Actress Katee Sackhoff, known for her role as Bo-Katan Kryze in the widely acclaimed ‘Star Wars series, ‘The Mandalorian,’ has recently shared some intriguing insights into the show’s production process. Despite the slickly polished episodes we see on our screens, Sackhoff revealed a perpetual flurry of activity behind the scenes. In a conversation with ‘The Mandalorian’s director Bryce Dallas Howard on the second episode of her BlahBlahBlah show, Sackhoff gave us a glimpse into the chaotic world of ‘Mandalorian’ production.
“That’s why I tell people that Mando is like — they’re always so confused why it takes so long for us to shoot and why the episodes are in their mind so short,” Sackhoff stated. “And I’m like, ‘There are so many moving parts to this that you have no idea.’ We’re lucky that we finish as fast as we do. We’re rushed all the time and the fact that we finish is crazy,” she elaborated.
Her words shed light on the relentless, fast-paced nature of the production, contrasting the seamlessly crafted episodes that have captivated the series’ dedicated fan base.
A Budget Beyond Imagination
When queried by Howard on how ‘The Mandalorian’ diverges from other television productions she has participated in, Sackhoff was frank about the huge budget that drives the show. The sheer scale of the series’ financial backing appears to outstrip any other project she has been involved with.
“So the biggest difference for me — I mean budget is massive. Budget is completely different. I’ve never worked on something with a budget this big. … Our catering budget is probably the entire budget of Battlestar Galactica, granted that was 20 years ago,” Sackhoff revealed.
This comparison brings into sharp relief the prodigious financial support behind ‘The Mandalorian’, underlining the extraordinary commitment to achieving the utmost quality and detail in the show’s production.
Breaking the Norms of Filming
Sackhoff also discussed the unique filming methodology employed in ‘The Mandalorian.’ Rather than following the standard practice of two to three takes per scene, the show’s production team often embarks on multiple takes, creating an entirely new environment for Sackhoff.
“So when I got to Mando and on day one with you, where for — God love you — the amount of takes you do is like my bread and butter,” Sackhoff expressed. “I think that we got to like take three and I was convinced that was it because that’s my experience. There are times we’ve done — we did 38 takes of one scene. Like that is legitimately the opposite of what I’m used to and so it gives you so much time to find everything and I’ve never done that before.”
While this filming strategy was initially overwhelming, Sackhoff revealed her appreciation for the creative freedom it offered. This approach allowed the actors to explore various aspects and emotions within a scene, often resulting in unplanned, spontaneous performances.
“I love it. I absolutely love it because it gives me the ability to find different things inside of what I thought. And then sometimes you get so over it that you give a difference performance. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t expect that.’ And that wouldn’t have come without me completely abandoning everything that I’d already done or thought I knew,” she confessed.
Echoes from Emily Swallow
Sackhoff’s candid observations align with actress Emily Swallow, who, in an interview in April, also spoke about the unconventional filming approach adopted by ‘The Mandalorian.’ Swallow highlighted how the series was not shot sequentially but based on the availability of sets and the involvement of different directors.
“We’re usually shooting more than one episode at a time because we have two crews going at the same time. So we’ll jump back and forth between episodes while filming the whole season, in between different directors,” Swallow described.
This practice adds a layer of complexity to an already challenging task, requiring constant mindfulness from the actors and directors to maintain continuity and coherency in the overall narrative.
Team Unity and Guidance of Jon Favreau
Despite these challenges, there’s an apparent unity among the cast and crew, guided by show creator Jon Favreau’s leadership. Swallow emphasized Favreau’s involvement and effort to ensure everyone was on the same page.
“He makes himself so available, just to make sure the heart of the story is consistent and it doesn’t get too crazy, because we don’t shoot episodes one at a time,” Swallow reported.
Sackhoff’s enlightening revelations about ‘The Mandalorian’ peel back the layers of glamour we often associate with successful series to reveal a different picture. Behind the scenes, it is a story of relentless hustle, an unimaginable budget, and an unconventional yet rewarding approach to filming. Despite the high-speed pace and constant rush, there’s a dedicated team working tirelessly to produce quality content that resonates with fans worldwide.
Indeed, while the filming of ‘The Mandalorian’ may appear rushed, this unique method seems to be part of its charm. This peek behind the curtain doesn’t diminish the series’ appeal but enhances it, adding a layer of respect for those who work so hard to bring the Star Wars universe to life. ‘The Mandalorian’ is a testament to the magic that can be achieved when creativity, dedication, and a willingness to push boundaries come together.