Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling.
Yolanda Ramke was browsing social media when she spotted a tweet from Mike Flanagan, creator/showrunner of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, complimenting her and her co-director Ben Howling on Cargo.
Thrilled, Ramke sent off a grateful response to Flanagan. That prompted her US agent, CAA’s Matt Martin, who knew a second series was in the works, to get in touch with the co-executive producer, Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy.
In turn that led to a Skype interview for Ramke and Howling with Flanagan and Macy. After a brief wait, the offer came for the duo to co-direct episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is now shooting in Vancouver.
Flanagan announced the hiring of the Aussies on Twitter along with Ciarán Foy (Citadel, Sinister 2, Eli), Liam Gavin (A Dark Song) and Axelle Carolyn (Tales of Halloween, Grim Grinning Ghost).
Ramke and Howling spent last week on the set in Vancouver to familiarise themselves with the nuts-and-bolts of the production and to meet with the key creatives. They will return in early November for three months.
“We were such big fans of the first season, which was so accomplished and had a cinematic feel to it, that to get the chance to join the team is just crazy,” Ramke tells IF. “We could not be more excited, taking our first TV directing job on a show of that kind of scale.”
Howling says: “The build of the house and other sets in Vancouver is so rich and beautiful. The production operates on a scale we have not seen before, which is amazing.”
A modern re-imagining of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, the Netflix show is produced by Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Oculus, Hush), Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV and Paramount TV. Directed by Flanagan, the first series explored a group of siblings who grew up in the haunted house and, as adults, are forced back together by tragedy and must confront the ghosts of their past.
‘The Haunting of Hill House’ (Photo credit: Netflix).
In the new series Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti and Henry Thomas are returning to play new characters The cast includes Catherine Parker, T’Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli, Amelia Eve, Benjamin Ainsworth and Amelie Smith.
Howling and Ramke had discussions on numerous projects after Netflix acquired the worldwide rights to Cargo but they have been concentrating on writing a pilot for their own series, aimed primarily at the US. The subject is under wraps but is described as being in the grounded supernatural genre.
They hope The Haunting of Bly Manor will help give them the US series experience and momentum needed to get the pilot commissioned.