PrintE-mail Written by John Higgins

Coming on the heels of Stranger Things, Nick Antosca’s mini-series Channel Zero: Candle Cove focuses on the 1980s and is one of the most intriguing and stylish horror series in recent years, airing on Syfy. With the success of Stephen King’s It, and a follow-up film confirmed for 2019 release, the 1980s continue to be a great point of reference for the horror genre. STARBURST had the pleasure of discussing Candle Cove with Nick recently.

STARBURST: Stephen King’s IT is doing excellent at the cinema and Candle Cove is timely alongside Stranger Things for tapping into the same period. Why is the 1980s still fascinating to filmmakers?

Nick Antosca: It’s relevant because the filmmakers are in the age for that nostalgia. I was a kid in the 1980s and I am sure that in ten years there will be a reflection of 1990s culture.

Fiona Shaw, one of the UK’s greatest theatre talents, gives a tour de force performance. What was working with her like and what factor led you to cast her in the part?

Working with Fiona was a real collaboration and she invested so much in her character. I knew her from her stage reputation. When we were thinking about her character, we were looking for someone with gravitas and she was always her first choice.

Children’s TV is all the more sinister in this show, albeit deliberately. As a child, I was freaked out by Children of the Stones, which scared this writer into the street. What were your key fears growing up?

I actually did watch old episodes of Children of the Stones on YouTube and Peppermint Park was another influence on Candle Cove. I was definitely afraid of death and this series certainly taps into that fear.

Don Mancini and Max Landis are your co-executive producers. How do you delegate your roles in this way?

Credits in television can mean different things. Max Landis optioned the rights to the story and Don Mancini was the creator of Child’s Play and I worked with him on Hannibal. Our writer’s room included myself and Don, who was a senior writer on the show.

Candle Cove impressed me with its editing and cinematography. We are certainly focused on the next scene and the unexpected moments. Tell us about your relationship with these people?

A lot of the credit for the outcome of the show does go to these people, particularly Noah Greenberg who was the cinematographer. There was a lot of attention that went into this show and we did storyboard religiously.

How long did it take to film and where did you shoot?

It was a quick shoot – about forty days overall and we shot in Manitoba, Winnipeg, which is an area that is rarely used for filming and it is for this reason that we used it. It was a very efficient shoot.

Let’s talk about the source material, which is based on a blog. Can we expect more net-based source material for future projects?

Eventually yes, because there is so much more content available online. There are always projects being developed for TV via blogs and posts.

How does Candle Cove compare to Hannibal and what lessons did you incorporate here?

On Hannibal, I was primarily a writer and not involved in production matters. However, I did want to get on that show because of the possibilities that were being created.

Candle Cove is a daring piece of TV. Certainly beyond the limit of what those 1980s shows were. What stands out for you from that time?

Not so much from the 1980s, but I did love things like The Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks, and Homicide.

What can we expect from future series of Channel Zero?

Well, Season Two has just started airing in the US and is on its way to the UK. This is influenced by the work of John Carpenter and Season Three will be influenced by the films of Dario Argento.

Channel Zero: Season One Candle Cove is released on DVD and Blu-ray October 9th, 2017

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