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Legends of Tomorrow’s Caity Lotz Unpacks Moving Behind the Camera For The Flash

In an exclusive interview with CBR, Caity Lotz details her turn behind the camera on The Flash, including effects, actors, and Dungeons & Dragons.

The following contains spoilers for The Flash Season 8, Episode 16, “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen,” which aired Wednesday, May 25 on The CW.

The CW sure knows how to nurture their talent. The studio has encouraged many of their shows’ cast to try their hand at stepping behind the camera. Some of the actors that have taken advantage of that opportunity include Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, The Flash’s Danielle Panabaker and Tom Cavanagh, Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, and David Harewood, as well as Arrow’s David Ramsey.

Another individual that’s been bitten by the directing bug is Legends of Tomorrow’s Caity Lotz. She previously helmed two Legends episodes and recently added this week’s The Flash episode, “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen,” to her resume. The episode found Barry rapidly aging after being exposed to some strange device. As it turns out, a scientist was planning to steal everyone’s youthful energy in order to make himself young again. With Barry’s bones aching, his hair graying, and his powers disappearing, time was quickly running out for the speedster. Caity Lotz recently spoke with CBR about directing in the Arrowverse, the comedic beats, working with Grant Gustin, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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CBR: You previously directed episodes of Legends of Tomorrow. What was it like coming onto a new but familiar set and assuming that role again?

Caity Lotz: It was definitely new. It felt totally new. I knew the actors, but I didn’t really know the crew, which as a director, you spend a lot of time with the crew. I was a little bit nervous. I was like, ”Well, maybe it went so well on Legends because they were being extra nice.” But Flash was really fun. I had a good time working on it.

The episode was a nod to the Brad Pitt movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. What excited you about the script and the concept when it came your way?

The comedy aspect was what I was really looking forward to. There is a lot of fun stuff. This was a bit of a more playful episode. This was a big Grant Gustin episode, so I got to work with him. Everybody I was talking to was saying this was more like Season 1 Flash, even the style because I love doing a lot of camera movement.

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What kind of difference does it make, if at all, helming a standalone episode as opposed to one that is more mythology-heavy?

You have to recognize you are a piece of the puzzle, and you are serving the purpose that it needs. When you have a standalone, you are a bit more free. If you change something or want to do something a certain way, it doesn’t affect everything else. You don’t have as much potential to mess everything up. Well, there always is, especially if the storylines are connected.

As usual, there’s quite a lot going on in this episode. There’s special effects, aging Barry, dramatic moments, comedy, and action. In preparation, in pre-production, what area did you tackle first?

Effects are usually one you want to get on pretty quick. I only got to read the script the morning of prep. The special effects team, everyone needs to get their budgets in over the next day or so. They want to know, ”How many shots do you need for this special effect?” That’s something I usually think about first, the effects because there is a lot of planning that goes into that.

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What special effect proved the most challenging?

It’s interesting. I found Flash a bit more manageable than Legends. Legends is a bit more difficult because there is more people and more effects. This Flash episode wasn’t super effects heavy. The Great Wall of China took a little figuring out because originally, it was just supposed to be in a garden. I was like, ”That’s too expensive.” Then talking with them, we were able to figure out a way how to do it with not a lot of shots and what direction can we shoot. I got to do some drone camera stuff, which was really cool.

The episode squeezed in some role-playing. How much fun did the cast have during those Dungeons & Dragons sequences? How much was scripted versus them just geeking out?

We had a lot of fun doing those scenes. Jesse [Martin] was such a trooper. Originally, it was supposed to be [that] he just pulls out his knowledge. I was like, ”Oh my God, we have to go full out, do the dress up and come out.” I talked to Jesse about it, and he was like, ”Hell, yeah.” He just took it and ran with it. We had a lot of the same ideas on it. When he walked in, everybody was dying laughing. It really was a fun episode, getting Grant to do all the old-man stuff.

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What surprised you about directing Grant?

I really appreciated his professionalism. He was always on set, on time, and down to make everything easy on everyone. Of course, he’s a great actor, so that didn’t surprise me. He really was such a team player. The whole cast, actually, was so nice, and wanted to make it as easy as possible.

It sounds like you had an amazing experience. Looking ahead to next season, what kind of discussions have you had about returning behind or in front of the camera? How open are you to returning in some capacity?

Who knows? I want to direct a film. You never know, but you have to keep moving.

Developed for television by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET/PT on The CW.

Torontonian who loves comic books and everything genre.

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