Written by Bradford Winters
Directed by Adam Kane
You don't have to be a calligrapher to know that this moment on set does not suggest ideal conditions for "beautiful writing," as the word calligraphy denotes in its original Greek. But the episode, "Chapter One," called for a bona fide scribe in the traditional sense -- nibs and ink as compared to laptops and Final Draft -- and though the finished product's onscreen appearance is brief (to be more specific here would spoil the plot), you will see for yourself how beautiful it turned out despite the conditions that require this kind of contortion on the part of the artist. Thank you, Christopher Calderhead.
Thank you as well to the Camera Department who have forced him into this difficult position. For it's not like they don't endure a constant barrage of compromising conditions in which to manage their own craft. The seventeen-degree day at Fort Tilden in Staten Island comes to mind, where we filmed David's arrival by motorcycle at a remote gas station. It's one thing for the rest of us wearing gloves on set to stay focused in that numbing kind of cold; for the 1st A.C. to operate the focus function with bare fingers on a moving camera, it's another.
Then there are the actors, who have to make it seem that none of these external factors, let alone their internal ones, are pressing in on any given performance. The next time you watch Ian McShane striding through Unity Hall in all his kingly glory, consider that it was shot in the wee hours of a Friday night that gave way to Saturday morning, the time slot allotted to us by the New York Public Library.
And his regal appearance whatever the hour has just as much to do with the Costume Department running back and forth to the wardrobe truck all night long to make sure it is so; or the Hair and Make-Up Department tending at all times to every bit of continuity.
The entropic nature of production never bodes well for beautiful writing, or shooting, or acting, or lighting, or rigging, or editing, or catering, or you name it. But as a member of the "Kings" community, I saw people make do to make it happen again and again.