Regardless of how you did it, the whole thing looked pretty seamless to me.
Wain: I’m glad to hear that. When we were shooting it, even though we are using more modern tools than were available 15 years ago, the look and feel and sense of community of the original movie is intact. We hope that people that see it feel the same way.
How long did filming take?
Showalter: About seven weeks.
Where did you film it?
Showalter: A ranch in Malibu. The movie was shot on a summer camp in Pennsylvania called Camp Towanda, but we there so many benefits to shooting this near Los Angeles. The camp was a couple of hours outside of New York City, and you want to be near production stuff. Also, having the actors nearby was also good.
Wain: The ranch in Malibu where we shot is called Calamigos. Our production designer, Ryan Berg from Children’s Hospital, worked with his team to beautifully recreate the look of Camp Towanda. He actually got the original plans for those bunks, I think, from the camp. We actually only rebuilt two cabins and then, through the magic filmmaking and digital effects, made it look like many, many more.
Tell me about the decision to have all eight episodes take place on the very first day of camp.
Showalter: The original movie is the last day of camp. The amount of things that happen on a single day of camp is just impossible, and that’s the comedic conceit.
Wain: The very first draft of the first movie actually encompassed the whole summer of 1981. There were a couple of things that we had written for that that took place on the first day of camp. But early on, we realized it would be more exciting if everything happened on the last day. Some of the original story lines from the first draft made the show.