Earlier this week, Syfy debuted their brand new series Bitten, which continues its Season 1 run with "Prodigal" on Monday, January 20 at 10 PM ET. The series centers on Elena (Laura Vandervoort), the world's only female werewolf who leaves her homeland of Stonehaven to create a new life. When several werewolves turn up dead, she returns to Stonehaven to defend her pack against this mysterious threat. Greyston Holt also stars as Clayton Danvers, the son of pack master Jeremy Danvers (Greg Bryk) who is also Elena's former lover. The actor recently held a conference call with executive producer J.B. Sugar, where they spoke about the biggest challenges on the set, "wolf vision" and Clayton and Elena's strained relationship.
J.B. Sugar first spoke about the biggest production challenged he was faced with on the show, how to portray the characters in wolf form.
"I will say one of the biggest production challenges for us had to do with how we were going to portray our characters when they were in wolf form. And as they are in Kelley Armstrong's novels, they're photo real wolves. They look like very large yet very real wolves that you would see in the wild. So to craft a series that honors that and also brings to life the wolves when they have such specific action, one of the biggest challenges was trying to figure out whether or not we should train real wolves. Whether or not we should use puppets and animatronics. And ultimately we decided to go full CGR with our wolves. And in most of the talents of a visual (site) from Vancouver called Atmosphere. And they've done some truly groundbreaking work in the intelligence space to bring these wolves to life. And we're extremely proud of them and the work that they've done."
Greyston Holt revealed that his biggest challenge was getting into the physical side of the character, especially since he has never been in a fight before.
"One of the main challenges for me was just keeping my clothes on. No, I - you know, there's so many small challenges. You know, and they're all fun challenges. So to come I mean from, you know, I'm pretty low-key. I've never been in a fight in my life. And then, you know, this Clayton character has this, you know, this kind of instant switch to rage at points. So that was fun and challenging to find that. And I did a little research, you know, watching wolves and how they can just switch into this aggressive mode and fast. So that was a fun challenge for me. And then, you know, down to the fight sequences we did. It you know, this was kind of a bit of a learning curve for me because there were some, you know, pretty long and intricate fight sequences that were created by our stunt coordinator, John Stead. And so he was patients with us. And, you know, I think the final product was amazing. And it was a lot - it was a big challenge. We had - I mean our rehearsals would be eight hours, nine hours sometimes. So by the end of it you're just dead. But you feel it's fun, you know."
J.B. Sugar also talked about the "wolf vision" used when these characters transform into werewolves.
"Wolf vision, for lack of a better term, is something we worked on and discussed stylizing early on in the process. And then of course once we shot those shots and took them into the color timing suite, we were able to really play around in kind of subtle on a look and approach for wolf vision. And the intention and spirit of - and design of those shots really are inspired by the K9 color palette and that the way that K9s see the world and have a bit of an enhanced ability to see at night. And contrary to popular belief, K9s are not colorblind. They just have - their (rods and) cones are as such that they really don't see any reds and browns. So we really kind of isolated the blues and yellows and had that in form how our wolves would see when we go into their point of view."
Greyston Holt talked about meeting author Kelley Armstrong, whose novels the show is based on, for the first time.
"I hadn't met Kelley previous to filming. I've actually just met her last week at a dinner, which was amazing. But leading up to it I read Bitten. And I kind of was skimming through Savage as we were filming a little bit too. And, you know, you get the (draft) from source material a little bit. But we also take some artistic license and, you know, kind of try to create our own versions of these characters a little bit. You know, it's just a suggestive type of thing reading a book and, you know, people's opinions in your personal opinions. And, you know, and just kind of did my thing. And I, you know, I'm just hoping people like it. So it's a very contentious subject with bookies so. But yes."
Elena was turned into a werewolf from a bite by her former lover Clayton. Greyston Holt teased that he had a good reason for doing that to Elena, which fans will find out about later this season.
"She was turned into this werewolf by myself. You know, I bit her for reasons that, you know, you will find out as the season progresses. They were good reasons and I have good intentions. But, you know, there's complications in the werewolf world. It's not like being a human. So it's not that simple. But yes, and it was fun. I mean as far as our relationship and, you know, how we were sort of scene. It really played out with the animal side of it. And we played on them a lot. And, you know, being very careful and cautious when you approach. And so we played around with that a lot, especially when we kind of first meet each other, you know, just really assessing each other out and feeling their energy and playing off that. So that was really fun."
J.B. Sugar also commented on the Diane (Natalie Brown) character, the sister of Elena's human boyfriend Philip (Paul Greene), who will be coming back throughout the season.
"Well that's Diane who is played the beautiful and talented Natalie Brown. And she will definitely be appearing throughout the season. And one of the things that we've done in the series which is a bit of a departure from the book is really blown out the whole McAdams family, which is Philip, Elena's human boyfriend. We really worked hard to develop that world so we can really highlight this push and pull that Elena undergoes throughout the first season. Despite her love and affection for Clayton, she also has this desire for normalcy. And by casting such great actors in crafting such great characters, are writing came - really kind of really helped bolster that dynamic and that push and pull of the two worlds. So I'm so happy that you connected with that Diane character. And that's definitely something that you'll be seeing more of throughout the season."