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Hi I’m Alex from ATM, one of my absolute favourite shows is returning for its fifth
season, and I cannot wait to binge the entire thing. Keep your wits about you, and stay
away from the edge of the platform because this is 25 Facts about House of Cards.
House of Cards is based on a British mini-series of the same name which aired in 1990. The
British series was based on a trilogy of novels by the now, Lord Michael Dobbs who was a former
Chief of Staff at the British Conservative Party. The novels were set after Margaret
Thatcher’s fall from grace as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dobbs is still
involved with the US series though and serves as exec producer on the show and has written
52 episodes.
After finishing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, director, David Fincher’s agent
showed him the UK series and he instantly loved it. He was to adapt the series and wanted
to produce it with Eric Ross who wrote the screenplay for Benjamin Button.
Fincher had wanted to adapt the UK version into another tv show rather than a film because
he was really invested in long form content. Fincher believed that film didn’t allow
for complex character development that television does and also thought that a lot of the best
writing for actors had been solely in tv.
The studio, Media Rights Capital, held the rights for the American adaptation, and pitched
to HBO, Showtime and AMC but Netflix outbid them all. Netflix examined their users’
streaming habits and thought that Cards would be a sure fire hit. Plus, unlike the other
major networks, they pitched to, Netflix didn’t ask for a pilot episode, they ordered 2 full
series - totally 26 episodes - straight away. For the cool cost of $100million.
Fincher decided that they needed a writer who could ‘transplant parliamentary politics
to Washington’. They approached Beau Willimon, who had previously worked on the Senate campaigns
for Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and both Bill Bradley and Howard Dean's presidential
campaigns. Willimon had considerable writing experience: he wrote the play ‘Farragut
North’ and adapted it into the movie, ‘The Ides of March’ which was nominated for an
Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay an four golden globes including Best Screenplay.
Willimon watched the British original and felt like there was a way of making the series
really contemporary and modern. Willimon wanted to broaden its scope and deepen its story
and decided that the adaptation would be a reinvention and not a remake.
Willimon wanted to make sure the tone of the show was right so he also hired his college
buddy, Jay Carson as a political consultant. Carson is a political advisor and strategist
who has worked with both the Clintons, Michael Bloomberg and Howard Dean.
Willimon approached the series as a 13 hour movie and didn’t feel the need to get in
any rubbish cliffhangers to keep hold of their audience and instead focussed on compelling
storytelling. Unusually for TV as well, Willimon and his writing team had all 13 episodes drafted
before they even started shooting.
Every actor in the main cast were the creative team’s first choice for the role. Fincher
told them this at the first read through and warned them ‘so do not fuck this up. ‘Cause
if you do, I will never forgive you’.
Kevin Spacey was playing Richard III in London when he got the script, which Fincher thought
was brilliant training for an actor. Spacey’s last tv role was Wiseguy in 1990 but he was
really excited by working with Netflix and their plan to release all episodes at once.
Both Robin Wright and Kate Mara got their parts through The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Fincher’s film starred Robin Wright as Erika Berger, and Kate Mara’s sister, Rooney as
Lisbeth Salander. Robin Wright was cast as Claire Underwood in June 2011, several months
after Spacey signed on. Kate Mara totally fell in love with the part of Zoe and asked
her sister to put in a good word with Fincher for her, and a few weeks later, she got an
audition. Rachel Posner, played by Rachel Brosnahan,
was originally only meant to appear in a few episodes and had a mammoth total of five lines.
But show-runner Willimon, said that she was so brilliant in her five episodes that he
started to think about where her character could go and how to make her more three-dimensional.
He said she was such a great actress, that once she was back, he wanted to write for
her more and more.
While the series is based in Washington DC, the show’s exteriors are shot in Baltimore,
and the interiors are shot in an industrial warehouse in Joppa - about 17 miles away from
Baltimore. Hilariously, the warehouse used to be a Macy’s distribution centre - the
room where they film the car scenes was once a refridgerated room used for storing fur
coats.
Speaking of driving scenes, they’re all done with a three-sided green screen with
the actors sitting inside a distinctly stationary car. The special green screen has synchronised
lighting to simulate the reflections from the window or any street lighting and the
exterior shots are put in later.
In 2014, the show wanted to shoot 3 episodes inside the UN Security Chamber but Russia
vetoed it at the last minute. Luckily though, they were allowed to film in other bits of
the UN building.
The show is ludicrously expensive to make but luckily the state of Maryland does help
out Cards a fair bit. For the first season, they gave the production $11.6 million in
tax credits, which got over 2000 Maryland citizens employed as either cast, crew or
extras and also got 1800 businesses involved in the production. For season 2, they got
even more money: $15 million in tax credits.
David Fincher directed the first two episodes of the show but then stayed as exec producer.
Fincher’s other work include Fight Club, Se7en and Gone Girl so he’s pretty good.
After getting out of the director’s chair, Fincher assembled a crack team of directors
to take the reigns, including Jodie Foster, Carl Franklin, Joel Schumacher and James Foley.
When asked about his choice, Fincher said he ‘was handing off movements to people
whose work [he] admire[d]’
Generally speaking, the camera in Cards doesn’t really move a whole lot - this is down to
Fincher. To make sure the series didn’t become really disjointed with each director’s
varying style, Fincher established a set of rules to follow to ensure the show felt complete
- this mainly included minimal shot movement, and absolutely no steadi-cam. Joel Schumacher
didn’t actually read these rules and accidentally broke a few of them but turns out Fincher
loved the changes so no issues!
House of Cards was Netflix’s first original production and completely changed the nature
of television. The binge-watch model revolutionised streaming and lead to Amazon completely copying
by creating their own original content Transparent.
House of Cards was the first completely online show to win an Emmy, since 2013, they’ve
won 6 Primetime Emmy’s, 2 Golden Globes and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The show is also incredibly popular with politicians across the world. In China, the show streams
on Sohu - which is essentially the Chinese version of Netflix - and in 2014, they reported
it had 24.5 million viewers. Apparently, the majority of them were government employees
and if rumours are to be believed, Wang Qishan - a Politburo member - is also a giant fan
of the series. And Wang Qishan isn’t the only one - in 2014 Obama tweeted this.
Although we haven’t seen him for a little while, Michael Gill - who plays President
Walker - and Jayne Atkinson - who plays Catherine Durant - are actually married. Hilariously
thought, the didn’t tell Fincher or the rest of the cast and everyone only worked
it out at the very end of the audition process.
To prepare for his role as the evil Frank Underwood, Spacey thoroughly researched President
Lyndon B. Johnson and looked into Kevin McCarthy, Republican House Majority Whip. Spacey and
McCarthy hung out for a few days before they started filming season 1 so that Spacey could
get into the headspace of working in Congress.
Everyone was great in season 2 but there was one actor who really went above and beyond:
Cashew the Guinea Pig. The role wasn’t down to one pig though, it was actually a trio
of guineas called Oscar, Lucas and Encore. Although, Oscar was used for 90% of the scenes
according to their trainer, Carol Rosen.
Kevin Spacey is a giant fan of Woody Allen but has never been approached to appear in
his movies. He decided to go all out and sent the director a Netflix subscription and told
him to watch House of Cards. Allen was super impressed and wrote back, thanking Spacey
and said he would definitely consider the actor for a future film.
So that was my list of 25 must know facts about House of Cards - do you love this series
as much as I do? What do you think is going to happen in the latest season? Let me know
your thoughts in the comments below.
Don’t forget to like and subscribe to Alltime Movies and we will see you next time.
Keep it at AlltimeMovies and we will see you next time
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紙牌屋的二十五個真相 25 Facts About House Of Cards

1000 分類 收藏
EZ Wang 發佈於 2017 年 5 月 28 日
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