As season two of Under the Flowers hits the web, Cult Faction’s Peter Lane caught up with visionary behind the series Richard T. Wilson. Along the way we found out how many ‘hell yeah!’ moments the production gave him.
Q1. How would you describe the ‘Under the Flowers’ universe to a new comer?
I’d probably say, ‘’Under the Flowers’ is a supernatural adventure series and metaphysical odyssey about four tortured souls turned heroines in search of a second chance for themselves – and the world.’ However, our second season, subtitled ‘Circle of Hell’, might best be described as The Wizard of Oz meets Dante’s Inferno! Honestly, we’re loving the reactions to the new season too; from your Disney adventure film comparison to others calling it an ‘epic poem’ and still others saying ‘… you make Hell and Horror seem so beautiful and sexy!’ I mean, it’s all extremely gratifying to hear so early on in the process.
Q2. The story contains believable characters and dialogue; how difficult is it to achieve this in the fantasy genre and how do you go about it?
Well, number one, many thanks for the kind words – and, yeah, it is quite a challenge to merge the two. I think the thing that unlocked it for me was simply looking at it as a dream where things are constantly shifting and changing and the dreamer is, well, just trying to hang on. I also had an incredible cast who gave their hearts and souls to the project and made the characters their own and that’s quite a gift in and of itself.
Q3. The first episode of the second series (Circle of Hell) contains some quite distinctive visuals; what was the inspiration behind these?
Honestly, with all the Mad Shelley work we’ve done to date there’s been a steady march back to the visuals that lit me up as a child. So, from 60’s and 70’s Mario Bava, Hammer Films and the old Warren horror comics of the same period all the way through to Scorsese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ and Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ series, it’s all been one great, big visual stew of inspiration. I’m also a massive fan of impressionistic painting and dark Victorian fairytales – so, there you have it!
Q4. Was there a fist pump hell yeah moment during the writing or filming of the new series?
Yes – several! I remember when the idea of Charlotte and the Darkness watching Rose from the In-Between came to me – that’s when it all clicked story-wise. Then during the end of the edit, the scene where Rose finally looks in the mirror and sees her former self (Poe) peacefully staring back at her, well, that sealed the deal for me. The message of the film had always been about overcoming your demons and accepting yourself, loving yourself – and this moment worked all that out for me beautifully. I feel like we should cue The Smiths’ ‘Accept Yourself’ at this point – LOL!
Q5. What are your hopes and plans for the future of both ‘Under the Flowers’ and any other projects you’re currently working on?
Right now, I’m completing work on the rest of the ‘Under the Flowers’ story; the script for Season 3 is complete and Season 4 should be finished soon. I had planned to wrap everything up by Season 5 – but there are so many more stories to tell! Regardless, I know how the story ends – now it’s just a question of getting there. We’ve got ‘Circle of Hell’ out to film festivals and we’re hoping that it continues to ignite enough interest to get us the funding or production partner we need to take it to the next level. There’s also an ‘Under the Flowers’ film idea I’ve got waiting for me once I complete the series. Real quickly though I’d like to send a shout-out to our incredible crew who have been with me through thick and thin – and THANK YOU, Peter and Cult Faction for this awesome opportunity to talk about the show!