“The trick is not to make it a history lesson,” explains Ridley Scott about producing “The Terror.” This AMC limited series is a fictionalized account of a lost expedition to the Arctic from 1845-1848, during which the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus become stuck and their crews are stalked by an elusive menace. “When something as remarkable and inordinately courageous as this” happens Scott is compelled to bring it to the screen. He served as an executive producer on the series, which was developed by David Kajganich and stars Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, and Ciarán Hinds. Watch our exclusive video interview with Scott above.
With its exotic setting and period details, “The Terror” was a massive undertaking, but the key is to work with “good people,” explains Scott. “You get bad people, you go over budget, you don’t deliver, and it’s not very good.” He especially heaps praise on executive producer David W. Zucker, President of Television for Scott Free, Ridley Scott‘s production company. Zucker currently oversees “four or five productions we have going right now, all of them complex.”
Still, Scott “thought they were pushing their luck” shooting in Budapest on a sound stage. “I was a little concerned about the scale considering the massive width and breadth of the shots,” he admits. Yet the crew delivered, and the footage was “fantastic. Some of the best use of green screen I’ve ever seen.”
Scott received Oscar nominations for directing “Thelma & Louise” (1991), “Gladiator” (2000), and “Black Hawk Down” (2001) and for producing “The Martian” (2015). He received Directors Guild nominations for all four films, while “Gladiator,” “American Gangster” (2007), “The Martian,” and “All the Money in the World” (2017) brought him Golden Globe bids for Best Director.
For his work on the small screen he has won Emmys for “The Gathering Storm” (Best TV Movie in 2002) and “Gettysburg” (Best Nonfiction Special in 2011) and he has competed eight more times: Best TV Movie for “RKO 281” (2000), “Into the Storm” (2009), “Killing Kennedy” (2014), and “Killing Jesus” (2015); Best Limited Series for “The Andromeda Strain” (2008); Best Drama Series for “The Good Wife” (2010-2011); and Best Movie/Limited Series for “The Pillars of the Earth” (2011).
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