The main ensemble of Holliston (Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Corri English, and Laura Ortiz) all go by their real first names in the show. Each character was written specifically for each actor as the characters all carry some resemblance of the actor's real life. The foursome are all very close friends in real life and came attached to the project when it was initially set-up.
As part of rehearsals for Season 2, the main cast (Adam, Joe, Laura, and Corri) took part in rigorous workouts together to get in physical shape for filming. With the second season including more nudity and revealing wardrobe, the cast worked hard to get into the best shape of their lives.
The show Holliston is a re-imagining of an independent film called Coffee & Donuts (2000) which was a romantic comedy based on creator Adam Green's real life as well as Green's first feature film. Several of the jokes and situations depicted in the first season were originally used in the film.
Casey's Crossing is an actual bar in Holliston, Massachusetts. The real exterior is used in the television show though the interior was built on a Hollywood soundstage and looks nothing like the interior of the real bar.
The story of Adam and Corri's relationship is based on creator Adam Green's real life break-up with his childhood love. While in real life, Adam married another girl (actress Rileah Vanderbilt), he has hinted in interviews that he has no plans to have the characters of Adam and Corri ultimately have the same outcome as his real life and that the two could very well wind up getting back together before the show is over.
The first season of Holliston was shot on stages 6 and 7 at Red Studios in Hollywood, California. The studio was formerly called Ren Mar Studios and before that Desi Lu Studios. Shows such as Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy were shot on the same studio lot and the first four episode's of Seinfeld were filmed on the very same stage that Holliston was filmed on.
In real life Adam Green once owned a mentally ill cat named W. Axl Rose. It was FEARnet President Peter Block's idea to have the role portrayed by an obviously animatronic fake cat rather than use a real cat for filming.
As the first season was shot over September and October of 2011, Adam Green brought the cast on various Halloween-themed bonding excursions whenever they had a day off from filming. Together the cast attended Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt, and the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park.
When it came time to dismantle and tear down the main apartment set at the end of production on season one, the cast asked the crew to wait until they had left the building before tearing anything down as they couldn't bear to watch.
Television networks began to take notice of Adam Green and Joe Lynch's on-camera chemistry after seeing a series of short films that they made together for the FrightFest Film Festival in the UK. Had it not been for The Road to FrightFest short film series, Holliston may have never happened as until then, the duo was looked at as strictly directors and not actors.
Dee Snider improvised all the musical gestures and vocalizations for his scenes. Composer Bear McCreary matched his every move and utterance after the picture was edited, creating the illusion that Dee was singing and dancing along to music.
On the morning of April 17, 2012, after airing only two episodes, Holliston was picked up for a second season order. The show has turned into a monster of a hit for FEARnet. In the press release on Deadline Hollywood it was stated that the entire original cast would be returning for Season Two.
Holliston premiered in the UK on Sunday August 25, 2013 during London's annual Fright Fest film festival. Adam Green attended the sold out premiere and performed an audience Q&A that lasted 75 minutes.
On March 23rd, the full cast appeared together live for the first time and performed a special episode live in front of over 1,000 fans at Cincinatti's HorrorHound Convention. The audience erupted into a 2 minute standing ovation at the end. Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, Corri English, Dee Snider, and Dave Brockie signed autographs for close to 8 hours that same day. Their autograph room had to be moved to a separate area of the convention center to accommodate the line of fans after the fire marshal shut it down mere minutes after the convention doors first opened due to the massive amount of people being a fire hazard.
Adam and Joe host a show-within-the-show called "The Movie Crypt." In 2013, Adam Green and Joe Lynch began hosting a podcast under the same title for GeekNation. GeekNation later ordered a third season of "Holliston" after the closure of FearNet, the station that the show originated on.
The man who randomly appears in the first season's opening credits is Sterling Torrington, and he was merely added as a gag to confuse viewers. Torrington made a brief appearance at the very end of the first season's finale and was cited by name as a homicidal maniac throughout "The Holliston Christmas Special."
While working at Troma, Joe Lynch' suggested GWAR frontman Dave Brockie should play the title character in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000). Brockie wanted to play the part but was on probation and was therefore unable to leave his home state to shoot the film - and Lynch lost his job before the movie went into production. It was a weird coincidence that they wound up costarring together in "Holliston," as the idea to cast both Lynch and Brockie was that of creator Adam Green.
When Adam Green first pitched his concept to Dave Brockie, Brockie agreed to costar on the show on the spot. Although Oderus Urungus was a character that Brockie had created decades earlier, he never had a disagreement with Green about the character or his dialogue.
There is a poster of Team Unicorn visible on the bulletin board in Adam's bedroom. Team Unicorn is Holliston creator Adam Green's wife's production team. Many of their projects are directed by Holliston's Supervising Producer Sean Becker.
The fact that the cast has been friends for so long in real life made it very easy to find old photographs to decorate the apartment's refrigerator with. All of the pictures seen hung on the fridge are real photos and not images created specifically for the show.
There are loads of references to Green's other films throughout the first season, mainly on various visible posters, T-shirts, and hats. This was done out of necessity as it was easier to obtain permission to use the licensed images if the production used Green's own films.
Actors Adam Green and Joe Lynch worked hard to get into prime physical shape before filming began. The boys each took off over 20 pounds and shrunk four pant sizes. As they continued to drop weight throughout the production process, wardrobe designer Autumn Steed often found herself having to hold up their pants with tied shoe strings when an outfit that had previously been established would no longer fit correctly.
There are a lot of slapstick moments involving physical comedy where Adam and Joe often slap or hit each other in the series. Actors Adam Green and Joe Lynch (both being directors in real life and also slightly immature boys at heart) would surprise each other with real slaps and punches to the face during takes rather than rehearsed "stage hits". They did this to both "keep it real" and to "mess with each other" because they thought it was funny. After a few weeks of this, the make-up department had to ask them to stop punching each other in the face as they were swelling and turning red for future takes. They continued to still hit each other every so often when they knew they were on the last take of a scene.
The cast appeared together at San Diego Comic Con in July 2012 where they did two autograph signings for fans and a panel presentation where they discussed Season 2 and showed one of the deleted scenes from Season1 that will be on the upcoming DVD / Blu Ray release.
Adam Green recruited director Sean Becker to be a supervising producer on Season 1. This helped him not have to lose time constantly watching playback after every single take as he had someone he could trust watching the monitors and helping him run the set. In Season 2, Green is handing off the directing reigns to Becker on many of the episodes. Sean Becker met Green when he directed many of the Team Unicorn (Green's wife Rileah's production team) projects and Green's cast and crew from ArieScope embraced Sean whole heartedly after the terrific job he did helping on Season 1. Green has cited Becker as his "secret weapon" on Season 1 and has a reputation for trying to help up and coming directors get their first shot at stepping up to bigger projects.
When the mechanical "Axl the cat" started to act up, "Axl 2" was created for the second season of Holliston. However, "Axl 1" began working again right before his first scene in season two and was then used for the entire shoot. "Axl 2" remains in the Holliston vault as an emergency back-up if ever needed.
Adam Green promoted Season 1's Supervising Producer Sean Becker to Director for eight of the 11 episodes that make up Season 2. In his interview with Dread Central, Green talked about how he had Becker understudy him and essentially run the set when he could not be behind the camera himself during the filming of Season 1.
Though Season 2 is not expected to start airing until the Spring of 2013, a one-hour long Christmas Special was shot during the filming of Season 2 and will be released in December of 2012. The special serves not only as a means to give something new to the fans waiting for Season 2 but also as a sort of bridge between the two seasons.
The cast of Holliston performed an episode live in front of fans at the Rock and Shock convention in Worcester, MA on October 13, 2012. The script, which Green wrote specifically for the live performance, contained surprise cameos by series guest stars Bill Moseley, Derek Mears, Tony Todd, and Sid Haig. The performance not only received a standing ovation by the packed room of fans but has been cited as a convention game changer in on-line reporting of Rock And Shock. Typically, celebrities only sign autographs at horror conventions, but with the Holliston cast actually performing for their fans and signing for free all weekend, many are rethinking the way conventions should be presented in the future.
On November 4, 2012, Adam Green appeared on stage with GWAR at House of Blues in Hollywood, CA. He introduced the band before their encore and then joined his on-screen imaginary best friend Oderus Urungus in chopping off President Barack Obama's head before being put through the band's meat grinder on stage. Prior to the band's performance, a video presentation of Oderus Urungus in Holliston was shown to the audience that contained scenes from the upcoming second season.
Holliston's Season 2 finale placed at number 7 in the top trending shows on television on the popular television social networking site GetGlue when it aired on Tuesday August 6, 2013. The show beat out major network shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Who's Line Is It Anyway, and Big Bang Theory.
The cast entered a long hiatus after Season 2 finished airing due to Adam Green and Joe Lynch both directing their next films, Corri English having a baby, Dave Brockie touring for a new GWAR album, and Dee Snider working on a new Broadway show. Discussions for a third season will not even begin until the end of 2013 according to the show's official facebook page.
Writer/director/star Adam Green originally mapped out the plots of the series for six seasons, but many plans had to be changed due to an extended hiatus following season two, the subsequent closure of the FearNet network, and the abrupt death of costar Dave Brockie. Originally it was to have been revealed that Brockie's Oderus Urungus character had fled to earth because he was a fugitive on his home planet of Scumdogia, and he would have been found and murdered in the third season finale, leaving Adam to deal with his death in season 4. The Scumdogia storyline had to be scrapped and Adam's mourning bumped up to season 3.
In the many years when the show was being developed for major networks, they all had the same two notes for creator Adam Green: The lead characters should not be horror movie directors, and it would be too weird to have Oderus Urungus as an imaginary friend who lives in the closet. The only major battle that Green encountered with FearNet concerned the show's sentimentality, which the network feared horror fans wouldn't embrace.