Jack Falahee & Fred Greenhalgh Detail the New Werewolf Podcast


The traditional Universal monsters have at all times been staples of the Halloween season, however none have confirmed as enduring as the long-lasting werewolf. With latest additions to the style, like Marvel’s Werewolf by Night or 2021’s Werewolves Within, it is clear that audiences are nonetheless desperate to study extra about these shapeshifters. Blood Forest, the newest season of the continued supernatural horror podcast Undertow, offers listeners a brand new tackle the monsters. Grounded in actual human issues and relationships with loads of environment and rising dread, Undertow: Blood Forest is the proper listening expertise for werewolf followers.

To rejoice spooky season and the discharge of the primary episode of Undertow: Blood Forest, Creator Fred Greenhalgh and star and Executive Producer Jack Falahee spoke with MyFullGames about bringing the slow-burn werewolf horror podcast to life. The pair dive into what makes werewolves such scary monsters, how the typically long-distance recording course of labored, and which werewolf transformation they like finest.

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MyFullGames: Where did the thought, the inspiration for Blood Forest come from?

Fred Greenhalgh: Well, I’ve been barely petrified of werewolves since I used to be a child. It occurred to me that after I was younger… I grew up on a farm, and I might go to feed the chickens at evening, and there have been lights. I might at all times think about after I would see my silhouette, the form of a werewolf, coming and snatching me and pulling me into the woods. So then it simply took about 20 years of sitting with that loopy thought to say, “Wouldn’t werewolves be fun in audio?” So yeah — [it came from] simply taking all of the bizarre stuff from Maine and including this heavy steel horror spin to it.

A pure outgrowth from a Maine childhood, then.

Greenhalgh: Very autobiographical, just about.

Jack, what received you concerned with this? How did you come onboard to Blood Forest?

Jack Falahee: I’ve really been a fan of [podcast studio] Realm. I first turned conscious of Realm after I noticed that my good friend Rory Culkin had finished a present with them referred to as Outliers, which is unbelievable. Everyone ought to take heed to it. Then one other good friend of mine created a podcast referred to as From Now, and he requested me to voice a pair characters on it. That was the primary time that I’d finished podcast work and actually any audio work, and I liked it. I really like the escapism that it permits as a performer and a listener. It’s simply all as much as your creativeness, proper? I feel, particularly over the pandemic, I used to be dwelling in rural northern Michigan, which is not too far off from Maine. I used to be strolling across the woods, attempting to take these lengthy walks to get my physique shifting and listening to numerous suspenseful and horror podcasts. So when the chance got here to work with Fred on this, on Blood Forest, yeah, I needed to bounce at it.

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Absolutely. Have you discovered that the expertise of recording these podcasts differs rather a lot out of your on-screen performances?

Falahee: Totally. I imply, I feel there’s much more you are able to do as a performer within the audio format simply since you aren’t combating towards what you seem like. It was actually enjoyable to mess around with my voice a bit bit as a result of I discovered that simply listening to your self and being within the sales space with Fred and the opposite performers in your ears, that means that you can kind of manipulate, I feel, a bit bit greater than while you’re on-screen and a bit bit extra aware of your physique and your precise self. Also, simply creatively, it was actually increasing, I really feel like, as a result of more often than not, I wasn’t even trying on the actor that I used to be performing with, so I’d think about my good friend in a task or my mom or whoever. So I discovered that to be a very attention-grabbing train in substitution as an actor, which introduced out numerous actually cool issues, I feel, within the efficiency.

Agreed. Fred, are you able to discuss a bit in regards to the technique of recording for this and the way you introduced these performances out of your actors?

Greenhalgh: Sure. I imply, I strongly favor, if we will, to… We’re doing this all in a digital setting as a result of pandemic. Earlier in my profession, my favourite factor to do was to take actors out into the actual world and truly document on set like a film. So in my head, I’ve this sense of this grounded, visceral actuality that we’re attempting to do when there’s hundreds of miles of distance between the performers. One of the opposite main characters… Lots of people are in New York City, and Bree Klauser, who performs Eva, has herself a imaginative and prescient impairment. So we felt it could be fairest to have there be no digicam for anybody. So that is [what] we have now right here — it is all via the headphones.

This was nearly 500 script pages, or one thing like that, that recorded over two weeks. So it was an intense expertise over that time period. We’d be leaping… We type of recorded it primarily based on which batch of characters made sense to document collectively, kind of constructing if not particular episodes [then] particular throughlines of character threads. So it was kind of doing that simply the identical as you’d on set of like, “Okay, here’s who you all are, [and] this is what we’re doing today. This is what’s happening in the scene. Go have fun.” Just the power and charisma of the group, even when it is actually you are simply listening to voices in your head, was terrific and simply actually magical to listen to within the room, and much more enjoyable to listen to now that we’re placing it collectively as a completed present.

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How concerned are you with the sound design and the audio panorama that occurs past simply the voices and the script?

Greenhalgh: Deep and never deep within the sense that I’m tremendous explicit [to the point] the place my sound designer is like, “How many versions of wind does Fred really need to hear in this?” So Rory O’Shea is terrific. I’ve labored with him since again once we did Locke & Key for Audible, seven or eight years in the past now. So we simply have a protracted working relationship. Sometimes… there will be like a selected sound that I’m like, “But it needs to be a specific kind of beaten up truck because the truck itself is a piece of characterization. So it can’t be any truck.” So I’m a really explicit director, however I’ve a sound designer the place we have simply developed an excellent brief [hand], having labored collectively for thus a few years.

Blood Forest is billed as a werewolf story, nevertheless it’s additionally, at its coronary heart, a really human, grounded story of the relationships between the characters, however predominantly Frank and Eva and her household, and so they’re very advanced relationships. So what in regards to the kind of grounded human relationships helped you inform a monster story?

Greenhalgh: Honestly, I wish to hear Jack’s reply, too, however for me, simply when it comes to philosophically approaching the horror style, if you happen to do not care in regards to the people who find themselves prone to dying, is it really that attention-grabbing, particularly while you’re working in a medium that does not actually have jumpscares? So the aim of it’s to be a narrative the place if you happen to stripped away all of the horror parts, it could nonetheless be story, but additionally in order that when these moments happen, the place folks we have fallen in love with face mortal hazard, you are invested in them.

Falahee: Yeah, I agree. I imply, I feel that that is one thing that jumped off the web page at me after I learn it was that you can simply take out all the horror parts, and it is a good story. I feel even the little issues of the college bullying and her desirous to relocate to New York and comply with her dream, simply rooting all the things in naturalism and actuality, I feel, make the absurdity of the horror parts that rather more jarring and in addition plausible, in a means. It’s juxtaposition, I feel.

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Was it intricate or troublesome, possibly, to create a few of these relationships with folks that you simply weren’t essentially in the identical room with, that you simply had been interacting with from far-off?

Falahee: I do not know. I imply, it was clearly my first rodeo, just about, however everybody was such a professional that it felt really easy. Like Fred stated, it was actually an enormous effort to get all 500 pages in — in two weeks — however did not really feel overwhelming or troublesome in any means. It was nice simply because there was numerous chemistry, and particularly doing these huge group scenes collectively within the bar or the home. Yeah, I do not know. It felt prefer it simply got here alive, nearly second nature, which was excellent.

It actually is. What are you most enthusiastic about in attending to lastly share the tip product podcast with the world?

Greenhalgh: Just to capstone what Jack simply stated, I do wish to get a shout-out for our casting division, Meg Morman and Sunday Boling, as a result of they’re those who actually helped. I’ve what’s on the web page, and so they’re those who’re capable of finding the constellation of voices that make it so robust. So thanks, Meg and Sunday, you helped make this superb…

There’s rather a lot on the market within the spooky season. I feel we have now a tackle… There’s a lot about what’s immersive horror, to the purpose the place immersive does not even imply something anymore. That being stated, there may be only a sense of pervasive dread about what the world of Langeley is. At this level, my feeling is simply put it on the market and see what occurs. You must disconnect your self from the work, however I really feel like that is what I’m hoping to listen to is whether or not that sense of individuals actually really feel like they’re in an actual world, if that is coming throughout.

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I’d like to ask about Langeley, the setting for Blood Forest. Maine is such a horror story vacation spot, proper? But Langeley additionally evokes the CIA and governmental organizations. Were you attempting to evoke a selected kind of temper with this city?

Greenhalgh: That’s an attention-grabbing query. I hadn’t even put that half collectively. It’s a standard surname in Maine, however it’s a half the place in all of the Stephen King universe, you do not essentially see western Maine depicted, which is kind of this attention-grabbing space the place it is actually the woods till the Arctic Circle meets the final stays of civilization. We additionally hoped to make it in order that [it’s] a reasonably common expertise — like Jack talked about in northern Michigan, there’s really various rural America that Langeley could possibly be, so hopefully it might really feel, by being so Maine-specific, weirdly, additionally a really common expertise.

I really like that. Okay, I’m sorry I interrupted. Jack, do you have got a solution for what you are most enthusiastic about in attending to share this podcast with the world?

Falahee: I feel kind of the gradual burn of it. So my mother referred to as me the opposite day — my mother and my girlfriend each requested how scary is it? The factor I really like in regards to the present is that it builds on itself every episode, I feel. So my mother referred to as after listening to the primary episode, and he or she’s like, “That wasn’t so bad.” Well, buckle up, mother. It’s about to get rather a lot weirder and rather a lot spookier. So I feel, yeah, seeing how audiences react to that. Like I stated, I feel simply the format of it actually being as much as the listener’s personal creativeness, it is nearly as scary as you think about it to be, nevertheless it undoubtedly compounds, I feel, because the episodes come out. So yeah, I’m undoubtedly excited for folks to scare themselves.

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Werewolves are widespread monsters, particularly with one thing like Marvel’s latest Werewolf by Night. These are creatures which have endured in popular culture for a very long time. What about them is so enduring and compelling? What makes them such backdrop character or style for a spooky season podcast?

Greenhalgh: So for audio uniquely, what I really like is that our creature results finances is type of limitless as a result of we have now your creativeness to work with. What I really like mythologically about werewolves is that this sense of being human and wrestling together with your inside, non-human nature — your extra wild self. I feel what was attention-grabbing to discover within the present and type of one in every of its main themes is much less like, “Ooga booga, there’s a big scary monster out there,” and extra about if we considered werewolf-dom as an influence, how does that change the way you interpret the mythos? Is the half that is monstrous really human nature? What is definitely the that means of monster? Is shape-shifting itself monstrous or not, and taking some layers beneath the floor to see what occurs.

Falahee: Yeah, I agree. I feel that exhibiting that nuance and exhibiting how there generally is a unhealthy or werewolf is a very attention-grabbing case examine and the way the human facet of them, like Fred stated, is de facto the corrupt [part] and the factor that makes them extra of a monster is attention-grabbing. Then, for me, I feel there’s one thing about werewolves the place it does not appear that far-fetched. I imply, clearly shape-shifting [is], however we see wolves, and we see animals within the shadows, and there is simply one thing very pure about it. You get that feeling while you’re strolling within the woods, and also you hear a twig snap behind you, and also you flip, and there is nothing there, however you suppose you noticed a shadow lurking behind a tree. I do not know, out of all the mythological [beings] or monsters accessible, I feel I might purchase werewolves present essentially the most, particularly in like northern Michigan or northern Maine. So yeah, there’s one thing, I feel, nearly grounded in actuality about werewolves that makes them that a lot scarier.

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Okay, ultimate query. I do know your finances for visible results was limitless, however I’m curious when you’ve got a favorite werewolf transformation scene from present cinema. Everyone talks about An American Werewolf in London, however are there any that you simply like to attract from?

Falahee: I actually like [the one that] Josh Ruben [did], Werewolves Within, which got here out, I feel, final 12 months. But yeah, An American Werewolf in London, for certain, is a traditional. That’s, I feel, additionally a part of the great thing about werewolves is that it is kind of supplier’s selection. You can have the transformation be something. You can have the shapeshift model of the werewolves be something. So, once more, going again to the creativeness of the listener, it may be no matter you need, which I actually dig.

Greenhalgh: Yeah, I can not keep in mind if this movie even has a change second in it, however there’s a explicit Danish movie, When Animals Dream, that was a favourite going into this venture. Which once more, yeah, spins this kind of thought of what’s a monster on its head.

The first two episodes of Undertow: Blood Forest can be found now on all podcast platforms, and the primary three episodes can be found on Realm+ and Realm Unlimited. New episodes of launch on Fridays.

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