I’m the nerd that always watches the “Special Features” portions of DVD sets; from Game Of Thrones to Lord Of The Rings, I am forever fascinated by the amount of work that goes into creating the worlds we see on the screen. Part of that is no doubt due to the fact that I majored in technical theatre in college, but there’s also a sense of “belonging” when you know details about a show or movie that others may not.
Grimm: Below the Surface: The Insider’s Guide to the Show is an awesome companion book to the TV series, and it really surpassed my expectations in terms of level of detail explored. I think I expected it to be a sort of cursory overview of the characters with more of a focus on the creatures, but there was actually a lot of background given on the plot of the first two seasons and all of the characters involved.
There were very in-depth interviews with more than just the major players; Nick, Juliette, Rosalee, Monroe, and Hank are all covered, but also interviewed are Adalind, Sergeant Wu, and Captain Renard, which I didn’t expect. It was great to read about all of their experiences during filming, what some of the most difficult episodes were to shoot, who their favorite wesen are, and what their auditions or expectations were like going into the show in Season one.
There’s a lot of information on the tech aspects, too, like special effects, props, and costumes. I loved reading about one particular costume that I had assumed while watching was CGI; it turns out it was an incredibly detailed silicone suit laced with glowing wire, and it really did look spectacular on-screen. The props are something that I don’t give a lot of thought to when a series is set in the present day, but there are so many old-world details throughout the show that I hadn’t even noticed! From the odds and ends around Monroe’s house, to the weapons in Aunt Marie’s cabinet, there is an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes.
One of my favorite secrets to be let in on was how many things look like they’re not CGI, but totally are. The lot that Nick keeps Aunt Marie’s trailer in looks like it’s wide open, located beside the river with a bridge in the background. Not only is the trailer not real and completely digital (I know, right?!), but there is a massive building behind the lot that they Photoshop out, along with a dozen other things, and then they add in the other abandoned cars and the bridge. I love learning about stuff like that.
If you’re a fan Grimm and you like all of these types of behind-the-scenes glimpses, I really recommend this companion book. It’s beautifully put together with some great photos from the show as well as pages from Aunt Marie’s casebook, detailing certain wesen, their appearance, and their habits. I hope that after Season 3 is finished airing they release another one with new creatures and interviews with some of the actors from the secondary plot concerning the Royals. Clearly, a lot of thought was put into Below The Surface, and I think it paid off. Check it out!
Natasha Kingston is the author of Bearing Gifts, a fantasy/paranormal adventure series. The first episode in the series, called In Her Bones, is focused on Violet Muñoz and a series of strange occurrences that will change her life and the lives of millions of others. The second episode, entitled In Her Arms, tells the story of Stephanie Graham and how her own uncontrolled abilities can be potentially devastating to herself and those she loves. The ongoing series will be divided into seasons of 10 episodes each, and will be at least 3 seasons long. The story is sprawling, epic, and unpredictable, so get ready for a crazy ride!
In addition to writing, Natasha is the co-creator of the podcast UNspoiled!, which reviews books chapter by chapter, and television shows episode by episode. The first series covered was A Song Of Ice And Fire, by George RR Martin, and the current program being covered is Breaking Bad. She also has her own solo podcast series called Natasha’s Spoiler Hour, where she reviews Scandal and The Walking Dead, complete with a lot of swearing and ranting.