True Detective (2013) s01e00 Episode Script

Making True Detective

1 MAN: Okay.
You're rolling.
Mark and action.
NIC PIZZOLATTO: "True Detective" takes the form of a manhunt.
So it's more of a thriller than any kind of whodunit.
SCOTT STEPHENS: It's a very unique story told in a very unique way.
I don't want to live in history.
I don't want to know anything anymore.
McCONAUGHEY: It's not like anything I've read or done before.
CARY FUKUNAGA: It's really about two men and how they have to face who they are over the course of seventeen years.
WOODY HARRELSON: It's like you're watching a film, but it is episodic.
MICHELLE MONAGHAN: It's truly riveting.
As a fan, as an actor, I want more.
But you put a ceiling on your life because you won't change.
MAN: You're only as the Lord made you.
MARTIN: Solution right under my nose, and you're watching everything else.
COHLE: January the 3rd, 1995.
I hadn't been on the job about three months till then.
MAN: The story begins in 1995, when Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle, who were partners in state CID, catch the body of Dora Lang, which Vermilion Sheriff's Department has called them in to take.
You ever see something like this? No, sir.
During the course of the show, we kind of try to figure out who it was that killed Dora Lang, and it's a lot more complicated than expected.
McCONAUGHEY: It's really a story of what happens in these two men's lives when they come together to solve this murder.
Our introduction to the series is our two guys in 2012 being interviewed about this murder.
So you want to talk the whole case through or just the end? GILBOUGH: Whole story from your end if you don't mind.
Like he said, the files got ruined.
Hurricane Rita.
What he didn't say is, this is about something else.
PIZZOLATTO: The narrative itself is the 2012 versions of Hart and Cohle telling the story of their investigation of the murder of Dora Lang and Cohle's later idea and obsession that there might be more people involved.
TORY KITTLES: When we start looking down this road and start putting together the pieces of the puzzle, a lot of the things that we find, they aren't adding up.
His record, his reports, his stories, they don't add up.
MICHAEL POTTS: We come in to look at this case to see if we can get to the bottom of why it hadn't been solved correctly and to see if we can find the actual serial murderer.
McCONAUGHEY: This case has been reopened, and he didn't get the guy, that's the main thing.
He wants to know what they know so I can get back on the case and solve it myself.
You got to let me see what you got.
GILBOUGH: Well, let's hear your story first, see how it fits with what we got.
Well, your dime, boss.
HARRELSON: When you initially meet our characters together, there's quite a lot of butting heads.
I'm a very sociable, gregarious person, and he is just the opposite.
McCONAUGHEY: Cohle is a real loner.
He's never seeking a relationship early on with Martin Hart.
He's not even a guy who wants to have a conversation in the car.
MAGGIE: Bring him in, Marty.
Let's get a good look at him.
MONAGHAN: While they're very different on the page, I really believe they're both tortured, and I think that's what draws them to each other.
I think that's what keeps them together for seventeen years.
I said, your life is in this man's hands, right? Of course you should meet the family.
FUKUNAGA: The classic sort of buddy cop film is always based on conflict.
Without conflict, you don't have drama.
One of the fundamental things I like with Matthew and Woody is that these are men with children and wives and they live with responsibility.
Watching Matthew and Woody work together, they certainly bring out the best in each other.
It's fun to watch them interact because they have a friendship outside of this friendship that they're portraying.
HARRELSON: Matthew is a really good buddy of mine for a long time.
So it's great to get to hang out with him on a daily basis.
Time I think you hit a ceiling, you just keep raising the bar.
You are like the Michael Jordan of being a son of a bitch.
PIZZOLATTO: Writing these actual scripts was very, very difficult.
It was 550 pages total, written in about three months.
HARRELSON: I was really gripped by the writing.
I thought it was just as good as it gets.
PIZZOLATTO: I wrote the last six scripts after they had been cast and rewrote the first two to more fit into their voices.
You ever been hunting, Marty? Yeah, ten-point buck year before last.
I'm not talking about sitting in a tree house waiting to ambush a buck come to sniff your gash bait.
Talking about tracking.
Jesus, you're a prick.
McCONAUGHEY: Every time I read what came out of Rustin Cohle's mouth, it turned me on.
Everything had bangs to it.
I keep things separate.
I like the way I can have just one beer without needing twenty.
People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time.
One of the biggest things you're trying to figure out when you're direct on your own is, you know, breaking down characters.
So, you know, to have the writer on set to talk about character collectively with the actors is a huge resource.
That social enterprise has actually been-- for me personally, as a guy who has spent a lot of time alone in a room, typing on a keyboard-- it's been fantastic.
Everyone else should move back past Video Village.
Let's do our last looks.
Let's get ready to shoot.
FUKUNAGA: When your story is on a scale that we're telling this one on, then the world that it's set in becomes another character.
TIM BEECH: A lot of the buildings and topography-- this swampy, spookiness of the South-- is the backdrop that the story already fits in.
FUKUNAGA: It's a really densely green sort of landscape mixed with the sort of industrial detritus of refineries and other industries, and that's all kind of part of the texture of our story, and I want to make sure we got all that.
Landscape is an important part of the story we're telling, and he's shot this amazing footage of South Louisiana that really nobody has even seen before.
Nic is from these parts.
He's from Louisiana, and we're here.
We're shooting it here.
It's really rooted in place, and I think that that really makes is feel very well.
It's not New Orleans.
It's not, you know, Bourbon Street.
We're definitely in the sticks.
You listen on this roll, you've got frogs and cicadas in the background.
They're part of our ambiance.
Mother Nature is the queen.
She is the ruler down here.
The first thing you have to contend with here is the weather.
When you're at a location and the weather comes in, it can be daunting.
The sky turns black, and literally it can rain so hard you can't see twenty feet in front of you [Thunder.]
which makes it difficult to not only shoot, but also to move equipment and manpower and get people out of the way of the weather.
Mainly the mud because we're dealing with so much rain and, you know, hauling equipment in and out of places-- even to get, you know, 300 meters that way with a bunch of carts that, like, tear up the ground that's supposed to look pristine because it's supposed to be untouched-- makes it hard.
After you contend with the weather, you have the critters.
Oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah.
STEPHENS: We regularly employ wranglers that precede the cast and crew through the bush and catch anything that might be dangerous, such as cottonmouths, other poisonous snakes.
We had several adventures with wildlife.
We pulled a six-foot alligator out from where we were building.
Our greensman did that.
Granted, we built the set in the bayou.
So it was his set before it was ours, but a six-foot alligator will definitely get your attention.
Something I've never done in my career is, we had birds of prey on set.
We had an owl and a hawk purely to keep the mockingbirds at bay so we could film because they're very noisy.
To cameras and mark and the B mark.
KITTLES: We're shooting on 35-millimeter film.
So I think there's gonna be a texture to it that's just gonna bleed onto the screen.
We have reached the point where film is probably dead, but I wanted one last romance with film before we're forced to shoot digital forever.
Every time you change a mag and stuff, you're like, "Ah, I asked for this.
I asked to shoot film," but I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I say stay 35.
Let's keep it a little more claustrophobic.
LePERE-SCHLOOP: As an art director and as all of us in the art department, we start pretty early on with the director and the writer, and we work with them to come up with the kind of physical concepts of what the show is going to look like.
Each set is its own sort of thing.
So some, we're looking for a location that exists and figure out how to modify that to tell the story that we need.
LePERE-SCHLOOP: We were trying to find the perfect location for a remote, burned church, and the spillway provided this amazing empty canvas where you have a lot of natural beauty but it's also surrounded by refineries.
So we put some roads in, and we built a church from the ground up that actually looked like it had suffered from a serious fire.
Place is trashed.
We also built a meth shack.
Again, we started with nothing.
It was a construction site when we got there, so just sand on the grounds.
We asked the people to stop mowing, and we sprinkled a little seed and added some ground plants.
In a very short period of time, there's plants knee height.
It's pretty spectacular.
STEPHENS: Part of the procedural nature is, there's a lot of investigations of old case files.
All those case files have to show crime scene photos, dead bodies.
LYNDA REISS: We have created every single crime scene.
So we've taken people, and we've made them up to be dead with various strangulation, gunshot wounds, stab wounds.
STEPHENS: Because it's 1995, we wanted to depict them as they were.
So they're all taken on film and processed on film.
There's no digital stills used until digital technology becomes part of the story.
All our photos, all our photo stock, our papers, everything that I've had to do, we've had to try to do it as period-correct as possible.
Any of these look familiar to you? Now, that look like something my old auntie taught us how to make when I was a tyke.
What are they? Some folks call them bird traps.
Old auntie told us that they were devil nets.
DIGERLANDO: The killer leaves his calling cards, these sculptures that are sort of the signifier of a mood and a feeling of dread.
We kind of started with these ideas, passing ideas around about Cajun bird traps, and I think that the serial killer looked at his victims as the birds.
In some ways, they're almost like voodoo pieces that are very ominous.
WALSH: I just created what I thought was beautiful, and then you take it out of my studio and put it into a context where the whole dynamic changes.
So it's been very interesting that way.
MARTIN: Let's get these twig things bagged, same with the crown.
LePERE-SCHLOOP: A lot of the research we also did was in the history of rural Mardi Gras.
We see these crowns in photographs from different time periods as part of these rural Mardi Gras traditions.
This is the original one from the original crime scene.
This is what we find Dora with.
I started dangling roots off the side so the roots would be kind of in her hair.
FUKUNAGA: The stuff was pretty amazing in terms of what it looked like.
It's just creepy, you know? I never seen that kind of stuff before.
Just what is it you think we've found, Mr.
Cohle? Something deep and dark, detectives.
Something deep and dark.
REASER: This story is really about something darker and deeper than a serial killer.
It's more of a manhunt for a creature out in the tall grass that you can't see.
MARTIN: We got a rabid dog out there, and we got to put him down.
KITTLES: You'll go on this journey with these characters and try to put the pieces together.
COHLE: This is gonna happen again, or it's happened before.
You will meet some extraordinary characters.
McCONAUGHEY: You get to care about them, but you also get to be surprised by who they become.
The excitement of it is really gonna come through.

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