This is not exactly how Matthew Roberts and the whole Outlander team envisioned shooting season 6 of the STARZ time-travel drama. The most important thing though is just one: Filming for Outlander Season 6 is officially on!
Starting from last spring, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down TV and film production across the globe, Outlander season 6 joined the list of series that postponed filming as the industry determined how to make entertainment safely. As executive producer Matthew Roberts explains in an exclusive interview to Elle, “It was really heartbreaking in a lot of ways. Understandably, the health of the world was way more important than a television show. We knew that too.” The only solution was to wait and then “testing, testing, testing, testing,” in order to keep everybody, cast to crew, safe during filming.
In the interview, Matthew Roberts breaks down how was filming Outlander season 6 during this weird time what’s next for Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Jamie (Sam Heughan), Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Roger (Richard Rankin).
Not knowing how to write “Covid-friendly” scenes, Roberts explains they had to figure out how to keep Outlander, Outlander during this time. They wrote the scrips as originally intended and then dove in with production
“Our producer in the U.K., Guy Tannahill, and our new production designer, Mike Gunn, and our staff over there who have worked on Outlander for a long time. We said, “Okay, this scene can’t happen like this. If we did this, this, and this, then we can make it happen.” says the EP.
They’ve tried to limit the amount of supporting artists, and to utilize visual effects. They’ll film the background extras at a separate time, [then] put it all together in post, and the result is actually seamless. Matthew Roberts have full faith in the abilities in the Outlander visual effects team. “We’re actually pretty experienced with it because many of the Alamance battle scenes had digital people in them. We added to the crowd and to the battle numbers with digital soldiers and conflicts in the background in post, and I don’t hear a lot of people talking about it. When no one notices a visual effect, that’s a good thing.” adds he.
A script doesn’t actually live and breathe until you get it to production, as Matthew Roberts says.
“So the scripts really don’t start existing to me until we get into the hands of production. That’s when they start to get a pulse and take on a life. And we rework them—that’s why you see the different colored scripts, pinks and yellows and greens. They’re living and breathing through production and changing. “We can’t do this location so we moved to another location,” or “Hey, can this take place in the parlor instead of the dining room because of this?” Then, even when we get to post, the story isn’t finished for me until the audience sees it.”Outlander EP Matthew Roberts
Breaking down Season 6 main events, Outlander EP says there’s no significant time jump after the events of the Season 5 finale, since there’s a lot of story they need to connect, a lot of things left in the finale of season 5 still to be told. The installment starts off with what’s going on in the world in 1775, which is really similar to what’s going on with Jamie and Claire. According to Roberts’ words, it deals with revolution, both personal and political.
“You have a foundation and when that foundation is shaken and there is a revolution, you have to deal with it. That’s kind of the theme of the season.” – Matthew B Roberts.
The season premiere is titled “Echoes.” and knowing that people are going to leap all over it being a nod to An Echo in the Bone (Diana Gabaldon’s Book 7), Matthew Roberts immediately clarifies tha it is not a nod to that.
“When you see the first episode, the title will speak for itself. Each character will be dealing with something from their past and it will help us tell stories going forward. There was a different title on my very first drop. Sometimes that happens. You read it again and you go, wait a minute, hold on a second, there’s something better here.” teases Roberts.
When asked if we can expect more ‘Never My Love’ or “Famous Last Words” kind of episodes in Season 6, the EP confirms there will be more.
With Diana’s books getting deep into the characters’ feelings and emotions in their heads, that’s really hard to do visually onscreen. From day one, as Roberts says, they wanted to push the boundaries of getting into Roger’s head with the hanging and getting into Claire’s head with the rape and abuse.
“We’re going to try to do that again in season 6 but not deviate from the story. That’s the key to doing the series and doing it well: In every scene, we want to keep the essence of the book if we can’t do the book. There’s so much more material in the books than we could ever hope to produce, so it’s always a struggle and a challenge.” adds he.
The Outlander producer cares to reiterate that they know Season 5 brought in many new viewers and a lot of them have not read the book. Those viewers have to be told the same story and get something from it as well as the book readers who know everything that happened—(or think they know everything that’s going to happen, as Roberts likes to remind us).
“Certainly, we keep them on their toes and move things around a little bit so they don’t know exactly when it’s coming. I’m not looking to change the story. We just run into challenges. We can’t get an actor or we can’t get a place. It’s very difficult to make it all work together sometimes.” adds Roberts.
Please step by our Facebook page SurvivedtheShows too