TV: A Visit to the Edit Bay For Darren Bousman’s ‘Fear Itself’

This past week B-D stringer SpookyDan took a trip down to Hollywood to visit the editing bay for NBC’s Fear Itself, their upcoming horror anthology that premieres on June 5. Inside you can read about what Spooky saw, including Darren Lynn Bousman’s episode entitled “New Year’s Day”.Today I was invited to the edit bay in Hollywood CA where the episodes of NBC’s upcoming horror anthology FEAR ITSELF is being completed.

What I saw was both inspiring, yet insane at the same time.

I sat with Director Darren Lynn Bousman while he was hard at work editing his episode, “New Year’s Day”, which was written by Paul Kane and Steve Niles. In the episode that takes place in an a post-apocalyptic world, a woman discovers that the planet has been taken over by zombies.

I took a rare look behind the curtain and saw how he gets notes, what is takes to make the series, and what short timelines do to effect the overall picture.

While not all of the episodes are completed yet, a good chunk of them are well into the final stages. The entire office was working at a frantic pace to meet tight deadlines, and a dozen or so people were running around attempting to make it happen.

Bousman showed me the opening of his episode and talked about how he builds tension right from the start. In the scene a beautiful girl wakes up hung-over (from a night of craziness) and discovers that things are not the way they should be. Outside her window the sky is snowing ashes and there are screams off in the distance. Mayhem will soon reveal itself when she finally makes it into her neighbor’s apartment and finds a bright red pool of blood. After a few more scenes we find out that a zombie attack has overcome the city and the survivors are trying to overcome it.

This is no ordinary zombie film as it’s a signature Bousman film with cool transitions, plot twists and SAW like edits throughout. He also takes the traditional zombie story and adds a new and fresh variation of the infected.

One thing that a lot of people have been asking is how NBC’s ratings will come into play. Can you show blood? Can you show body parts? How much flesh eating is allowed? While shows like HEROES can get away with graphically gory scenes, FEAR ITSELF has a much harder line to track because it’s the horror genre. I can tell you right now that this is not a PG watered-down show. There was plenty of blood and plenty of FX in the little bit that I viewed. It was also confirmed to us that the episodes will be released later in uncut form via Lionsgate, so for those of you looking for the extreme gore will eventually find it. But it should be clear that at the heart of it, the shows are meant to be seen on TV.

The meeting ended with Bousman and producer Peter Block discussing deadlines and notes given. Today is the start of Memorial Day weekend, and Bousman and his crew are working feverishly though to make the hard deadlines that network television brings.

FEAR ITSELF airs on NBC starting on June 5th with 13 episodes from our favorite horror directors. The premiere episode, “Sacrifice”, is based on a story written by Del Howison, scripted by Mick Garris & directed by Breck Eisner… if you live near Burbank, CA there will be viewing of the premiere episode at Champs. Bar & Grill (4103 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank) at 10 p.m. on June 5th. Come hang out and watch the episode with other horror fans and maybe some people involved in the show as well.