Go behind the scenes on set of 'Sleepy Hollow' - FOX Carolina 21

Go behind the scenes on set of 'Sleepy Hollow' to learn how it's done

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If you can't get enough of Ichabod Crane, Abbie Mills and Captain Frank Irving from the hit show Sleepy Hollow, FOX Carolina went behind the scenes to see how the legend is put together, straight from the set.

For a poignant moment, like when the Headless Horseman learns where Ichabod rose from his 250-year-old grave, the director coaches the actor who plays the horseman. That actor wears a green screen mask, so that the digital effects crews can remove his head from the scene that airs on television.

What people see on the small screen, like Ichabod and Abbie running through underground tunnels, is all shot in tunnels made of wooden beams and fake brick created by a North Carolina production crew in Wilmington, NC.

Tight camera shots and detailed sets, like where staff waters the fake brick, are what makes it look like the cast is truly underground.

During shooting, directors watch what's happening on small screens, with a better feel for how a scene will look with the right lighting, and smoke machines.

Orlando Jones, who plays Capt. Irving, and his co-stars are placed into the fantasy world, but their acting makes it come alive.

"One of the really nice things about this, all of the monsters that you see, we see right in front of us, because we're not doing big CGI monsters. So we see the Sandman running after us with his long fingers, and we see a burnt witch chasing after us. And that's always so much more fun than looking at an x on a green screen and trying to act scared," explained actor Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane.

Makeup director, Corey Castellano, said that it's a true medley of his physical artistic creations and graphics that makes for the realistic, fanciful images viewers see on camera.

"Usually there's a vague vision in the script. I work pretty close with the writers and producers and directors. There'll be a line like, 'a horrible Islas face.' Well, where do we go from there? Start out with an Islas face, and eventually we get to something like the Sandman," said Castellano.

In the pilot episode, John Cho's character gets possessed by a demon and with makeup and effects, Castellano made his head do the impossible.

"His head is actually flipped backwards like a Pez dispenser," said Castellano. He explains the flipped-back head that a stunt-man wore during the filming, with a green-screen mask, so it looked as if Cho's head were hanging off his back.

It's not just the over-the-top effects that take detailed creation. Even Tom Mison's hair has to be transformed by creative teams.

K.G. Ramsey and his team of hair professionals made at least 60 wigs for characters set in the revolutionary time. He said that 15 of them were made for specific characters, like Mison. Ramsey explained that it's a lot of work for the actors who need to come in an hour and a half before filming so that hair teams can fit the wigs on flawlessly.

There are three whole wardrobe trailers, full of costumes for each character, whether they're in every show, or appear just once.

Wardrobe teams not only make and dress the clothes actors wear, but keep track of every bit of it, scene by scene, day by day, to make sure they're keeping everything consistent, as filming continues. They said the scenes are never filmed in order, so this is important.

The show's writers and producers said they do have an ending in mind, for the season and into season two, but they're constantly evolving the storyline in between.

"It's like doing a master's degree in American history. There's books everywhere. We have consultants who are experts in the American Revolution and then we get horrified when we go, so the Boston Tea Party was a ruse to get some magic thing, and they go, no it wasn't it was a political action. [We say] no, it wasn't; it was a monster hunt!" said co-producer Damian Kindler.

It's that "Sleepy Hollow version," Kindler calls it, of historic events and iconic monsters that keeps the writers, actors and viewers intrigued.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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