Angela Bassett, who started her “American Horror Story” stint in Season 3 as Marie Laveau in “Coven,” made her directorial debut in the sixth episode of “Roanoke.” She revealed that the unconventional filming style in “Roanoke” was actually made more authentic by, well, being real.
Bassett told Vanity Fair about the found footage used in the very meta season: “Not filming in a conventional way, and always having to remind yourself to skew it a little bit,” she said while explaining what surprised her about transitioning to behind the scenes. “You want it to look good — keeping in mind the idea of the surveillance cameras — but still you have to make it look lush and interesting. Though sometimes the surveillance shots can be very static. High and wide, you know? But the way the script was written, there was an opportunity to break it up a bit. Filming with iPhones, that whole idea. Not being able to see it as it’s happening. Sometimes putting the phones into the hands of the actors. We were becoming our own cinematographers, you know?”
She noted that, in her episode, there was a mix of more professional shots and iPhone footage. But, as the “Roanake” season went on, “there [was] more of us filming ourselves,” she said. In other words, some of the footage was recorded and shown on actors’ own cellphones. Talk about meta!