Friday, June 10, 2011

From the AV Club's 4 Part Interview with Dan Harmon:

For the large part of this episode, I was in this room alone with Megan [Ganz]. I remember that experience very well because I was at my emotional wits’ end. I had been told numerous times before that, as early as episode seven, that I was at my wits’ end. People kept telling me to stop. They would say, “You’re at the end of your rope.” And I’d say, “Why are you saying that? That seems like a weird thing to wish on someone. I’m really happy. I love my show.” And they’d say, “No, no, you are exhausted, you need to cool out.” And I’d go home from those meetings thinking, “I think that they just wish that I wasn’t me.”

And it’s funny, because on that episode, I found out what the actual end of the rope feels like, because there is definitely no point in both seasons where I’ve been so terrified of my own failure. I’ve never been able to taste it like that. It was a combination of being that far behind schedule—there was no breaking the story, having a draft, table-reading, getting notes—and the episode obviously wouldn’t have existed if that had had to happen, because that process was designed to stop weird things from happening. And for good reason. There was too much risk and not enough reward. There is money being made and a business being transacted on every other network, and here we are on this little island of “Who gives a fuck?” But at some point, it doesn’t even matter. “Stop overthinking it; stop being weird. What’s the worst thing that could happen to your numbers if you go home and sleep a little bit?”

Sometimes you focus so much on getting away with stuff because you think, “Oh, if I could just get away with it, then everything will be great.” But then you get away with something accidentally, and you realize, “Wait, I get away with everything. I’m at the tippy-top of a $2 million investment into a half-hour of television about what? What is even going on in this story?” And it surprises people to hear me describe it that way, because mostly it was just a cute episode. It wasn’t perceived by anyone—and I refuse to read any reviews of this episode—but it seemed from the Twitter feed that really all of my anxiety was… the disparity was really odd.


The humility in this, especially in this part: Sometimes you focus so much on getting away with stuff because you think, “Oh, if I could just get away with it, then everything will be great.” But then you get away with something accidentally, and you realize, “Wait, I get away with everything. I’m at the tippy-top of a $2 million investment into a half-hour of television about what? makes me want to print it out and send it to Matt Weiner.

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