Interview with John Cassar: Orville, Season 3


Orville got bigger and better with season 3 after switching to Hulu. Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi drama series subtitled “New Horizons” continues the adventures of the crew of the titular spaceship, who explore their interpersonal relationships and a new threat from the Keylons.

MacFarlane leads the cast of “Orville” along with Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Gerald, Scott Grimes, J. Lee, Jessica Zohr, Mark Jackson, Peter Macon and Ann Winters.

Ahead of the show’s season finale, which aired today on Hulu, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with director and executive producer John Cassar to discuss season 3 of the Orville series. the debut and future of the franchise 24.

Screen Rant: Well, John, it’s great to chat with you about Orville again. This season has just shocked me with every episode.

John Cassar: I think we weren’t exaggerating when we said the wait was worth it.

No, you really weren’t! The last time I talked to you guys, you really wanted this. How did it feel to see the answers after waiting so long?

John Cassar: It was so nice, it was so great. It just reminds us once again what a good job everyone did on the show, and that we were right. It took so long to work on this season, mainly because of COVID, and the way it turned out, it was very interesting to see that people finally saw it.

Even when we shot it — I think by that point we kind of knew our fan base, and, look, we’re all kind of fans ourselves, so I think we had fun at first and thought, “Well, they’re crazy about this, they’re going to be crazy about this too”. So I think we had a really good idea that they would like what we were doing. And the stories were so good, just reading the scripts was fantastic, not to mention adding visuals to them and actors to them, then they just took it to a whole new level.

What I love about the stories and the season is that you guys took advantage of the home stream opportunity to create full-length stories. Although you are not new to full-length projects, what is it like for you to bring extra time to this show?

John Cassar: It’s so cool because in a sense you’re shooting it like a movie, the movie doesn’t have a release time, it can be anything, it can be an hour and 20 minutes, it can be four hours. They don’t have such a limit on storytelling, and on television, especially on network television, it’s kind of a crippling limit, you have 42 minutes. That’s all.

The problem is that when you shoot a show, you shoot a 60 or 50 page script, sometimes you have 60 minutes, so you cut out a lot of material that no one will ever see. The way Seth writes scripts and works is very different from the one I worked with, you shoot exactly what he wrote, and the audience sees exactly what he wrote, so nothing ends up on the editing room floor.

It’s a really thoughtful, finished story with all the bits. So you’re not just telling a story, and a lot of shows say, “Well, let’s put this scene in there. And let’s move this scene there. And let’s cut this scene in half. And let’s add dialogues.” in this scene.” Seth doesn’t do that, Seth writes an episode, this is an episode, this is what you shoot. Having this restriction was fatal for him, because he had his own episode, he liked his episode, and now the editors say, “Yes, you should cut four minutes,” and he’s like, “I don’t want to cut any.” “Well, you should, because we’re online”.

There was no one there to say you should do it now, so we finished the show, which lasted an hour and 26 minutes, but on the other hand, it wasn’t late, it was a great show. It worked, it worked in an hour and 26 minutes.

Yes, I wasn’t sure how I would react to a longer show, but when I opened a couple of episodes today, those three hours flew by unnoticed, because I was so passionate about these stories.

John Cassar: A huge plus for me is that all these beautiful flights of the planet that you see Orville passing through the nebulae, this is what would be cut out. The reality is that you’re cutting this stuff, I mean, some of my best shots I’ve ever done for television are on the editing room floor because it’s been too long and you’re going to cut the stuff without dialogue. This is what cinema has over television, they make these beautiful visual shots that just tell stories with visual effects, without any dialogue, because, again, they don’t have a time limit. So that’s another plus.

With directing on television, we sometimes see directors bringing their own flair or style to their episodes. Is there anything you would like to add to all your episodes to make them even more yours than they already are?


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