The Witcher Season Finale Director Answers Questions About the Show and That Renfri Fight
Marc Jobst states in a Reddit AMA that the season finale of The Witcher "was one of the most exciting and complex battles I've shot"
Netflix’s The Witcher was a fantastic show to binge, or at least I thought it was. The actors and actresses all did a fantastic job portraying their characters, the visual effects weren’t too shabby, and the camera work felt interesting at times. Marc Jobst, one of the directors for the show took to Reddit today to answer questions about his involvement in the show.
Known for directing an episode of The Punisher (2017) and Daredevil (2016 and 2018), Jobst directed “Much More” the finale episode of The Witcher, as well as the present-day Ciri storyline that takes place in episode 7. He also directed the pilot Renfri/Blaviken storyline, which includes that beefy swordfight that got everyone hooked.
According to Jobst, he did very little research into The Witcher, “We were clear that we wanted the show to work for all fantasy fans – not just Witcher fans” he explains, ” I was interested in how the lore affected character and relationship and how that then impacted the story. That way I can ground the film in character, which is what really excites me”
Talking about the challenge on filming the large scale Battle of Sodden Hill, he explains, “it was one of the most exciting and complex battles I’ve shot” he adds “There was unseasonal torrential rain most of the time that meant the cast and crew were slopping around in 5 inches of mud” He also details that the wet ground caused some sequences to be an issue. “I had many sequences planned that i simply couldn’t shoot because the ground was too wet”
The Battle of Sodden Hill was shot in different locations, multiple were shot in various areas in Hungary, and some were shot in Poland. Jobst mentioned the challenge to overcome these changes of location. “One of the trickiest things was creating a coherent sense of geography because we had to shoot elements of it in so many different locations. We found returning to the big wide shots really helped.”
He also answers another user about filming the Battle of Sodden Hill to mention it’s about the talent surrounding him. “Directing is about having a vision, holding firm to it, but also holding lightly so that you are open to all the brilliant talent in the different departments around you. […] I couldn’t have shot the Battle of Sodden without my brilliant DoP JP Gossart, without the incredible production designer, Andrew Laws, Julian Parry in the vfx team and Csilla Blake-Horvath make up and hair – and, especially, without my titanic, passionate, creative first assistant director Sean Guest”
Touching on the swordfight in the pilot where Renfri and Geralt battle, Jobst explains that he’s not interested in action for action’s sake. “Wolfgang Stegemann, the fight director for the Renfri/Geralt swordfight, we discussed making the fight not just a fabulous swordfight, but one that was an earned development of the Renfri/Geralt relationship that we’d set up during the whole episode.” He details how the fight had meaning, “it HAD to say something about their character and relationship. That’s partly why we built in those stop moments. I wanted to look into their eyes, I wanted to see them see each other, I wanted the audience to be with them in their fight, not just watch it.”
He also mentions that Henry Cavill “was totally supportive, rehearsed like crazy and delivers to perfection.”
One user pointed out the scene in which Yennefer gets wounded during Sodden Hill, and mentions that they noticed her wounded posture reflected the younger Yennefer. They asked if this was intentional, “What happened is that as we were rehearsing it we noticed it. I think that’s what happens when you work with really great actors like Anya. They embody the part and, subconsciously, resonant moments like that become serendipitous.”
Marc is due to be answering more questions throughout the day, although is scheduled for meetings. You can keep eyes on the thread for any more answers surrounding his time directing certain parts of the show.
The Witcher is available to watch on Netflix, and work has reportedly begun on season 2.