He's a cinematic genius.Seth MacFarlane, on Jon Cassar[1]
Jon Cassar (legal name: John Francis Cassar) is a director of The Orville. He directed the episode Krill and has since been hired as director for Season 2.

Background Edit

Cassar was born on the island of Malta and emigrated with his parents to Canada in 1963. He graduated from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario.

He directed films and television series at least since the 1990s, but his most famous work came in 2002 with the show 24. The series proved a ratings success.

The Orville Edit

Executive producer Brannon Braga had worked with Cassar on 24 and actively recruited the director for The Orville.[2] "Come and do the show," Cassar recalls Braga telling him. "I think it would be great for you."[3] Cassar was surprised, feeling uncomfortable joining a show with strong comedic themes as he had never worked a comedy before. "I'm the king of torture," he replied. "Are you sure you got the right guy here?"[4]

Cassar changed his opinion after surveying the show's scripts. "This is good storytelling," Cassar later said he thought to himself, "If comedy is part of that storytelling then I'm in."[5] He was hired shortly after interviewing.[6]

His concerns were alleviated when he realized that he would be working closely with MacFarlane, a man with a strong comedy background, who could help add levity to the material when necessary.[3]

Season 1 Edit

Cassar quickly ingratiated himself among the cast as a professional, talented director. "Sometimes when I'm not shooting," actor J. Lee (John LaMarr) said in mid-2018, "I'll just watch Jon Cassar work. He's just that good."[7]

Cassar recounts that the episode Krill was his first with the show, and he had not seen creator Seth MacFarlane and Scott Grimes before joining the set. However, MacFarlane and Grimes were in costume as a Krill soldier by the time he arrived, so Cassar directed nearly the entire episode without seeing their faces.[3][8] "It was a very strange way to start my relationship with Seth, seeing him as Krill every day," he later recounted. "But it was an amazing script."[3]

Season 2 Edit

After shooting Krill, Cassar felt comfortable enough to direct multiple episodes of The Orville.[3] He directed four episodes and oversaw shooting on all other episodes of Season 2.

Trivia Edit

  • He hates shooting on the Orville's bridge for its great difficulty: the room is small, it often hosts a high number of cast members, and the number of available camera angles is constrained.[9]
  • He is known for grabbing the camera to film scenes himself. Cassar explained that he used to be a camera operator, and occasionally prefers controlling the take.[9]
  • In his opinion, the most difficult object to design for an alien species is a chair: "A chair on Moclus is not the same as a chair on another planet. You have to think about that kind of stuff."[10]
  • The final scene of Krill, where Teleya vows that the children of the Yakar will never forgive the Planetary Union, convinced him that the show was a fun balance of drama and comedy.[5]
  • His favorite episode is Krill.[11]

Interviews Edit

References Edit

  1. [[1]]
  2. Steinberg, Lisa. "David A. Goodman, Brannon Braga & Jon Cassar – The Orville – Comic Con 2018". YouTube. July 23, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "PLANETARY UNION NETWORK: EPISODE 26". Planetary Union Network. Jan. 13, 2019.
  4. "The Orville | Deadline's The Contenders Emmys 2019". Deadline Hollywood. June 20, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sisk, Angela. "The Orville Panel Comic Con 2018 Part One". YouTube. July 22, 2018.
  6. "The Orville's Costumes, Creatures, and Ship Miniature!". Adam Savage's Tested. July 24, 2019.
  7. Muse TV. "J Lee and Scott Grimes Talk Orville Season 2 at Comic Con". YouTube. July 24, 2018.
  8. "THE ORVILLE: Interview mit den Produzenten um Brannon Braga der SciFi-Serie | SDCC 2018". Serienjunkies. July 24, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Egotastic Funtime. "Talking The Orville Season 2 Cast Q&A LIVESTREAM REACTION - Comic Con 2018 | TALKING THE ORVILLE". YouTube. July 22, 2018.
  10. Three if by Space. "The Orville EPs Goodman Braga & Cassar - SDCC 2018". YouTube. July 27, 2018.
  11. Sun - Main Stage | NYCC 2019 | SYFY WIRE. SyFy Wire. Oct. 6, 2019.
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