Actors, producers, directors, executives, writers and more joined together to discuss the ins and outs of their TV shows in the stacked season of small-screen excellence for 2022. Diversity Virtual TV festival. From programs moving to new streaming platforms to a boom in real crime series on television, there was a lot to discuss and the big names behind some of this season’s programs covered it all.
Here, Diversity Lists 10 major takeaways from this year’s panels.
Marlon Vance thinks that the deeper the comedy, the better
For his recent HBO Max comedy special “You Know What It Is”, the popular comic Marlon Vance is more personal than ever, discussing his daughter’s experiences of learning about sexuality, cheating and many other lifelong mistakes. Although she said it was uncomfortable for her to discuss these issues, Vance said the special was strong for it.
“As a comedian, it’s a layer of onions, isn’t it? The deeper you do it, the deeper you get, the closer you get to your tears and the more pain you get from life, the more fun you get. So you have to dive deeper. “I’m able to go there and find out what’s funny about it,” Vance said during the HBO Max series roundtable. And the mother of my children, and my daughter and my son, laughed so hard at the fact that I was willing to explore that. They’re like, ‘Yeah, you’re crazy.’ But to me this is my treatment. And I think to be able to live that weak life on stage and be that truthful, I think there’s comedy. “
Moving “Bosch” to Freevee is going smoothly
Original book author Michael Connelly, executive producer Henrik Bastin and cast member Mimi Rogers joined in the celebration of the return of “Bosch” through its spinoff series “Bosch: Legacy”. Diversity For the Meet the Makers panel. During the panel, Bastin discussed the opportunity to gain new fans as it moved to a free streaming platform like Amazon Freeway.
“When Freevee reached out to us and announced that their business model would be ad-supported … Amazon Prime, you are in a locked universe, not everyone can buy it or know what it is. So, it’s nice to be able to offer this to anyone who wants to see it, “said Bastin. Here, all of a sudden, we have the opportunity to succeed and to be creatively good at what we’re doing, to make Michael’s universe bigger, which is very exciting. “
Reality television can create generational connections
As chairman of Unscripted and Alternative at Warner Bros. Television, Mike Darnell has oversaw several hits, including the Juggernaut “Bachelor” franchise. In the main conversation with Diversity TV editor Michael Snyder, Darnell reflects on how part of the reason why reality television can last so long is because of the generational relationship it has created with its viewers.
“These shows have an affection for them that has been passed down through the generations. So in ‘Graduation’, my daughter was 16 when I started here, not in ‘The Bachelor’. And then all of a sudden, in four years, he and his friends started watching it. And it was clear to me that their mothers were watching the show, and it’s been a matter of generations, “Darnell said.” And they almost never end, and never die television, where it constantly refreshes itself. It’s brand new every season. And that’s something scripts can’t do. “
Documentary filmmaking thrives on scary conversations
For W. Kamau Bell, this is the hardest conversation that makes sense. In a discussion with some of the creators behind this year’s top TV documentaries, Bell was the director of “We Have to Talk About Cosby.” Diversity About the lessons learned by senior editor Emily Longereta in the process of creating documentaries.
“America is broken in many ways,” Kamau Bell said. “And one of the ways it’s broken is how it treats survivors of sexual abuse and rape. And if anything, I hope that these documents are just another, sequentially, sounding the alarm that we need to get it off the ground.” This is not something we can fix. And no matter how scary or difficult the conversation may seem, when you enter it, you still need to have that conversation. And just because you have it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily less scary It’s not going to be difficult. But it’s worth it. “
Actors and spies are very similar to what you might think
Octavia Spencer, who served as executive producer and starred in the true crime series “Truth Be Told,” sees her role as a spy-like actor. In a panel conversation with Diversity Cynthia Littleton, co-editor of Spencer, reveals that engaging and exploring the truth of a person is fundamental to how an actor portrays a character.
“I found it very interesting, and one thing that excited me was how Nichols was able to put journalism at the center of the story when it was more sensational in the book,” he explained. “And that’s one of the things that I, as an actress, face every day, is sensational. And I like that Nichols wanted the show to be called ‘Truth Be Told’ because, at the end of the day, our job as actors, we’re spies. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. “
Reality TV is an opportunity to show visibility
When asked about making political statements on reality television, Stephen Warren, producer of the drag makeover documentary, said, “We’re here,” his show is not “naturally political.” In an interview with senior artisan editor Jazz Tanke, Warren described the role he had seen his HBO Max show playing in the political arena.
“What we are is a show that demonstrates visibility,” Warren said. “What we’re really trying to emphasize is that you can relate to someone who is a 10-year-old trans girl in Florida. You can relate to someone who is a native Hawaiian homeless person. You can relate to all of these people because Once you enter and you see that there is no difference between you and them except their own circumstances, you are all human. In this way I hope that we are all contributing to society – raising the level of empathy. “
Sometimes, non-linear storytelling is the way to go
In a keynote interview with Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple of Iron Ocean Productions, the two discussed some of their creative decisions in their collaboration on Hulu’s “Candy,” in which Biel played the alleged killer, Candy Montgomery. When asked by Tangcay about his choice of telling the story in non-linear form, Biel called the method “a good tool if you get it right.” It’s hard to get it right, but if you can get it right, it’s effective. “
“Sometimes when you’re just going linear, you’re checking boxes along the way,” Purple said. “And sometimes for the right story to be told, there’s a way to do it and it should be done. I needed to learn more to get to this part. So there’s something about it [it that] It keeps you busy, leaves a little cherry and then pulls it back, which puts us at our fingertips. “
VFX should be an ally in storytelling, rather than a distracting scene
From Jason Zimmerman’s point of view, the main visual effects observer and supervisor producer in Showtime’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, visual effects should only be used in situations where they should be used to move the story forward. In discussion with Diversity Veteran TV writer Joe Otterson, Zimmermann emphasized the need for balance to be applied in order to create great scenes without major distractions.
“Well, I don’t think the show should always be tilted too far into the challenge,” he said. “The point of the visual effect is just to help tell the story. We’re always here for that. And so to make sure it was grounded, and always working to help enhance product design and what was practically there and otherwise tell the story.” Don’t overpower the shot, don’t overpower the scene, but really help tell the story. And, frankly, there are some sci-fi components that you know are going to be helped by visual effects. But even then, I think the point Stay grounded and don’t stay away from what is being said, don’t stay away from performances, don’t stay away from scenes or overall story. “
Brand message is a constant priority
Diversity Digital editor Todd Spangler moderated a panel of television executives to discuss their work using streaming as a marketing tool. During the panel, Regina Somese’s Discovery Group VP of Paid Media and Global Subscriber Acquisitions discussed how brand marketing is one thing that the company works actively for each product, even after launch.
“When you think about starting a product and the product is going through its life cycle, there may be a perception that once you start this product, you communicate what the brand promises and then you’re done,” Sommes said. “And I think that’s just not the case. It’s a consistent, consistent beat of brand messaging as well as messaging.”
Different programs require different approaches to telling true stories
In roundtable discussions with the directors of the series, including “Winning Time” and “We Are the Owners of this City”, Antonio Campos, director, EP and author of “The Staircase” opened the discussion on his approach to adapting the true story. In an interview with TV editor Michael Snyder, Campos explained the challenge of making the character “more interesting than the real person.”
“One of the things we’ve done is we weren’t really trying to cast LookLikes,” Campos said. “It was – let’s find the right person to play the role. Then one of the things I put there was, look, let’s not force anything. Find out where you and this person meet and then it will happen. Let’s not cross that line. If If the real person had blue eyes, an actor would say, ‘I want those contacts,’ and then we go, ‘Well, let’s make contacts.’ The minute you see the contacts, you go, ‘It doesn’t work. I’m not connected to you.’ It doesn’t matter if you have eyes of the same color. It doesn’t matter if you’re built the same way. We’re creating a version of that person. “