“If you watch the first 40 minutes of it, you think you’re watching a version of ‘Green Book’ … and suddenly giant man-eating monsters come out and rip people’s heads off,” says “Lovecraft Country” editor Marta Evry about the complex tonal shifts in the HBO series, which layers a supernatural mystery on top of the everyday horrors of American racism in the 1950s. Watch our exclusive video interview with Evry and her fellow editors Bjørn T. Myrholt and Ian S. Tan above.
“The hardest part about this was really balancing two things,” Evry adds about combining the show’s historical and metaphorical elements, which she had to tackle right from the get-go when she came in to edit the premiere episode, “Sundown.” That was certainly also true for Myrholt, one of whose episodes was “I Am,” in which Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) literally travels across centuries and planets. That episode required him to focus on “the different segments … that needed special attention as far as the time and world creation,” while also being attentive to the “overall theme” of the episode and the series as a whole, “the thread that takes you through all these different worlds and different experiences.”
Tan’s first episode, “Strange Case,” didn’t come until midway through the season, so “the others had done the bulk of the heavy lifting just in terms of acclimatizing the viewer into this universe of ‘Lovecraft Country.'” He had his own heavy lifting with that episode about Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku) literally trying on the skin of a white woman, but “part of the joy of working on an anthology is the fact that you have all these different stories … There was a certain degree of freedom, I think, with each individual episode, kind of creating your own style and own flavor.” The show’s wide variety gave him and his colleagues “the freedom to explore, editing-wise, the direction you wanted to take the narrative.”
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