Season Finale Awards: 'Vampire Diaries' director takes us inside Damon's goodbye and that final shot

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Image Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

The winners of EW.com’s fifth annual reader-voted Season Finale Awards were announced today (see them here), and The Vampire Diaries earned five prizes: Most Rewound Moment, Most Unforgettable Line, and Best Use of Music for Damon’s goodbye to Elena; and Best (Presumed) Death or Exit and Best Final Shot for Damon’s mysterious disappearance with Bonnie.

Episode director Chris Grismer called into Entertainment Weekly Radio to accept Best Final Shot for that fade to white as the Other Side crumbled, and frenemies Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) held hands to accept their unknown fate. In the end, he took a low-tech approach. “We just sort of over-exposed it, just old-school, and used smoke, and then I just had them grab the cameras and shake them,” he says, with a laugh. “The weird thing about it was the actors couldn’t hear each other because we had fans going and it was just pure chaos. So they kinda had to guess when it was their turn to talk, and then we dubbed their voices afterward.”

Damon’s emotional farewell to Elena (Nina Dobrev) had its own challenges. Somerhalder could look at Dobrev for his close-ups — but since Elena wasn’t supposed to be able to see dead Damon, Dobrev had to spend more time acting without Somerhalder in the frame. “To have her hair move [as though Damon was touching it], I had to have a green rod come in in the middle of the scene and move her hair, and she had to just keep in the moment, even though we were throwing all these curveballs at her,” Grismer says. “She did a great job.”

And for those wondering, he believes Somerhalder did improvise the “baby.”

Listen to the clip below.

Here’s the goodbye…

And the final scene.

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