things at the same time, which is unique to the kind of show that we are. The serialized shows, they have to deal with that, but they don’t have the story of the week. LAW & ORDER, while they’re starting another episode, they may be dealing with the departure of one of their characters or something. So we kind of have a perfect storm of all of those things at the same time. And we’re in production right now, so we’re tweaking scripts and writing the episode before this one and all of that. So, the writer’s staff is definitely operating on more cylinders than we actually have.

Basically, at this point, you just need a vacation.
Well, it’s no secret that once the season is over, and everything is [completed], you get to that place and you kind of just collapse because you’ve done so much of that. And then, God willing, if we get a third season, you pretty much need to turn around and start thinking about what are the things you want to do in season three… many of which we know but they may not be as focused as we’d have to be going into it.

Do you plan out season long arcs as you come to it? Or do you have a feel for how far the show would go in five years, etc.?
Jim Dunn, my co-creator and I, know the last scene of the entire series, whenever that is. Now, that predisposes that we know we’re coming into a conclusion when we write it. [Laughs] So, if we don’t go to season three, that scene will stay with us for the rest of time. But, yes, we know what the underlying story of the whole series is. And while that definitely changes a little as you go through and discover new things, we know the direction we’re headed. But when we stop, let’s say for season three, what we’ll be looking at is saying, “What chunk of that story do we want to tell in this season?” In addition to thirteen or more stories of the first person of the week kind of thing.

And speaking of the person of the week/balancing the mythology, I did watch the season two premiere and I really enjoyed it.
Thank you very much.

We now have two Audreys!
I will tell you, by the way, the effects on [the season premiere] are pretty cool and I know the screener that you guys got didn’t have those effects. We’ll probably have more effects in the premiere than we did in any other episode – or a combination of episodes from last year. [Laughs] So, that was a lot of fun to write those. And I think seeing [the effects] rendered they’re pretty cool, I have to say.

Very cool. Whenever they send out science fiction screeners, I always end up watching the episodes on TV as well because it’s generally not quite there yet and you need the special effects!
I know! I have to tell you, it’s painful for me. And when I sit there and we’re doing the sound dub, the effects still aren’t done. Or, effects will be laid in but they’re not completed yet, so they look kind of funny. And you’re really trying to force yourself to let that go. The effects team are working their asses off, and they’ll get there. They’re working up until the very last minute because there are so many effects in this particular episode.

Right. Obviously with all of the plagues lots of the effects are needed. But going back to the premiere, what can you tease about the two Audreys?
The two Audreys…[Pause] Let me figure out how to say this. People really were shocked by that ending — my wife included, since I don’t tell her anything half of the time. So, we have to watch people go, “What the hell!?” And then [my wife] turned to me and said, “What is going on? You have to tell me right now.” And I didn’t.

One of the things I want to make clear is that one of the cheats is we come back in [episode] 201 and it was all a dream. Or Audrey would say, “No, you’re not,” and she would say, “You’re right, I’m not.” Or we would wrap it up and it would have no particular meaning to the show. It would have a lot of meaning to that episode, or two episodes.

In our case, it’s a huge element of what we’re trying to do in season two: we’re asking a question, which is Audrey saying, “Who am I?” And that is the big question for season two, because she is an central piece of what this town is. By asking those questions, it’s sort of asking, “What the hell is going on in this place?”

Is there any concern in your mind if the character we know as Audrey ends up not being Audrey, that the audience may get really confused?
I don’t want to give too much away, but I think the audience — because we take time with [that], we actually take time and unspool it in a certain way — will know exactly how much we want them to know. And the good news is that our characters don’t know either, so they’re hopefully asking all of the same questions that the audience will be asking. So, we’re on a ride with that. It’s not like Emily Rose (Audrey) is suddenly going to go, “Oh, I knew all along!” She’s trying to figure it out, too. So we’re with her on this journey of finding out who she is, what’s her place in this world, and what does it mean? The big thing that that you’re also going to see in season two, we’re going to start planning out a lot about what Duke’s place in this world is. Is he really just this happy-go-lucky guy who would rather stay the hell out of all this? The answer is yes, by the way, but she’s gotta learn. And the same with Nathan. These three are wrapped up in each other and is that completely accident or not?

We did learn a little bit more about Duke in the season premiere. Will we be delving more into his backstory and his past as the episodes go on?
Absolutely. There’s a lot going on here and there’s going to be a lot of discovery. Last year, I mean, we are an episodic television show. We want people to be able to jump in on episode fifteen and pick it up right there. That is very important to us. And I think we’re successful with that. So, we are always mindful that if someone doesn’t know the backstory, they can just pick it up from wherever we are. We’re not a LOST or something like that, that’s not our intention. We like that show, but we’re probably closer to X-FILES, [since] X-FILES is kind of our mothership, as it is for a lot of supernatural shows these days. In terms of figuring yes, there’s, what we call, the upper arc, but we also have two people who are investigating what the hell is going on each week with one particular thing. They can be worried about these larger existential questions and larger things like what’s going on and that’s important for them to find out, but they also are living lives and are dealing with the fact that, as you saw in the [premiere], blood is coming out of the water pipes and what does that mean? So, they don’t have time to worry about the other stuff, they need to worry about this.

Right, one crisis at a time.
Exactly, we’re not trying to create something that’s circle, circle, circle, circle. We want the story to keep moving, keep moving, keep moving.

Check back with Give Me My Remote next week for more from our chat with Ernst, including scoop on Nathan, the triangle and more…

Will you be tuning in to the season premiere of HAVEN tonight on Syfy at 10 PM?

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2 Responses to “HAVEN Co-Creator Sam Ernst Teases Two Audreys, Duke and Season 2”

  1. Shelly on July 15th, 2011 10:30 pm

    Amazing. I adore this show!

  2. Lu on July 16th, 2011 1:54 am

    Love.this.show 🙂