D7I’s Creative Director will be observing on an episode of HBO’s hit half hour comedy “Silicon Valley”. Whether it’s described as “shadowing” or “observing”, this is an intimate opportunity to see the inner workings of a television show’s journey from script to screen.
There’s no better way to get a sense of the mechanics of television production than being on a live set and seeing not only the technical aspects, but business and psychological components of running a set and making the day as a director. Time observing/shadowing is spent being a fly on the wall, absorbing everything possible, staying out of the way, and compiling any questions for further research or if the opportunity arises, a conversation with the episode’s director. Beyond that, it’s ideal to approach the shoot as if you were directing the episode yourself (shotlist, blocking, etc) and then compare your own preparation to the realities of what transpires on set.
Every TV show moves to the tune of a different drummer, and that drummer is typically the showrunner. You’re familiar with the names, whether it be Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), or any other number of creative maestros that shepherd dozens, if not hundreds of episodes to your TV, computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Feature films are the realm of the director, but television requires the creative vision of one person to protect the integrity of multiple episodes and seasons. The showrunner is typically the creator, writer, as well as an occasional director on the show.
“Silicon Valley” is guided by Mike Judge of “Office Space” and “Beavis and Butthead” fame. He’s also directed the majority of the episodes.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
In the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. A comedy partially inspired by Mike Judge’s own experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the late 1980s.
SEASON 2 TRAILER (last year):
Season 3 of “Silicon Valley” will premiere in April 2016.
For those that are interested, here’s a great book on directing for film and television. We look forward to sharing Pete’s updates on this experience and sincerely thank HBO for the opportunity!