Tuesday, July 31, 2018

SDCC - The Man in the High Castle - Daniel Percival Interview


Photo Credit: JBN Media

Daniel Percival is a BAFTA award winning independent writer/director of film and television. Having originally trained a a film editor Percival started directing documentaries for the BBC in the mid 1990's. In 2001 Percival wrote and directed the groundbreaking docu-drama Smallpox 2002, a feature length fictional documentary tracing the events of a bio terrorist attack in New York. The film garnered international acclaim and caused much controversy, owning the uncompromising subject matter and unique film making techniques it employed. Percival followed this film with his first television movie, Dirty War, for HBO and BBC films. Based on two years of detailed journalistic research, Dirty War tells the fictional story of a Dirty Bomb terror attack in the heart of London. Dirty War awarded Percival with the prestigious BAFTA for best New Drama Director. 

Since then Percival has written and directed numerous original TV series,including the Golden Globe nominated State Within (with Sharon Gless and Jason Isaacs), the RTS nominated and Edgar winning Place of Execution (with Juliette Stevenson), and the action adventure series Strike Back (starring Richard Armitage, Jodhie May, Philip Winchester, Andrew Lincoln and Sullivan Stapleton). Percival also co executive produced the second season of Strike Back for Sky and HBO/Cinemax. Percival is developing a feature film and several original TV series for US and UK networks.


The Man in the High Castle is an American dystopian alternate history television series, produced by Amazon Studios, Scott Free Productions, Headline Pictures, Electric Shepherd Productions, and Big Light Productions. The series is based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. In the series' alternate version of 1962, the Axis powers have won World War II and divided the United States into the Greater Nazi Reich, comprising more than half of eastern part of the continent, and the Japanese Pacific States to the west. These territories are separated by a neutral zone that encompasses the Rocky Mountains. The series follows characters whose destinies intertwine after they come into contact with a series of propaganda films that show a very different history from their own.

Premiering in January 2015, the pilot was Amazon's "most-watched since the original series development program began". The next month, Amazon ordered episodes to fill out a ten-episode season, which was released in November to positive reviews. A second season of ten episodes premiered in December 2016. with a third season announced a few weeks later, to be released on October 5, 2018. On July 21, 2018, it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that the series had been renewed for a fourth season.



Daniel Percival and Isa Dick Hackett at Comic Con Press Room.

Daniel Percival and Isa Dick Hackett

THE JBN TEAM INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL PERCIVAL AND ISA DICK HACKETT
JOURNALIST: KRISTIN CERCADO

LOCATION: COMIC CON, SAN DIEGO, CA

Video/Audio/Edit: James Vallesteros (@jamesvallesteros)

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE TRIVIA:
Extensive research was done for the cultures, particularly areas such as costuming, technology, and music, to develop an alternate world which merges aspects of WWII Nazi and Imperial Japanese cultures with the cultural progress of mid-1950s America. Although the series is set in 1962, the use of the 1950s for many touchstones suggests the cultural stagnation that would have occurred under totalitarian occupation.

The truck driven by Joe is from "Lariat Shipping & Moving". In the X Files, the rental cars driven by Mulder and Scully are always from the fictional "Lariat Rent-a-Car" company. Frank Spotnitz has been an executive producer of both shows.

John Smith carries the rank of Obergruppenführer ("senior group leader"), while his superior Reinhard Heydrich has the similar-sounding rank of Oberst-Gruppenführer ("supreme group leader" or "colonel group leader"). During WWII, these were the two highest SS commissioned ranks, with Oberst-Gruppenführer reporting directly to the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler. The rank of Obergruppenfuhrer is the equivalent in U.S. Army ranks to Lieutenant General, three stars.

Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, about a world in which the Axis powers won World War II. Within the novel, "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" is a banned novel (a novel within the novel) by the man in the high castle, which tells of *another* alternate world in which the Allies won WWII, but *not* the same way as in our world. In the TV series, "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" is the name given to a series of newsreel films.
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