Why The Flash Is So Hard To Put Together, According To Tom Cavanagh

Tom Cavanagh The Flash Season 3 Barry Allen Directing

Did you know the most recent episode of The Flash was directed by H.R. Wells himself? Going in, actor Tom Cavanagh had directed episodes for his past TV show Ed, but apparently working The Flash is a completely different beast. Here's what Cavanagh had to say regarding his latest directorial romp for "The Once and Future Flash."

And you know, The Flash is not an easy show for any director. We always say no director is going to come in and skate. It's not an easy show to direct. We shoot it in eight days but clearly it's a ten-day show in terms of what the schedule is for the show, so there's no easy days. It's not like two people talking about romance in an alcove, you know what I mean? It's two people talking about romance in an alcove that's on top of a mountain with, like, a demon coming to chase them, descending from a spaceship firing lightning bolts while they talk about love, you know what I mean? Spectacle is a part of the comic book ethos, and you have to have it. So that's incumbent on a director to deliver that spectacle, and the result is that it's never a simple and easy thing to do on time and on budget.

I read that entire thing imagining H.R. twirling a drumstick and chugging coffee between sentences, and I'm not mad about it. Tom Cavanagh is not exaggerating when he speaks to the limiting challenges of directing The Flash. His episode alone featured Iris coping with death, some time travel, a villain takedown, and two versions of Barry Allen on screen at once. He did a fantastic job with it, but it's certainly a lot of plot to juggle. Perhaps Cavanagh is being a bit hyperbolic to E! Online when he says the show is an 8-day shoot that requires 10, but he's not the first to talk about the breakneck speed at which these CW hero shows are made. Can you imagine if these shows were given the opportunity to film in a more relaxed and open-ended schedule?

Tom Cavanagh Barry Allen Director The Flash

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of The CW)

I'm sure there would be a sacrifice in the consistency of episodes every couple of weeks, but perhaps having more time to shoot would provide a brilliant man like Tom Cavanagh the opportunity to craft a sequence that doesn't feature 15 seconds of fast-running via CGI? As Cavanagh states, the spectacle is a big part of the comic book ethos, and we're all certainly not tuning in for a 20-minute talk between Barry and Iris as she cries about her potential death -- we want action! I don't by any means hate all the CGI sequences The Flash team creates, but I wonder how my future children will perceive the moments that even I think are less than stellar. Perhaps given the extra days for filming would allow for more time for effects wizards to add a really solid polish to those digital-heavy scenes. Or perhaps directors would be allowed to conceive big scenes in a way that limits the prolonged CGI use.

After seeing Tom Cavanagh's first shot at directing The Flash, I'm ready to see him tackle some more episodes! As stressful as it seemed to be, he really reigned in all the important aspects of the show and delivered what I thought was the best episode of Season 3 to date. The next episode will have the Savitar-revealing opportunity to prove me wrong, as The Flash is all new on May 2nd at 8 p.m. on The CW. To see what else is coming Tuesday and beyond, be sure to reference our summer premiere schedule for all new and returning shows, and see what's being renewed and canceled on our renewal guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.