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At long last, I’m thrilled to announce my latest directing project, The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+.  Filmed over the course of six months at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, this was a feat of research, coordination, safety, creativity, compassion and a healthy dose of silliness.  You know you’ve made good career choices when Day 1 of filming is Jeff Goldblum in a pile of puppies.

Jeff Goldblum is back — and he’s as curious as ever.  Through the prism of Jeff’s always inquisitive and highly entertaining mind, nothing is as it seems in this new series. Each episode is centered around something we all love — dogs, dance, magic and motorcycles — as Jeff pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and history, amazing people, and a whole lot of surprising big ideas and insights.

The challenge: how do you make a show during a pandemic as interesting and exciting as the first season which was filmed when there were no limitations?  Answer: you plan everything very carefully to be safe but you also have to leave room for spontaneity and magic. Creatively, this host-driven show was a director’s dream because every day we filmed something completely different.  I mean, we’ve got trapeze artists, magicians, robots, witches, a sea lion named Diego, and a BIG DANCE NUMBER this season! Read More

Learn how to take expressive pet portraits on iPhone with photographer Sophie Gamand and Jahmyra from Today at Apple.  

They say never work with animals or kids…but this adorable video was well worth the effort.  After only a few weeks on YouTube, it has already gotten over 4.2 million views, making it the cutest instructional video on the planet.

This summer I directed remote shoots simultaneously in three different time zones and two different cities, Miami and Denver, from my laptop in Bodega Bay, CA and later in Gloucester, MA.  Special thanks to Sophie, Jahmyra, the teams in Denver and Miami and the folks at Apple and Radical Media. It was a blast.

Pet Portraits on iPhone
Client: Apple
Radical Media
Kathryn O’Kane, Director

Northern California Coast, 2020. Photo: Busy K

Checking in, everyone.  How are we doing? I hope you all are safe and healthy. Isolation takes its toll, and I hope you are being kind to yourselves.

When everything shut down in March, I was working on a travel series for Disney+ called Parenting Without Borders.  As the showrunner and director, I had assembled the most incredible team, and together we had developed a great series that the EPs and the network loved.  I had wonderful partners at Disney who wholeheartedly supported our creative ideas.  I also had the tremendous support and institutional knowledge of Boardwalk Pictures, which does such incredible international production with Chef’s Table and Street Food.  This was going to be a beautiful, poignant series about how culture influences parenting around the world.

I think back to those days in February and March when we were conducting daily risk assessments. Because of a lack of coherent information about coronavirus from the Feds and CDC, we had to glean the risks from our own resources, the news and from our international contacts on the ground. The world started to shrink before our eyes as countries around the globe turned into hotspots, and suddenly, the coronavirus was here in the United States. Read More

Corey Williams is the kind of person who makes you want to root for him. Sincere, honest and open, he’s a hard worker and a man of few words.  And 20 years ago he was sent to death row after a house party ended in the murder of a pizza delivery man.  Corey was a mere child of 16, a victim of poverty and intellectually disabled.  He was living in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, notorious for its tough-on-crime approach to justice where African American teens were labeled “super predators.”  In short, Corey never had a chance.  And yet, details of the case didn’t add up. Read More

Death Row Stories explores the fallibility of the ultimate criminal penalty, capital punishment. Told by current and former death row inmates, each episode of Death Row Stories seeks to unravel the truth behind a different capital murder case and poses tough questions about the U.S. capital punishment system. Sundays at 8pm, ET/PT on HLN.  My episode “Body of Evidence” premieres June 30.

I directed two episodes of the series for Jigsaw Productions. This was my first foray into the true crime genre, which I’ve been following as a growing phenomenon over the past few years.  Studies show that women consume the most media about true crime.  There are many theories about why: whether it’s escapism or it’s a way to interact with our worst fears, many people are looking for reasons to why bad things happen. Death Row Stories premiered in 2014, and has since been at the forefront of true crime’s popularity exploring capital punishment in a way that’s more palatable for people who might not think they’re interested in social justice issues.

On the set of “Death Row Stories” for CNN.

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Samin Nosrat accepts the James Beard Media Award for “Best Television Program on Location” on behalf of the Salt Fat Acid Heat team. April 2019.

We won a James Beard Media Award for Salt Fat Acid Heat, our four-part documentary series on Netflix!  Coming from the food community means a lot.

I am thrilled, honored, humbled, and happy for everyone who gave so much of themselves to make this beautiful show.

Thank you for watching, and thank you for loving it as much as we do!

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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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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.