Tonight, Monday, December 3, Bones airs its 150th episode. In honor of this landmark, executive producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan decided to switch things up and film an episode unlike any they had done before.
As a result, Bones Season 8, Episode 9: “The Ghost in the Machine” will be told entirely from the perspective of the victim — a 14-year-old boy. Booth (David Boreanaz), Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Co. will be speaking directly to the camera, and everything will be seen through the dead boy’s eyes.
Wetpaint Entertainment had the opportunity to see the episode beforehand and speak exclusively with Hart and Stephen about the plotline.
Wetpaint Entertainment: This week’s episode had us in tears!
Hart Hanson: Good! That’s what we were going for. We’re so happy you cried.
It’s not our usual reaction to a Bones episode.
Hart: Usually we try to make people laugh but every once in a while…
What prompted an episode from the point of view of the victim?
Hart: We had the idea for a long time, but it’s really trippy and kind of risky because it could really fail. So when FOX didn’t know where they were going to air four episodes last season, we made at least two weirdo episodes. We thought, what the hell. This was one of them. And it was either going to really work or really not going to work. And we thought it worked.
The actors did a great job. It’s tough. TV actors who are on their schedule they’re on are used to having multiple ways to do things. You can cut out and come back in, and in this one it’s a lot trickier. They have to get it right for a lot longer periods of time. And they were so into it. And it’s hard for them to look into a camera and act as though they’re talking to a 14-year-old boy. I love our actors, they’re fantastic.
What were the challenges in doing it straight to camera?
Stephen Nathan: This was such an odd episode for us to do that we were constantly trying to figure out what it was every step of the way. First, in terms of conceiving the episode and writing it, and prepping it, directing it we had one idea of what it was going to be and then afterwards when we were putting it together it turned into a completely different animal. It evolved the whole time.
And the difficulty is that it has to be essentially one shot the whole time from the point of view from this victim, and you can’t do any cuts. Although there are many, many many different cuts in this we had to figure out a way to make them think there were no cuts and everything was one shot. And that was a tremendous challenge.
Bones’ “The Ghost in the Machine” airs Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8pm on FOX
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