Fans of Outlander were given some brief relief in learning that Season 6 will arrive in early 2022, but the creative team behind the series is keeping them entertained in the meantime with another episode of The Official Droughtlander Podcast.
In the second episode about all things post-production, co-producers Elicia Bessette and Michael O’Halloran joined showrunner Matthew B. Roberts to answer fan questions, revealing some interesting facts about the Scotland-based production along the way. Below, we’re rounding up a few key reveals.
A lot goes into post-production that viewers may not realize as Bessette and O’Halloran noted that the departments included in the process range from visual effects and music to sound mixers. As a post producer, Bessette revealed she works with “anywhere between 20 and 100” people. Most of Outlander‘s post-production happens in Scotland but the finishing team is located in Los Angeles.
The process from filming to finished episodes can take anywhere from two to six months and editing begins simultaneously with filming. Bessette revealed that each season has roughly three to four editors working on episodes. And one of the biggest reasons for working simultaneously is the location’s outdoor settings. “Scotland weather is unpredictable at best,” Bessette mused.
While fans might think that each episode is carefully crafted from the beginning, this conversation shatters any illusions that everything is planned out and executed exactly as intended from start to finish. Changes happen all of the time in the editing bay.
“We shot [it] in a much more linear fashion,” O’Halloran stated of the Season 5 finale installment. “And then in post, you guys decided, let’s make this more fragmented and more from Claire’s perspective.” What this means is that the original episode didn’t feature Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) dream world broken up into brief clips interspersed with the trauma of her assault by the Browns.
We wrote it in a linear fashion, but we knew that that story wasn’t actually going to be told until it went post,” Roberts added. And these kinds of changes have been happening since Outlander debuted as Roberts recalled a scene he wrote for Season 1 that was moved to another episode that involved Claire and Frank (Tobias Menzies) standing on a train platform.
Music to Our Ears
Anyone who has tuned into Outlander would easily recognize Bear McCreary’s mesmerizing score which helps set the tone for some of the show’s more dramatic moments. The composer doesn’t see the episodes until they’re mostly locked in though.
In terms of editing, O’Halloran was candid when he revealed which installments were the most difficult for him to edit over the years, beginning with Season 3’s premiere episode “The Battle Joined,” which included the big battle of Culloden scene. He also shared that Season 3’s finale episode, “Eye of the Storm,” was difficult due to the shipwreck elements which saw Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire tossed about the deck of a ship before they were thrown overboard, washing ashore in North Carolina.
O’Halloran’s third pick was the Season 5 finale episode, “Never My Love,” because of the brutal scenes involving Claire’s torture at the hands of the Browns.
Visual Effects Challenges
The creative team divulged some interesting information about how they’re able to film scenes with actor Paul Gorman who plays twins Josiah and Keziah Beardsley in the series. “They’re shooting two different takes,” Bessette revealed. “One with Paul as Jo and one with Paul as Kezzie, and then all we’re doing is literally deleting the split-screen.”
The more the twins interact with one another the bigger the challenges, but it’s a small hurdle in comparison to creating a shipwreck like they did for Season 3.
See the full podcast conversation, below, and stay tuned for Outlander updates as production for Season 6 wraps.