Jensen Ackles directed Season 11, Episode 3 “The Bad Seed“
Jensen: I was always interested in the technical aspects of film-making. I was always asking questions; why are we using this lens? What does that do? How does that change the focal length? I just was interested in it because I thought it would help me be a better well-rounded actor.
Jared Padalecki: I think directing, by its self, is daunting so to direct and be the star of the show, I can only imagine.
Jensen: Coming up with a game plan is always the most difficult thing for me. and I wanna make sure that I’ve got a road map when I show up Day 1 cus if not then I’ll get lost. So just putting that road map out is the biggest challenge for me.
Jerry Wanek (production designer): He’s very observant and he’s got a very keen eye so, you know, he comes into it with the full package.
Jensen: It’s a jigsaw puzzle. Tackling that challenge is something that I get a lot of gratification out of.
Brad Buckner (Co-executive producer, Co-writer of “The Bad Seed”): We’ll stand for a couple of hours and turn pages, page by page, into script, moment by moment, he’ll have a lot of questions about those kinds of things; props, every little detail is discussed.
Jensen: Some scenes take a little bit more thought than others. Some are exposition scenes, [they] can be pretty simple. Action sequences can be a little bit more daunting. Suspense scenes, you know. We got a chase through some alleyways, and had to build the suspense. So, coming up with ways and trying to come up with different ideas.
Mark Sheppard: Some people don’t even know that he’s an actor. There was a kid on the set and she had no idea that he was, in fact. an actor and star of the show.
Mark Meloche (VFX Supervisor): The nice part is he’s really found that bridge between being an actor and being a director.
Jared Padalecki: Jensen-director, Jared-actor is almost the same as our relationship Jensen-Dean, Jared-Sam, like we always have each others backs and we always go like ‘Hey, maybe we should try this’ or ‘maybe let’s do that’ or ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ or ‘try that’ or ‘nah, I didn’t like that, you got it better’, and so we are always there for each other and with each other.
Jerry Wanek (production designer): Jensen does have a different approach because of his acting abilities and what he brings to the table from that side.
Mark Sheppard: His film language is very good and he’s a great collaborator, a really good collaborator.
Eugenie Ross-Leming (Co-executive producer, Co-writer of “The Bad Seed”): He really leads the set in a way that is nice to see with everybody pitching in. These are really hard hours and he makes it fun.
Jensen: I know what it’s like on the other side of the camera so I can relate to that and I know the show very well because I’ve been here since Day 1.
Mark Meloche (VFX Supervisor): When Jensen is actually on the set, he knows a little bit more on how things have to fit together. We have legacy effects so he’s familiar with all the effects that we have to do, you know, black eyes or demon smoke and the actions that the actors have to do. He’s had to do them all himself actually.
Jensen: Coming from being on the other side of the camera, I understand logistically what needs to be done in order to get the shot and understand all of that stuff really helps both production, performance, final product.
Eugenie Ross-Leming (Co-executive producer, Co-writer of “The Bad Seed”): He can now see the world through a director’s eyes, you know, and I told him I thought he was, you know, he really has enlarged the scope of his career.
Jensen: Three words from Kim Manners and he said, he said ‘Homework, homework, homework’ so I kill myself during prep which is one of the main reasons why they let me do the first episode that we film during the season so I can show up early from the hiatus, prep like crazy and be prepared once I show up Day 1.
Jim Michaels (producer): I mentioned to him this morning, I said ‘You know you could consider going away from home, directing somewhere else’. I said ‘Yes, I know it’s very, you know, this is a show you know very well but you might consider doing that’. I was doing it to encourage him to expand even further because I think he does have a career as a director.
Jared: He kicked ass as usual and I was very happy with the work that he pulled out of me and I can’t wait to see it.
Jim Michaels (producer): You know, Season 11, he’s definitely, as Nigel Tufnel would say from Spinal Tap ‘he’s turned his game up to 11’.
Jensen: There’s just such a support group and system that I have with this crew.