by Troy Rogers
Burn Notice creator, Matt Nix, shares a unique distinction with Miami Vice creator turned big screen writer/director, Michael Mann, as one of the select few TV creatives to see his own "on-location in Miami" set action series go three seasons in the Magic City. Although Matt Nix has two more seasons of Burn Notice to catch up to the five seasons of Miami Vice, the popular USA Network series is well on its way to leaving its own storied action legacy on the streets of Miami.
With the Season 3 premiere of Burn Notice taking to the USA airwaves on June 4 at 9pm, actor Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen returns without the pressure of the organization that "burned" him. Leading up to the Season 3 kick off, we crawled the covert phone lines to a conference call where we spent a few brief minutes with creator Matt Nix and Kevin Harris, the man behind the special effects of Burn Notice who makes secret Miami based espionage go "boom" on the small-screen.
THE DEADBOLT: You mentioned that season three will focus on the back stories of Michael, Fiona, and Sam. How far back are we going to go and how much will we see Nate Westen?
MATT NIX: How far back are we going to go? We will be exploring some of the period where Michael was meeting later in the season. And it’s a little bit difficult to put your finger on, because the idea is over the course of Michael’s career he has had lots of interactions, some of which took place over several years. So, to be perfectly honest, we try not to nail down a really specific timeline in Michael’s career because it’s not terribly interesting, and it also ends up kind of restricting the kinds of stories we can do once we start saying, 'Michael, these three months in 1997 he was in Belarus. Well, okay, but what if we need him to take a quick plane flight to Moscow during that period?' We don’t want to nail our feet to the floor with regard to that.
So we are going to see some of the folks from Fiona’s past and learn more about their past together. And we’re going to interact with some characters that Michael dealt with over the course of his career. If your question is: Are we going to see a lot of characters from Michael’s childhood? The answer is, not so far. And I wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s just not something we’re doing.
And then Nate is in the third episode, and we’re planning on bringing him back in the second-half of [the season] - for at least one. And yes, we love Seth and love having Nate in the shows. It’s a bit of a challenge for us, just because with the burdens of having a client and a bad guy, and usually a couple bad guys, and truck all those actors out to Miami and cram them into 42 minutes. Seth always hates hearing this, but Nate Westen starts off in more episodes than he ends up in, because we will jump into an episode going, 'This is one with Michael’s brother' and then two weeks later we’re tearing out hair out because the script is going to come in at 60 pages or 50, and we’re like, 'Okay, maybe Nate comes in next week.' And Seth sobs into his pillow.
THE DEADBOLT: What’s been the most complicated effect that you guys have pulled off so far?
KEVIN HARRIS: So far, they all have their little twists and everything. Ours is basically location-oriented, where we would like to do a huge effect, but because of restrictions and EPA rules, we have to be careful of what we do around water, environmental issues. Mainly coming up with different types of looks, which do not hurt the environment, and different types of debris that’s very lightweight, that is biodegradable. Those are our biggest challenges here in Florida.
THE DEADBOLT: What type of effects are you looking forward to in the upcoming season? Is there something that you’re really excited about?
HARRIS: Basically, with this season here, they have stayed away from the normal just blow-it-up, and have really gotten into more of technique style as far as them doing different types of gags. And that’s really the most fun stuff for us, is doing gag-work. Blowing a car up or blowing a house up, that’s pretty much easy for us. Doing a cryogenic gag or doing any type of an electronic gag, that’s more of a challenge for us and it’s really what we like to do the most.
-- Troy Rogers
So excited for the premiere this Thursday!!
Also, Jeffrey Donovan has a TWITTER!! He's trying to reach 10,000 followers by this Thursday so follow him! He posts awesome behind the scenes pics!