The Crazy And Cool Way The Mist TV Show Used A Real Mist On Set

the mist spike
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of Spike)

Spike is bringing some scares to the small screen this summer with The Mist. An adaptation of the Stephen King novella of the same name, the story follows the stories of the folks in a small town after a mysterious mist rolls in, seemingly containing all kinds of murderous creatures. The show had the potential to flop if the mist of The Mist didn't work; luckily, it's clear from the first scene of the first episode (read our review here) that the mist actually looks pretty great. Star Alyssa Sutherland recently spoke with CinemaBlend about all things Mist, and she revealed how the show managed to create the misty atmosphere of the series:

We're dealing with a real mist. We were shooting in a real mist... I don't know exactly what it was that they used but it was sort of like smoke machines. They had a mist chamber, so any scenes where people had to run out into the mist, there was a mist chamber. It was this big tent in a studio and they sort of brought the environment into the tent. So if they were out in the forest, they'd bring trees in. If it was like the parking lot at the mall, they dressed the mist chamber for the parking lot at the mall and bring cars in. Yeah, so we were really dealing with mist. With the mall, there were certain areas that the mist was in. They would show the corridors... yeah, we were really dealing with mist. That was real.

As it turns out, the mist wasn't all computer generated or pumped out on location. According to Alyssa Sutherland (who plays Eve on the show), there was a special tent that could be flooded with mist to thoroughly envelope set pieces in the fog. The result is a claustrophobic atmosphere as characters find themselves surrounded in something close and oppressive, even in a relatively open area like a forest or a parking lot.

In fact, the mist is thick enough that we don't even have to suspend our belief too much when things very suddenly emerge from seemingly nowhere to scare the pants off of us. The characters' fear is totally believable due to the thickness of the mist, and the production team evidently went all out to guarantee that we could feel the characters' fear, even from the presumably mist-free safety of our homes. I nearly jumped out of my seat at a certain moment that wouldn't have worked at all if the mist was simply a thin fog. Alyssa Sutherland actually also told me that the heavy mist helped the actors portray their characters' confusion, as they themselves couldn't really see where they were going!

The mist itself obviously plays a key role in the Stephen King novella, but readers don't have to worry that they already know everything that's going to happen. Showrunner Christian Torpe revealed to CinemaBlend that he aimed to make some contemporary changes to the source material for the adaptation, so the new series will be something different from the novella and from the 2007 movie. That said, Stephen King did sign off on Torpe's ideas, only saying that he could do whatever he wanted with the story of The Mist as long as it wasn't ordinary.

The series premiere of The Mist airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Spike. Be sure to tune in to catch all the mist, monsters, and growing mayhem that you could possibly want out of a summer series, and don't forget to take a look at our summer TV premiere schedule for all your other viewing options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).