“There’s very few people who direct who have never done anything before so everyone brings something to the table,” director Sarah Boyd shares about the value of bringing a certain skill set to the director’s chair, which in her case was years as an editor on some of the most high profile series on television. That included “Bates Motel,” “The Killing” and “Lost” (for which she was nominated for two Emmys), and now Boyd has successfully pivoted into directing on “This Is Us,” “The Flash” and “The Boys,” on which she helmed the acclaimed sixth episode of the show’s second season (entitled “The Bloody Doors Off”).
“An editor can bring something very useful to the table,” Boyd declares. “You’ve seen what works and what doesn’t you’ve seen some of the pitfalls of some great directors doing things that maybe they wasted their time not needing to do, or the opposite, where you’ve seen very efficient directors and you’re like oh my gosh I can’t believe how efficiently they told that story,” she explains. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“The Boys” is a subversive and wickedly satirical take on corporate America’s obsession with image, wealth and power, where real-life superheroes are revered as celebrity gods, keeping the unwashed masses safe as they abuse their unlimited powers behind the scenes. It’s a highly entertaining cautionary tale about celebrity worship, materialism, fame and greed, exploring what happens when these heroes go rogue and abuse their powers.
Writer/director Eric Kripke developed the series for the screen, based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Its large ensemble includes stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Chace Crawford, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon and Karen Fukuhara, with Aya Cash and Claudia Doumit joining the show for season 2.
The show’s first season inexplicably flew a little too under the radar for Emmy voters, garnering a single nomination for sound editing. However, the eight-episode sophomore edition of “The Boys,” which debuted in September last year, was a huge hit with fans and critics, scoring a staggering 97% at Rotten Tomatoes and more than doubling its audience to become Amazon’s most successful show. So far this year, the series has scored a SAG Award nomination for stunt ensemble, an Art Directors Guild nod, citations from the Casting Society of America and the Motion Picture Sound Editors, and a WGA Award nomination for Best Drama Series.
In “The Bloody Doors Off,” the ‘Boys’ infiltrate an asylum, discovering capitive patients who have been injected with the nefarious Vought Corporation’s superhero serum Compound V. They encounter Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore), a supe with pyrokinetic abilities and Starlight’s predecessor in The Seven. We learn that Stormfront is pulling the strings at the facility, tasking a tortured Lamplighter to burn patients alive if they don’t comply. We flash back to learn more about Frenchie’s (Capon) troubled past, and Stormfront ultimately reveals to Homelander that she is the first successful Compound V subject, an actual Nazi and founder Frederick Vought’s widow, encouraging him to lead the supes to global supremacy.
Boyd was tasked with spearheading an episode that not only propels the main narrative of the season forward, but provides some fascinating insight into two characters that the audience had not really seen much of before. “The two main standouts of the episode and what makes it memorable is that you find out so much about Frenchie’s back story and you meet Lamplighter, a new character,” Boyd explains.
One of the highlights of much of the episode was that it takes place in an eerie old asylum outside Toronto. “We filmed in an old psychiatric institute, a legit psychiatric Institute. It was a creepy place. It was extraordinarily unsettling and labyrinthine,” Boyd reveals. “One of the reasons that we were drawn to it was because the different wings had different visual characteristics that made them distinctly different so we could get a lot of different looks and a lot of different locations within this one overall location. It was outside of Toronto further than one normally goes, so all the key crew and the actors had to be put up for a week outside of Toronto, just to make our days and do and do we have to do. So it was a bit like I was going to camp, but a very strange camp.”
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