On Friday of last week SciFiPulse was fortunate enough to take part in a Phone Conference between other blogs and websites and Allison Scagliotti, who is better known as Claudia Donavon from the hit Syfy Channel series Warehouse 13.
During the course of the chat many things were discussed ranging from the usual what’s your favorite artifact questions through to questions regarding various episodes of the series and when it comes to episodes tonight’s show, which is airing on Syfy in the USA sees a second visit to the Warehouse by Fargo, who is played effortlessly by Neil Grayson. And the episode sees the Warehouse pulled into a video game, which is one of the aspects that we were keen to discuss with Allison.
SciFiPulse: What was it like to work with Neil Grayson again and what can you tell us about the tonight’s episode.
Allison Scagliotti: It’s always a pleasure to work with Neil. I’ve said in the past, Neil is one of my best friends and having the opportunity to work with him on set is just a joy. It’s like summer camp but we’re getting paid to run around in crazy costumes.
He’s an incredibly professional, hilarious comedic as well as dramatic actor and is never afraid to have fun. I think I speak for the entire cast and crew of Warehouse when I say that being able to bring Neil Grayson onto the show is nothing but fun.
And, in terms of this episode, this is probably our biggest concept episode that we’ve ever done. There was a lot of green screen, a lot of special effects. It’s airing sixth in our season but we shot it third in terms of shooting order because there were so many elements to capture and it took a lot of prep and we were directed by the incredibly gifted Chris Fisher, who’s also our supervising producer. And I can honestly say it’s my favorite episode this season so far anyway.
SciFiPulse: We’ve noticed that Claudia has been working a lot more in the field this year with new boy Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore.) Are we likely to be seeing a lot more of Claudia in the field in future shows.
Allison Scagliotti: Yes, I think so. You’ll see in plenty of episodes that the episode between Claudia and Steve becomes very pivotal emotionally as well as professionally, you know, in terms of the Warehouse teams.
Claudia at this point in her life where she wants to prove herself as an adult and she’s sort of like all 20 year olds, figuring out who she is and what she wants to be. And that’s been really, really great for me to be able to bring that sort of part of my life and me discovering who I am to the character.
So in terms of Claudia’s destiny, I know last season we sort of touched on her becoming and (ex-friend) with Frederick, and what happens to her at the end of this season is really emotional and intense. I think the world is sort of Claudia’s oyster. We can see her go in a couple different directions, so I’m really excited to explore that going forward.
SciFiPulse: Could you discuss some of the things that you’ll encounter within the Warehouse 13 video game in which you’ll all find yourselves trapped within.
Allison Scagliotti: Yes, it’s really – it’s a very tongue-in-cheek sort of lampooning of video games in general and their depiction of women as well as what the warehouse could look like to an outside viewer or from an outside perspective.
It’s – the theme of the Warehouse video game, it’s called Fortress 13, and it’s the sort of castle medieval futilistic aesthetic. And so all the women have cartoonishly large breasts and the theme inside is very – it’s actually a little bit conflicting because there’re gladiators as well as knights and wenches and – what you’ll get to see is your sort of staple warehouse characters but as Fortress 13 avatars, so cartoonish representations of our normal characters.
It’s really fun. Fargo sort of plays with the mythology of purple goo and artifacts. And I don’t want to give too much away but given that Fargo had seen the inside of the warehouse, you know, don’t be surprised when you see the disco ball from Studio 54 make an appearance (unintelligible). And is there a dragon? Maybe. I’m not saying there isn’t.
SciFiPulse: So you guys will be all pixelated like in a real video game?
Allison Scagliotti: Well, what’s interesting is we shot it in live action and then in post, the image was given a treatment so that we do look – we look stylized. We look animated in some way. But it wasn’t motion capture and it wasn’t animation. It’s just that the digital – I don’t even know what you call it – but the digital image was altered in post so that we look at least a little bit more like a video game.
SciFiPulse: With the recent cancellation of Eureka has there been any talk of bringing Neil Grayson onto Warehouse 13 as a series regular.
Allison Scagliotti: I honestly have no idea. I really – I don’t know a lot about the news about Eureka. I mean, it would certainly be great to have Neil on but I think it’s really early to say that kind of thing, and more than anything I hope that Eureka fans just tune into this episode of Warehouse because I think they’ll really like it. Neil gets a lot of screen time.
SciFiPulse: You get trapped in a Video game in the new episode, but you got trapped in a comic book in the recent web series. What can you share about working on that.
Allison Scagliotti: Oh yes, the Web series. So that was really interesting. Part of it was live action and then the rest of it was, emotion comic, as you probably saw. We had one day where we had to shoot but the rest of it we were just in the studio in Toronto where we record ADR when we’re out there, and just sat in a circle and it was like a table read.
And we were directed by (Andy Sepra) and it was just a really fun sort of extra thing to throw at the fans a little bit before the season started. Very different from our typical shooting schedule. I think – we actually had to film on a weekend in order to get it done because our episodes follow such a sort of strict schedule involving prep and locations and everything it takes to make a TV show, that this sort of had to be squeezed in between the real work that we had to do.
But I think it was really fun. It came out well and I haven’t really heard a lot of feedback from the fans about it but I think they enjoyed it. So it’ll be up to Syfy whether we do it again next year.
SciFiPulse: One noticeable thing about this series to date is that now you are out in the field more. There is less interaction between you and Artie (Saul Rubinek). How do you think this is going to affect Claudia’s friendship with Artie given that she is out and about more and working with new boy Steve Jinks. Because it does change the dynamics of the series somewhat.
Allison Scagliotti: It absolutely does. It – well I think the relationships between all of us are really hanging in the balance with what happens at the end of this season. The great thing about this season has been that we’ve been able to explore how our characters past and their histories effect them in the present and effects what they do.
And so we – the Claudio and Reid dynamic is still very important and it’s still very much in play. But in order to just stick with Claudia’s role, the relationship between Claudia and Steve Jinx has been given a bit of a spotlight, which I really enjoy.
SciFiPulse: We’ve heard that Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek: Voyager is a guest star this year. How did you find working with her.
Allison Scagliotti: Oh my goodness. Kate – well we finished shooting our season so I’ve already worked with her. And she was such a force to be reckoned with and a spectacular actress. It was an honor to watch her work, to be in scenes with her.
We have a really intense scene together in the finale that I can’t tell you anything about because there were a lot of spoilers. But I hope she comes back on the show. She’s such an important character and a fantastic energy on our set.
We’ve been really lucky with the guest stars that we’ve had like Neil, (Greg Sand) and like Lindsay Wagner and Kate Mulgrew, that they just seem to get our show and they get the way we work. And they’re fast and they understand our dynamic and they fit right in.
So she’s fantastic. She’s a great addition to the cast and I hope to see her come back because I just adore her.
You can catch all new episodes of Warehouse 13 every Monday night on Syfy Channel in the USA and every Tuesday night at 8PM on Syfy Channel UK.
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Ian M. Cullen