By Jaimz Dillman
After speaking with several crew members promoting season 3 of Chucky, the television series based on the Child's Play movies, the collaborative feel of this group makes me want more! My quick 5-minute chats were more like hearing a bunch of friends or family brag about how great everyone is at their work and I just wish I had more time to hear the stories!
I was lucky enough to chat with each of these heavy hitters from the crew that brings 3 Feet of Terror to life- Makeup Department Head, Sid Armour (Nightmare Alley, room), Production Designer, John Dondertman (Titans, Orphan Black), Executive Producer Alex Hedlund (As Above, so Below, A Friend of the Family), and Special Effects Supervisor, Jeff Skochko (Spiral, Jigsaw, Saw V) zoomed in over the past couple weeks and I got an insight as to what it’s like being a part of a killer team. “I had no idea the level of how much fun this was going to be. The kills are crazy, the blood is crazy, and the glam is super high fashion. We really have everything- we have period makeup and gender-bending everything. I mean, it's really fun, every day." said Armour. Going on to talk about adding the practical effects, Skochko added, "There are so many different gags that come across the table... there's a very collaborative effort put forward to take who's experienced with what, it really takes a team." Everyone had nothing but lovely things to say about creator and writer Don Mancini giving him credit for a team that works so well together to keep things fresh and continually coming up with something different to offer fans season after season. "Don Mancini is so collaborative, so inclusive. We talk a lot about makeup and characters and how it's all going down. He said this is like the Olympics of makeup, and go!" said Armour, "We all try to figure it out together and that's really fun as an artist."
Skochko went on to say about this season's premise, "I had talked to Don last year when he mentioned two different ideas so when I heard the White House, I was kinda wondering how that was gonna work. And it seems to be working just fine." Hedlund adds, "He (Mancini) wants to push the franchise, he wants to reinvigorate the character and story every season."
Several of the crew had been long-time fans of the original films. Hedlund recalls watching them on VHS while home "sick" from school and his mom having a small hand in his fascination for the stories. "My mom ended up renting me Child's Play 2 and the rest is history. It was a real gateway movie for me. I've been a die-hard fan ever since."
"I always find it fascinating in this industry that you see things when you're a kid or in your teenage years and then you turn around and you're working on set," said Skochko, "it's nice to work on something that's a known entity. You just say ’Chucky’ and it's pretty universally known."
"Maybe it was nostalgia a long time ago, but the series is really smart. It's not just "let's kill a lot of people', it's really really clever, and the writing is awesome." Added Armour.
Fans always seem to have a favorite kill or death scene so when the crew was asked their favorite kill, Armour said, "I really liked the 'Boy Toy' murder when Jennifer and Fiona are having a go in the sack and rope up the guy, and kill him." Dondertman added about this season, “The scene that leads up to the kill….in the cab. The dialogue leading up to the scene was just gold. It’s really good. And Chucky never reveals himself to anyone other than children generally … until he kills them.” And among the celebrity cameos, Hedlund says, "Nobody is safe. It's a horror show, people need to die. The fun of having somebody come in and do a walk-on and say, "I wanna be killed by Chucky", it's like great Don, and the writers will figure out something really awesome for them." When looking forward to what we can expect in the coming episodes Skochko said, "From here on, it just gets bigger, there's more and more big practical effects coming that we haven't shot yet. There's more of more."
Hedlund says, "Every season has sort of reinvented itself. You think sometimes a lot of series can fall into a formula but this series is amazing because each season is like its own horror movie to work on. It keeps things so fresh and exciting. The credit goes back to Don and the writer's room to be able to stick that landing." One thing is for sure, they’re not done with putting Chucky through his tiny little paces. And if you're worried about an impending ending for this little tyke, Dondertman said, “He never does seem to die, he just keeps coming back. There’s a constant flip side to what’s happening. The unexpected. Truly.” Armour said of Chucky's legacy, "Chucky's not going anywhere. He can't die. He's plastic. A lot of people get killed and come back."
Series 3 of Chucky can be found on SyFy with new episodes weekly. For more info visit: Chucky | SYFY Official Site