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KOK and Jeff Goldblum, Birmingham, AL. Photo by Seppi Aghajani

We made this show during the height of the pandemic.  It was hard – our production schedule was in a constant state of flux.  And it was beautiful – each day was different and I made some friends for life. So it’s especially rewarding when the Television Academy recognizes the effort.  I’m thrilled that Season 2 of “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” is nominated for an Emmy for best hosted nonfiction series.  Congratulations to the entire staff and crew from Nutopia in London, New York and Los Angeles.  You can watch it now on Disney+.

Recently, I talked with Katie Chambers at New York Women in Film and Television about the experience.  You can read it HERE and excerpted below.
 

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Drum roll please…

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

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

Thank you NYWIFT for profiling me in the new column “What’s in Your Toolkit?”  Entertainment publicist Margarita Sophia Cortes asked me…

What is the one thing you can’t live without in production?

I LOVE a wipe board.  Worlds are created on wipe boards. Recently I went to a meeting at Viacom, and the conference room had an entire wipe board wall. My fingers nearly tingled as we covered it in color-coded ideas by the end of the brainstorm session. Read More

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

Death Row Stories, Bari Pearlman and Keith Davis. Photo credit – Bethany Dettmore.

I have been dying to write a blog about the growing demand for True Crime stories. From Serial, to The Jinx, to Making of a Murderer, nearly every outlet has an episodic investigative series. And now my friend Bari Pearlman and I have organized a panel discussion dedicated to the genre!  Bari, who has directed and produced two episodes of CNN Death Row Stories, will be joined by Kelly Laudenberg, creator of the Netflix series The Confession Tapes, and Stephanie Steele VP of current Production for Oxygen Media for an in-depth conversation about making crime stories that matter.  The panel will be moderated by journalist Andrea Marks. For more information about True Crime Stories: Relationships and Responsibilities on Wednesday Oct 25, 2017 at the Tribeca Film Center and to register, click here.    *This Q&A is published simultaneously on Huffington Post. Read More

This summer Mellini Kantanyya and I created #SummerHours, a series about fun books, movies, and television shows by or about women.  The series is running all summer long on the New York Women in Film and Television blog.  Below are excerpts of my TV picks, and you can click on the links to read the full postings.  Be sure to check out Mellini’s picks in her category “Book to Screen…and Back Again.” Read More

NASA Mission Juno Project

I’m thrilled to announce that my commercial reel is now being hosted on the #Freethebid website. Special thanks to the folks at MAKE for making that happen.

Only 9.7 percent of rostered directors on the Adage Production Company A-List are women – only slightly higher than the seven percent of women who directed the top 250 movies in 2016. 

#FreetheBid is an initiative guaranteeing women directors an equal opportunity to bid on commercial jobs in the advertising world. The initiative “calls for brands to encourage their agencies to include female directors in the bidding process and asks production companies to add more women to their rosters.”

The #FreeTheBid website hosts the reels of women directors, both signed to production companies and those without representation. It tracks the work that women do as a result of the initiative and will organize agency screenings featuring female talent as well as events to showcase work done by those who are a part of the platform.

Coca-Cola, McCann, JWT, BBDO, FCB, Mother, Ebay are among those pledging to include women directors in production bids.

#FreeTheBid founder and award-winning director Alma Har’el :

“I’m starting #freethebid so the ad industry can come together and take an affirmative step towards addressing what stops advertisers from working with women directors. I couldn’t have been an independent filmmaker and make the films I love if I didn’t make a living directing commercials. I want to make sure other women filmmakers have the same chance to sustain themselves while being creative and shaping the way women are represented in advertising. We have to start the change right now in the only practical and effective way – let women be heard.”

So yeah, let’s do this!

 

Special thanks to Bill Winters for many of these behind-the-scenes shots and for always making our collaborations look so beautiful.