From the Cutting Room Floor: Watch “Mac Has News”

Quarry — Extra Content

The scene didn’t make the final cut, but Director Greg Yaitanes explains why it’s near and dear to his heart.

M Has News,” which is a scene that was cut in and out of the show, was actually born as an audition piece.

I feel that that any scene in a script is in context of all the other scenes around it. When you pull it out and look at it for auditions, you often don’t get to see all the colors and nuance you may need from a character. The totality of the script may touch on all those details of character, but rarely does one scene do it all. For Banshee, Lucas re-meeting Carrie in Banshee was an audition scene that turned out so well, we actually shot it. Jonathan Tropper enhanced all these different elements for the audition so you could see, in one scene, everything you needed from actors playing Carrie Hopewell and Lucas Hood. You could see both of their complexities and their history. You could feel their love. You could feel the push and pull. You could see the regret, everything that you wanted. With “Mac Has News,” we created a scene very similar to that. Logan Marshall-Green was already cast; so we were trying to find a scene that would show the whole journey with Joni.

The series writers Michael D. Fuller and Graham Gordy came back with “Mac Has News,” a scene set a year before the events of the pilot. Mac was drafted for the first tour and now he is volunteering to go back a second time. The crux of that scene, the essence of it, was so powerful when Jodi Balfour first performed it (it was our final “chemistry test” for Joni & Mac), and it blew our minds so much that I turned to the guys and said, “We have to shoot this.”

It is the ultimate Quarry one-act play. It does everything in one scene without leaving itself open to further narrative because it was designed to be an eight-minute scene that would show all the character’s dynamics, plus their relationship history. We, on a very crammed day, managed to actually execute and shoot it. It became one of my favorite scenes in the entire show but we ultimately struggled to find a place for it in the season.

We are taking the opportunity on Medium to show this scene so it doesn’t disappear forever. It is really one of the more beautifully acted, more meaningful scenes that I’ve had an opportunity to be part of.

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