'Showrunners' is the first ever feature length documentary film to explore the fascinating world of US television showrunners and the creative forces aligned around them. These people are responsible for creating, writing and overseeing every element of production on one of the United State's biggest exports - television drama and comedy series.The film intends to show audiences the huge amount of work that goes into making sure their favorite TV series airs on time as well as the many challenges that showrunners have to overcome to make sure a new series makes it onto the schedules at all! Featuring candid interviews with Showrunners such as J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Bill Prady, Terence Winter, Damon Lindelof, Hart Hanson, Steven S. DeKnight.Written by
Filmmakers Des Doyle and Ryan Patrick McGuffey have said that they had almost given up on getting Joss Whedon in the film after trying for a year to reach him. Then one morning after leaving a meeting with Bad Robot they literally ran into him in the parking lot and pitched him then and there. Incredibly he agreed to take part. However when they filmed his interview approx 2 months later (on the Monday morning after The Avengers opening weekend) they had literally just 1 hour to shoot before Joss was leaving for his first vacation in 2 years. Just as filming commenced workers started cutting down a large tree outside which lead to a traffic jam. Doyle was terrified that the sound from the interview would be unusable but had to proceed anyway. Remarkably the Sound Post-Production team in Dublin were able to remove all of the distracting background noise allowing the filmmakers to use Joss' interview. See more »
The film did great in regards to exposing what life is like being a Showrunner. I was glad to hear from Showrunners across all genres, and even from some who ran shows that I watch routinely. It is definitely very inspiring and intriguing to watch how much effort goes into the weekly episodes we take for granted. Though the cast is predominately white male (this reflects the business itself), it would be interesting to see more diverse Showrunners in television. As well, I would have liked to hear more about the writing process and how they come up with ideas for new episodes.
The film had great editing style which kept me engaged throughout. The clear, crisp cutting between different Showrunners and the sets, enforced how busy these people actually are. One might think of working in television as a glamorous job, but as this film shows, it is also very exhausting. The Showrunner is kind of like the middleman, under the control of the network and trying to please audiences, while also trying to be faithful to their own artistic vision (at the same time juggling between actors and crew members). I'm not sure how this title of the 'Showrunner' came about, but it seems like too much responsibility has fallen on one person.
Overall, definitely an interesting watch to get a good look behind the scenes of running an American TV show.
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