Monday, December 7, 2009

Hurwitz Complex

"I don't want no part of you tied ass country club, y'a freak bitch !"

That's all about waiting and waiting for some news but nothing wants to that's why I kept for few weeks this interview of Mitchell Hurwitz during the Austin Film Festival.
Here we go !

“A Conversation with Mitchell Hurwitz” Saturday in the Stephen F. Austin Hotel Ballroom really was a conversation. Moderator Paul Feig shifted quickly from interviewing the winner of the 2009 Austin Film Festival’s Outstanding Television Writer award to just shooting the breeze with him.

Feig, the creator of “Freaks and Geeks,” has become a sought-after director — kind of to TV what Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl brings to other bands as a drummer for hire. He’s directed episodes of “Mad Men,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” in addition to ” “Arrested Development.”

Hurwitz, best known for the shaky, hand-held camera antics of the Bluth family, began his television career on a program called “Nurses.”

Here are some highlights of their conversation:

On writing: Hurwitz said that he often likes to begin writing with constructs, such as ego, superego and id. When he was starting out and writing spec scripts, he said, he would ask himself questions, such as “Okay, how many people are on Cheers? How do they connect with each other?” Such devices, he says, become invisible to the audience but can help spark the creative process. In “Arrested Development,” he originally began basing his characters on the construct “matriarch, patriarch, craftsman and clown.” Originally envisioned as the series’ four main characters, Lindsay, Michael, Buster and Gob filled those roles.

“As a creative person,” Hurwitz said, “the hardest thing is a first draft. It destroys your image that you can write. It doesn’t come out of the pen correctly. Then we go the stage and the first run-through, and I’m devastated. Then to post-production, where I think, ‘I’m a fraud. It doesn’t work.’ Hard work is so much more a part of this than talent is. The harder you work the more chance you have of being talented. If you struggle with it, that’s okay. That’s part of it.”

“The only people who love to write are bad writers,” Feig added.

Hurwitz said the old aphorism, “Write what you know,” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. “Even if you write science fiction,” he said, “you’re going to be writing what you know.”

On inspiration: Hurwitz says his favorite quote is this gem, from philosopher Isaiah Berlin: “Life is choice, and choice is loss.” Each time you make a choice, you let go of all of the other possibilities available. But, ” If you do make a choice and commit,” Hurwitz said, “you will find your creative direction.”

On Ron Howard: The impetus behing “Arrested Development” was highly praised by Hurwitz, who said, “He made a schizo mathematician into a big, wide-release movie. He’s kind of amazing that way.” It was Howard who approached Hurwitz about creating a cinema verite, documentary-style show. They dialed the documentary idea back after learning about the original, British version of “The Office,” which had begun airing as they created “Arrested.” Howard encouraged Hurwitz to take risks which Hurwitz, coming from a background of conventional (but good) sitcoms such as “The Golden Girls” was happy to do.

On the executives: “There are no longer executives that come from Broadway or from entertainment backgrounds,” Hurwitz said. “They all come from accounting,” Feig added. Both said that was okay, there was definitely a need and a place for that.

On “Arrested Development”: “We knew we weren’t going to be a financial success; we knew we weren’t going to be a ratings success,” Hurwitz said. So they just made the best show they could make.

On the show’s ground-breaking camera style: As a director, Feig claims the method allows for a funnier product. It enables him to ask actors such as Steve Carrell of “The Office” to change things up and approach scenes several different ways, which is difficult and costly to do with conventional camera set-ups. “Multiple hand-held cameras make it possible to catch improvised takes from many angles,” Feig said. ” ‘Arrested’ got people used to the handheld camera quick cuts; I think it’s the best way to shoot TV. You can run, you can fly. It’s great for actors — you can go again and go again.” Intricate camera set-ups have their place, he said, but “there are not many comedies about camera set-ups and shots.”

On the “Arrested Development” movie: “I’m tempted to change the style for the film, but Ron Howard wants it to stay the same,” Hurwitz claimed. “It will have just a little more polish.”

Source : Austin 360
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