Creative Cow Magazine: Style, Emotion and Vamping The Vampire Diaries by Nancy Forner

Check out this really great article written by The Vampire Diaries editor, Nancy Forner from Creative Cow Magazine. Thanks to Julie Plec for sharing this with the fandom. I love reading articles that explain the processes in creating each episode, and editing is one extremely important aspects of “the process”. Nancy shares with us, styling, picking the music (yes, I thought it was all up to music supervisor Chris Mollere, but it turns out Nancy is the one that makes the final choice) and how she takes 40 hours (YES, 40 HOURS) of film footage and breaks it down to a 42 minute episode. Love her comments about Paul and Ian, and she even talks about creating vamp speed, what she calls “vamping”. Check out the excerpt below and then head on over to Creative Cow to read the rest of the article.


The Vampire Diaries is shot with two to three ARRI Alexa cameras, whereas a classic, formally created drama will use one camera. On a show like SVU, we would get 20 hours of dailies to create a 42-minute show. On TVD, we get 40 hours of dailies to create that same 42-minute show — a lot more footage, meaning a lot more choices. I don’t sit and watch the 40 hours before I begin, though.

I just jump in, but by the time I cut a scene, I’ve pretty much watched everything.

The way I’ve set up my Avid Media Composer 5.5, I can watch two cameras at the same time. I’ve trained myself to be able to take in all that information at once and know what’s going on in each take. But cutting a 42-minute episode from 40 hours is a lot of work. We work long hours and a lot of weekends.

Because the subject matter is dark and it’s about vampires, a lot of the footage is visually dark. I had the same thing on Buffy, and scrutinizing all that dark footage does get tiring to the eyes.

But it’s exciting too; I get all those hours staring at Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan, and Ian Somerhalder, who plays his brother Damon. They’re more than eye candy; they’re adorable, and good actors. They’re very fun to watch.

I’ve worked with big actors with big names where they didn’t give you the material you needed, but these guys always do. They’re very dedicated and serious and give us the performances we need and the choices we need. Of course, the women in the show are also great; I just especially like looking at the guys.


Ruthie took her passion for The Vampire Diaries books and started Vampire Diaries Online in February 2009. After 9 years online, she continues to engage with fellow TVD fans here and on Twitter, sharing in the love of The Vampire Diaries. #TVDForever


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