'See' Director Used Blind Consultants, an Evolutionary Biologist, and Survivalist When Filming
"See" director Francis Lawrence, who also directed the "Hunger Games" movies, recently sat down for an interview with Business Insider where he shared some details on the filming of "See" and the research that went into the show.
According to Lawrence, rumors that "See" cost $240 million for two seasons were incorrect. "See" is "an expensive show," said Lawrence, but that budget "got blown out of proportion." It's nowhere near the scale of other big shows like "Game of Thrones."
When filming "See," Lawrence had a "think tank" with blind consultants, an evolutionary biologist, and a survivalist to brainstorm ideas. "See," for those unfamiliar with the show, is set in a post-apocalyptic timeline where most of the world was wiped out by a virus, and those who were left were rendered blind.
How long after civilization had vanished does the story take place and what would things look like and what would remain? We built out a blindness bootcamp with our consultants and [figured out] how that crosses over with our art and props department. What do the huts [in the village] look like? How are people navigating?
The actors in the show are made to look blind using special effects rather than contacts, as Lawrence said that it was impractical to use contacts for so many people due to the risk of cornea issues and the cost of hiring optometrists.
While much of the cast of "See" can see, some of the main tribe are low vision or blind. "See" aimed to find low vision or blind actors, and hopes to improve upon that in the second season.
Primarily the cast can see. Some of our main tribe, like Bree Klauser and Marilee Talkington, in the first couple episodes are both low-vis. Some of the actors in the Queen's court are blind. We tried to find as many blind and low-vis actors as we could. The goal would be to improve upon that in the next season.
Much of the show was filmed out in the wilderness and "pretty far from any cities," which made it difficult. The battle in episode one, for example, took four days to film because it involved a lot of people and a lot of stunts.
"See" has a rather surprising introductory scene introducing Queen Kane, who is the queen of the region, which Lawrence also commented on. When he saw that part of the script, he said, he "loved it."
The blindness idea fed into every [creative] choice we made. To connect spirituality with the senses and euphoria and pleasure in that way was really interesting. I also loved when I watched the episode the feeling of getting to the Queen and discovering a new facet of the world. Two-thirds of the way through the [first] episode, you kind of feel like you know the kind of show you're [watching]. Lou Reed is playing on a record player. It opens up the show tonally.