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UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who came out last month to hear Annetta Marion and me talk about show running and directing. We had a blast sharing our stories with you.  Thank you New York Women in Film and Television for supporting women calling the shots!  Special thanks to Roz Murphy and Duana Butler for organizing the event at such a lovely space.

KOK and Annetta Marion, October 25, 2018. Photo: Katrina Medoff


This Thursday, October 25, I’ll be speaking with my friend and colleague Annetta Marion about directing and show running for nonfiction television.  For more information, see below.  It’s nearly sold out!

This intimate conversation between director/showrunner Annetta Marion and director/producer Kathryn O’Kane will highlight the unique roles and creative inspirations of directors and showrunners who bring stories to life on screen.  The discussion will give a behind ­the­ scenes look at the craft of filmmaking, explore culture and creativity in their body of work, as well as allow these producers to share their passions for the work, both on and off the screen. Read More

Becoming the Showrunner of a Netflix Food Series

Host Samin Nosrat and DP Luke McCoubrey. Liguria, Italy. 2018.

When I was 13 years old, part of my allowance came from preparing dinner for the family once a week.  This corresponded to my mother returning to work that same year, so it helped her to have a night off.  I loved it, in part because it meant that I didn’t have to do the dishes, a loathsome duty for the rest of the week.  That summer I also had a steady babysitting gig. The oppressiveness of Tidewater heat and humidity made it impossible to stay outside for very long, so the kid and I were often cooped up indoors with the AC on and the shades drawn. But the mother had a stack of Southern Living magazines filled with beautiful photos of recipes both traditional and fancy.  From those each week I’d develop the menu and add ingredients to my father’s grocery list, which he bought without question. My mother remembers the first dinner – meatloaf roulade with a swirl of broccoli and cheese.  Armed with Jacques Pepin’s step-by-step illustrated cookbook, La Technique, I tried my hand at choux pastry, and voilà, my first cream puff swans were born.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images for Turner / Monica Schipper

Earlier this month I attended the TBS-sponsored panel “Women on Top,” a discussion of how comedy is emerging as a power for change and how specifically Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is channeling this power.  Samantha Bee has managed to harness a rage that many women and men feel about current events, a perspective that women traditionally have not been allowed voice publicly.  Bee said, “Women have always been told that rational thought is the most important – not emotional intelligence.  Full Frontal pierces that and feels intimate and real.”

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Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo speaks at the bill signing of the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” at City Hall, May 9, 2018.

Yesterday was a full circle moment — to be present at City Hall for the bill signing of the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,”  a comprehensive package of legislation strengthening New York City’s anti-sexual harassment policies and combating sexual harassment in the workplace.  Last month the City Council  passed 11 bills that will expand worker protections and improve transparency about harassment in city government— some of the toughest harassment protections in the country.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio at the bill signing of the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” at City Hall, May 9, 2018.

With the swiftness that the issue demands, the research and the passage of these bills has progressed rapid through local government in the wake of the #metoo movement to shine a light on sexual harassment and predation nationwide. The council members acknowleged that every new revelation of harassment and assault is a failure of the City to protect its most vulnerable residents.

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The Walking Dead, Season 8, AMC

The Walking Dead returned for the midseason premiere of Season 8 on Sunday and that means that Talking Dead is back!  8.3 million viewers said goodbye to Chandler Riggs whose character Carl finally met his demise.

Chandler grew up on the show, and this week Talking Dead aired never-before-seen footage of an interview that I shot with Chris Hardwick and Chandler on set in 2012.  They say that nothing measures time like children, so it was a special thrill for me to see this old footage from my first visit to the Walking Dead set.  Just a week earlier, I got the first call to direct interviews with Chris and cast. To prepare, I watched 8 hrs of episodes from the prison season and then got on a plane to Atlanta.  We arrived to scout during a night shoot. I can’t describe how creepy/awesome it was to have binged watched a show I love and then stand there on the prison set just a few hours later.  I love my job.

Watch Talking Dead every Sunday at 10pm ET on AMC. Check out exclusive interviews with cast & crew during my time on set in Atlanta.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway, The Daily Beast

1. You were my political science professor in undergrad who used to join me for coffee in the Student Union Building before class.  You asked for my phone number and then called my house to ask me out on a date.  I told you that I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that you were my teacher and that I hoped it wouldn’t affect my grade. You never talked to me again.  I earned an A.

2. You were a network executive who sat in a screening and ogled the daughter of one of our main characters in the show.  She was a blond young woman wearing a tank top, and even though she had nothing to do with the story, you joked about how she should get more screen time, especially from the waist up.

3. You were a government employee where I was an intern. You said lascivious things about me to the woman who shared the office. She laughed and said, “cut it out, she’s jailbait!”  You said, “jail would be worth it.”

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