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.
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
Hollywood Hills from The Line Hotel, Los Angeles, November 2020. Photo: Busy K
I’ve been reflecting a lot on the nature of production during the COVID crisis.
When it became clear that our show Parenting Without Borders wasn’t coming back anytime soon, I relocated to northern California to stay with family while the worst of the virus raged in my beloved New York City. Many of my friends and colleagues were discovering that they had COVID or were recovering from it. The executive director of New York Women in Film and Television was living in the epicenter in Queens surrounded by the steady scream of ambulance sirens, which we could hear during on-line board meetings. Another friend had a mobile morgue unit parked on her block in Brooklyn. And then in April 2020, two people I know died within a week of each other – one in NYC and one in Milan. The scope of this virus is devastating. And those deaths have influenced everything I’ve done since.
In May I got a call about a commercial project for a big tech company. They were planning a shoot with crazy numbers: 10 directors and 300 crew members to make 200+ short films in 4 weeks. I was both apprehensive and excited to get back to work. Because this was a client that would follow strict safety protocol, I felt comfortable committing. Read More
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