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1. Brad Falchuk's commentary on "Piggy Piggy":
The idea of horror in the show is that people have all these fears that manifest themselves in so many different ways — in our imaginations, as monsters like the Bogeyman. We’re exposing ourselves and our vulnerabilities, the pains and pleasures of our lives — it’s all very personal. In the school shooting scene, what we wanted to do was say, “Okay, let’s take those fears. Now the Bogeyman, the man in the rubber suit, is the guy who shoots up those kids. They’re the same guy.” It’s sort of a metaphor of what happens when the monsters of your imagination become real in your life.
That sequence was conceptualized with a very specific idea in mind, which was, “I never want to see any blood. I never want to see any gore in this. This is a horrible thing that we’re doing, and I don’t want to make it into [torture] porn at all because I want to really get to the pain of it.”
If you’re building tension, the first most important thing to care about the people you’re putting in danger. The school shooting scene is so upsetting because you got to know these characters before we saw what happens to them. It’s this moment where these innocent kids are stuck, and it’s just this horror of these poor kids facing this reality: “Today’s the day.”
The structure was based on the idea that you would always be on someone else’s point-of-view when someone was getting killed. The teacher gets killed. That’s the only person you see actually get shot. With the rest of them, the second someone’s about to get shot you’re with them, and the second the bullet goes, you cut away to somebody else so now we just see their fear, so now that fear belongs to the person that’s alive. It keeps getting passed around like a football — “Now your turn, now your turn… ” The tension rises because each time you’re with the next person, you’re, like, “Okay, they know what’s happening, but they don’t know what to do.” And what would you do?
I also think it’s awesome when horrifying things happen in the middle of the day when everybody’s awake and alert. Tate is a very unhappy, troubled boy, and [he's] like the Bogeyman saying, “I’m more powerful than the night. I don’t have to hide in the closet. There’s no place that is safe. You can’t escape.”
There was intentionally no music in the school shooting scene. We thought, “The scene itself is enough. We don’t need to push it.” I think the director filmed that so beautifully, and the actors were so real. They had that great sense of uniqueness and innocence that, for me, it really hurt to watch them go. To me, that was the scariest scene that we did.
Later in that same episode, when Violet is pouring the pills out on her bed, and it’s like, “This poor little girl just needs help, and there’s no one there to help her.” To me, those are the real horrible moments in the show that are the most upsetting. To me, an ax to the stomach of a person who kind of deserves it anyway [isn't truly scary] [e.g. how Tate kills Bianca in "Home Invasion"]. Whenever that would happen, in the editing room, we would just be laughing hysterically. We thought it was hilarious: “This is silliness. This is not real horror. This is fun horror.”
2. Ryan Murphy's commentary on the episode "Piggy Piggy":
'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on Vivien's blood-craving baby and next week's 'most sexual episode' yet -- EXCLUSIVE by Tim Stack
Tonight’s American Horror Story opened with one of the most disturbing sequences I’ve seen on TV: the mass shooting of the students of Westfield High by Tate (Evan Peters). Utterly haunting. Viewers also once again saw the hospital technician who fainted upon seeing Vivien’s ultrasound. Basically, it appears Vivien (Connie Britton) is pregnant with a demon baby. No big shocker there. And we saw a guest appearance by Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet who was plagued with paranoia over the urban legend of Piggy Man — and frankly, I don’t blame him, based on the Piggy Man’s appearance. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about all the terror and what’s in store for next week.
- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why doesn’t Violet ever tell her parents the truth of what happened to Tate?
RYAN MURPHY: Well I think it’s a very Romeo and Juliet relationship. I think in this episode, just when you feel she’s going to do that and give into the tension, I think she sort of realizes she has fallen in love with him despite his monstrous behavior, which of course he must pay for in some way eventually. It’s that fantasy of young love. It’s a very romanticized creation. But what’s interesting in future episodes is playing the tension of what do you do when you’re in love with a mass murderer? That’s her dilemma.
- Is the Billie Dean Howard character someone to be trusted?
Is she telling the truth? I think she is telling the truth, I really do. When we created her, all of us in the writer’s room have had some experience with psychics or not. I’m somebody that was very skeptical until I went to a woman who told me out of nowhere, “Is your father ill?” and I said, “No. He just had a physical and he’s fine.” She said, “You need to tell him to go back.” So he did go back and they found prostate cancer and he died two years later. So Billie Dean was inspired a large part by that experience. We are saying that yes she is legitimate.
We were also really interested in the Zelda Rubinstein character from Poltergeist. “This house is clean.” You’re watching that movie and you believe she has the power. But I am obsessed with the idea that she’s getting her own show on Lifetime. We wrote that part for Sarah. She and Jessica are really good friends in real life. We’re writing right now in one of our finale episodes now the return of Billie Dean. The thing that we always kept saying is well isn’t it pretty easy to get rid of a ghost? Like how do you get rid of them? So she comes back.
- Will Tate cross over?
I can’t say.
- Who’s Mary in Violet’s flashback? Is that her grandmother?
Yes. That was Violet’s grandmother’s death bed and the fact that Billie Jean knew that proved to Violet the existence of other spirits, the beginning of her awakening.
In this episode, they do not know.
- Constance says “We need another baby.” Does that mean the house needs a baby?
Yes. Two episodes from now really deals with why does the house and its occupants have baby mania? What is that about? Constance is clearly in cahoots with someone or some thing. I can’t say.
- Is it possible that Constance was also impregnated by Rubber Man?
No, that’s a great idea. But I never thought that.
- What’s the deal with Constance eating the meat and especially the brain? Is she under control of the house? Or the baby is taking over?
I think that her baby is having some really demonic cravings. God bless Connie Britton for shooting that scene with the brain and all that stuff. I believe it was made for Connie who is one of the alltime health conscious people I know. I believe it was made from gelatin and molded. There’s a little bit of a homage to Rosemary’s Baby where she ate the liver. We wanted to one up it. Of course everyone’s gonna now say like that’s so totally not sanitary. To which we respond, when you see the baby, then we will talk about it. That baby has some ferocious cravings.
- Why didn’t the doctor pick up on the whatever scary is inside Vivien during the amnio?
It happens in the next episode. I think that sometimes people see what they want to see. Or sometimes what you see is or is not accurate and can make you terrified. And maybe it was part of the gestational process, who knows? But that woman is back in the next episode. Nurse Angie. She’s so crazy. We’re playing around with, Is that woman legit?
- How did you get Eric Stonestreet for this?
Well, we’ve had a couple cases where we’ve written things for people and then gone after them. Luckily in every case they’ve said yes. This was the case where we wrote the role for Eric. I’ve always loved Eric when he’s dramatic. So I sent him the script and he said, “Why the hell did you think of me for this part?” I think he’s so great. I love what the story is about. I like the idea that you attract fear to you.
- Tease next week’s episode.
Episode 7 is called “Open House” and it’s a very Constance-heavy episode. Finally they find somebody to buy the house and leave and Constance is not happy about that. Next week is definitely our most sexual episode and it’s very Constance heavy with her trying to protect herself. And we meet another one of her children. It’s very exciting.
- And you told me that kid is crazy right?
Sumthin’s not right with that person. She did say that her womb is cursed.
- ↑ Beard, Lanford (December 11, 2011). Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): 'American Horror Story' co-creator Brad Falchuk names his scariest scene of the season. PopWatch. Entertainment Weekly.
- ↑ Poltergeist
- ↑ Editor's note:Likely meant Vivien