Big Showrunners Announcement at SDCC…


There was some big news yesterday for Showrunners, the film I’ve been cutting for the best part of this year. On Friday the film hosted a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con featuring contributors Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Hart Hanson (Bones) and Jane Espenson (Husbands) from the film as well as Director Des Doyle, Producer John Wallace and co-producer Ryan McGuffey.


The panel was on the topic “Showrunning – the hardest job in the entertainment industry” but it also served as a platform to make some announcement s about the film. The biggest of which was reported in an exclusive article with Deadline Hollywood, which i have reprinted below…

With buzz heating up at Comic-Con over network shows and new series, indie documentary Showrunners is primed to capture the zeitgeist. Director Des Doyle nabbed interviews with some of TV’s biggest and brightest creators, including JJ Abrams (Lost), Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Hart Hanson (Bones), and Jane Espenson (Once Upon A Time). Submarine Entertainment snatched up US distribution and worldwide sales rights on the Black Sheep Productions pic, which held its own panel today at the pop culture confab. “We are very excited to be working with Des Doyle and the team on their amazing behind the scenes documentary Showrunners, which reveals the seductive, yet terrifying, world of being in charge of running a television show,” said Submarine’s Co-
President Dan Braun announcing the deal. “The unprecedented access and attention to detail they achieved in this film is impressive and unique.” Showrunners takes a behind the scenes look at the writing, development, and production side of television from the captain’s chair. Project got its start with backing from the Irish Film Board and a Kickstarter campaign that grew fan interest online. Among the TV heads featured in the film: Matthew Carnahan (House Of Lies), Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus: War Of The Damned), Chris Downey (Leverage), Mike Kelley (Revenge), Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris), Damon Lindelof (Lost), Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives), Jeff Pinkner (Fringe), John Rogers (Leverage), Mike Royce (Men Of A Certain Age), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), David Shore (House M.D.), Janet Tamaro (Rizzoli & Isles), Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire), and J.H. Wyman (Fringe). The Black Sheep Productions, Romark Entertainment, and Junto Entertainment production is produced by John Wallace and Rock Shaink. Ryan Patrick McGuffey co-produced the film and Jimmy Nguyen, Jason Rose, and Christof Bove are executive producers.

Showrunners…From the Edit Suite

Greetings from the Showrunners edit suite…

Its been a crazy couple of months and especially so the last few weeks. Editing a feature documentary is an all-consuming proposition and your work-life balance can get thrown somewhat askew, so I’ve become something of a stranger to my friends and family but it will all be worth it in the end. The film has generated a lot of press in the last week or so on the back of a kickstarter campaign we are running so I thought I’d give a little insight into where we are at with the film. Have a read and don’t forget to donate

The edit suite in Dublin
The edit suite in Dublin

If you are unfamiliar with the film, first of all let me just say what it’s about Showrunners: A Documentary Film is the first feature documentary that delves into the creative and chaotic world of the showrunner. Often described as the most complex job in the entertainment business, a showrunner is the chief writer/producer on a TV series and, in most instances, the show’s creator. Battling daily between art and commerce, showrunners manage every aspect of a TV show’s development and production: creative, financial and logistical.

In the film you’ll be taken inside the lives and minds of todays top TV Showrunners, who have opened up the world of your favorite TV shows to us and given access to their writers rooms, their production sets while filming, production meetings, editing suites (cutting a sequence about editing was a strange experience) as well as on to the red carpet. As well, we’ll take you behind the scenes at special events like ComicCon and WonderCon with featured showrunners and actors from such beloved series as Lost, Bones, Boardwalk Empire, Revenge, Fringe, Big Bang Theory, House, Person of Interest, Sons of Anarchy, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Castle, Spartacus, House of Lies & Once Upon a Time and many others

The cutting of the film is underway and at this stage we are all very confident of the material that we have used and we think people will find it entertaining and informative in equal measure. I have been lucky to have cut quite a lot of documentaries in my time but I’ve never known a film quite like this one. It’s rare that you get a situation where you have just so much useable material. Often times an interviewee will be relevent to very specific elements of the story but with this, everyone in it speaks with authority on every subject relevent to the job and it can be challenging figuring out which people to use on any particular topic and maintaining a balance and keeping the flow of the film going. What has also been interesting is that while on a personal level I expected the like of Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams to be riveting interviewees (which they are), I was taken aback by how fascinating so many of the other people interviewed were. Everyone in the film adds to the conversation and we are leaving some great stuff on the cutting room floor (The Kickstarter only dvd will be awesome btw) but its also very exciting to see the sequences come together as we whittle down the material.

I also edit at home some nights
I also edit at home some nights

Last week the production launched a Kickstater campaign to get the film finished. We are looking for eighty thousand dollars to fund the grade, the sound mix, the graphic elements and most importantly from my point of view to buy us some more time in the edit suite.
For me its been incredible to see the overwhelmingly positive response from people towards the kickstarter campaign and to the trailer that I cut for it last week. It’s astonishing to see just how many times the video has been played and all the articles about the project in everything from the Hollywood reporter to blogs and magazines all over the world. It’s truly very humbling but all that positive feeling towards which has been great to get ultimately doesn’t mean I will get to keep on cutting the film. The only way we can get the film over the line is if people donate to the film.
Go to our kickstarter page and donate here