“With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept”
One of the most talked about episodes of One Tree Hill is episode #316 – “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” and the episode was controversial from the start. This story idea was important to Mark Schwahn, and he fought hard with the studio and network to make this one happen. The episode was directed by our Executive Producer and most frequent Director who was also my boss and mentor, Greg Prange. Because Greg was directing, I was on set a lot, and it was truly incredible to see this one come together. When filming, it is rare that you get to shoot things in sequence, as the schedule is mostly defined by location and availability of guest actors. Because so much of this episode was shot in one classroom with the same characters, we were able to shoot all of those scenes in sequence. It took a little over two days.
It is quite common for actors to run back to their trailers or wander off to make phone calls and such between takes, as cameras and lighting are being moved around. But on this episode, it was amazing to watch the cast just quietly get up from their positions on set, go back to their chairs, and sit quietly until we needed them again. The crew worked softly, respecting the mood, and little by little it was as if even off camera the cast members were hostages. This, of course, was shaken off at the end of the workday when we stepped out into the real world, but I think the focus and commitment to that particular script shows up in the final product.
As a side note, Mark Schwahn wrote 316 and 317 at the same time as one continuous story, but the Studio and Network were so concerned about the heaviness of 316, that in order to keep that episode, he had to completely re-write 317 to their liking. While the reclaiming of the Tree Hill High by throwing a party was a genius way to make everyone happy, I do wish the world could have seen what Mark had intended.