"It's sort of like an inverted castle" - Firebite creator Warwick Thornton on creating subterranean vampires for the AMC+ series (Exclusive)
AMC+'s latest drama, Firebite, offers a unique twist when it comes to the vampire fantasy genre.
One may go so far as to say that vampire mythos has been turned upside down. Gone are the cathedral spires that vampire fiction used to be known for, replaced with an underground palace, in a sense. This is not a show based in the castles of Eastern Europe, but in a tiny mining town in South Australia.
In an exclusive conversation with SK Pop, co-creator Warwick Thornton explained the reasons behind the chosen location, changes in setting up for production, portrayal of the vampires, and much more.
Warwick Thornton speaks about why a mining town in South Australia was the perfect setting for Firebite
According to creator Warwick Thornton, Firebite's locale had a huge part in making the show seem different:
"It was a combination of studio and actual locations because we shot it in a place called Coober Pedy which is an opal mining town, where most of the world's opals come from. There's 250,000 mining shafts and only about 3,000 people in this one small mining town. And it's kind of the perfect place to be a vampire."
"You pretend that you're a miner. You pretend that you go and work in tunnels all day, but when the sun goes down, you go down to the bars and you drink," said Thornton.
Thornton elaborated upon how he and fellow creator Brendan Fletcher came up with the idea of vampires living underground.
The vampires of Firebite are indeed affected by sunlight. The feature is a larger comment about colonization and how light can indeed eradicate the darkness that is racism. But creating the subterranean home of the vampires in Firebite was no mean feat:
"There's these massive catacombs and all that stuff in Coober Pedy and so we replicated them in a studio because they're dangerous places to work. We had a great design team and we had a great idea that 'this is their territory'. This is the vampire's territory. And how do we make it theirs? You would be mad to go down," said Thornton.
How do the vampires of Firebite differ from those in traditional folklore?
Thornton has taken elements of traditional vampire fiction and turned them on their heads! He has created a wholly new subterranean universe, an underground world teeming with vampires galore. It's an entirely refreshing spin when it comes to the genre.
"A lot of vampires in traditional storytelling are rich. They live in a castle. Well, ours live underground. But it's sort of like an inverted castle. If you imagine the classic castle on the hill but it's been turned upside down and it's been buried underground. That's how we walked into the whole concept of where they live," added Warwick Thornton.
Catch a new episode of Firebite, every Thursday on AMC+.