“Foundation” showrunner David S. Goyer breaks down the “Death of Dawn” scene from the finale


Foundations The Season 1 finale released on AppleTV + on November 19 and featured a number of unexpected twists, including the death of Brother Dawn (played by Cassian Bilton).

David S. Goyer, who led the final and is also Foundationthe showrunner of, speak with News week on the last episode.

Discussing the episode on the zoom, Goyer detailed the scene in which Dawn is killed and the creative decisions he made to shoot it.

Brother Dawn and Demerzel enter the throne room

The scene opens with Dawn escorted into the throne room by Demerzel (Laura Birn), who places her hand on her lower back.

“Right here at the start, right before they entered the throne room, it was really important to me,” Goyer explained. “One of the things I always say to my cast and crew on this show is [is] there is a lot of subtlety.

“There’s this little shot of Demerzel where she puts her hand on Dawn’s lower back, when she brings her into the throne room, and if you go back to episode 3, when we [showed] how day and dawn and dusk rise in the next brother age, there is a time just before dusk rises [and] will burn to ashes where he hesitates and Demerzel puts his hand on Dusk’s lower back.

“So this shot visually rhymes with the end of Dusk in 1.03 and it’s a subtle but ominous signal to audiences that things aren’t going to end well for Dawn, and I even knew when we hadn’t shot the scene in 1.03 that we were going to make this move visually rhyme in 1.10.

“One of the other things we did with the lighting in this throne room scene was some of the other throne room scenes were very dark, it’s still dark but I put a lot of light on. gold in this scene, which works against what you think is about to happen.

Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn and Laura Birn as Demerzel in “The Death of Dawn” scene in “Foundation”.
Apple TV +

Goyer added: “What was important to me was that this scene is about the chaos inserted into the Imperial system, so I divided the scene into three separate sections.

“The first section, we shot in traditional studio mode, that is, with cranes, with carts, all very formal and elegant. The camera is like a glider.

“The second part of the scene, as we start to introduce more chaos, we shot entirely on a stationary camera which is a kind of stabilized gyroscopic hand-held camera where the audience can spot it, the camera moves around, what n It’s not on cart tracks, it’s not on a crane.

“And then the third part of the scene that we shot freehand, we literally bring more movement and more frantic camera work into the scene as everything comes apart and destabilizes.”

Brother Day chooses to let Dawn live

Describing how the throne room is rotated with figures in the center, he continued, “You can see how very formal and lively everything is, that’s what we call the central punch, they’re right in the middle. of the frame.

“You can see Day and Dusk are, you know, still doing the same thing.”

The scene sees Brother Dusk (Terrance Mann) berating Dawn for not being an identical clone to him and Day (Lee Pace), before the latter says he wants to accept her regardless of his differences.

Goyer said, “Terrance Mann, who’s been pretty moderate this season really, lets him tear it up here, and I love how posed and controlled Day is. Again, by design.

Foundation Final
Lee Pace and Terrance Mann compete for the role of Brother Day and Brother Dusk in the “Death of Dawn” scene.
Apple TV +

“Because I’m telling the audience that Demerzel is going to kill Dawn when she puts her hand on her lower back, for me the surprise of this scene is that Day was moved and changed by her experience on The Maiden.”

He continued, “There’s another key insert in this scene where Demerzel sort of plays with the salt bead on her bracelet, it’s right in the middle when Day talks about ‘and yet and yet brothers.’

“We realize that despite what he did on The Maiden, he came out of that experience changed and he’s actually advocating that the Empire folds, and that we allow Dawn to live, which in his own way is enough. shocking.”

As the scene unfolds, Goyer adds: “[Demerzel] touches her pearl of salt there and she realizes that [Day] was changed by her experience, despite how monstrous he was to steal her vision, and yet, because of her programming, she still has to do what she’s about to do. “

Presentation of chaos

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Brother Dawn kissing Demerzel before she kills him.
Apple TV +

Angry, Dusk begins to argue with Day, and the couple start screaming and hitting each other, leading a frightened Dawn to hug Demerzel and beg her not to let her brothers kill him.

“I love the performance of this scene,” said Goyer.

“The shoot itself is pretty classic, there weren’t a lot of shots in this scene, I didn’t think it required it. My basic premise was studio mode, a still camera and a computer. poached.

“And we gradually become more and more chaotic, and I love that [Day and Dusk] come to blows, they’ve been so lined up all season and then they just start to slap each other. “

Referring to Dawn and Demerzel’s hug, he continued, “I think it’s really beautiful here because she’s holding on. [to Dawn] and she says “I won’t let them kill you”, or he says “don’t let them kill me” and she says “I won’t”. And she consoles him and then she kills him, I hope the audience is shocked by that. “

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Brother Day mourns Brother Dawn after Demerzel kills him
Apple TV +

He added, “What I hope people take away from this episode is that they wonder if Demerzel killed Dawn because she was programmed to do so?

“Because she had to to preserve the genetic dynasty and he’s an aberration?” Or is it a bit of that revenge for what happened in Episode 8? “

Referring to Day’s final look at the robot, he added, “There are a lot of complex emotions here where Day absolutely believes it was revenge for what happened on The Maiden.”

“And then at the very end, as we pull away from them, we go back to the wagon and then slowly walk away, this is the first time that Day has been alone in the throne room, just with Dawn’s body. . “

Foundation Season 1 is now available to stream full on AppleTV +.


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