Episode 8 - Hooves in the Dirt
We did it. We finally conquered the Jersey Devil. It only took 8 months to pay off something we planted in the very first episode, but man, it was worth the wait.
Of course, being set in New Jersey, of COURSE we were going to take on the Jersey Devil sooner or later. Like mentioned in the episode, it IS our state’s most notorious legend. Hell, I blame hearing all the legends about it as a kid as the reason I am so into all this weird stuff today. Learning how Mother Leeds’ 13th child turned into a horrific beast and flew up the chimney warped my tiny little mind.
The book mentioned in 8.1, The Jersey Devil, by James McCloy and Ray Miller Jr., and its subsequent sequel, Phantom of the Pines, is what led me further down the rabbit hole. It really is THE definitive book on the subject, so if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend picking it up.
But this episode also marks the only time one of my previous projects has overlapped with another one. Chase Jackson’s story isn’t just something I made up for this episode. It’s actually the plot of a (terrible) feature film I made over 10 years ago. It’s called Leeds Point, and it was something I co-wrote and produced. It tells the whole story that Chase said around the campfire; his son disappears from a camping trip, and he tries to get to the bottom of it…until a reporter named Knox convinces him that the Jersey Devil is behind it all.
I always liked the character of Chase, and I knew I wanted to bring him into the Return Home fold ever since planting the seeds for this way back when. Re-visiting the character after 10 years was a bit of a challenge. But it was a lot of fun to try to figure out how far the character had evolved and what he was up to these days. Having him been chasing the creature that ruined his life all this time was a no-brainer.
Now that I think about it, a lot of my love for Chase comes from the man who plays him, Kevin Interdonato. Not only does he do a great job in this episode…but he ALSO played Chase in Leeds Point! Kevin is an actor I’ve been working with for years, ever since I cast him in a LOST fan film I did back in college. He’s the typical Jersey guy, so it was so much fun to work with him again and have him in the studio. He moved to California a few years before me, so being able to catch up was great. He really is a phenomenal actor, and you should check out what else he is up to on his website: www.kevininterdonato.com
Anyway, if you are so inclined, you can watch Leeds Point on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io0VE8AOvmo
This episode also expands a bit more of the mythology of the show, especially in regards to the power Jonathan has. He learns more about it from the mysterious woman in the woods (how the heck does she know about it anyway?!) and then he (clumsily) uses it in the fight against the Jersey Devil. While we may not address his full capabilities quite yet, they will come into play as the story goes on.
Also, I am glad some of you realized that Buddy’s Instagram account is indeed a real thing. I’ve said it before, but bringing the world of the show into the real world is something I love doing, so this helps that along. Be sure to follow him as he posts about their adventures at: www.instagram.com/buddyfromthefalls
Can I also mention how badass of a moment it was when Ami took out the Jersey Devil? I bet Chase will never doubt her ability again!
A special shout out, more so than usual, goes to Andrew for his sound design for this episode. He’s been having massive computer issues, so mixing the last two parts of this one was a challenge for him. However, he totally nailed it. I think the car chase in 8.2, the end of 8.3, and the entire battle in 8.4 is some of his best work ever. Chase & Jonathan vs. the Jersey Devil just sounds scary as hell; the snarling, the beast’s heavy breathing, the thudding footfalls. I love it!
I remember texting him that 8.4 was going to be an “easy mix” because it was so short. And then I remember getting a message shortly before it was to be released saying “I hate you. It wasn’t easy.” I don’t think you guys and gals truly know how much work Andrew puts into mixing, and making the show sound wonderful. He takes my edits and sound effects and truly takes them to the next level. We are really lucky to have him.
That will do it for us this time around. Next week, we have another interlude for you (featuring a fan favorite character or two), and then our double sized holiday episode comes out in December. This one is going to be a doozy, and you guys are going to love it. There are a few fun surprises in store for it, too!
Until next time…